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Do-It-Yourself Lacquer Work - Best Options For Faux Urushi?

diy lacquer faux urushi pen

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29 replies to this topic

#1 spaceink

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Posted 05 October 2015 - 05:17

I recently fixed a crack in the cap of a Parker Big Red, but the repair work has left a rather unsightly blemish on it.

 

I've been an admirer of Japanese lacquer work and am thinking of using that pen to do a DIY faux Urushi pen similar to the methods used here with Edison's project:

http://edisonpen.com...pearl-project-2

 

In no way do I want to use actual Urushi, owing to its toxicity and price. 

 

My questions:

 

1) What kind of lacquer should I use? Or would it be easier to use enamel paint, like the ones by Testor's?

2) If I use lacquer, what's an inexpensive way to color it? Would using wood stains work?

3) How much time to let each layer cure? 

4) What's a good hardener or thickener to create the random-seeming patterns like in the Edison project? Or should I just let the lacquer thicken over time?

5) What grades of grit are best to get for this?

 

Thanks in advance for your guidance.


Edited by spaceink, 05 October 2015 - 05:31.


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#2 rpsyed

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Posted 05 October 2015 - 05:35

I don't have any personal experience with this but, from what I've read, cashew shell lacquer is usually considered the closest urushi substitute. It might be worth looking into.



#3 spaceink

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Posted 05 October 2015 - 05:43

Thanks for the rec. I've heard of cashew shell lacquer from other threads, but I can't seem to find a convenient source for that online and it's probably too expensive for my budget anyway. I'm more looking for material that I can grab at the hardware store or art store or Amazon.


Edited by spaceink, 05 October 2015 - 05:47.


#4 ABinBoston

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Posted 05 October 2015 - 19:07

I found this low priced urushi lacquer on eBay. I ordered a few colors, and clear. I do not have them yet, so I cannot say how good or bad it is.

http://www.ebay.com/...=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

#5 spaceink

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Posted 06 October 2015 - 09:22

I would be interested to know if it's actual urushi or something artificial. I'm still hesitant to use something so potentially capable of inducing s skin reaction.

I found this old thread, which has been instructive. There's a name for what I wish to do: Japanning.

http://www.fountainp...-work/?p=654208

#6 Inspector

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 02:13

​Have you thought about trying nail polish? Reasonably tough and tons of colourist play with.

 

Pete



#7 spaceink

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 06:36

Nail polish might work. Will it harden enough to sand or will it still be gooey and sticky?

Am also considering spray lacquers, as they seem to be more available with colors mixed in already.

#8 dompred

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 07:57

Nail polish might work. Will it harden enough to sand or will it still be gooey and sticky?

Am also considering spray lacquers, as they seem to be more available with colors mixed in already.

 

I have tried nail polish on an old Lamy AL-Star as an experiment. Here are my thoughts:

 

1) The small brush that every nail polish comes with isn't the best one for the job. It gets messy really soon and being so small will make painting the whole pen like an enormous task.

 

2) It needs a lot of time to dry, really long times here. But after that it is very hard. I was impressed because I too expected to be soft and gooey but it wasn't. That of course provided that has enough time to dry and harden.

 

3) It will probably need about 3 passes to have an even finish. The first pass is very messy and uneven.

 

4) For me the hard part of using nail polish is to find a way of applying it. The little brush is not convenient at all. As I did it as an experiment I did not do the whole pen, just a part of it, so I did not try anything else.



#9 -Velvet-

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 12:58

Hi, I've done something similar, I did n't have enough money to buy Urushi Fountain pens, like the Namiki's & Tshuchida Ban-ei pens ( my principal inspiration ) .

So I bought a ebonite FP,  and following Fountainpagan's advice ( who helped me a lot , thanks to her) I started lacquering my ebonite fountain pen with wood polish & Alizarine lacquer.

oifnNez.jpg



#10 I.M.

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 13:26

 

I have tried nail polish on an old Lamy AL-Star as an experiment. Here are my thoughts:

 

1) The small brush that every nail polish comes with isn't the best one for the job. It gets messy really soon and being so small will make painting the whole pen like an enormous task.

 

2) It needs a lot of time to dry, really long times here. But after that it is very hard. I was impressed because I too expected to be soft and gooey but it wasn't. That of course provided that has enough time to dry and harden.

 

3) It will probably need about 3 passes to have an even finish. The first pass is very messy and uneven.

 

4) For me the hard part of using nail polish is to find a way of applying it. The little brush is not convenient at all. As I did it as an experiment I did not do the whole pen, just a part of it, so I did not try anything else.

 

Does the nail varnish chip?



#11 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 13:48

I recently fixed a crack in the cap of a Parker Big Red, but the repair work has left a rather unsightly blemish on it.
 
