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1500, 2000 grit vs rottenstone

BrentD's picture

I've been finishing an english walnut rifle stock using Permalyn. Pores are filled and the finish has a nice luster with many coats being wet-sanded in with 800, 1500, and soon, 2000 gr paper. After the wet sanding, the excess (like 99.9%) of the wet finish is wiped off with a lint-free paper napkin. I am not entirely happy with it however. There are some streaks or patches that, in the right light, look like dull blotches. No amount of wet sanding with finish seems to make them go away. Perhaps, I am just not patient enough, but I don't know where they came from and I don't know how to get rid of them.

Any suggestions would be welcome.

The current finish at 1500 grit is a nice luster but a bit less than semigloss. I would like it to be a bit glossier without being a full gloss. Maybe 2000 grit will get me there. But if not, will rottenstone?

How does rottenstone compare to paper grits?

Is pumice finer than rottenstone?


SteveSchoene's picture

(post #141456, reply #1 of 5)

Rottenstone is considerably finer than pumice.  Pumice leaves you at a satin finish only.  It's really hard to compare paper grits against other methods such as the rotten stone.  On curved surfaces, like a gun stock, I prefer something like rottenstone (lubricated with parafin oil and rubbed with felt) to a sand paper.  Polishing compounds come in a wider range of grits, though it is sometimes hard to figure them out without doing samples. 

I tried to dig out a little more info on what Permalyn actually is.  I think it is a wiping varnish, but the information on the company's web pages uses a lot of words to say very little, and gives no hint of where a MSDS could be located. 

It looks like it would be a varnish, and if you are going for a gloss finish that is what it should be.  Can you confirm that it is varnish, perhaps by describing how a small amount placed on a hard smooth surface, like the bottom of a glass bottle, acts when it dries overnight.  

If it is varnish, then you may need to let a little film thickness build so you can rub out that film after it has cured thoroughly. 

Edited 12/10/2009 12:24 am ET by SteveSchoene

Test your finish on scrap, FIRST, or risk having to scrap your finish.

BrentD's picture

(post #141456, reply #2 of 5)

It is an oil with some poly. I don't know if you could really call it a varnish or not. It's intended to be wiped on and off. I don't need a gloss for sure, but something closer to that than a satin/matte finish is what I am looking for.


HowardAcheson's picture

(post #141456, reply #3 of 5)

Are you following the instructions provided here?

I am not familiar with the product but it seems to be a heavily oil based treatment. The instructions seem to say that sanding to a high gloss is not what you want to do with that product.

BrentD's picture

(post #141456, reply #4 of 5)

Yes, I'm using that method - at least to a point. I can't do a coat every three hours. I sleep and work too.

And, I do not want a high gloss, but something better than "flat" or "matte". Looks like rottenstone will get me there after a few more coats of Permalyn. Maybe it will also take out the blotches that I stil have faintly showing through.

I have used this stuff before but it always seems like something brand new every time I do it. And I am never quite perfectly satisfied. Perhaps that is the way it is with finishing.


WillGeorge's picture

(post #141456, reply #5 of 5)

Not sure but I will use rottenstone to rub out imperfections. I have to admit I never go to that surface by the grits you mention. I never go past 600 wet/dry automative papers.


Edited 12/10/2009 11:37 pm by WillGeorge

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