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Thread: Exterior Wood Finishes

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Hampton Roads Va.
    Posts
    821

    Cool Epifanes

    I have been using Epifanes for well over 15 years and never a problem.
    The trouble with 'mineral spirits', is there is no standard as to what they are .
    As in all mineral spirits are not created equal. Mineral spirits are for cleaning only .

    I use Epifanes thinner when needed and I use plain old steam distilled turps, with no adverse effects. I use Petitt #120 thinner also with no adverse effects.

    I avoid all WEST products for the same reasons I don't eat at McDonalds , drink Bud or use AOL. I feel they are all overpriced hype and no value for your good old US dollar .

    Epifanes is not cheap , but it works better than all the rest .
    If I could still get it , I would use Callahan's Chiltered varnish .

    To me, WEST is for people who have Goodyear tires on their Crown Victoria because that is what they came with and the people at Ford must know something they don't know . It's like those little lunchs for kids with the crackers, cheeze and meat all in one little packet . ;>)

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    San Rafael, CA
    Posts
    3,549

    Dust to dust

    Was getting a non-prescription at the one and only pharmacy in a small town on the coast I go for my five year checkup. There standing in line for the white coat was a woodworker I've known for four decades. He has achieved world recognition for his furniture designs and his pieces get lovingly dusted in comtemporary museums. I walked once into his shop. He was dancing around a large walnut dining table top with a pair of giant beltsanders, one in each hand. The sight was amplified by the fact he is rather a small guy, and the two machines pirroetted smoothly and dustyly together over the surface. Could probably have put an eight foot straightedge at any angle across it and it would be dead flat. Awesome! I was IMPRESSED. He's the one what gave me the formula for a three part oil finish he used on 90% of his stuff leaving the shop.

    Every once in awhile an apprentice or a student would be there in the shop wearing a partical mask. But I never saw him wearing one, never, and he was a smoker too.

    Cautionary tales don't do no good, why would we have so many of them? I always manage to forget my mask until I start coughing. In the quiet of the night I can hear my lungs squeeling and whistling. Just a tiny bit of dust these days and I pay the price for the music. Break out into a claustrophobic sweat absolutely sure my lungs have filled up.

    The famous craftman looked gray and resigned. He was getting drugs for his emphysema. Empysema is incurable.
    Last edited by ebb; 01-22-2005 at 09:26 AM.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Gorham, Maine
    Posts
    69
    Quote Originally Posted by ebb
    Epifanes is great varnish, but it is a system. You have to buy all the parts. GOTCHA. Checkout a very nicely presented Q & A page on their site, has a lot of specific and general info on the art of varnishing.
    I've heard lots of horror stories about using non-Epifanes thinner with Epifanes varnish, but I have never had a spot of trouble using cheap (Blue and gold can, 4.50 a gallon) mineral spirits with either their standard varnish or their Woodfinish Gloss (no-sand varnish). FWIW....

    As Mike points out, mineral spirits is a pretty vague descriptor, and is probably best suited for cleaning only, but I seem to have hit on a local brand that has caused no troubles for me...
    Last edited by dasein668; 01-22-2005 at 05:26 PM.
    Nathan
    Dasein, Triton 668
    www.dasein668.com

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Pensacola, FL
    Posts
    722

    Just a couple points

    I have been sanding, and grinding and generally not having much fun of it for a little bit now (varnish gumming up, weather getting in the way etc).

    Well, tonight I put the first coat of thinned epoxy on my combing boards, as the base for the Epifanes that will cover them.

    I say back, and just stared at them.. Maybe it was the acetone fumes, maybe it was the visions of looking at the finished product with the summer breeze at my back, but they look beautiful.

    The effort spent to do the wood right seems effort well spent. Even at this stage. I pray the finished product proves to be the 'wood done right'.

    also,

    I am sure this is common knowledge to all, but I had not know until today (probably even on this forum somewhere and I just missed it although I now think I have now read most every thread here)

    White vinegar makes an excellent solvent to remove epoxy from one's hands, if you prematurely remove your gloves.

    And a third thing......

    I appreciate your indulgence......

    I really am thankful to have a place to come type these things,
    where I know there are others who can appreciate, and understand
    why....

    Thanks.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    FOSSIL OREGON
    Posts
    197

    coamings

    I finally finished my boards, and winch pads. Must have put 10 or 15 coats of Epifanes on....at least it seemed like it!Sand a day, varnish a day. My little helpers thought i'd never quit! Then WE had a week or so of early spring like weather,so spent a day working like crazy getting the boat back together. Then, wouldn't ya know it, it turned off cold again and snowed. Couldn't believe it! Sheesh! Anyway, i'm ready now for the next warm spell.

