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Old 25-09-2005, 08:25   #1
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What the #$&% is this??

I was sanding a bulkhead made of 1/4" ply with what I think is a teak finish layer.

The sanding seemed to be going well, until I ran into some "filler" that was used to cover up a nick, and then into a large patch of something?? Next to it.

<img src="http://cruisersforum.com/photopost/data/500/927Wood.jpg">

http://cruisersforum.com/photopost/data/500/927Wood.jpg

What's going on here? I am re-finishing my teak to have a natural (but sealed) look - lightening it up a bit. This big blotch will probably show through my sealer.

2 questions for the woodworking experts (I'm not one):

1) What are those blotches?

2) How can I make sure they don't show through my natural sealer?

Thanks in advance. This is a real scary mess right now, since this is a bulkhead in the master stateroom and will be in our charter ads.
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Old 25-09-2005, 12:55   #2
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Can't tell for sure but looks like you might have sanded through the veneer.

No clue how to fix. When we were revarnishing our boat that was/is my biggest fear cause can't match 20 year old teak,
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Old 25-09-2005, 13:14   #3
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Thanks... but....

Jon,

Thanks for the input. However, all sanding has been done to a uniform depth on this panel and all others. This is the only panel that has this problem. The light-colored streak to the left is actually some type of putty or filler. It's white in color.

The other stuff appears to be lighter colored wood. but... it makes no sense to me since all the other wood around it is barely sanded enough to take the varnish off. The only thing I can think of is that they used shoddy materials building this bulkhead and covered it up?

Does that make sense to anyone? I just don't have the experience to know why this lighter colored blotch is there.
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Old 25-09-2005, 13:33   #4
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Hi Sean. Oooh Darrrn. That's a tricky one. I could make lots of speculations, but that doesn't solve the problem.
So how exactly was this hidden from view in the first place??
Here are a few options.
A little stain could darken the lighter patch to the same or close to the same colour around it, but you ain't going to have the teak grain in it. It's alway's going to stand out like a sore thumb.
You could find a bit of teak ply and try and match as close to the grain line as possible and then very carefully cut it in. But it will never be a perfect match and will always be seen as well. Plus it takes some cabinetry skill to do it with no join line showing.
You could replace the entire panel which would be the best scenario, but the most difficult, because it will be well fixed.
I suggest you find a very skilled boat cabinet worker and get them to come and have a look and give you some advice.
Orrr, you could place a picture or something over the problem
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Old 25-09-2005, 14:30   #5
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Veneer

The teak veneer is usually 1/32" thick. If you were sanding the veneer, it doesn't take much to get to the substrate. However, after looking at the patch work that was done to the left, I'm guessing that both areas are patches. If you did not notice them before, it was probably because someone did a real good job at matching the stain. Your solution will be to also do an excellent job at matching the stain.

I would not cut it out and try to replace with a filler. That will be almost impossible to hide. Another option wil be to contact a good cabinet maker (probably much cheaper than a boat yard) and have them apply a new piece of veneer. I have done this on three bulkheads on our boat and it is not difficult as long as you have something to kill it into on all four sides.

Roger
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Old 25-09-2005, 14:51   #6
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Ahhh.... excellent advice.

Thanks Wheels and Roger!

I'm a little wood-challenged. Anyone ever watch the Simpsons? Ever see an episode where Homer builds a spice rack? How about a birdhouse?

Yup... that's me with wood.... ha ha Just not my material of expertise.

I think I'll first attempt to match it and cover it like the original builder did. It was simply hidden beneath the varnish, which is dark in color. Thanks again. I really needed the input on this one. I didn't want the aft cabin coming out like Homer's spice rack.
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Old 25-09-2005, 15:33   #7
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There are a couple other posibilities. There was a material that was popular in the 1960's on into the 1980's that was a plywwod that had a surface of paper embossed with wood grain and printed with a wood grain which was glue applied to a thin plywood. (It is still used for inexpensive shoreside kitchen cabinets.) This material would take varnish quite well, but if you sanded through the varnish and through the printed surface of the paper the material below was a cream colored paper.

