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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:08 pm 
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Location: Madison Heights, Virginia
Hey guys,

This forum has a lot of information about sanding, buffing, polishing, etc, but I can't find a specific answer to a question that I have, so I figured I would ask it. What is considered to be an adequate level of sanding before applying a contrast stain? For example, my sanding process so far is as follows:

120, 220, 320, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500
I then apply the first coat of stain, let it dry, and sand it off with 1500 grit before applying a contrast stain.

After applying the contrast stain, I buff the whole thing with tripoli, and then white diamond.

Is there an easier and more intelligent way to do this? I have been very pleased with how smooth my pipes have been so far, but wonder if I am overdoing it, or could substitute using tripoli or white diamond earlier.

Do any of you guys use White diamond or Triploi to take off the first layer of stain before contrast staining?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:16 pm 
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I use:
220
400
Understain
Buff off
600 to touch up and remove buffing compound
Overstain
Finish

You're using way may steps than you need, and you are staining too late. I would guess you have trouble getting things to color deeply?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:25 pm 
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I use way may steps too.

I don't buff off the undercoat anymore, because at least for me, the process I use to sand off the base coat of stain gets me a sharper contrast.

And for what it's worth, I don't have any issues with stain soaking in too deeply or shallow when I stain at 1000 or 2000 grit. And after 400 grit, the sanding goes really quickly anyways.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:28 pm 
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Location: Madison Heights, Virginia
Thanks for the tips.

I haven't really had issues with the stain sinking in well, and have been pretty satisfied with the result, but found it difficult and tedious to sand off the base layer of stain with 1500 grit sandpaper. It takes forever, but does look really nice when finished. I just thought maybe it could be done more efficiently but without losing the quality and smoothness. I have just recently purchase white diamond and didn't know if I should substitute using that as opposed to so many different grits.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:33 am 
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Maybe I'm wrong, but I think you are overdoing you finishing work, given your experience. Sanding to 1500 grit is a process that gives wonderful results, especially for complex contrast finishes and complex shapes that would be difficult to buff evenly because of tight corners, ridges, etc.
For a beginner I think it's important to get through a couple dozen pipes quite quickly, just to get some work done in terms of drilling and shaping. A beginner's shaping and engineering will not get any better from painstaking finishing. The method quted by Tyler is all you need to do for your first 20, 30 or 50 pipes, depending on how long it takes you to develop an eye for symmetry, harmony and balance in your shaping. You can save yourself the time and effort of those last super fine sanding stages and dedicate that time to focus on shaping and perfecting sanding up to 600 grit. An experienced pipemaker will get a very fine finish quite easily without going to astronomical grits.
It's not wrong, it's just a bit of a waste of time at this point, in my opinion.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:45 am 
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Quote:
but found it difficult and tedious to sand off the base layer of stain with 1500 grit sandpaper


I've found that wiping/rubbing down the base stain layer with a DNA saturated cloth makes the sanding part go a lot easier - if needed at all. If nothing else, you get that top layer off that clogs the sand paper so quickly.

-Pat


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:27 pm 
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Location: Kansas City, USA
RiverWader wrote:
I've found that wiping/rubbing down the base stain layer with a DNA saturated cloth...


Image

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:33 am 
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RiverWader wrote:
Quote:
but found it difficult and tedious to sand off the base layer of stain with 1500 grit sandpaper


I've found that wiping/rubbing down the base stain layer with a DNA saturated cloth makes the sanding part go a lot easier - if needed at all. If nothing else, you get that top layer off that clogs the sand paper so quickly.

-Pat

You are correct in that you will clog the sandpaper less. However, there are some consequences to wiping down your pipe with dna that are very difficult to correct once its done.

My advice is to not get in the habit of rubbing down your pipes with dna. It will limit your finishing options and your finishes will tend to look "muddy". They will be very even, but the grain will tend to blend into a sea of... mud. There are a limited amount of finishes where it is a good idea to wipe down the pipe with dna, but I almost never do that anymore.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 1:33 pm 
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Location: Abilene TX or Ruidoso NM
I wouldn't buff before the last stain. Most buffing compounds have a wax or tallow base to them to hold all of the crap together, once you get the wax base on the wood it is hard to get rid of all of the wax/tallow residue.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:27 pm 
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I use:

220
320
400
Undercoat
600
800
1000
topcoat
Finish

1000 grit goes really really fast. I just use it to clean up all the contrast, even out the coat etc.

