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PostPosted: September 19th, 2013, 12:29 pm 
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Thx, Splake and Mike. You cleared that up in a hurry but now I'm confused about something else!

In your paddle thread you say "I’m not actually using varnish, I’m using Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane", so I got the idea that you are using the terms "varnish" and "urethane" interchangeably. What do you mean when you say"OK, full disclosure. I am using it because I had a nearly full can of Helmsman Spar Urethane in the shop and didn’t want to spend $35 on a quart of spar varnish."?

I'm now finishing sanding my wood gunwales and getting ready to apply some urethane/varnish.

On a slightly different note, I am just now finishing a paddle that I made at a paddle making workshop earlier in the year. The instructor recommends applying this stuff over several coats of boiled linseed oil:http://www.swingpaints.com/no_product/2760.htm.

This supposedly contains a mixture of oil and urethane(at least according to the instructor, but the website doesn't quite say that). When thinned for application, it would seem to be similar to the homemade mixture you described above. Comments?

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PostPosted: September 19th, 2013, 12:52 pm 
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wotrock wrote:
I'm confused about something else!

In your paddle thread you say "I’m not actually using varnish, I’m using Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane", so I got the idea that you are using the terms "varnish" and "urethane" interchangeably. What do you mean when you say"OK, full disclosure. I am using it because I had a nearly full can of Helmsman Spar Urethane in the shop and didn’t want to spend $35 on a quart of spar varnish."?


I have used spar (UV protectant) varnish for years, and I guess I still prefer it. My varnish technique doesn’t suck as much as my urethane technique, especially if I use an appropriate thinning schedule over multiple coats.

I was typing “varnish” mostly because it’s easier than typing "Minwax Helmman’s Spar Urethane” (19 fewer keystrokes), and because I didn’t know what I had available in the shop to use once I had the paddles carbon fiber tow edged and finish sanded.

I had no viable varnish in the shop. I did have a nearly full can of spar urethane. Those 7 blades are a refurbishment gift for a friend’s long-time family camp in Ontario. I like him, and I like the 40 year camp history of those sticks, but I’m not dropping $40 on a quart of spar varnish when I have the Minwax on hand.


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PostPosted: October 7th, 2013, 9:30 am 
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That's a great test series! Thanks!

Dave


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PostPosted: October 7th, 2013, 10:36 am 
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Mike,
The lady at the local hardware store, who seems quite knowledgeable, said that Minwax Sparvarnish has now been replaced by Minwax Spar urethane. In any event, I had some Minwax urethane so I used 3 coats of it on my ash gunwales. I was thinking of doing 4 coats.

BTW, I think you should go for ISO certification on that shop of yours!! :thumbup: .

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PostPosted: October 7th, 2013, 10:47 am 
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If it's any use to anyone, I have a large old wooden sailboat with about an acre of woodwork. I could never keep up with it if it was varnish. I'd have to live aboard, or have a paid hand. So I compromised, and used the coating I put on my house, which has weathered very well.

Image

Sikkens Cetol makes a 2-part system: Cetol 1 is a penetrator and prep layer, followed by Cetol 2,3 Plus as a topcoat, which is the UV barrier. I try to put on 3 coats initially, then a new coat on every year.

This is not Marine Cetol. It's cheaper.

The 2,3 Plus is gas-permeable, so that it never bubbles off, and abrades from the outside in.

Anyway, I've used it for a long time, and switched to doing my canoe gunwales with it.

Dave


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PostPosted: October 11th, 2013, 9:49 am 
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Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
The resurrection of this thread got me thinking. I still have all of the marked test pieces of ash, and I don’t think I want to burn them in the woodstove.

I also have a pile of rotting tulip poplar logs. What the hell; I’m going to put the abused test pieces under a damp log and check them occasionally.

I’ve rebuilt a couple of canoes on which the wood gunwales were literally rotted off from being stored in direct contact with the ground. I bet I can compress that process speedily by chucking them under a rotting log.

I don’t really expect to learn anything – I expect the really toasted ones will be mulch in short order.

I guess I could end up with mutant salamanders.


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PostPosted: October 17th, 2013, 3:51 pm 
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Mike;
Impressive work!

As I've been blowing over into the world of sailing the last year, I came across this article in the Sept 2013 issue of Practical Sailor.
http://www.practical-sailor.com/issues/ ... 576-1.html

These guys do all sorts of longterm testing on bottom paints, anchor chains, lines,etc.

I haven't taken the time to compare results but more info is better than not enough so here you go. I hope the link works as I'm signed in on their site.

Hugh

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Last edited by Hugh on October 18th, 2013, 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: October 18th, 2013, 11:29 am 
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Hugh wrote:
I came across this article in the Sept 2013 issue of Practical Sailor.
http://www.practical-sailor.com/issues/ ... 576-1.html

I haven't taken the time to compare results but more info is better than not enough so here you go. I hope the link works as I'm signed in on their site.


The link works and that is by far a better experiment, with blind ratings across different criteria and many more types of coatings.

I have used Interlux coatings and other two-part sealers in the past and, if money (and driving time spend acquiring materials) was no matter, two-part coatings would be my 1st choice. I still have some partially filled cans of Interlux components in the shop, but I’d be 2 hours on the road to a marine supply shop and many $’s out of pocket to augment and replenish what I’d need.

I was pleased to read this part of the review:
“One hardware store varnish has surprisingly held its own over the long haul: Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane. At half the cost of the Recommended one-part varnishes, Minwax slacked in the color retention department, but it has proven its multi-season durability”


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PostPosted: October 18th, 2013, 1:26 pm 
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A way to match or exceed the coating integrity of the expensive two-part varnishes like Interlux Perfection might be to use West's recommendation to first coat the wood with epoxy and then varnish. West has a page on this somewhere and their tests IIRC showed better results than varnish alone. Their explanation again IIRC, was that the epoxy/varnish combination retains flexibility longer, and as wood expands and shrinks over time, the E/V combo is less prone to cracking and flaking that causes deterioration.

Recently I've gone back to using plain old varnish and Defthane (gloss, not the satin in the test table) is one of the cheapest around. I finished some lawn chairs and paddles with it and after two-three years, so far so good. Another reason I like it is it's hard enough to sand easily without clogging sandpaper too much, maybe because it's polyurethane rather than urethane. Interlux Schooner and Benjamin Moore Sunbar (400 or 404 in the states) were soft urethanes and a pain to sand off for refinishing.

Defthane isn't available up here away from Toronto - Minwax Helmsman OTOH is ($22.95 at Canadian Tire), I'll have to give it a try.

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PostPosted: October 18th, 2013, 6:53 pm 
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Mike--- just making sure you were aware of this related work on epoxies exposed to UV and weather.

http://www.oneoceankayaks.com/Epoxtest.htm

Elsewhere in his site is an illustrated discussion of fabrics used to surface strippers or S&G and how they stand up to UV or to abrasion and impact.


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