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Question
I have tried several different finished on turned bowls and I am not real happy with the shine and smoothness. The current bowl I turned is an Ambrosia Maple bowl that turned beautiful. I have about 8-9 coats of the Behlens turning finish (Shellac bsaed). It has nice depth but seems a bit soft. In addition, the surface isn't really smooth - almost like the finish isn't spreading. Is there some way to polish this to get it smooth and shiny?

Answer
Hey Martin, you should be able to get a supreme, glossy, smooth finish easily with shellacs.are you letting each coat dry hard, and then sanding between coats?There are many variations available, I typically like a dewaxed Garnet or Dewaxed Blonde on turning projects, but this Behlen product might be very thin, so it won't build like a true shellac, but I'm not familiar with it. 8-9 coats should be giving you plenty of film thickness and plenty of build though, buy some flake here and mix your own, shellac is one of the coolest things on earth,tough enough, non toxic,restorable, repairable and re-coatable.. I always have 4-6 different mixes in the shop:

http://www.homesteadfinishingproducts.com/htdocs/shellac3.htm

..I also like a paste varnish like the General product if you haven't tried that...it's also a little tougher for food use.....post back- regards- Greg

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=11243&site=ROCKLER

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Greg Scholl

Expertise

Questions on Woodworking, wood finishing and refinishing of all kinds, repairing furniture and wooden objects, Architectural details, Woodturning, carving, tool usage, product usage, some chemistry as it applies to woodworking and related interests,cabinet making and furniture construction/design, etc. I have experience with all manners of colorants, finishes, paints, stains, dyes, glazes, and coatings, wood species recognition and usage,tool recommendations, blade types and recommendation,techniques and methods for many Woodworking related issues, etc.

Experience

Fine furniture restorer and cabinet maker for over 30 years,serving high end Antique dealers, Interior designers, Collectors in the CT area. Consulting for area Painting/Decorating and Building contractors on non painting issues..(staining, wood prep.,clear finishing, floor restoration and architectural detail restoration and repair, etc.) Sold, built, serviced, setup Home, Industrial, and Commercial stationary woodworking tools for a major tool retailer in CT. for three years, sold hand and power tools , provided knowledge, parts replacement, service, and on site service, Trade show Demo, and training as well.

Publications
Published in Fine Woodworking Magazine (12/97), included on Fine Woodworkings first "Best of Fine Woodworking" CD-ROM (2002) ...("27 year compilation of expert know-how")

Education/Credentials
Art School at Silvermine Guild in Norwalk, CT., 9 year apprenticeship in a European run Cabinet and Restoration shop in CT., various classes on subjects having to do with the field. Seminars from major Tool manufacturers, Skil/Bosch, Delta, Powermatic, Ritter, Porter cable, Milwaukee, Dewalt/B&Decker, Performax.

Past/Present Clients
Many varied clients including work on Martha Stewarts' Westport, CT. show house, many fine Antique dealers and private collectors in and around Fairfield County and in Woodbury, CT. (the Antiques capital of CT.), Golden Age of Trucking Museum,Consulting for area Painting/Decorating and Building contractors on non painting issues..(staining, wood prep.,clear finishing, floor restoration and architectural detail restoration and repair, etc.), local Museums and Historical Societies. For the last two years I have been employed with Schwenke Auctioneers Inc.- Woodbury Auction LLC., as a staff photographer,IT tech,and doing restoration and repair work as well.

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