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A
 ABRASIVES  Before applying any finishing process it is often necessary to use an abrasive material such as a coated paper to further prepare the surface of the turned item, although the need to obtain a first class finish straight from the tool cannot be over emphasised and a little extra time in achieving this will far outweigh the effort required with abrasives which often undue the work done by the tool or damage the piece by marking or overheating. The standard method used these days is to use an abrasive backed papers that have evolved from the early Sandpapers used in the furniture industry, there is now a wide range of alternatives and  it is very easy to use the wrong type.
The main types available today are as follows.
Glass or Flint This is one of the oldest types of abrasive with a glass or flint substance glued to a brown paper by animal glues, the finest grade is known as Flour. These are relatively cheap papers and deteriorate rapidly, they are usually supplied by the household DIY stores for home decorating.
Garnet Paper  This is red coloured paper as a result of the iron/aluminium/silicon mixture used in the manufacture of such abrasives, they are very effective and have good biting action and have a good working life, grades supplied range from around 20 (rough) to 320 (fine).
Aluminium Oxide These papers are coated with a metallic oxide and are often coloured green or brown, and generally used for machine sanding belts, grades are from around 20 (rough) to 400 (fine).
Silicon Carbide  Most wood turners now use this type of abrasive and there are two main types available, Waterproof Silicon Carbide is the common "Wet & Dry" used with soap or water on
Fibre glass or Varnish surfaces.
Lubrisil  This is dry light grey with a good clean bite and used by wood turners in a wide range of grades or grits ranging from 50 (coarse) to 600 or more (very fine)
ALMOND OIL Never dries
B
BEESWAX The woodworking finishing process has traditionally been based on two insects the Lac Beetle (see ref page) and the Bee, in both cases it is the female that is the producer of the end product. Beeswax is the most important wax to the woodworker the wax is produced by the female worker bee and is used in various forms with other ingredients to make it softer and easier to apply. It is used as a polish or a stopper on shellac finishes for repair work and can also be obtained in a bleach form this is known as white beeswax.
Most commercial furniture polishes contain beeswax..
BLEACHING  For more info Go to  http://www.assoc-restorers.com/r-articles/sal/bleach.html
C
CARNAUBA WAX This is a yellowish hard vegetable wax and together with beeswax is one of the two most important waxes used in woodworking, it is non toxic and harmless to use and is derived from the Brazilian Palm tree. The melting point is approx 180 deg F, because of its hardness it can be used during turning by gently holding a piece against the item  being turned this will melt the wax providing a hard finish which can if desired be cut back with a 240 grit garnet paper. This wax can also be mixed with other softer waxes to provide a smoother polish if required.
CASTOR OIL Never dries.
COLOUR MARKERS for information on staining and colouring using marker sticks go to TOUCHWOOD
COLZA OIL Moderate drying oil
CRYSTAL COAT
Get a sophisticated high-gloss finish thatís also water-and wear-resistant. Quick, easy and no-mess! Perfect for turned pens! Can be applied to wood pens and other turnings right while theyíre on the lathe! Easy to use 6 ounce bottle. Designed as a final finish coat.  Food safe when dry. u.s.a. only
 
D
DANISH OIL  This oil is a blend of oils and resins which seals, feeds and finishes all varieties of wood, without leaving a surface film to chip or scratch. Apply with a clean rag or brush to a well sanded surface. Drying time is between 4 and 8 hours depending on temperature. Brushes can be cleaned with mineral spirits. Danish oil is unique because its high linseed oil content and its colorant (Gilsonite) allow it to penetrate and color unlike pigmented stains. Gilsonite is a mined ore, which comes only in a black walnut color. It is different from pigments, which come from earth clays. Danish oil's best use is on oak where the walnut colors are carried deep into the grain and produce a look that pigments cannot match. The linseed oil in Danish oil dries to a durable finish and can be used as a one-coat finish; more coats help build durability. However for more protection Danish oil can be top coated with an oil based urethane finish. These pure urethanes penetrate and preserve the natural look as well producing a much harder finish. 
E

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F
FILLING Wood fillers are usually made up from the following ingredients. a) Filling powders such as plaster of paris, chalk, or ground silica. b) Extender powders to provide texture such as china clay. c) A binder which can be oil or resin based., d) A colouring agent, dye or stain. e) Oil or spirit solvent medium. There are two main types of wood grain filling materials they are the Oil bound fillers and  Resin bound. Oil bound fillers use a binding agent such as linseed oil, turpentine, white spirit, or other synthetic oils, known as patent fillers they are easy to apply but are slow to dry. Good results can be obtained when used with french polish, varnish, or shellac based products.
Resin bound fillers are used when a quick drying cycle is required and are mainly used under catalysed lacquers, they are very stable with good adhesion properties, however they are not recommended for use under polyester or polyurethane lacquers.
G
GRAPE PIP OIL Never dries. 
H
HEMP OIL A quick drying oil, not generally available today. 
I
INDEX OF FINISHING SUPPLIERS Check this excellent  link for suppliers and information about finishes http://theoak.com/cgi-bin/hyperseek/directory.cgi?search=CAT&Category=Finishing 
J
JAPAN WAX  This wax is not a true but a blend of vegetable fats with pigments or shellac. When blended in this manner it provides a very stable filler base for other finishes and  it is often supplied in a stick form in a range of colours for touch up repair work  
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M

MELAMINE 
Melamine Finish.
  If items are to be regularly handled and a more durable finish is required a Melamine finish can be applied as follows.
After producing a good finish to the bare surface by sanding etc.  STOP THE LATHE and apply a very thin coat of Melamine avoid going over the same area twice and keep the application thin and even (You need to be quick) as melamine dries almost instantly and is hard to remove areas of over application.
More than one coat can be applied after drying but this is not recommended.
START THE LATHE and use a piece of 0000 grade Wire Wool dipped in a soft wax polish , I usually use the Petroleum based polish in this instance although itís a matter of preference.
With a soft cloth apply a little of the wax to give a polished surface, if this is considered to be to glossy cut back with a 0000 Wire Wool dipped in wax.

 

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