I've been an admirer of Japanese lacquer work and am thinking of using that pen to do a DIY faux Urushi pen similar to the methods used here with Edison's project:
http://edisonpen.com...pearl-project-2
 
In no way do I want to use actual Urushi, owing to its toxicity and price. 
 
My questions:
 
1) What kind of lacquer should I use? Or would it be easier to use enamel paint, like the ones by Testor's?
2) If I use lacquer, what's an inexpensive way to color it? Would using wood stains work?
3) How much time to let each layer cure? 
4) What's a good hardener or thickener to create the random-seeming patterns like in the Edison project? Or should I just let the lacquer thicken over time?
5) What grades of grit are best to get for this?
 
Thanks in advance for your guidance.


I second the suggestion of nail polish, but also do try Testor's. I used to have some. Wonder where it went...and be sure to get a bunch of inexpensive artist brushes. Make a run to Michael's (or insert any other large crafts-store name here) and see what you find there.

#12 dompred

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 15:17

 

Does the nail varnish chip?

 

I didn't tried it on the clip, just the aluminum body.



#13 ABinBoston

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 13:40

You could go to a pep boys or auto zone and get Dupli Color automotive spray paint. This can be wet sanded and rubbed out with 2000 or higher grit wet sandpaper and rubbing compound. It will hold up similar to an automotive finish.

AB

#14 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 14:58

You could go to a pep boys or auto zone and get Dupli Color automotive spray paint. This can be wet sanded and rubbed out with 2000 or higher grit wet sandpaper and rubbing compound. It will hold up similar to an automotive finish.
AB


Great idea! Auto paint also comes in brush-on bottles you can get from Amazon, which I know because I happen to be looking to fix a scratch in my car, lol.

#15 vorpal

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 15:33

This is really beautiful! Will you share how you did it?

 

Hi, I've done something similar, I did n't have enough money to buy Urushi Fountain pens, like the Namiki's & Tshuchida Ban-ei pens ( my principal inspiration ) .

So I bought a ebonite FP,  and following Fountainpagan's advice ( who helped me a lot , thanks to her) I started lacquering my ebonite fountain pen with wood polish & Alizarine lacquer.

oifnNez.jpg



#16 jsolares

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 23:04

Even if you could get urushi lacquer i wouldn't recommend using it due to high toxicity to it in that form.

 

You could look into water based lacquers in your hardware store, but most are not colored, so you would need another paint for base color... so car paint is looking like a good option.



#17 spaceink

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 03:49

L. Velvet that's beautiful work. Would be curious about any details that you can provide about its making.

I'm planning to probably use a combination of spray lacquer, brush on lacquer or paint, and nail polish. The latter I plan to to use to add colorful texture with thickened applications. I hope they will coexist well.

I probably should've started this sooner in the year. Colder weather means I can't open the windows for good ventilation.

Edited by spaceink, 09 October 2015 - 03:52.


#18 -Velvet-

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 17:15

Hi guys, :)

 

Everything about the "ingredients" you will find on this topic http://www.fountainp...er-for-ebonite/   ( see fountainpagan reply )

 

I wish I had more time to explain in details, but promise I will make a detailled topic one day , now  I just came back from work.

 

1. Sand the ebonite fountain pen roughly, until you have a mate finish and a very tactile feel.

2. Spray an acrylic underlayer color ( I used a pink, to obtain a dark red ) paint until it's uniforme, very thin layers. Let it rest 24h.

3. Crush the alizarine pigments with a water stone ( or with a spoon )

4. Mix alizarine pigments with the water based lacquer.

5. filter the pigmented lacquer.

6. Apply a very, very thin layer of the pigmented lacquer with a brush  . Let it rest 24h.

8. Sand the fountain pen with  micromesh.

7.Repeat everything from step 3, at least three time.

8. Final step  apply a very thin layer of the clear lacquer (  so without pigments ). Let it rest 48h.

9.  Sand it with micromesh very smoothly.

10. Post a photo here :D .

All the credits goes to Fountainpagan

BEWARE :If you want to paint the threads use only the spray with the accrylic painting very carefully, don't apply the lacquer ( I did this mistake and I can't close my fp anymore ) or if you do, with a tooth brush very smoothly.  Before doing this for real make a test with a very cheap fountain pen.

 

If you do this right, you'll get a very smooth and shiny fountain pen with a deep color & rich color. The color will vary a lot according to the lighting

 

qckGFWf.jpg


Edited by L.Velvet, 09 October 2015 - 17:23.


#19 vorpal

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 21:04

It is an incredible job. I don't have the patience for it...but I do love looking at yours!



#20 spaceink

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Posted 10 October 2015 - 04:04

Thanks for outlining the steps. Very, very helpful. I'm surprised people don't do this more often with their lesser pens, so that a better-looking one can result.

Edited by spaceink, 10 October 2015 - 04:05.






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