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Mon Graffito

how can i burnish ebony

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Hello
I did search the forums... long stories, I read one containing the words I keyed and discover that's not answering my question. And then another....
Not complaining, trying to call out compassion in you :-)

I work in ebony and make small, fist-size or mug size statues. But quite intricate designs.
I wasn't prepared for this (Im no to the business) but bringing them figurines to a shine takes as long as carving hem.

I use power tools, small ones.
Can anyone please make a simple recommendation about how to burnish all those small details?
I tried sand paper-ing by hand; I'm very patient but this was to  no good: maybe one facet gets shiny but right around the "corner", I cant get in with my fingers. 
One stone bur got so worn out, it became like leather or glass. That one does a bit of the work. I was thinking maybe there are ready made burs that do just that? I tried wool ones too. 

Working with ebony, have a small piece of boxwood (difficult to find in the Netherlands, everything must be ordered from abroad, the prices get astronomical). Same for tools, drills, burs whatever you call them, I must order from abroad. Ive discovered a website in Asia which sells some heads, waiting for the first order to come in.
That takes 3 weeks. Until then, can anyone help?
Thanks
Mon

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I carve some Ebony , what I do is with a leather wheel and polishing compound .  The leather wheel is 5 pieces thick and then cut about half way in. With this on a Dremel or a Foredom rotary tool I can polish to a high gloss. Finish the polish with the white compound , then wax with carnauba .

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2 hours ago, Mon Graffito said:

Thanks Ed
after intense googling, I could not find any website in the Netherlands/EU selling leather wheels. I'll need to find a way of making my own :--) 

I did say leather , but I made mine out of chamois ,it is softer than leather, sorry about that saying the wrong word. I got my chamois at a local auto store ,it is used to wipe water of the finish of autos. Cut some circles about 1 inch cut some slits about half way punched small hole center stacked them 3 to 5 . Used a Dremel mandrel to hold together. Will take some pics and post them in a little while.

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The tan wheels are Chamois, the white is made from nylon cord , untwisted ,and attached to a sanding drum mandrel. The white bar is the polishing compound. Have some not shown, I start with a heavier compound if needed, work to the white using different wheels for each compound finishing with the white. The pendant is Ebony ,I wanted the Pelican to have a higher gloss than the rest. After I get to the finish I like I use a wheel to apply carnauba wax from a bar of wax. Then buff with clean wheel, and the  finish with the string buffer, if change your speed you can watch the strings work into all your carving. 

If you have any other questions please feel free to ask.

image.jpeg

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I will always advocate for hand sanding from 400, 600, 1000, 1200, 1500, 2000, 2000 wet/dry papers, then switch to micromesh up to 10,000 or 12,000 for a true wood based gloss.  It takes a great deal of time, but the hand work offers the most control over the materials used to remove the scratches and haze.

On this ebony piece I dampened the wood carefully to cut back on the shine to emphasize the contrast between areas.

#409 Centipede http://janeljacobson.com/carvings/409.html

409-f-d_.jpg

 

409_r_d_.jpg

 

 

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I understand the difficulty in making the SEARCH work to bring up what you want specifically to learn about.  Some folks have suggested doing a Google search for the content you seek and include the name of the forum in your search query.  That may or may not work for you, it has been a while since I tried doing that.

In that vein, somewhere on TCP is a photo of Cornel Schneider inspired toothpick sanding tools.  I make them from round toothpicks, with an angle cut on each end to receive a drop of glue.  The sanding papers are cut to tiny rectangles or squares (your preference) and are glued onto the angle cut ends of the tooth pick.

To keep the different grits of sand papers separate, I mark the toothpicks with a colored marker and keep each group in "old-fashioned" film container.  When used, the paper and glue ends are cut off and the new bits of paper are glued on.

These tools allow for accessing those hard to reach places on carvings.

Janel

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3 hours ago, Janel said:

I will always advocate for hand sanding from 400, 600, 1000, 1200, 1500, 2000, 2000 wet/dry papers, then switch to micromesh up to 10,000 or 12,000 for a true wood based gloss.  It takes a great deal of time, but the hand work offers the most control over the materials used to remove the scratches and haze.

On this ebony piece I dampened the wood carefully to cut back on the shine to emphasize the contrast between areas.

#409 Centipede http://janeljacobson.com/carvings/409.html

409-f-d_.jpg

 

409_r_d_.jpg

 

 

I agree completely with you Janel, I do sanding on a lot of carvings. I get some of the disposable chopsticks to use as sanding sticks, can cut them to the length and shave down to the size you need, most buffets will let you have some extras.

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Another very useful tool source is the foam/plastic core fingernail buffers.

They come in various grits and can be cut down with (not your good) scissors.

Tounge depressors with sandpaper double stick taped to them works good too.

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