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PostPosted: January 31st, 2005, 11:03 am 
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i will hopefully be fibreglassing the hull of my cedar strip this week end or next week end... so im not quite there yet, but i have been reading some of the oil vs varnish debates. What to do, what to do??? if i oil the gunwales, i should oil the decks? how does oil show off quilting, birds eye and flaming in cherry and maple??

Thanks
erik


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PostPosted: January 31st, 2005, 11:46 am 
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Erik,

Tongue oil shows off any grain feature very well. You can get tongue oil in various gloss or satin finishes. Obviuosly the glossier the better to stand these grain features out better.

Boneli

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PostPosted: January 31st, 2005, 11:49 am 
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The only think I don't think I'd oil on my canoe would be the seats. I'd varnish those just because the oil creates a semi-hard surface, but you might find that the oil rubs off on your clothes.

But I oil decks, thwarts, rails, grab handles, seat drops/trusses, you name it. :D

PK


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PostPosted: January 31st, 2005, 12:18 pm 
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I'd just seal the entire canoe, inside and out, with three coats of good varnish. You'll want to be sure that the hard-to-reach spots, under the decks and inwales, and the scuppers, if you've built them in, stay reliably sealed over time - otherwise, you could get stains and dark spots, mold and maybe even rot showing up after awhile. Some of those won't be too easy to replace if they've been epoxied in.

I'm not convinced that oiling will seal wood against moisture all that well, unless there are multiple coats applied regularly. This adds on more work, in addition to the varnishing which needs to be done anyway.

Try comparing oil vs varnish on scrap wood if a decision on the finish and appearance on the highly-visible areas needs to be made..

How's it going otherwise?

Rick

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PostPosted: January 31st, 2005, 12:36 pm 
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I think Erik should post progress pictures for use to look at.

Is this desperate or what :lol: whoooo is the cabin fever

Boneli

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PostPosted: January 31st, 2005, 1:34 pm 
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Location: Auburn, Ontario Canada
I have my Osprey glassed in and out now putting the trim on.What a tedious job!
My trim will be oiled, ash gunwales,cherry thwarts,yoke,seat,and decks.
Come on spring!
Dave

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PostPosted: February 4th, 2005, 10:50 am 
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Erik wrote:
i will hopefully be fibreglassing the hull of my cedar strip this week end or next week end... so im not quite there yet, but i have been reading some of the oil vs varnish debates. What to do, what to do??? if i oil the gunwales, i should oil the decks? how does oil show off quilting, birds eye and flaming in cherry and maple??

erik


pros and cons

Oil is easy to do and easy to redo. If you ding the rails you can touch it up without much effort. It has (usually) a satiny finish that some people like and others don't. A good marine oil (oils for teak) or a tung oil with dryers will harden up just fine and won't rub off to easily. It does collect dirt more than varnish and you really should redo it twice a year especially if the boat sits in the weather much.

Varnish is so sexy it hurts. It looks yacht-like and many people love it. Especially if you use one that yellows slightly like the bakelite types. Seven coats of varnish has an enormous depth and the grain really looks dramatic. If you do not maintain it and it starts to peel you have a major problem so you need to touch things up. Preparation is the key. Some people just can't put varnish on smoothly so if you don't have a lot of confidence in your brushing abilities you may want to use a foam brush.

I have used both and like both. Just goes ot show I have no fixed opinions. :D

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PostPosted: February 7th, 2005, 8:55 pm 
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And now there is satin marine varnish that gives you the protection of varnish with the feel of oiled wood. It is quite beautiful.


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PostPosted: February 16th, 2005, 11:04 am 
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My preference has always been to use oil for the gunwales and vanish for everything else.

I'm not consistent enough at upkeep to maintain varnish on gunwales, and re-oiling gunwales is fast and easy. I've regunwaled too many canoes where the owner had varnished the gunwales and then not maintained them properly, allowing the varnish to crack and chip and trap water in the wood.

But for seats and yokes and thwarts varnish seems easier. Since these parts don't flex as much as gunwales the durability of varnish isn't a big and issue and the more frequent re-oiling of seats and thwarts, if done thoroughly, would involve removing them to get at the under-gunwale and butt ends. I'd rather do that less often than more often.

Any thoughts about using a couple of varnish coats atop a coat of epoxy resin on brightwork?


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PostPosted: February 16th, 2005, 1:15 pm 
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Here's West's page on undercoating with epoxy prior to varnishing, click Epoxy Techniques & Materials, then Varnish Over Epoxy...

http://www.westsystem.com/frames/tier1/usesforepoxy.htm

They say this results in the finish lasting longer, because the wood surface becomes stabilized and the varnish will crack less from expansion and contraction.

