Not a bowl but I did turn it...


Corporate Member
Nothing on par with the beautiful turnings I see around here but felt like sharing this one. I've been getting back to it on the lathe the past few months after finally cracking the code on how to make a CA finish work. This one is a black ash burl roller ball.



Corporate Member
Nice. What are your tips for the CA finish?
The video below by Brian Blohm is what finally did it for me after years of failing every time I tried. I switched to Mercury Flex CA and accelerator and started using Brian's method. I've since tweaked it a little bit and have been really happy with the results.

My method now is below. I know there are literally dozens of different methods documented online, this is just the one that works for me. I use Viva brand paper towels to apply my CA, super soft and lint free.

Dry sand up to 600 with Abranet.
Clean blank with denatured alcohol.
Apply 3 coats of Mercury Flex Thin at the lowest speed the lathe will turn, accelerator between each coat.
Apply 5 coats of Mercury Flex Medium at the lowest speed the lathe will turn, accelerator between each coat.
I'll let the blank sit for a few minutes after the last coat and shot of accelerator just to make sure it's fully cured.

Wet sand with 1000 grit wet/dry paper just to smooth out the ridges. The finish should be dull and flat after this step. It also highlights any pits that need extra filling because they will show up as shiny spots on the blank. If filling is needed I'll repeat the coats of Medium Flex.

To polish I just use wet MicroMesh through all the pads and finish off with Megiuars plastic polish, basically the same method most people recommend for acrylic blanks.
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Senior User
Thanks George! I haven't made any pens in quite a while but will get some of that and give it a try when I do. When I tried CA back then I wasn't happy with the results.


Corporate Member
Very nice George. I love those Navigator Rollerball kits.

I haven't tried the Mercury Flex yet, but I know a lot of pen turners rave about it. Will have to get some after I deplete my current bottle of CA.

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