Steve, Russ and others,
I have used the Hut CC and other friction polishes on many pens, with
success. However, I don't think the problem here is necessarily the
sanding, or the heat used in applying it. Rather, it sounds like there
is no sealer under the finish. Do an experiment - treat both barrels
the exact same, sanding through whatever grit you're using, or higher.
On one pen barrel, apply some type of sealer. I highly recommend thin
CA, but you can use whatever sealer you want. Sand the barrel with
the sealer, then apply your friction polish on both barrels. Note
that multiple coats of friction polish don't do a whole lot. Now set
both barrels aside for a few days, without touching. You'll probably
see the barrel without the sealer dull fairly quickly, even without
As Russ said, you don't want to use too much friction polish, as it
can get streaky, leaving concentrical rings. These can usually be
buffed away, or turn the lathe off, and while the rag and barrel is
still hot, run the rag very quicly along the axis of the barrel.
Subsequent coats of friction polish can also help remove these rings,
but again, don't use too much of it per application.
Don't think I'm not emphasizing the importance of sanding. That is
critical, especially on pens. I love using micromesh, as it produces
that nice 'chatoyance' that just seems to make a pen glow.
Personally, I use thin CA as my main finish, followed up by the home
brew friction polish, then buffed, and finally, a coat of Renaissance
wax on top of the entire pen. The Renaissance wax helps to keep
A good finish on pens can make a huge difference, obviously. I try to
make that one of my strongest selling points on my pens, and people
seem to really like my finishes. Most people do prefer the highest
gloss possible on a pen. I haven't tried the Waterlox, and I probably
will, but so far the CA finish is the most durable and glossiest I've
seen, personally. Hope this helps.
> Friction Polishes are not as easy to use as the adverti***t say they are, or
> as woodturners think they should be.
> Your problems could be anything from not sanding to a fine enough grit, to
> using too much of the product, to not running it fast enough or long enough to
> get it hot enough, to changing to a new patch on the cotton cloth for each
> application. A common problem is not enough heat to flow the shellac and burn
> off the waxes and oils. From your description, I would suspect that you using
> too much product, and aren't getting the application hot enough.
> Go to: http://www.FoundCollection.com/
> for a description on how I use a Friction Polish. This isn't the only way to do
> it, but I know that it works very well. If you are still having problems, ask
> your question again.
> I don't know your definition of "quickly". It could be that your expectations
> for the finish are too high. A pen with a shellac finish should be hard and
> fairly durable with a life measured in weeks of daily use, not days.
> Russ Fairfield
> Post Falls, Idaho