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Old 11-04-2021, 06:19   #1
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How to protect the underside of teak handle

The cabin hatch is acrylic. There is a wooden cleat or handle on the top along the aft edge. It is held in place by a couple of screws. The varnish on the wood needs refinishing so I removed it to sand / strip it. (The photo of the sliding hatch is a sister boat from the seabits.com website.)

The bottom of the handle is bare wood. Only the exposed sides were varnished. The edge of the varnish next to the acrylic is starting to peel back. I suspect it is because water got under the hatch and caused the bond between the wood and the varnish to separate. Or it just wasn't prepped correctly.

My plan is to cover all surfaces. I am thinking of one coat of epoxy over all the surfaces then 5 coats of varnish over just the exposed surfaces. I was considering just varnish but I was concerned that the varnish on the bottom face might stick to the acrylic after a couple of years when refinishing is needed again. Thoughts?

Thanks,
Harry
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Old 11-04-2021, 06:34   #2
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Re: How to protect the underside of teak handle

Why not strip it and then leave it raw? No need to have shiny varnish on the exterior teak handle.
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Old 11-04-2021, 07:04   #3
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Re: How to protect the underside of teak handle

Strip it and apply Deks Olje D1 wood oil. It is easy to apply, easy to maintain and protects the wood. If this is the only place you end up using D1 it is available in little 100ml containers so will be inexpensive.
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Old 11-04-2021, 07:07   #4
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Re: How to protect the underside of teak handle

Seems like a logical way to do it as OP contemplates. The other way would be to leave the bottom unfinished and put a very small bead of caulk along the finished edges. The professionals at our boat yard do it this way and it seems to hold up well.

Your fear of the varnish sticking the the acrylic seems real. If you choose your way, make sure to caulk the screws before installing so the water can't get under the varnish through the screws.
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Old 11-04-2021, 07:37   #5
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Re: How to protect the underside of teak handle

Paul L - Leaving it untreated is a reasonable idea, but there is other varnished wood nearby and instead of stripping all of it, keeping this piece varnished is my preference.

dksail - Good thoughts about caulking instead of sealing. That may be what was done originally. There was some residue on the acrylic. Perhaps it failed causing the water to seep between the wood and the varnish.

dougweibel - I am intrigued by Deks Olje D1. We have a teak caprail and teak cockpit seats, all of which we leave untreated. We use a terry cloth and wash with salt water and vinegar occasionally. I've been thinking about Semco which a friend has really liked. Where have you used Deks?

Thanks all,
Harry
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Old 11-04-2021, 07:40   #6
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Re: How to protect the underside of teak handle

I like the sound of epoxy base coat all over followed by varnish on exposed surfaces and then caulked/butyl'ed to the acrylic. I have about 10 piece to redo on my boat. Some will need to be remade as the wood was left to the elements too long. In some cases, the pieces were not sealed to the deck and the mounting holes were not lined with resin so these suffered water intrusion to the core.
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Old 11-04-2021, 07:40   #7
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Re: How to protect the underside of teak handle

Varnish the whole thing. If you epoxy first make sure the varnish has UV blockers, otherwise the UV will reach through the varnish and destroy the epoxy. Put a thin plastic “washer” between the wood and the acrylic, that way if the wood sticks to something it will be your plastic washer. Easiest way to do this is to put a piece of tape on the bottom of the varnished teak. I use PVC pipe wrap tape as this doesn’t break down itself, but might be a little thick for your application.
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Old 11-04-2021, 07:55   #8
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pirate Re: How to protect the underside of teak handle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spot View Post
I like the sound of epoxy base coat all over followed by varnish on exposed surfaces and then caulked/butyl'ed to the acrylic. I have about 10 piece to redo on my boat. Some will need to be remade as the wood was left to the elements too long. In some cases, the pieces were not sealed to the deck and the mounting holes were not lined with resin so these suffered water intrusion to the core.
If it's teak don't epoxy it, it will not be long before it starts to develop yellow bubbles and lift.
Teak does not like epoxy.. if you varnish it all over use a thin rubber/leather backing plate where it fastens to the acrylic to stop it sticking.
Personally I prefer teak oil for teak.
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Old 11-04-2021, 08:21   #9
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Re: How to protect the underside of teak handle

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
If it's teak don't epoxy it, it will not be long before it starts to develop yellow bubbles and lift.
Teak does not like epoxy.. if you varnish it all over use a thin rubber/leather backing plate where it fastens to the acrylic to stop it sticking.
Personally I prefer teak oil for teak.

Thanks Boatman61, I had forgotten about teak in that regard. To be honest I have not checked on the species, they could be teak or more likely a local American hardwood as my boat was owner-finished 40 years ago as a kit. Half of these pieces are covered by hatches when not in use, the others are exposed 100%.
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Old 12-04-2021, 15:20   #10
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Re: How to protect the underside of teak handle

Perhaps consider Smith's Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer...2 part epoxy that soaks in like water, 2 coats over 2 days, then varnish on 3rd day while epoxy still hot. Claims to bond to the wood's cellular structure so the varnish clings to the epoxy, not the wood per se. Probably solve the water intrusion problem under your handle. Has worked on my teak, inside and out very well. Brain-damage level fumes while applying though...stay up-wind or wear respirator.
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Old 12-04-2021, 20:54   #11
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Re: How to protect the underside of teak handle

I've did my toe rails and handrails last year with Deks Olje 1 and 2 Gloss. On the Sabre the toe rail sits in a plastic seat for the rub rail and can't be sealed so water gets under varnish. Deks Olje worked really well, easy to apply and remains 'soft' so won't chip. If you wear it through, wet sand with the part one oil and spot finish with part two gloss. Part 2 is applied one coat a day with no sanding and I have 6 coats. I will apply another 2 coats this year as I have heard that you lose two coats a year to UV. Doing my companionway wood this year.
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Old 13-04-2021, 00:29   #12
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Re: How to protect the underside of teak handle

I have had good success with epoxy and varnish over teak. See the attached videos.


The trick is to get rid of any teak oil on the surface of the wood. Use liberal amounts of acetone to wash the teak. Then do it again. Then do it once more. Rub hard.
I would also do the two pieces of trim on the sides of the companionway as well.
The West System 105 epoxy, 207 hardener and the Pettit varnish are pricey but when you are finished it will look like fantastic and will be bullet proof. Definitely remove all pieces to be refinished.
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