Powdered Pumice, rottenstone & Plumber's Rouge?

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On 3/9/2011 7:32 PM, Robert Bonomi wrote:

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On 3/8/2011 7:40 PM, Lew Hodgett wrote:

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Who knows what evil lives in the hearts of men?
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Ever wonder why doctors, dentists and lawyers have to Practice so much? Ever
wonder why you let them Practice on You?
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"Lobby Dosser" wrote:

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?
The Shadow (Lamont Cranston) knows. (Fading laughter in the background)
Lew
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wrote:

<thump thump, thump thump> and the chicken heart is _at_your_door_...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vPimtcK3-A

-- Life is full of obstacle illusions. -- Grant Frazier
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On 3/8/2011 6:57 PM, J. Clarke wrote:

Would you be able to expand a little on the auto-paint and perhaps, in terms of course=pumice/ medium=rottenstone/ fine=rouge, point me in a comparative direction? When it comes to automotive finishes, I have absolutely no clue ...isn't that the purpose of having car insurance?<g>
Thanks,
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bob snipped-for-privacy@whocares.com says...

I've had good results using Meguiars Speed Glaze followed by Show Car Glaze.
For best results with them use the appropriate foam pads on a random orbit sander. Meguiars has "cutting pads", "polishing pads", and "finishing pads". They're Velcro backed and hook right onto a 5" ROS-- they're a bit oversized for it but that doesn't seem to make any difference.
The pads themselves have polishing action, from coarse to fine in the order I listed--I've never needed a cutting pad on a woodworking project, a polishing pad with Speed Glaze followed by a finishing pad with Show Car Glaze gets things up to a high gloss right quick. If you want less gloss stop at the Speed Glaze.
You can also apply by hand but you're going to need a lot of elbow grease--the abrasives are designed to break down during the polishing process so that you start out with a relatively coarse abrasive that during the process of polishing becomes a much finer one, and the energy to break it down comes from your efforts. The specific items I listed above are intended to be usable by hand--some of the others from the same company you'll be working on forever trying to get a decent hand- polish.
These work well with lacquer and polyurethane, I've never tried them with shellac (at least not yet). You want to have a fair bit of coating thickness though--they can go right through if it's too thin.
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4F pumice is essential for the initial grain filling stage of French polishing. Rottenstone is used as an optional final rub to raise a high gloss. If the local paint store doesn't stock them, try Woodcraft, or any of the online luthier's suppliers, such as Stewmac. A 1 lb box should last you for years.
Plumber's rouge sounds like a compound used to clean copper pipe fittings before sweating. Would tripoli be the same thing?
Diatomaceous earth (dead plankton shells) is supposed to work as an ultrafine compound. Never tried it, but you can buy 5 lb bags of Safer (tm) brand, sold as an organic nonchemical insecticide. It doesn't work as a polish, feed it to the roaches.
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On 3/8/2011 8:06 PM, Father Haskell wrote:

Yep, but cannot find locally anymore and was hoping not to have to special order online. Don't like doing financials online - for anything. Thought perhaps their might exist a more commonly available substitute.

Could be, though seems to me it was indeed known simply as a Plumber's rouge and often the final process in the application of hand rubbed finishes ...not the same as a French polish, but same goal with quite a bit less work.
If memory serves correctly, also used similar methods to remove scratches on plexiglass desktop covers when these were fashionable.
I believe plumbers used the compound to clean & polish porcelain/ baked enamel, and chrome fixtures after repair or installation. Doubt you would find a plumber today with that sort of ethic or pride, but, maybe so...
I will ask around about Tripoli and see what I can find.

Excellent suggestion! Sounds reasonable and worth further pursuit.
Thanks,
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Digger wrote:

Sears used to carry pumice and rottenstone, no longer do, in central Florida at least. I doubt you'll find either locally, I wound up getting it online but not at woodworking places, they rob us. Grizzly has them, rouge too both in paste and wax stick. I'd just use auto rubbing compound (rouge red oxide).
If you order online, this place filled my order expeditiously and inexpensively. http://www.lemelange.com/pumice_powder.htm
If you need a lot you can get it here for $0.40/pound. Even cheaper if you get 90# :) http://store.galladechem.com/shared/StoreFront/default.asp?CS=gallade&StoreType=BtoC&Count1 !3558375&Count20698800&ProductID554&Target=products.asp
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On 3/9/2011 9:04 AM, dadiOH wrote:

Never thought of Grizzly, should have but didn't. Good lead though apparently Grizzly must have very well ventilated toilet stalls, judging from the prices they charge ...really proud of their uhhmmm!

