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Old 28-07-2005, 00:46   #1
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Bristol Finish

Maybe this has been discussed before.

Dose any body have any experience with Bristol Finish?
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Old 28-07-2005, 11:46   #2
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I have used Bristol finish and sell it at the chandlery where I work. I applied the Bristol finish exactly as the instructions stated and it looked absolutely fantastic when done. Four months later it was starting to fail, I took photos of the problem and e-mailed them to the manufacture ... their reply was that I must have done something wrong in the mixing or application process, I assure you ... the job was done right. Talking to customers that do brightwork for a living (and use Bristol finish when the customer requests it) they believe the problem to be a matter of quality control, one fellow related to me that he had done 2 boats one directly across the canal from the other .. from 2 seperate containers of Bristol finsh. One boat was starting to fail after four months ... the other still looked good more than a year later.
The owner of our store attended a trade show where a representitive from Bristol finish was present, he overheard that rep telling customers that BF was not a varnish as such and therefore could not be directly applied to the wood, it was more of a "topcoat" and should only be applied over a layer of varnish. That's all well and good but it say's no such thing in any of their literature! I also find it curious that in the last two times Practical sailor did their varnish tests, Bristol finish was "unavailable for testing because it was being reformulated".
I'm currently using Practical Sailor's overall #1 pick ... Epifanes ... goes on nicely and looks good ... unfortunately it hasn't been on long enough for me to report on it's longevity.
Bob & Lynn
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Old 28-07-2005, 17:41   #3
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I had the same problem did not seem to have the lasting power, and did not care for the color when I starter to build up the coats, I went back to varnish
Its more work, but the results are woryh it to me.
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Old 28-07-2005, 18:51   #4
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One more input

Six years ago I put 9 coats of WestMarine Admirals Varnish on several pieces of teak. It was easy and untempermental to apply. I'm thinking of putting on another coat just to be sure because it has been in the sun and rain and snow so long.
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Old 28-07-2005, 21:05   #5
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Bob. I wonder if your "Epifane" is the same as "Epithane" I get down here in NZ. It's an Inernational/Epiglass product. Two pot Polyurathane. I have used it extensively and with excellent results. The first "trial" hatch has had it on for 18mths now and still looks good as new. It is in the Sun all day and gets walked on and yet has no scratches. I even splashed some paint on it and removed the dry paint with thinners. It took the paint off and never touched the poly. I also dropped a hatch the otherday. It was my main engine room hatch and is huge and heavy. All it did was dent the wood. It never cracked or scratched the Poly.
I am also trying an Altex version of it right now. I am using it on my rubb rails. Must say, the Altex wasn't as easy to use out of the can. But lets see what happens with time.
IMO, I will never use a single pot product outside again.
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Old 28-07-2005, 22:31   #6
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Alan,
The Epifanes that I'm using is a one part traditional resin based varnish ... but with more UV protection built in than is normal. Don't have a can handy but I believe it comes from Holland.
Bob & Lynn
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Old 19-08-2011, 13:52   #7
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Re: Bristol Finish

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wahoo Sails View Post
I have used Bristol finish and sell it at the chandlery where I work. I applied the Bristol finish exactly as the instructions stated and it looked absolutely fantastic when done. Four months later it was starting to fail, I took photos of the problem and e-mailed them to the manufacture ... their reply was that I must have done something wrong in the mixing or application process, I assure you ... the job was done right. Talking to customers that do brightwork for a living (and use Bristol finish when the customer requests it) they believe the problem to be a matter of quality control, one fellow related to me that he had done 2 boats one directly across the canal from the other .. from 2 seperate containers of Bristol finsh. One boat was starting to fail after four months ... the other still looked good more than a year later.
The owner of our store attended a trade show where a representitive from Bristol finish was present, he overheard that rep telling customers that BF was not a varnish as such and therefore could not be directly applied to the wood, it was more of a "topcoat" and should only be applied over a layer of varnish. That's all well and good but it say's no such thing in any of their literature! I also find it curious that in the last two times Practical sailor did their varnish tests, Bristol finish was "unavailable for testing because it was being reformulated".
I'm currently using Practical Sailor's overall #1 pick ... Epifanes ... goes on nicely and looks good ... unfortunately it hasn't been on long enough for me to report on it's longevity.
Bob & Lynn
This was exactly my experience don't waste your time and money with this product.
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Old 19-08-2011, 14:27   #8
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Re: Bristol Finish

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wahoo Sails View Post
I'm currently using Practical Sailor's overall #1 pick ... Epifanes ... goes on nicely and looks good ... unfortunately it hasn't been on long enough for me to report on it's longevity.
I've been using Epifanes for a few years now. Lasts longer than any other spar varnish I've used.
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Old 19-08-2011, 14:29   #9
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Re: Bristol Finish

Some years ago I used it and mine also failed. To make matters worse it was a bear to get off. It's heat resistant so all the heat gun would do was scorch the wood, its chemical resistant, so stripper didn't work. I finally had to sand it off which was a real chore.

