Varnishing

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brooks
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Varnishing

Post by brooks » Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:54 am

Happy New Year everyone, Im just finishing up my 4th coat of resin after sanding. Everything looks good and in a couple of weeks I will be flipping my Ranger to do the inside. My question is can I put a couple of coats of varnish on before hand, while it is still on the forms. It would seem like the logical thing to do. I would tape off the outside before I glass the inside. And also I am hearing good things about Min Wax Hellman's Varnish. That it out performs practically every other varnish out there and it is so readily available at the diy stores. I have done alot of projects in my life but haven't enjoyed them as much as my Ranger. This Forums guidance has given me so much help and I want to thank you all. Have a Great Year. Brooks

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Jim Dodd
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Re: Varnishing

Post by Jim Dodd » Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:41 am

Happy New year to you Brooks !

The only thing I'd be concerned about varnishing before I'm done with glassing, is the varnish forming a skin in the can. Once I open a quart of varnish I like to use it before that happens.

I just used a quart of Hellmans Gloss on a Kevlar project. It went on great with a foam brush, and dried properly. It has a tint to it. That's not a problem on Kevlar, but for a stripper it will darken the hull some.
As for wear, I'll find out in the Spring.

Come on Spring !
The best of luck !

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

brooks
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Joined: Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:11 pm

Re: Varnishing

Post by brooks » Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:12 pm

Thanks Jim, I was hoping it was a product to be tested. I actually like the amber tone. How far will a quart go on a Ranger. I am thinking about spraying it on so it would have to be thinned 50/50. I have sprayed alot of laquers and hope it works the same. Thanks again Jim

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Jim Dodd
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Re: Varnishing

Post by Jim Dodd » Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:36 pm

Brooks
I was able to get three coats inside and out from one quart on a solo that was nearly 16' long ,and about 30" wide. There was just a little left over.

Good Luck !

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

canoecrafter
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Location: Rice Lake, WI

Re: Varnishing--or not varnishing again ever

Post by canoecrafter » Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:14 pm

It seems like the only reason we varnish our strippers is to prevent the degradation of the epoxy from UV radiation. Yet even with 4-5 coats of the most expensive, top-quality spar varnish, we need to add more coats within 3-4 years or the epoxy deteriorates and begins turning black.

Well there is an alternative, and it's available at your local auto body shop. It's 2-part polyurethane automotive clearcoat and three coats can be sprayed on in about an hour.

While spar varnish builds up at about 1 mil per coat after the solvents evaporate, auto clearcoat builds at nearly three mils per coat as there is no evaporation, merely catalyzation.

Auto clear coat has, on average, twice the amount of UV inhibitors per mil as spar vanish. The most expensive clearjcoats have even more than that.

Auto clearcoat has flex additives to prevent cracking. Have you ever seen a cracked paint job on a fiberglass Corvette? That's a base color/clearcoat paint job you're seeing. And do the UV inhibitors work? Have you ever seen a faded Corvette?

Auto clearcoat flash-cures in about 20 minutes, so three coats (3 mils per coat) can be sprayed on in an hour for a total film of 9 mils. Spar varnish dries in 24 hours and leaves a 1 mil thickness after wet sanding. In five days, you can end up with 5 mils.

If you take your stripper into the body shop when they are spraying clearcoat on a car, they can do your boat at the same time, so the labor cost is minimal. Material cost is about the same as two quarts of spar varnish.

I too enjoy the sensual pleasure of varnishing, but I haven't used it on my cedar/epoxy canoes or kayaks for the last 20 years. Automotive polyurethane clearcoat has it beat in every way--and it lasts forever.
When people figure out what's important in Life, there's gonna be a big shortage of canoes.

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Patricks Dad
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Re: Varnishing

Post by Patricks Dad » Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:46 pm

The first canoe my son and I built, I took it over to the local body shop. The paint guy was happy to spray our canoe (he was sick of spraying fenders day-in, day-out. It looks gorgeous. Repairs / touch-ups are more involved however (I don't have equipment for spraying myself).
Randy Pfeifer
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Rabbit
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Location: Downunder

Re: Varnishing

Post by Rabbit » Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:38 am

you have to remember that your average punter isn't set up for spraying automotive urethane. *if* you have access to the right safety equipment and a spray booth with a heater to bake it then sure, it can be fast, but if you don't, it's nasty stuff for the unwary and if you don't bake it, it can take weeks to *fully* cure. as for uv protection, again it depends on clear you choose. some of the cheap clears are cheap for a reason :wink

now while it was tempting shoot the hull with red candy and hok clear, i went with the safer option. :laughing

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Jim Dodd
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Re: Varnishing

Post by Jim Dodd » Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:34 am

Canoecrafter

I may just go with the Auto clear coat on my current build !

