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Thread: micro mesh for laquer

  1. #1
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    micro mesh for laquer

    I just finished a cremation urn and have 2 coats of shellac, sanded flat with 400 grit paper. I have 10 coats of gloss laquer on it. my step was going to be to hand rub it going thru the grits of micro mesh. has anyone used this method? Am I on the right track. Any suggestions greatly appreciated. thanks in advance
    Grandpa always told me. "A good woodworker is not one that makes no mistakes. A good woodworker is one who knows how to cover up his mistakes."

  2. #2
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    I've used the micro-mesh with good results for quite some time. I find that if I let the lacquer cure for a week the results will be better no matter how you finish it. I mist the piece with a little water, go over it with micro-mesh and then wipe it dry. Go through all the grits in this manner, you'll like the results. For a really deep finish try 20-25 coats of lacquer.

    Jay Mullins

  3. #3
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    I don't like Micro mesh. I never know which side is the abrasive side on the ones I have. When I want a glass finish I sand through 600 grit and then use automotive polishes followed by scratch and swirl remover. Works for me. I didn't see any advantage of the micromesh for my purposes

  4. #4
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    I agree with JohnC Lucas, with this exception: rather than auto polishes, I use Johnson's Paste Wax and 0000 steel wool, then buff with guitar polishes gently (Minerva). I have achieved a medium high luster this way with only 6-10 coats of DNA/Super Blonde Flake Shellac as a finish.
    Maker of Fine Kindling, and small metal chips on the floor.
    Embellishments to the Stars - or wannabees.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnC Lucas View Post
    I don't like Micro mesh. I never know which side is the abrasive side on the ones I have. When I want a glass finish I sand through 600 grit and then use automotive polishes followed by scratch and swirl remover. Works for me. I didn't see any advantage of the micromesh for my purposes
    The only thing I use micro mesh for these days is when I turn acrylic. I wet sand through the grits to the finest (12000?).

    acrylic_ornament_green_bell.jpg acrylic_ornament_green_IMG_5716.jpg

    At times I sand to 1500 with wet&dry and use some kind of polish, sometimes quicker, sometimes not. I haven't found any difference between the metal polishes and the plastic polishes I've tried.

    Once (in the 70's I think) restored a horribly scratched acrylic aircraft windshield with micro mesh. Took hours. Looked like new. I'm still using the same micromesh kit I bought for the windshield.

    JKJ

  6. #6
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    I wetsand with soapy water the lacquer to 220 with sanding sponges(the top grade thin ones) followed by 1 or 2 grits of auto rubbing compounds followed by liquid carnuba wax--not johnson wax.

  7. #7
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    I use MM on lacquer all the time. I use lemon oil with it and use the sheets. Comes out beautiful. I will put some auto polish on afterwards to give a final polish.
    John T.

  8. #8
    I agree with Jay Mullins that you need to let lacquer cure for at least a week before finishing the finish. While it might feel dry, beneath the surface it is still slowly drying ... The smell of VOCs outgassing is ample evidence of that.

    I use Micromesh a lot on lacquer finishes on figured maple as well as on CA finishes. I prefer using it wet, but that makes it imperative that the surface is thoroughly sealed, otherwise, water that gets under the finish and into the wood will cause swelling and ruin a perfectly smooth surface.

    Like JKJ, my first introduction to Micromesh was for restoring aircraft windshields back in the 70's. It was a very long time ago, but I think that the windshield kits went up to 18000 grit., but I could be mistaken.

    After 12000 grit I use Novus 2 applied with a jumbo cotton ball. Do not use any kind of cloth, not even microfiber because it will leave swirl marks. The absolute worst thing to use are any kind of paper towels (which I learned the hard way). I examine the finish in bright sunlight which will reveal any residual spider-webbing in the finish. My experience with any kind of wax is that it will only dull a perfect high gloss finish. I am still experimenting with high gloss automotive polishes.
    Last edited by Bill Boehme; 04-08-2018 at 7:26 PM. Reason: Added missing words
    Bill

  9. #9
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    I read somewhere that paper towels were something like 2000 grit and will scratch finely finished finishes. Paper sacks are even courser.

  10. #10
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    For final polish on my better turnings (few and far between), I use old cotton t-shirt or sock material that has been washed and stored away from dust. Even the best paper towels have wood fibers still in them, which causes fine scratches.
    Maker of Fine Kindling, and small metal chips on the floor.
    Embellishments to the Stars - or wannabees.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Asheboro,NC
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    So Cal, how did your urn turn out with the micro mesh? There are many ways to finish lacquer, and all that I've tried ,seem to work well. If you get the chance post a picture.

    Jay Mullins
    Last edited by Jay Mullins; 04-26-2018 at 10:54 PM. Reason: typo

  12. #12
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    I don’t think the kind of abrasive is really that critical in achieving the kind of finish you want.
    When I read “ gloss lacquer”, I assume the goal is to get a high gloss, glass like finish? If thats not the goal, then i think there are so many better finishes to choose from that will give a warm, silky smooth finish (not to mention easier and maybe healthier). Spraying gloss lacquer on wood that is not perfectly pore-filled and sanded is problematic.
    That being said, I love trying to achieve a glass-like finish on most of my work. But your final finish will only be as good as your surface prep. A high gloss finish has to start with a glass like prep. Some dense woods like Ebony need almost no prep. I spray using NC lacquer out of a spray gun/pressure pot. 8-10 coats max. If you’re spraying from a can, I have no idea how many coats but there are major problems with too many coats. 30 days cure time for NC lacquer to get your best polished result. I have never used MM abbrassives. Like I said, I dont think it really matters. But what does matter is your abrassive schedule, then polishing schedule. I never start leveling with less than 800 grit and never start polishing before sanding to at least 2500 grit abbrassive. From there it is buffing with different pads and compounds.

    Just my two cents.

    PS. There are great vids on YouTube on sanding/polishing from 3M and Mirka.

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