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Applying finish while on the lathe

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Jesse Tutterrow, Nov 27, 2017.

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  1. Jesse Tutterrow

    Jesse Tutterrow

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    From various videos I see that most people apply a finish while the item is on the lathe. Yesterday I was watching a DVD (Bat Houses by David Best) and he was using a painters brush to apply lacquer. Although he covered up the ways with a paper towel it looked like he got the lacquer on the chuck jaws.

    Would a finish getting on chuck jaws cause problems? I am wondering about finish buildup not allowing the jaws to expand correctly into a recess.
     
  2. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I finish all of my bowls and hollow forms off the lathe. I also finish the sanding of most off the lathe

    Smaller items I finish on the lathe.
    Hollow ball Christmas ornament balls and finials get their first coat on the lathe then more coats after they are glued together.

    I try to a void getting finish o the chuck. A little on the outsides of the jaws is harmless.
    Finish Inside the jaws or on top of the jaws will cause misalignment of the work piece.
    Finish on the scroll gears will cause the chuck to not open and close smoothly or not move at all if there is a lot built up.
    Be careful. Also clean the jaws when you get them gunked up.
     
  3. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    If you take the time to protect the lathe bed ways you can also take a few seconds to protect
    the chuck from getting finish on the jaws which may get into the scroll if you get carried away
    with the liquid finish brushing it on the piece.
    Your other option is to recognize that you may get contaminates on the lathe and chuck and you
    may need to take time to clean these on a regular basis. On occasion I may have limited time to
    get a number of pieces completed in a specified time so I take short cuts while applying finish when
    certain products can be finished on the lathe. This allows me to get the order out the door on a timely
    basis and when time allows I will clean up the lathe and tools that were compromised.
    Trying to open and close a gummed up scroll chuck is no fun, and sliding a tail stock down a gummed
    up lathe bed can cause injury to a person on a bigger lathe when the heavy tail stock does not slide smoothly.
    Anyone with shoulder problems, tennis elbow or arthritis will know how this can be painful.
     
  4. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

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    Sloppy applications of finish materials won’t hurt the chuck at all and, I’d imagine, it would take quite a few applications to affect a mortise fit. However, if such a thing were to occur, you could soak the jaws (or even the entire chuck) in solvent with no ill effects.
     
  5. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    When I was a beginner I used friction finish (Hut Crystal Coat), but now I do all my finishing off the lathe and outside of the shop. Sometimes the chuck is still attached ... and when it is I cover the chuck with wide painters tape.
     
  6. john lucas

    john lucas

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    I can't imagine brushing on a finish unless I was going to wipe it down. I don't like thick finishes unless the finish has been finished so it looks like glass. I wouldn't want to have to clean the jaws. I apply a wipe on finish like minwax wipe on poly while it's on the lathe. It's such a fine finish it would take a huge amount to cause problems with build up on the jaws. I usually apply one layer while on the lathe and then apply several more off the lathe. I could imagine brushing on an oil finish, let it sit and then wipe it out.
     
  7. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    The only finish I ever apply on the lathe is shellac. Then that may not be true of application of a dyed or marker colored rim or line which I do on lathe.
     
  8. Arkriver

    Arkriver

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    I finish just about everything on the lathe, but apply the finish with a paper towel. If some gets on the chuck jaws it easy to clean by closing the jaws, reducing the speed and apply some sandpaper. Never had any finish get to the inside jaw faces. A leg from a pair of worn out pants or piece of cardboard cut to size works well to cover the bed. Allyn
     
  9. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    "A leg from a pair of worn out pants"
    Just remember to take them off first.
     
  10. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    It's best to use one of your everyday worn out pair of pants and not one of your Sunday best worn out pair of pants. :rolleyes:
     
  11. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    I still wear them. ;)
    With the finishing thread, the AAW magazine had an outstanding article for "Bulletproof Pen Finishes" by Kurt Hertzog in the February, 2017 issue. I now apply the CA to my pens with one hand while turning the blank manually. Works for me.
     
  12. odie

    odie

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    I used to use paper towels, too.....but, stopped doing this some years back. There really isn't anything you can do to prevent the paper towel from breaking down during the application. Tiny little bits of the paper will become lodged in the grain, within detail grooves, and any other opening in the wood. I use nothing but cotton cloth for application purposes now. Specifically, 3" square cotton shotgun cleaning patches......available at your local sporting goods store. Use them, then toss them! :D

    -----odie-----
     
    Ely Walton likes this.
  13. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    They do make lint free wipes which are used in clean rooms and industrial applications
    where paper towels won't work. These are stronger and more cloth like material which
    absorb liquids readily.
     
    odie likes this.

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