The other posibility is that there was a poorly repaired core material that was slightly raised. Plywood receives a final sanding after it is glued up and run thru the plattens. And if the repair to the inner core was slightly raised the final sanding of the veneer would reduce it from its already skimpy dimension.

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Old 25-09-2005, 16:48   #8
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i can't tell from the photo if this is filler or natural defect but the answer is you need a really cleaver painter who will make it disappear - (again, since you could not see it before you started sanding.) it is not unusual to use paint to represent wood grain or even stone. finisher from quality boat yard or high end painting contractor working on land could help.
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Old 25-09-2005, 18:25   #9
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2 cents worth

The photo makes it hard to tell what is happening but an observation that could be made is that the angle of the gouge is similar to that one could expect if vernier had been joined. As i am sure you are aware when timber is joined so that the join is not obvious, the patches are cut so that the end grains meet at an angle.

An expert stainer polisher should be able to hide that well, but if you have a go and stuff it up then then it may be very difficult without an expensive job.

You also said that you sanded the wood, hum. Please be very careful around the edges. Experts tend to use a lot of steel wool !!!!!!!

My advice for what its worth.

Paul
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Old 25-09-2005, 19:18   #10
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Patch in Bulkhead

Little bit difficult to be precise, but as others have mentioned, looks like a sand through to me; we own a cabinet making business, and occasionally tradesmen do the same thing, however it is most likely on edges.

Your possible solutions as follows:
- have a French Polisher touch up the patch and paint it to match the grain; we have a guy who does this and it is like magic, unless you know where to look, you will never see it. Regrettably for you we are in Sydney Australia.
- Cover entire bulkhead with a new layer of veneer or laminate. The limitations of this alternative are that an exact fitting piece must be cut and applied; and or any exposed edges will need to be trimmed or covered.
- Painting the entire bulkhead in a solid colour paint; this may however mess up your decor and desired look of the cabin.
- In our Commercial Interiors work we say "Put a pot plant in front of it", and I think Wheels has already indentified this alternative.

Whatever solution you choose, the main thing is to disguise the defect. If this is done well, you will probably be the only one who knows there was a problem.

Good luck

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Old 25-09-2005, 21:18   #11
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I guess I will throw my 2 cents in, It looks like 2 different problems. The large spot looks like a well done veneer patch. The smaller areas look like repaired sand throughs, or possibly (unfortunately) recent sand throughs. Matching stain is a real challenge. I would hire a cabinet maker as has been suggested. It does not look like the imperfection is deep enough to need another patch.
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Old 26-09-2005, 00:00   #12
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Now for some useless help. As Steve said, Put a pot plant in fron of it. But hey, you had the best scenario. Put a spice rack over the patch
But I think the best idea would have to be, when you take the photo for the charter adds, have someone as a model stand infront of the patch . Someone in a Bikini would take the viewers eye from the wall.
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Old 26-09-2005, 07:01   #13
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Thank, guys.

I'm not a fantasitc wood worker, so the input is appreciated. I think it must have been an existing sand through, as mentioned. It was just below the surface of the varnish, and came up all of a sudden.

Having sanded many other bulkheads in this boat, and not run into any such problem before, I'm going to have to say, "it wasn't me." It seems to have existed prior to my sanding.

I guess it's time to find a cabinet maker who can do a little art work on it before I apply the sealer.

Thanks again for all the advice.
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Old 26-09-2005, 20:21   #14
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You will not even know it is there if the guy does it right. Lots of tricks on stuff like this, but it is more technic than anything else, so it can not easily be explained. (At least not by me)
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Old 27-09-2005, 01:50   #15
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possible alternative to over sanded veneer.

I don't know for certain if this will work for you but you may want to consider applying a layer of veneer over that panel. If you go to your local building supply they will sell you strips, up to 12 inch wide, of real wood veneer. The stuff is easy to work with as all you need to cut it is an Xacto knife
(box cutter) and you apply the wood with heat (your wife's iron will work just dandy). This stuff sticks like grease to a dogs tail, is as I say is easy to work with, and best of all INEXPENSIVE.
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