How I apply 20 thin coats of CA as a finish

I use ordinary paper towels to apply the CA onto the blanks. With 4 squares of the paper towel I am able to complete the process. I fold the towel like demonstrated in the video. I cut them into 14 individual pieces. 10 of the pieces are used twice each = 20 coats.

You need to turn down the speed of the lathe to about 800 rpms so that you don’t flick the CA all around the workshop. To apply 1 coat of CA, all you need is 5 drops of CA. 3 drops on the 1st barrel and 2 drops on the 2nd one. I find that the first drop soaks the towel then the rest the other drops actually coat the blanks.

Super thin CA has a consistency like mentholated spirits and quickly dries. I find that Super thin CA is just too thin for this application. The towel goes hard before you even get to the second barrel. I now use and sell thin CA – it’s just a tiny bit thicker but it not too thick.

20 thin coats of CA takes about 3 – 4 mins to apply, 20 coats sounds like a lot of effort and time, but in actual fact it’s very quick. When I sell a pen, a brief information sheet is always included. There I state that I sand it with more than 10 grades of sanding and 20 coats of finish – it sounds good but it’s really not much effort.

I use the aerosol activator (accelerator) from the box of Mitre Fix CA. A quick shot of accelerator between coats is all you need.

I have done this so many times that I don’t use gloves anymore. My record for pen turning is 9 pens in an afternoon, all with this high gloss CA finish without any CA on my fingers.

Next step – Polishing the finish.

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