Finishing A Wood Turned Bowl with CA Glue the Cap’n Eddie Way

How to finish a bowl

Finishing A Wood Turned Bowl with CA glue the Cap’n Eddie Way

Before I start, I’m sure you know there are probably 100’s of ways to finish a bowl. Eddie talks about one method using CA glue, seems to be very popular and used by a lot of wood turners. However, the think to do is start a notebook with various finishing methods, experiment with differnet finishes for wood turners and then use the ones you like best. Sometimes a turned piece is just for show, then there are turned pieces that are funcional and you want them to be food safe.

Food Safe Finishes for
Wood Turning Projects

You can find all kinds of arguments and different thoughts on food safe finishes. One that makes the most sense to me is that after a certain period of time almost all finishes are food safe since they have cured or hardened and the food can no longer react to the finish.

I’ve used mineral oil since it is inert and any type of finish can be applied on top of it. Here is a list of finishes you can put on a cutting board, if it can be put on a cutting board then I’m sure it would be safe for anything you turn that comes in contact with food.

food safe finishes for wood turning projects
Mineral oil or wax for your wood turning projects are both safe for food contact

If You Can Put it On a Cutting Board ….Then Surely it Can Be Applied to a Wood Bowl

What finish to put on a cutting board?

Pure tung oil. Extracted from the nut of the china wood tree. …
Raw linseed oil. Pressed from flax seeds. …
Mineral oil. Although derived from petroleum, it is colorless, odorless, tasteless and entirely inert. …
Walnut oil. Pressed from the nuts of the walnut tree. …
Beeswax. The work of the honey bee. …
Carnauba wax. …
Shellac.

Food safe Finishes from Rockler.com

I suppose you can use just about anything to finish your woodturning projects, however, I prefer to find out what the old timers are using and have been using. Usually these guys try new things but they fail, every once in a while they find something that adds to their repertoire finishing solutions.

My Mentor and CA Glue Finishes
For Wood Turning Projects

As usual I turn to my mentor Cap’n Eddie Castelin from Big Guy Productions and you can find him at www.eddiecastelin.com.

I must be behind times. Most of my carpentry work came from home building and the standard finishes that apply to a new home. I never heard of someone apply CA glue (superglue) to their projects. But after seeing a few wood turners doing it, I became hooked! It’s easy to apply, might not be the cheapest but it is very forgiving and the finish product looks absolutely beautiful.

In this video I think Cap’n Eddie spends around a half an hour doing some sanding, applying the CA, buffing and a little more sanding and final coat of CA.

You should try his technique, make sure you do it on a spare piece you have laying around ….nothing ever comes out perfect the first time 🙂

If you watch his video you’ll find some of the below hints and highlights

  • first he applies 2 coats of sealer
  • next he cleans the spinning project with an CA accelerator first using paper towel
  • Eddie is very persistent in some things ….he just doesn’t want us to waste money, get hurt or ruin your project so he tells us to apply one coat of CA per application, even showing how to use a small piece of paper towl properly

Safety First…Ventilate Your
Work Area When Using the CA Finish

The cap’n advises us to make sure you have proper ventilation, I guess the CA vapors are not too good for you so keep your air system running, open some windows and doors ….keep that air moving….that is moving outside!

Finishing Points for Your
Wood Turning Project

Toward the end he shows his bowl with a beautiful fins and Eddie calculates it took 16 coats and then buff, then clean again (remember a coat is only a couple of drops of thin CA on a piece of paper towel)

At this point you need to consider the following:
-do you have some places you need more sanding on, decide if you can polish it out
He recommends sandpaper from:
-sandpaper from www.vinceswoodwonders.com
-to polish Eddie uses Meguiars PlastX
-doesn’t use a wax finish
-and please listen and watch his video because his throw out golden nuggets of information throughout his video ….I know I missed some so watch the video a couple of times until it soaks in and don’t forget to visit his website at www.eddiecastelin.com

Comments From
Other WoodTurner’s

Here are some comments I thought you might find interesting:

Hi Capt. There is another really good reason for using nitrile rather than latex gloves: I’ve worked for a long time in science laboratories where ‘latex sensitivity’ was a real problem for some staff, and latex gloves were banned. Nitrile is not so allergenic. Stick with the nitrile ever time, rather than promoting an allergic response to latex.

That is food safe, got to try this finish.

I will be doing a series of posts on finishing. I find it very interesting to see what other wood turners use to finish their projects, both those that come into contact with food and those that are merely for decoration.

Personally, I like to see my pieces used to store apples, used in the cooking process, maybe to stir soup or to roll out some pizza dough. So, I’ll keep looking and let you know what I find. But I really thought Cap’n Eddie has some of the best stuff with his OB Shine Juice and CA glue finishing.

Let me know if you have any secrets for finishing your wood turning projects! And remember, you can check out a variety of food safe finishes just click here!