I'm always open for a better finish, especially on my strippers.

What would I expect to pay to have a hull sprayed, inside and out with the auto clear coat ? That's if I prep it .

Thanks !

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

canoecrafter
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Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:22 am
Location: Rice Lake, WI

Re: clearcoat cost

Post by canoecrafter » Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:56 pm

The last canoe I had sprayed with three coats of 2-part urethane clear coat at my local body shop cost me $125, which included labor and materials. That was seven years ago, so it may be higher now. I'm finishing a Resolute kayak soon, so I'll see how much, if any, the price has gone up.
When people figure out what's important in Life, there's gonna be a big shortage of canoes.

canoecrafter
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Location: Rice Lake, WI

Re: cleacoat prep

Post by canoecrafter » Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:07 am

Prepping the hull for clear coat was wet-sanding the epoxy on the outside with 180-grit wet/dry sandpaper on a flexible sandpaper holder that could be bent in use to conform to the hull curvature. On the inside, I just used two coats of epoxy to leave a toothed finish and didn't sand that at all prior to spraying.
When people figure out what's important in Life, there's gonna be a big shortage of canoes.

Rabbit
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Location: Downunder

Re: Varnishing

Post by Rabbit » Sat Jan 10, 2015 8:52 am

as far as cost goes, the clear i mainly use for everything apart from my canoe goes for about $72us per quart in my part of the world plus another $76us for the catalyst. cost of reducer is negligible.

if i'm prepping a substrate other than base, i usually wet sand with 500grit wet and dry. for something like the inside of the hull, there was too much gloss even with just the 2 coats of epoxy so a maroon scuff pad knocked the gloss down so de-lamination of the clear isn't an issue. automotive clear is pretty tenacious, but if the surface isn't prepped right, you can still have problems further down the track. it may be years down the track but it will eventually fail. one good thing with most of the auto urethane clears is that if you decide your canoe is a corvette you can wet sand and buff to a full gloss :wink

digger
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Re: Varnishing

Post by digger » Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:25 pm

I found a guy that does clear coat applications so I am really leaning that direction for my current project. My biggest concern though is that I'm building a canoe for a friend and worried about how he can do his own touch-ups. If I use varnish, I would just give him a can of varnish. Are there spray cans available for the clear coat products?

Thanks

pfaurschou
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Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 9:16 pm

Re: Varnishing

Post by pfaurschou » Tue May 24, 2016 8:06 am

Hi,
I am just finishing my Nomad 18 mod after 18 months of work. I am considering having it clear coated by an autobody but I wonder if anyone can tell me about trim? What should I do with the removable trip (seats, yoke, thwart)? Should I varnish them or have them clear coated top? What about gunnels?
Thanks. Paul

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Jim Dodd
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Re: Varnishing

Post by Jim Dodd » Tue May 24, 2016 8:12 am

I've never had anything clear coated, so I'm not much help !

I use Watco Teak, on all my wood, gunnels, decks, and seats.
When you scratch varnish, it will leave a white streak. When you scratch Watco, no streak.

Hopefully others will chime in !

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

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Cruiser
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Re: Varnishing

Post by Cruiser » Tue May 24, 2016 7:55 pm

Just back from a trip in Algonquin and met up with a fellow builder. He said he had his friend do a clear coat and it has lasted a long time .... so it is doable and works.

Only thing to consider is that (as I understand it) you can't easily "fix" the clear coat , like you can varnish. You can ask your friend if you can touch up the clear coat ... don't forget it will get scratched and you may want to touch up or fill the scratches.

My opinion would be to use varnish (with or without an epoxy base, your preference) on the trim, as it will take a little more wear and I think it would be easier to touch up and do a new coat using varnish.

On the hull, maybe you could share the "touch up" info when you ask your friend.


Brian

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