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Suggestions for lacquer technique?

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Jeff Jilg, Jun 13, 2004.

  1. Jeff Jilg

    Jeff Jilg

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    I've never used lacquer or sprayed finish for any of my finishes. And lately I've seen a lot of nice pieces with lacquer finishes. Mostly, tung oil has been pretty friendly to me - via multiple wipe-on coats. But for a thicker more glossy finish, it seems that spray may be the way to go.

    Should I start out with some of the spray can solutions, or is a compressor+sprayer the only way to go? How about application?

    thanks,
    Jeff :confused:
     
  2. Steve Worcester

    Steve Worcester Admin Emeritus

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    I have done a little experimentation with the glass bottle and propellant cans. I use the gloss lacquer that I buy by the gallon at HD and then cut it 50/50 with thinner. It works ok, but could use some better atomization that I will not get from this setup.

    I have a buddy that uses a small touchup gun, like what can be bought from HD, Harbor, etc., for about $25-$30. Low investment for the beginnigs of the experimentation stage.

    The beauty of laquer is that as long as you don't get too many airborne contaminants in it, it is easy to sand out, buff, fix, respray etc.
     
  3. Dr_dewey

    Dr_dewey

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    spray lacquer

    i have been trying the water based lacquer by Oxford, so far the results have been inconsistent. First bowl was easy and after a bit of sanding to smooth out the rough stuff the finish was very glossy. the second attempt had more sags and eventually i had to sand it all clean and start again. this bowl i sprayed while on the lathe and spinning slowly, perhaps this was the mistake. the other was sprayed on a lazy susan turned by hand. Been using a cheap airbrush powered off the output from a gast vaccum pump. had to thin the lacquer with 10 to 15% water to stop the nozzle from clogging.
     
  4. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

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    Oxford PSL

    Dr.,

    Suggest that you not thin more than 10%, and that you put in the SA-5 additive for increased leveling. Waterborne finishes are best applied with HVLP guns because you'll get much better atomization and the droplets will hit the surface with much less force.

    Remember too that PSL gives 100% burn-in, so putting on numerous thin coats is much preferable, especially to avoid sags.

    You didn't mention it, but I'll also strongly suggest that you use a barrier coat of either ultra-pale dewaxed shellac or Zinsser's Seal Coat. The waterbornes will tend to raise, or at least pucker some grain. The near-clear shellac will prevent this and will also insure best adhesion of the PSL in case of "contaminates" on the surface like finger oil that can promote sags.

    I use the shellac/Oxford PSL combination on my flatwork all the time, and get great "off-the-gun" finishes.

    I have successfully hand applied PSL to bowls using a foam brush. Following is an example, that was rubbed out on the lathe using Meguire's compounds.

    Suggest that if you wish to "lathe apply" that you do so with the piece turned by hand; even the slowest speeds on many lathes will crate vortex drafts that will disrupt a mist pattern and result in uneven coating and sags
     

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  5. Dr_dewey

    Dr_dewey

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    Thanx for Info

    Mark: you have provided a lot of advice and will try what you suggest. HVLP is on a wish list. SA-5, next order. My oneway turns very slowly and figure its not drafting air, can always take it down another step on the pulleys. was wondering if a brsuh or other applicator can be used.

    Also have found that sanding can cause some melting of the finish and causes raised streaks on the piece.

    regards
     
  6. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

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    Sanding

    Any lacquer, a natural resin, will melt from power sanding, either by moving the paper or the piece. If you're leveling a lacquer (or shellac) coating, hand sanding, often wet, is the way to go.

    Good Luck
     

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