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Old 13-09-2009, 14:33   #1
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Experience with Le Tonkinois Varnish

Does anybody have any experience, with the application, durability and finish quality of this product Le Tonkinois varnish. For my application I am intending it for the interior finish. What has me interested is the stated claim that the product will not crack. Here is a link a stockist, Le Tonkinios Linseed Varnish
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Old 13-09-2009, 15:52   #2
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My colleague - a Swedish boatbuilder - swears by it. I have a sample on board but have not tested it yet.

Keep on searching. It is not that uncommon and you will find people with first hand knowledge.

b.
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Old 13-09-2009, 16:00   #3
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Why not use the best varnish available? It's so much work that using the best product makes sense as it'll last longer, saving work.

IMO, the best varnish is Epifanes: Welcome to Epifanes - the finest marine coatings, yacht paints and varnishes in the world

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Old 13-09-2009, 16:13   #4
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The stuff rocks and I swear by it. It will not crack but it will peel a little if you don't put down a couple coats every year or so. Does not smell, lays down real nice also. No sanding between coats but a light one is for the first coat. I love it and drive down to Rochester from Toronto just to buy it.
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Old 14-09-2009, 08:20   #5
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It will not crack but it will peel a little if you don't put down a couple coats every year or so.
Winterbuoy are you using it for exterior or interior.
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Old 14-09-2009, 08:59   #6
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I am doing a table now with Epifane. I epoxied it first with 2 coats, and then applied one coat of Epifane. It sat for a week, so I went to scuff it will scotchbrite, and it would not scuff. I ended up using 000 steel wool to scuff, and nearly wore my arm out.....i2f
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Old 14-09-2009, 09:07   #7
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Exterior only. All my outside wood is with Le-Tonk. I would not hesitate to use inside and when it needs it, that's what I will use.
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Old 14-09-2009, 09:36   #8
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Exterior only. All my outside wood is with Le-Tonk. I would not hesitate to use inside and when it needs it, that's what I will use.
Great thanks for the feedback. Next step I will purchase some and trial it.
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Old 14-09-2009, 09:46   #9
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Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
I am doing a table now with Epifane. I epoxied it first with 2 coats, and then applied one coat of Epifane. It sat for a week, so I went to scuff it will scotchbrite, and it would not scuff. I ended up using 000 steel wool to scuff, and nearly wore my arm out.....i2f
??? Mine scuffs fine with the red Scotchbrite (just did the Fall coats). The green is too fine.

IIRC, Tonkonois is a softer and more flexible coating than Epifanes. Either way it's a coat/year for me- two on wear surfaces.
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Old 14-09-2009, 10:19   #10
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S&S,

I see my error by using green. I don't think I have ever seen red? I will be looking though...thanks......i2f
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Old 14-09-2009, 10:46   #11
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S&S,

I see my error by using green. I don't think I have ever seen red? I will be looking though...thanks......i2f
No prob. it's a reddish brown, most hardware stores sell it in the paint dept. I think West sells it too.
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Old 06-12-2009, 13:15   #12
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It is hard to tell who is talking about Le Tonk and who is talking about Epifanes in the above comments. In the wooden boat forum there is a lot of discussion about Le Tonk and also the Behr's product which is inexpensive, doesn't smell, is not toxic and some people swear by it.

I have been using schooner for 4 years and now that it has been discontinued I am trying schooner gold. The new schooner product is difficult to apply and smells like a chemical factory, but only needs sanding between every other coat. It looks quite good, but I think I am going to try both the Behrs and Le Tonkinious.

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Old 21-10-2011, 07:41   #13
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Re: Experience with Le Tonkinois Varnish

Le Tonk is really a great product (and believe me I have tried them all). You do not have to sand between coats or for the once a year re-application and that is really nice. Also, it really does brush on nicely (like glass).
Here are some faqs on Le Tonk Le Tonkinois frequently asked questions
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Old 31-01-2013, 14:12   #14
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Re: Experience with Le Tonkinois Varnish

I used it on my cap rails and rub rails on a 40' catamaran and a 23 foot skiff in Florida. Flowed beautifully, smelled great, no brush strokes, even after touching up holidays 20 minutes later. I was in varnish heaven. I had read that it wouldn't chip or peel, but would fade out slowly, sort of like teak oil. When you noticed a fade in the gloss, just sand lightly and re-coat. Well, thats a myth. the rub rails and vertical surfaces still are glossy and look great, the horizontal surfaces all of a sudden started to get fine cracks, sort of what practical sailer called looking like old dry skin. then it all started to lift and peel to the point that it was un-salvageable, I had to strip it all off. It only lasted about 6 months, and that was with 8 coats. The previous coating was Bristol, and it looked great, but is very toxic and difficult to work with. Very disappointed in the longevity of Le Tonk, would never use it again outdoors.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:14   #15
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Re: Experience with Le Tonkinois Varnish

I have used Tonkinois and as buddamouse stated it did not last long in hot sun. I had been waiting to hear from those in warm climates. My boat is in Southern California. I adore the way Tonkinois flows- makes one look like a long seasoned professional. It is forgiving. You can go back over it as it takes a long time to dry! The coats go on thick and glassy! My whole boat is covered in it!

Some things to consider- it does not like stain. It hates lacquer thinner -cant use it to clean the brush. Not fond of mineral spirits-they even state not to thin it... Best to wipe down with distilled alcohol if you do this before laying down the varnish.

I am considering using it after the first couple of coats of Flagship on top of stain.... to pile up protection... it goes over anything.... then perhaps use something else for the last two coats... and covering with canvas during hot sun at the dock.

I really love the stuff... it is not toxic the way other varnishes can be (Crystal!) and it gives such depth! Alas if you have a dark boat (mahogany) the sun will bake it! I have not given up on it.....yet. Yes, I too have had to start all over as it didn't last through the year.... but it is that easy to use! I did my masts with it a couple of months ago and will be up there soon to see how it is doing.

I tried it on some very old lignum vitae that was checking as i heard that it will just melt into the wood after a while and not peel. I let it do that... and it did, no peeling it just melted into the wood and then it was gone.

Oh and I don't think it is fond of epoxy ... i have done all kinds of experiments. I know a lot of people like to use epoxy and then go over it with multiple layers of varnish. Well the wood that had epoxy under the Tonkinois did far worse than wood that just had no epoxy and just Tonkinois! I have a crutch that gets lots of sun and it is fine.... could be that it is a vertical piece and that it is teak and not mahogany- hence no stain.
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