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 Post subject: Varnish or oil for wood gunwales
PostPosted: August 3rd, 2004, 4:06 pm 
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Location: Sunny Wasaga Beach
I'm now sanding my wood (ash?) gunwales and applying mildew remover of various sorts. Anyone have recommendations (Possibly a CCR link) for the pros and cons of using oil (linseed or other) vs. "varnish" e.g. urethane, spar varnish etc.. One of my big concerns is mildew. I don't want to redo this finishing any time soon.....much rather be paddling!
thx-


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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2004, 4:40 pm 
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OIL!!! I have both varnish and oil. I have yet to figure out any real reason to use varnish. The main reason that I don't use varnish.... you have to sand it all off down to bare wood to get a nice smooth finish. Oil is simple... sand it lightly to open the pores in the wood, and then just wipe the oil on. I use Watco, but Deks Olje, or Gunwale Guard all work well.

PK


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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2004, 4:49 pm 
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I have oiled(Watco usually) my Flashfire ash gunwales alot but the mildew keeps coming back; less so now than when I lived near salt water.
This time we hit it with TSP to kill the mildew and a fast coat of oil so that I could give it to someone else that same day.
I am getting to like varnish, but varnish ( I really like matte) means sanding.
Ash is not a good wood to sand..
"Take care when sanding ash, because the dust is carcinogenic."-from Warren and Gidmark Canoe Paddles: A Guide to Making Your Own.
I disagree with the notion that you have to sand all the old varnish off before applying the new varnish. I have several wood boats with cherry outwales that have been varnished. When I get a scrape , all that is needed is a foam brush and one or two coats. Thats not my idea thats the thought of the builder of the boats who makes some beautiful boats.
I just keep up with the nicks...I think if the cracks get big enough so that the water discolors the wood then I need to sand. So I have taken the builders recommendations to keep up with the nicks and for me thats a couple of times a year(the boat is used almost every day)


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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2004, 5:08 pm 
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I have aways used double boiled linseed oil on all my wood trim on my canoes. Have never seen it peel, like varnish tends to do, thus giving it a much more desirable and long lasting finish.


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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2004, 7:26 pm 
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I'd like to hear from woodworkers out there.
I have a feeling oil permeates some woods better than others.
Cedar and pirhana pine respond well to oil, and it mostly slicks up on ash.
Is it the density of the wood?


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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2004, 7:55 pm 
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Definitely use oil.

I use tung oil. Just a quick 5 minute wipe every time it even starts to look dry. It works great on all woods such as ash or teak. Like most oils, you can slather it on, wait 15 minutes and wipe the rest off. If you want an extremely smooth finish you can burnish it by applying a final coat with fine sand paper and again wipe the excess off. I f you don't wipe the excess off you will get a sticky reisdue.

Watco danish oil actually has a small amount of varithane varnish in it to give things a harder oiled finish. If used often I would assume this varnish would build up.


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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2004, 8:00 pm 
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Just did mine yesterday, tung oil preceeded by a little steel wool to remove any grungy spots. No residue detected today.

Ben

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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2004, 9:28 pm 
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thx for the info so far folks. I knew I could depend on you. :) :clap: A couple of 'supplementary questions": How mildew resistant are those various oils? What's this Watco stuff? How available is it?
thx


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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2004, 10:01 pm 
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wotrock wrote:
thx for the info so far folks. I knew I could depend on you. :) :clap: A couple of 'supplementary questions": How mildew resistant are those various oils? What's this Watco stuff? How available is it?
thx

Watco is a line of oils..I tried to read the eeny print on the label of the Exterior Finish in the garage to find out if it has urethane in it. It might; feels like it might, but cant find a table of contents. Mostly seems to be boiled linseed oil. There is a Marine Finish too and an interior finish. Havent seen the Danish finish yet.
Found it at most good (non-WalMart) hardware stores.
I havent had any seeming build up of any varnish layer, by the time you wipe it off its pretty thin. I use Watco mostly on paddle shaft and grip, where things will eventually wear down
I have used boiled linseed, tung and teak oil too. Mostly depends on whats at hand.
I always expect my used oiling rag to blow up and so my back yard away from the house collects them
I dont know of one with a mildew repellent. Mildew spores seem to have a liking for ash as its pretty open grained. My oiled cherry gunwales on another boat seem to collect less of the stuff.
Oils dont penetrate too far down in the wood ( Ihave heard one eighth to one quarter inch)and eventually get absorbed, so you need to oil more often than varnish. Still I prefer an oiled paddle over a varnished one and like the look of oiled thwarts on some of my boats


