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Old 03-13-2016, 02:48 PM   #1
Neil
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Refinishing woodwork.

We are re-finishing all the woodwork on our fiberglass canoe and were wondering how to go about it, what product (spar varnish?) to use etc.
The most complicated job would be to remove the webbing from the seats and then replace it. If necessary I can post pictures.

Pretty sure the members here know a thing or two about this topic.
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Last edited by Neil; 03-13-2016 at 03:13 PM..
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Old 03-13-2016, 06:56 PM   #2
adkman12986
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I'm use Cabots Spar varnish on furniture, benches for outside etc. I get a high gloss finish that last and last. Doesn't yellow.
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Old 03-13-2016, 09:04 PM   #3
stripperguy
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I am particularly fond of Epifanes...
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Old 03-13-2016, 09:13 PM   #4
Banoe
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X2 on the Epifanes. I have also used Interlux Schooner spar varnish on my strip canoes both are good. The biggest trick is staying dust free when varnishing clean everything twice before even thinking about opening the can.
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Old 03-13-2016, 09:27 PM   #5
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Epifanes
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Old 03-13-2016, 09:54 PM   #6
aft paddle
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Money and time wise it may be worthwhile to look into replacement seats. It would be difficult or extremely lucky to get the wood finish to match your gunwales though.

Last edited by aft paddle; 03-13-2016 at 09:57 PM.. Reason: clarity
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:22 PM   #7
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At one time, Mad River recommended using Watco Oil (available at big box stores). I had used it on the gunwales of two royalex Mad Rivers I had with success.

A mixture of linseed oil and turpentine is a good and inexpensive way to treat the gunwales which I use on my Hornbeck and wood paddles.

On my stripper I like using the Epifanes with a light coat over the whole boat each year. It has great UV protection for the fiberglass.

They all work well, just a matter of personal preference.

Last edited by bluequill; 03-15-2016 at 02:44 PM..
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:19 AM   #8
Rich Lockwood
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what i do

easy and quick. Rub on watco oil with a green scrubbie pad. It won't last as long as varnish, but way easier. I don't remove my seat webbing and have never had a problem. it smells good too!
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Old 03-14-2016, 01:14 PM   #9
charlie wilson
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Study Results

Mike McCrea published a rather exhaustive multi year study comparing various wood finished a couple years ago, results up on P.net, MTCCR. Worth searching for.

Oils are fine, but need multiple replenishments every year. Brightwork lasts longer but is a project when needing sanding and multiple coats.

Bell/MorthStar uses oil, in part due to the dirty shop. Placid uses brightwork, as does Colden. Strangely, Mike's study indicated Minwax PU Spar Varnish held up the longest, longer than Epiphanes.

Of interest, do not use steel wool to smooth brightwork between coats. Embedded iron filings turn unsightly black of wetted.
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Old 03-14-2016, 02:07 PM   #10
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Is the chair caning pressed into place or woven?
Pressed caning comes in pre-woven sheets and is held in place with a spline pressed into a groove.
Woven has holes around the perimeter which you weave the individual strands into.
If you don't want to tackle that portion of the job, I may be willing to do the work as long as the wood is in good shape.
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Old 03-15-2016, 10:03 AM   #11
RichieC
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I heard it explained by a real paint expert ( Someone who has been specifically in the business for 50 years after his dad was too... and even had a paint manufactured under their name to their specs) in a nutshell, that spar varnish fails from the outside in, where as polyurethane's fail from the inside out. I have noticed urethanes, peeling off in sheets right from the wood/varnish threshold. This can happen with spar varnish too. but its different, so his "dumbed down" explanation seemed to make perfect sense. .... That spar varnish remains flexible. Probably why its good for "spars". It was good enough advise for me, and has served me well- we have a wood sailboat that was moored all summer, every summer and the Oil based Spar varnished mast looks brand new, (1950's Lightning) and it bends constantly under use.

I use an oil on my bird gun stock and it makes it "self healing", it was out in all weather and pushing through briars etc. It would be scratched up, and I'd set it aside, then when I came back, the scratches have disappeared. The finish is quite beautiful and yet the grip and the texture of the hand checkering remains- even after 80 years. The advantages of oiled finish.

My solo has an oiled finish on trim, and I don't find reapplying it an issue. But the gunnels and thwarts are dry 95% of the time. the finish that amazes me is West System, but I don't think its good for refinishing over previously treated wood... it becomes one with the wood... and it can be varnished on top with with a Polyurethane spar varnish.

Last edited by RichieC; 03-15-2016 at 10:14 AM..
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Old 03-16-2016, 06:31 PM   #12
mgc
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I use only spar varnish on our canoes and also on our wooden boat. The only brand I recommend is Epifane.
Do not use polyurethane on your boats. It will peal and lift or allow the wood behind it to decay and blacken.
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Old 03-17-2016, 10:32 AM   #13
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"My solo has an oiled finish on trim, and I don't find reapplying it an issue. But the gunnels and thwarts are dry 95% of the time. the finish that amazes me is West System, but I don't think its good for refinishing over previously treated wood... it becomes one with the wood... and it can be varnished on top with with a Polyurethane spar varnish."


The "West System" is very durable but.... It involves using epoxy over the stained wood and that can be tricky unless you have experience with it. Also, the epoxy needs to be covered with a good spar varnish (Epifanes)_ is what I use, or it will turn cloudy white in the elements. Always read the directions and follow them precisely, and.... make sure that your environment is dust free and that you have adequate ventilation and a respirator to protect yourself.


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