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Frequently Asked Questions...

What kind of finish should i use over aniline dye on my hand turned pens?

I read in a wood turning book about a woman that uses aniline dye on the jewelry she makes. i tried it out on my pens and it looks awesome! the problem is that no matter what i put on as a finish, the dye bleeds onto your hand eventually from the sweat, or even if you just get it wet.
Does anyone know what i can put over the dye? i even tried polyurethane to no avail.

Best Answer...


I have used the HUT PPP gloss finish bars, and really like the shine they produce, and the aniline dyes I purchased from craftsuppliesusa havent faded or come off onto my hands yet.I do agree though, I think over time under sweaty conditions it could be a problem. Many use a CA finish on their pens.I have tried it on a couple occasions, and although I was clueless on how to do it, it did produce decent results. Here is just one of many techniques http://www.asthewoodturns.com/caglue.pdf
Or this one
Michael Dresdner describes a unique method for using cyanoacrylate (CA) glue as a finish on his website, www.michaeldresdner.com. This finishing requires a slow acting CA glue, and the slower the better. Most of the "thick" varieties with a cure time of 1-minute will work. The application of the finish is quick and simple, and takes about as long as it takes the CA glue to cure. Using a faster glue requires a faster reaction on our part and increases the risk of permanently attaching the pen barrel to the mandrel (a risk whenever using CA glue on a pen)

Sand the pen to at least 600-grit, and wipe it clean with a clean paper towel.
Apply a liberal coat of the "Thick" CA Glue. Make sure it is a uniform coat that covers the entire pen.
Immediately apply a liberal coat of Boiled Linseed Oil.
Increase the lathe speed and buff the finish with the wet rag that was used to apply the Linseed Oil.
When the danger of slinging the finish in your face has passed, increase the lathe speed to as fast as it will go, and buff the finish with a clean towel until it is dry.
The result will be a awesome gloss that will last longer than anything else that you can put on the wood. However, like all good things, there is a price to pay for the gloss and durability. This is a CA glue finish and it will have the appearance of being a plastic, and it will wear like a plastic rather than like a wood. The gloss finish on a plastic will become dull from the tiny scratches that are made on its surface from use and wear, while wood has the unique ability to take on a more polished patina when exposed to the same conditions.
I just love using the aniline dyes on figured maple, it adds a totally unique look! Hopefully that helped some.