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 Post subject: Oil or paint
PostPosted: August 4th, 2004, 1:56 am 
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Location: Enkhuizen
Whether oil or varnish should be used on gunwales is, I think, for
large part also a matter of what kind of canoe you have.
For a quite rigid boat like a wood stripper canoe, the gunwales can
probably best be epoxied to the hull and totally covered in epoxy,
and then painted, along with the rest of the boat, with (preferably)
a two part polyurethane varnish containing a good UV filter.
For a Wood & Canvas canoe you can either use oil or paint the
gunwales with a oil based marine varnish -- or even do both: oil
them and finish with varnish? It all depends much on your own
maintenance preferences, that you really will have to establish when
you own such a boat! If the inwales are made from soft woods (as
sometimes is the case) you should preferably use varnish.
For Fiber Reinforced Plastic and Royalex canoes, oiling the gunwales
is probably the most sensible thing to do, as the bigger flexibility
of these kind of boats will likely cause varnish on gunwales to
crack (too) easily and let water in. And for many people oiling
frequently is easier than painting regularly...

Some people use so called teak oils or marine oils like Watco or
Deks Olje. These oils are mostly a proprietary mix of linseed oil,
tung oil, resins, thinner, solvents, etc. They can work well but,
personally, I think you may get better results when you use these
ingredients separately and judiciously. But if you are satisfied
with the results of whatever you are using, I suggest that you
continue to use that!

Dirk Barends


Last edited by Dirk-Barends on August 7th, 2004, 5:10 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: August 4th, 2004, 6:56 am 
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Location: Mapping Wabakimi PP!
Another thread discussed this as well about a year ago. Happy reading!

http://www.myccr.com/SectionForums/viewtopic.php?t=7066&highlight=oil+tongue+gunnels

I have varnished my ash gunnels as well as epoxied the other gunnels on my second canoe. Both are holding up well. Tongue oil works well and should seep into the pores better. Oil would seem to be better from a maintainance stand point because it goes deeper and seals the wood with in and not just the surface. Touching up is simple and requires little effort but should be done often throughout the season.

My varnish gunnels do get beat up a bit but I just lightly sand and recoat like you would with the oil.

I exclusively use tongue oil on all my furniture projects since I like the hand rub finish!

Just keep them sealed.

Boneli

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: August 4th, 2004, 7:03 am 
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Morning everyone,
Bell Canoe Works has these recommendations for the care of the wood trim on their canoes on their website.
Have a good day.
GG


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: August 4th, 2004, 10:43 am 
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Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
And here's another opinion on varnish with comments from a UV-protection POV, the products are all from Interlux.

http://www.wcha.org/wcj/v21_n2/varnish.html

PS... from what I've been able to gather on the subject, polyurethane varnishes need to be sanded down to bare wood when refinishing, traditional spar varnishes don't... just scuff the gloss and apply another coat of spar. I reapplied several coats of spar onto rawhide seats with no sanding prep at all and it stayed on. This may be part of the reason why traditional spar remains popular, along with the warm golden glow it gives wood.

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PostPosted: August 4th, 2004, 12:22 pm 
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Thats a super link(I dont want to lose it!)...I didnt know about the difference between poly and traditional varnishes and I also found out that the right answer may be to think about your wood and the application...there are alot of variables.


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 Post subject: Waterguard Wood Sealant
PostPosted: August 4th, 2004, 10:09 pm 
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Joined: February 19th, 2003, 7:00 pm
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Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
Something that came across my mind this summer was the use of Olympic Waterguard for treating our wood trimmed canoes. I haven't tried it myself yet on gunnels but it sure seems to work good on pressure treated decking. Here's a few web sites for info on it. It sounds like it would be ideal for our use.

http://www.ppg.com/ppgaf/olympic/dowaterguard.htm

http://www.ppg.com/ppgaf/olympic/exselect.htm

http://www.factsfacts.com/MyHomeRepair/DeckSeal.htm

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