Buffing right on the briar for a final finish is going to give you a texture. You need something to fill in the micro-pore space of the wood and tack down the stain so it doesn't leech off on the smokers' hands. Thinly cut shellac.

After all this, there is lots of technique and more complex finishing processes, but this is plenty to begin with.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:49 am 
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Location: Madison Heights, Virginia
Quote:
Buffing right on the briar for a final finish is going to give you a texture. You need something to fill in the micro-pore space of the wood and tack down the stain so it doesn't leech off on the smokers' hands. Thinly cut shellac.



What is your definition of thinly cut shellac? Are you mixing normal shellac from Home Depot or Lowes with DNA? What is a good ratio to use?
How may coats are needed? Do you have to sand between coats of shellac?

Thank you guys for all of the advice.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 4:38 pm 
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I typically use a 2# cut. Very versatile, but very fast dry time. The catch is starting with a very smooth surface.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:24 pm 
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Not 2000 grit smooth, more like 800 grit smooth.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:27 pm 
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The number of coats depends on the style of pipe, smoothness of the surface, and cut of shellac (and skill level). The more skilled you are, the fewer coats you apply (to a point). Just for starters, I would go with 2 or 3, leaning toward three.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:46 pm 
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Location: Columbus, Ohio, USA
Rbraniganpipes wrote:
Quote:
Buffing right on the briar for a final finish is going to give you a texture. You need something to fill in the micro-pore space of the wood and tack down the stain so it doesn't leech off on the smokers' hands. Thinly cut shellac.



What is your definition of thinly cut shellac? Are you mixing normal shellac from Home Depot or Lowes with DNA? What is a good ratio to use?
How may coats are needed? Do you have to sand between coats of shellac?

Thank you guys for all of the advice.



The best way to understand Shellac and get it to work for you is to experiment with it whether it is flakes or the canned stuff, or both. TIAFO...

The search function shows quite a few results for "thin shellac"

search.php?keywords=thin+shellac&terms=all&author=&sc=1&sf=all&sk=t&sd=d&sr=posts&st=0&ch=300&t=0&submit=Search

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:33 am 
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Location: Brevard, NC
Tyler wrote:
I use:
220
400
Understain
Buff off
600 to touch up and remove buffing compound
Overstain
Finish

You're using way may steps than you need, and you are staining too late. I would guess you have trouble getting things to color deeply?


Just to help a newb understand clearly...

"buff off" - is that buff with tripoli?

"finish" - is this white diamond then carnuba wax?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 4:58 pm 
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hutchpipes wrote:
Tyler wrote:
I use:
220
400
Understain
Buff off
600 to touch up and remove buffing compound
Overstain
Finish

You're using way may steps than you need, and you are staining too late. I would guess you have trouble getting things to color deeply?


Just to help a newb understand clearly...

"buff off" - is that buff with tripoli?

"finish" - is this white diamond then carnuba wax?


Finish is a process that can include buffing, shellac, varnish, wax, oil, etc... TIAFO

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 4:59 pm 
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Location: Zimmerman, MN
Tripoli will remove the stain, yes. White diamond and carnauba is one way to finish.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 6:13 pm 
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hutchpipes wrote:
Tyler wrote:
I use:
220
400
Understain
Buff off
600 to touch up and remove buffing compound
Overstain
Finish

You're using way may steps than you need, and you are staining too late. I would guess you have trouble getting things to color deeply?


Just to help a newb understand clearly...

"buff off" - is that buff with tripoli?

"finish" - is this white diamond then carnuba wax?


I was generic because there's more than one way to accomplish both steps.

What I do is use white to buff of under stain.

For finish; that might include buffing with white again, then wax, or maybe shellac plus buffing and wax, or any number of other things folks have developed over the years -- Danish oil, ting oil, etc..

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:24 pm 
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Location: Brevard, NC
Ok. I have my first 3 pipes ready for stain. I plan to:

-understain with black
-buff with tripoli
-sand to 600
-overstain with brown
-finish with a 2lb cut of shellac, then buff with White, then buff with Carnuba, then dry buff wheel to finish.

I know this is trial and error but does anyone see any issues with my sequence?


Last edited by hutchpipes on Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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