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Thread: Sanding paste alternatives oils

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Southwest Louisiana
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    153

    Sanding paste alternatives oils

    Homemade sanding paste formula includes mineral oil, beeswax and Diatomaceous earth.. question is had anyone substituted walnut oil or boiled linseed oil. My go to finish is mainly walnut oil on bowls. I use the sanding paste on smaller projects or on items I donít want to spend a lot of time on. Knowing that mineral oil never polymerizes as does walnut oil or linseed oil it would seem the latter would be a better alternative than mineral oil. Thought from the more experienced turners please.

  2. #2
    Interesting question. It is fairly common to sand with drying oils like linseed or tung, and sometimes part of the stated goal of that is that the slurry of finish and wooddust will fill the pores if they aren't very large. Not sure what adding diatomaceious earth into that slurry would do if much of it is left to dry with the finish. Might dull or cloud it some. Is your plan to wipe it down with or without solvent to clear the slurry out? If wiping it down, I'm not sure how much of a difference it will make to the final finish depending on which oil is in the mixture. Seems like a great case for some test pieces - maybe test on a few different woods like maple/walnut to see how it handles light/dark woods and different pore structures.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, Texas
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    274
    Steve, I have a small plastic container of a mixture of walnut oil and beeswax that I (unknowingly) got when I purchased some miscellaneous things from the estate of a member of the Hill Country Turners, Mr. Eul Clanton. He was an VERY accomplished turner. I know what it is because he labelled it. I have used it as both a sanding paste/medium and as a finish, and it has worked well in both instances. These Christmas trees are finished with it. It leaves what feels like a really nice Ďsoftí smooth finish. So Iíd use it for pieces that are primarily for display, not things that might get used/handled frequently. And it has a nice smell when using it!

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Idaho
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    I'm kind of new to turning and was how you used this? Is it used for finish sanding or what? Thanks, Jim

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
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    528
    This reply is coming from somebody who doesn't use it. However, I will sometimes do a sanding with the the final finish still wet on the piece. This makes a slurry of the finish and the sanding dust and probably does more as a grain filler.
    I think the idea of the paste is to take the place of very fine final grit and in the OP's formula that is likely done by the diatomaceous earth which is fossilized ancient creatures so it has a bit of "grit". The idea is that its fineness gives a smooth, scratch-free (scratches are virtually invisible) finish. IMO, if you don't have a good sanded finish to start with it is too fine to take out any scratches - it can't defy the rule to go through the range of grits not jump over a bunch when sanding. There are formulations using different grit material but this isn't the OP's original question.
    This my opinion, and as usual, there are proponents both for and against any procedure!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    173
    Thanks for the explanation. I usually start with 60 or 80 grit then 120, 150, 180, 220 and finally 320 grit. I use a Milwaukee close quarters drill and an older off brand close quarters drill with a 2" pad. It gives me a very smooth finish. Jim

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