CA Finish

Pen turners use CA glue as a finish, which gives a strong and hard-wearing finish with a highly polished shine. They apply the CA while the pen is spinning, sanding between coats, and build up the layers until they have got to the required finish.

This type of finish also works on larger pieces such as bowls, hollow forms or vases.

I’ve been experimenting with CA as a finish now for some months. It started when I turned a Holly hollow form that was splitting all over the place; I wanted to hold it together so I applied CA (super glue), and it worked!

But of course, once you have covered your turned vessel in CA you have to sand it all off before you can apply the finish. So I thought how about using CA as the finish and it seems to work and work quite well.

Here is the best way that I found to use CA as a finish on larger items:

Apply the CA to a piece of paper towel (I found that the blue workshop type paper towel works best). Then apply a thin layer of CA on to the surface of the wood; this needs to be done quickly and without the lathe spinning for best results.


CA Finish Applying CA Finish
Once the wood is coated with the CA, spin the lathe and apply a coating of boiled linseed oil, then stop the lathe and leave for a few minutes before re-spinning the lathe and wiping away the oil.

Applying Boiled Linseed Oil
You then need to leave this to stand for about 20 minutes. Spin the piece again and sand with 600 grit, smoothing off the surface as you go.

Next, go through the process again, building up the next layer of CA. Once you have applied 2 or 3 coats of the CA and you have a uniformed surface,  carry on repeating the process but move on to sanding with a very fine wet and dry sanding cloth, or 600 grit followed by extra fine wire wool.

Once you have a smooth glass type finish that you are happy with, the final step is to apply a coat or two of burnishing cream. When this is buffed off you can achieve a real shine that stands out.

Cherry Vase CA Finished
Give it a try