I've done this in the last set of ash outwales I made - they're L-shaped in cross section to fit over the sheer and inwale. Sealed inside and out with two coats of epoxy, including inside the screw holes which hold the outwale on. Three coats of good varnish were applied after the outwale was fastened on. The joint line between outwale and hull was left open and unvarnished (masked off) to allow the inner surfaces to breathe and dry if water gets in, which it will with waves and rain.

So this should result in totally waterproofed, long-lasting outwales, unless they're scratched or chipped, but some touchup when necessary should be easy enough. Other outwales I made weren't sealed in epoxy and years later started to blacken where the end grain and screw holes would let in water. The epoxy and varnish combination gives a deep-varnished look which is very glossy , some like it, and some don't.

I don't know when I'll be able to get back to you on just how durable this epoxy/varnish combo actually is, I'll post here again in maybe 10-20 years, we'll have to watch closely for when those first signs of blackening start to appear.

:wink:

Rick

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PostPosted: February 19th, 2005, 9:01 am 
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I recently heard about a method of treating rails that sounds good. The idea is to pressure treat them. You pre-fit and drill all the holes, take of the rails and put them inside a long length of ABS pipe filled with teak oil and then put it under pressure. I was told to use 40 PSI. Sounds like a lot of work but they pressure treat really poor quality wood and it seems to last so maybe it has some merit.

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PostPosted: February 19th, 2005, 11:15 am 
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John Winters wrote
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Varnish is so sexy it hurts
Not a chance John - not a chance. Hand rubbed oil is sexy and feels so wonderful in both the doing and the paddling. Spend a winter's day oiling or summer's evening rubbing down and hand polishing all your paddling wood with a good qualilty oil. Totally relaxing to the point you keep looking around for more to do. The smell even brings back great paddling memories.
Varnishing with a mask and throw-away paint bush is way to industrial. Even the finished product looks too commercial - consumerism and assembly line over pride of workmanship.

Kim - psst - what's the name of that varnish that looks like oil? Sounds like something that might go well on a paddle blade.

cheers, Ted


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PostPosted: February 20th, 2005, 6:46 am 
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TripperTed wrote:
Varnishing with a mask and throw-away paint bush is way to industrial. Even the finished product looks too commercial - consumerism and assembly line over pride of workmanship.

cheers, Ted


To each his own but you would be hard pressed to make a case for consumerism looking at the varnish work on a Riva or a restored Greavette or a well finished stripper like one built by Martin Step or Ted Moores etc. etc. etc. I hope you don't accuse any of these people of lacking pride of workmanship - at least not to their faces. :D

Regarding satin varnish, these are available from most varnish manufacturers. To me they don't look all that much like oiled wood. When I built our bedroom suite (made from a rare find of very old wide planks of air dried African Mahogany) I tried satin varnish and various oils. I decided to use French oil on the bed and side tables. Later I built a wardrobe from leftover mateial and wussed out and used satin varnish. Just does not look as nice.

Thought about using lacquer on both but could not get the technique down pat.

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PostPosted: February 20th, 2005, 1:39 pm 
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John wrote in a reply to Ted
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I hope you don't accuse any of these people of lacking pride of workmanship - at least not to their faces.

So watch me back paddle faster than you can say chute! :oops: Or at least let me re-phrase. Entire wooden boats do well with varnish whether canoe or yacht. An oiled Greavette would make no sense. But that being said oil has a natural warmth about it where even the best varnish says artificial if not plastic. Lacquer is another story for another time as it is in a class of it's own.
Varnished Mahogany - I'm having a hard time writing this for the tears. Let me know when I can come over and help you sand it all down and spend a little time talking canoe design and rubbing in a half-dozen coats of oil.

RE satin varnish. I thought Kim had a something else in mind. I've used satin varnish before - the oak floors in my house. And before you can say "ah caught ya" all the other wood in my house is oiled.

Cheers, Ted
(proud owner of a Shearwater, a Kipawa and a Raven - many thanks)


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PostPosted: February 21st, 2005, 1:04 pm 
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TripperTed wrote:
.
RE satin varnish. I thought Kim had a something else in mind. I've used satin varnish before - the oak floors in my house. And before you can say "ah caught ya" all the other wood in my house is oiled.



We agree 100% about the warm look of oil. w had oiled floors in our log house in Ontario. Just loved them. We have that pre-finished stuff in our new house and I caught myself wondering if I could convince my wife it was worth re-finishing new floors!!!!~

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