Lemelange looks good also, as several from this neighborhood routinely travel to Ft. Lauderdale/ Delray areas anyway.

http://store.galladechem.com/shared/StoreFront/default.asp?CS=gallade&StoreType=BtoC&Count1 !3558375&Count20698800&ProductID554&Target=products.asp
Good for industrial purposes but trust me, I will not live long enough to use those quantities.<g>
Thanks dadiOH, solid info and do appreciate your input. Several others have also mentioned automotive compounds and I will likely build up a few sample boards from scrap and see what happens -- inexpensive and widely available.
Hmmmm...let's see now, wonder what would happen if I tried to fill pores with some of this stuff?<g>
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Digger wrote:

FFFF pumice and a binder.
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On 3/9/2011 11:42 AM, dadiOH wrote:

Yep. Just wondering out loud, mostly in jest. One reply (Father Haskell) however did suggest Diatomaceous earth (food grade) as a possible sub for 4F. Local hardware store carries it and perhaps I should experiment. DE is calcium based and pumice is silica, so not quite sure what effects will result from stains, Poly, lacquer, shellac, Varnish, or grit on grit finish sanding/ scraping. Will it color differently as seashells do when oiled? Will it react badly with clear finishes? Will it even work as fill? ...?
Never read anything on this sort of an application for DE, so unless someone can save me the trouble I'll just have to give it a shot myself. Anyhow, sounded like a good idea and worthy of serious consideration.
Thanks,
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Digger wrote:

the calcium is a lot softer than silica. if it works, it won't work as well.
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On 3/9/2011 1:21 PM, chaniarts wrote:

Probably right, in fact more than probable! But, it just sounds so plausible that I will likely waste a couple hours in the shop tomorrow reaching your conclusion.<g>
Thanks for the reminder as it is always helpful...
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DE _is_ silica -- that's how it kills bugs, by abrading the wax from their exoskeletons, which dehydrates them. It's hardly food grade, though it's harmless to furry household creatures.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatomaceous_earth
For French polishing, the only substitute for FFFF pumice is FFFF pumice. For an after-cure rub, take your pick of fine abrasives.

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On 3/9/2011 2:56 PM, Father Haskell wrote:

I stand corrected, as I was mistakenly under the impression diatoms consisted of typical seashell substrates rather than silica. Glad you caught me on it.
And I'm also sure you are correct regarding french polishing, not what I am attempting to do at all.
Since I often do a cut shellac wash anyway, I was thinking I could possibly use DE to fill pores and, as final rub on hardened finishes. Simply thought it worth investigation, nothing more. I'm curious by nature and have lots of free time.
I have not given up on pumice, but have also used it in woodworking and plastic applications far removed from French polishing ...not something I want to do every day.
Thanks for the correction,
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Digger wrote:

The shells of diatoms are silica as well. At least, they were when I was majoring in geology in the 50s. OTOH, they pooh-poohed continental drift back then so who knows?
FFFF pumice is in the 10-20 micron range. DE 10-200 but can be smaller or much larger.

Well, silica doesn't suck up stuff so should be clear. Powdered calcium carbonate (whiting) sucks like a sponge.
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On 3/9/2011 3:41 PM, dadiOH wrote:

Yep, someone else already corrected me on that and rightly so.

Agreed however, food grade DE is less than .5% silica (according to what I'm now learning), but also non-calcined. So the remaining 95% is my concern. If clay, it definitely will not work as fill.
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wrote:

If that's the really fine stuff, be sure to wear a respirator when working around it and sweeping up afterward. Dat stuff'll kill ya as quickly as silica.
-- Life is full of obstacle illusions. -- Grant Frazier
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