Now I use Z-spar Flagship varnish and here in south Florida I find that I need 10 coats for initial coverage. Then around once a year a quick sanding and two more coats is good for another year or so.

Rich
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Old 20-08-2011, 10:46   #10
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Re: Bristol Finish

We tried Bristol for some clients years ago. Bad experiences here as well. Have refused to use it since.
I'm presently wooding out all the teak on my boat and starting fresh. Going with the Ultimate Brightwork System II. Thats Awlspar HS 12-16 coats followed by 3-4 coats of Awlbrite urethane. I've done it for clients for some time now, and it looks incredible and lasts like nothing else. Of course it's loads of work and costs a fortune too...
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Old 20-08-2011, 18:03   #11
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Re: Bristol Finish

Has anyone here tried the Mas Epoxies product?

On their site they have a How To.. videos section and the Clear Coating demo is impressive. http://www.masepoxies.com/

With their epoxy and automotive clear urethane on top, they claim to get 10 years! Maybe not in the tropics?

It was done on Bob Bitchin's Lost Soul (Atts & Latts).
I emailed Bob and asked how it had held up. He had eventually done the whole boat with the product and said it made maintenance real easy.
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Old 20-08-2011, 18:14   #12
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Re: Bristol Finish

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
We tried Bristol for some clients years ago. Bad experiences here as well. Have refused to use it since.
I'm presently wooding out all the teak on my boat and starting fresh. Going with the Ultimate Brightwork System II. Thats Awlspar HS 12-16 coats followed by 3-4 coats of Awlbrite urethane. I've done it for clients for some time now, and it looks incredible and lasts like nothing else. Of course it's loads of work and costs a fortune too...

19 coats "Really", lifes to short, want to go sailing again sometime berfore I die. Just going to go back to oil.
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Old 20-08-2011, 18:52   #13
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Re: Bristol Finish

Lol, guess it's not for everybody! Got my first sealer coat on the pilothouse and cockpit trim today...
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Old 15-08-2012, 18:44   #14
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Re: Bristol Finish

Just finished a fair bit of Awlbrite.



It really is more prep work than anything else. The sanding on the rail around plus bow sprit is about 200 hours. the Awlbrite takes a bit of time and you'll need at least a couple sandings around and they took a day alone. You can stack the coats 3 deep in a day if the weather is nice and we held off half way through since we knew we would lose the ability to stack. If you don't stack in 36 hours oyou have to wet sand. Doing it outside has it's issues too but we completed the 3 coats of color and the 11 coats of clear before the hideous heat wave this summer. In high heat you are asking for a nightmare.

When it gets warm the out gassing leaves very tiny bubbles. You can add an 4th addative to help that and we did that for the final coat. We have yet to do the final machine buffing but the stuff looks like glass. It seems to get harder after a few weeks after you finish it too.

Getting mud on the bowsprit the first time took some getting used to but it is quite durable. The finish is something anyone walking by on the dock will stop to look at. FWIW , the wood in the picture is an Oak bowsprit and Asian Teak toe and taft rails. It's 21 years old!



The real beauty is the taft rail around the cockpit. It's what you see the most and what took SO much time to prep. There are 18 spindles and they each took 2 hours to prep.

If you zoom in you can see the 1985 Lyle Hess Fatty Knees 8 dinghy has some Awlbrite too.
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Old 15-08-2012, 19:41   #15
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Re: Bristol Finish

Been waiting for you to get finished and post results! Now I have to finish mine so I can do the same. I got on plenty of Awlspar but quit to go sailing before Awlbrite, I'm hauling out for two months this winter and will finish everything then.
Yours sure looks great! Those taffrail spindles are a nightmare. If you got the final coat on with no brush marks I wouldn't polish it, I only do that if I wet sand the final coat. I've only experienced the bubbles in direct sunlight, which is a no-no. Nice anchor scarfs!
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