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Old 27-02-2013, 13:03   #1
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Varnish

I am repairing the wood on my boat and was wondering if the varnish needs to be completely sanded off in some places (ie handrails topside). Some spots are right nasty while others are not so bad like where the dodger covered the wood. I'm thinking I can feather it in and make it nice but don't want it to look bad an have to redo it all over.
Also is it better to take he handrails off to varnish or can I leave them on?
Pictures should be attached.
-B
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Old 27-02-2013, 13:25   #2
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Re: Varnish

In my opinion, it would look blotchy. Sorry, I'd strip it all and start fresh.
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Old 27-02-2013, 13:28   #3
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I've also heard about a product called semco that is supposed to be the bees knees. Let me know if anyone has tried it in the tropics
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Old 27-02-2013, 13:37   #4
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Re: Varnish

One of the downsides of removing handrails is, simply put, putting them back! Really. They curve when on the boat, but want to go straight when you take them off.

Another little tip and trick is that only one out of three, maybe, of the rungs is attached with a through bolt and a bung on the top, the rest are just screwed in. Take a careful look at yours.

What I do is to only partially remove them by taking off the acorn nuts on the through bolts and unscrewing the screws most of the way, and then ONLY tapping up on the screws, because if you tap up on the through bolts you push the bungs out.

Then buy butyl tape from Maine Sail (best butyl tape on the market, he's done his homework) and rebed the handrails.

Your choice to take them all the way off, but I don't.

I've used gel stripper to remove my coatings over the years and it works just fine. Just tape the heck out of them when you refinish.

Good luck.
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Old 27-02-2013, 14:00   #5
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Re: Varnish

I have heard tell that carbide cabinet scrappers work really well. I am faced with some teak overhaul, also.
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Old 27-02-2013, 14:06   #6
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Re: Varnish

Given that the varnish already looks like it's coming off, I don't think it would be that big of a deal to just sand the rest off with 80-grit. It will likely go faster than you might think. No need to remove unless leaking, or if you want to do a pre-emptive re-bedding. MaineSail's butyl tape & "How-To" on deck rebedding is the ticket for re-installation.
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Old 27-02-2013, 14:08   #7
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Re: Varnish

Take them down to wood. Heat gun and really sharp scrapper will get you a long way.
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Old 27-02-2013, 14:09   #8
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Re: Varnish

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesFCook View Post
Take them down to wood. Heat gun and really sharp scrapper will get you a long way.
True, but just sanding will insure less damage to the wood.
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Old 27-02-2013, 14:25   #9
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Re: Varnish

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exile View Post
True, but just sanding will insure less damage to the wood.
Your right, you really need to be careful or you can mess it up. But when you get in the groove you can really cover some ground. I don't do this late in the morn when I'm getting hungry or late in the afternoon when I'm getting tired.
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Old 27-02-2013, 14:58   #10
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Re: Varnish

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesFCook View Post
Take them down to wood. Heat gun and really sharp scrapper will get you a long way.
Actually, I'd use a scraper myself... using a "scrapper" might lead to, well, scrap!

(Just kidding, ya know!)

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Old 27-02-2013, 15:03   #11
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Re: Varnish

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tide Roller View Post
I've also heard about a product called semco that is supposed to be the bees knees. Let me know if anyone has tried it in the tropics
Loovve Semco. Easy to use, wears away, no flaking or chips, easy to clean up, easy to re coat.

That will be my wood finish for the cabin sole, as soon as I'm strong enough to work on the boat, which may be a while, but I will post pictures. I want to varnish the interior but strip the sole and keep it bare.

I might use Semco for my exterior, not decided. I like silver teak, my husband hints that he married a varnish lady , so I may accent silver teak with some varnish or Semco. I think varnish looks better with silvered teak than Semco.

Exterior Use of Semco works well, but 1) start with 3-4 coats 2) re coat every 4 months in tropics, maybe get longer but I doubt it. Ive only allowed Semco to go 3-4 months here in Texas.

Re coating is so easy, I don't even tape off the wood. I clean wood with Murphys oil soap, let dry 24 hours. I use a foam disposable brush, putty knife to protect the FGB, and rag to wipe up the excess.

Getting a good color can be challenging, many people mix gold Semco with natural Semco to get a more natural freshly sanded look. But if you stack too many coats the teak will get an orange look, try using the mix for the first 2 coats then keep with the natural. But each teak seems to behave differently, so just eyeball it (My disclaimer)

Erika
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Old 27-02-2013, 15:20   #12
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Re: Varnish

More 2cents, I found sanding will take more wood off, if that is a concern. Its hard to sand the varnish part only without hitting the bare teak.
Scrapping can be detrimental too, especially if you accidentally gouge the teak with the edge of the scraper. I sand down and round the edge of the scraper blade to avoid the dreaded gouge that happens when you try to go too fast. heat gun and scraper is easier, or requires less technique than all out scraping, but that could just be me.
I've never removed handrails to varnish unless customer specified. Just take your time taping off, the majority of work in a varnish job is the prep, coating is the "downhill run". Be sure to use good quality tape so you can take your time and removal is drama free.
Cheers,
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Old 27-02-2013, 15:25   #13
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Re: Varnish

3M soy stripper works for me, and it won't harm the gelcoat - it takes a little while though so you might need to cover the stripper with plastic to stop it drying out. Then use a cabinet scraper to remove the softened varnish.
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Old 27-02-2013, 15:44   #14
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Re: Varnish

OK, so now you have it down to bare wood.

Now what do you do for the first coat?

100% Penetrol?
50/50 Penetrol and Varnish?
100% Varnish?

Then after that....
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Old 27-02-2013, 15:47   #15
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Re: Varnish

Normally the first coat or two should be 50% thinner. Then the % of thinner can gradually drop. However I find I always need at least 10% thinner for even the final coat.
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