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Old 29-11-2016, 15:56   #1
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Chilled varnish?

I have spent most of my sailing time in the tropics, but I am re-fitting a boat in California now and there was ice everywhere this morning. Many years ago I was able to buy a Varnish that I think was called "chilled"that worked well in low temperatures. I was looking through West and Defender and it doesnt seem to be available now. Is there any recommendation for a cold weather varnish? I dont want to wait 4 or 5 days to sand and re-coat if I can help it. Thanks, ______Grant.
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Old 29-11-2016, 17:18   #2
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Re: Chilled varnish???

You might try searching under Low Temp. Varnish, as well as contacting a few companies that make it, directly. Also, would Jet Speed work better? Given that it's normally a rapid cure type.
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Old 29-11-2016, 17:29   #3
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Re: Chilled varnish???

Jet Speed will work for multiple daily coats in warm weather, but is not a good choice when it is cooler.

Try some Japan Drier when varnishing in cooler weather. Use no more than 5%, starting around 2% and adding as needed. Check for brush drag.

Don't allow the dew to settle on an uncured coat.

Slower drying means more opportunity for dust and bugs to be an issue. Have realistic goals. Can you tent and heat the areas being varnished?
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Old 29-11-2016, 20:09   #4
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Re: Chilled varnish???

Yes, the dew settling before the cure is what worries me. Some of this can be done at home but it is still in an unheated garage and most is interior work that I need to do as the interior goes back together. Outside work will probably have to wait until spring. I can run a small heater while I am there, but I dont want to leave it going overnight. I really dont want to have to wait several days for enough cure to sand. I will look into Japan Drier. I have heard the term before but had no idea what it was. _____Grant.
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Old 29-11-2016, 20:33   #5
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Re: Chilled varnish???

Re-coating varnish when the prior coats have not adequately cured is one way to develop "alligatoring" in the finish.

High moisture (humidity) can lead to a cloudy or dull finish.

Modern varnishes are far less susceptible to environmental factors, but you can still only go so far.

Working quickly, using the biggest brush possible, helps, as does working with the same brand of product so that you start to develop a sense of what really works for your needs.
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Old 30-11-2016, 21:29   #6
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Re: Chilled varnish???

Hi Grant, I've had to push it here in Alaska a few times and have had good or even great results with Captains varnish, made byPettit. That would be my recommendation. Good luck!
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Old 03-12-2016, 18:49   #7
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Re: Chilled varnish?

I was able to locate Japan Drier at the local lumber yard. It is sold by KLEAN STRIP which is a common supplier of thinners, acetone etc. Not expensive at all so I am going to try it. The interesting thing is that it says to use 2 to 4 ounces per gallon. Since I rarely pour more than a couple of ounces of varnish at a time I am going to have to try an eye dropper and figure out how many drops per ounce of varnish will work best. A friend told me to try to get a glass rather than plastic eye dropper since the chemicals could melt plastic. I hope to do some varnish this week, so I will report my sucess or mess. ______Grant.
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