    I even went and bought some sunbrella and made some covers for everything before taking them back to the boat. Easier to measure everything close to the sewing machine. When i told the xo what the plan was, she got this screwedup look on her face, and said "you can't make them fit like that, going around the winch pads,over this, around that, and,and,and...!! I'm not doing it, YOU can learn to sew!"

    So i did.
    And they turned out great. But i have new respect for the MRS.

    When i got the boards back on the boat, i fit the covers, and installed snaps. Used little stainless screws to install one half on the wood at various locations, and then installed the other half in the covers so they fit pretty good. Had a couple of days with gusts to 45, and they stayed put, so guess they'll work. I'll take the camera next trip if anyone is interested.

    So being new to this boat thing, and varished wood and covers, and sunbrella.... a couple questions.
    Will the covers wear out from the sun faster than the varnish? Might be easier to varnish, than make new covers!! Will they really help much? Seems like they should if uv is the problem with the varnish disappearing. I know the tiller varnish from this summer is about gone. So it will be interesting to see how the coamings fare with the covers. Does sunbrella shed water? Or are the covers just gonna create a little microenvironment for mold and meldew under them?
    I'm ready to go SAILING!!
    Last edited by willie; 02-08-2005 at 07:41 PM. Reason: spilling (sp) ha ~_/)~
    wet willieave maria

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Orinda, California
    Posts
    2,263
    Our last sail & tiller covers lasted about 25 years . . .

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Hampton Roads Va.
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    821

    Question

    [QUOTE=willie]I finally finished my boards, and winch pads. Must have put 10 or 15 coats of Epifanes on....at least it seemed like it!Sand a day, varnish a day.

    Why are you sanding Epifanes??

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    FOSSIL OREGON
    Posts
    197

    sanding

    Well, it was actually a very light sanding, with 320 grit. Guess i did it 'cause it says to! Now that i've done it, looking back i think i'd just put on varnish, maybe sand down the next to last coat to remove any imperfections, and then put on a nice last coat. Sanding between every coat, no matter how light, just makes dust you have to clean off. How do you do it?
    wet willieave maria

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Asst. Vice Commodore, NorthEast Fleet, Commander Division (Ret.) Brightwaters, N.Y.
    Posts
    1,823
    You get conflicting advice as to whether you need to sand between coats. Some say to sand between each coat to give it "tooth." Others say you only need to sand between the finish coats.

    I think it depends on how much time elapses between coats. If it sits more than a day, I would rough it up.

    One problem with sandpaper is that the sand comes off the paper, making it more dusty.

    I kinda like the Scotch-Brite pads. They come in different grades.
    Attached Images  
    Last edited by commanderpete; 02-09-2005 at 06:47 AM.

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Asst. Vice Commodore, NorthEast Fleet, Commander Division (Ret.) Brightwaters, N.Y.
    Posts
    1,823
    I also like the sanding sponges for heavier sanding, especially on curved areas.

    Sears sells their own brand which is cheaper.

    To get rid of the dust I'll first brush it off and then wipe it with a piece of old T-shirt very lightly moistened with alcohol.

    The Sunbrella sheds water and dries quickly. Its gonna work great.

    No covers for the handrails?
    Attached Images  
    Last edited by commanderpete; 02-10-2005 at 11:16 AM.

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    San Rafael, CA
    Posts
    3,549
    Great thread, great tips, guys,
    You're probably not using gloves for the varnish, but I would for ANY two-part:
    If you are not in the field, good ole soap and water will wash off fresh epoxy. Liquid handwash dish soap ('with Grapefruit Seed Extract, Aloe & Vitamin E') works fine, must be the vitamin e. We all use latex or vinyl gloves - I get epoxy above the cuff on the lower forearms, in the hair, ALL the time and often don't get to it til after the operation is over:

    Gojo type orange hand cleaners work great and the pumice helps scrub off half hard epoxy. My favorite is Permatex PARR Paint and Resin Remover in the 15 oz bottle. It's handy. It is a looser formula so you can get your hands and arms clean of the cleaner easier when you're away from water just using paper towels. Doesn't seem to have anything nasty in it.

    I buy latex gloves by the box, like them because they are thin and intimate. Recently HAD to use some vinyl ones. They have a thicker smoother not-so-snug feel, yet have not found that to be a problem. When wearing gloves you are not aware of the epoxy you're getting on your hands, so I'm continualy semi-psychotically 'drying' them all the time. What I've noticed is that the vinyl wipes off MUCH easier and drier. So I don't transfer epoxy as much to handles and cups and cans and stuff. Really like the difference.
    Last edited by ebb; 02-09-2005 at 08:11 AM.

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    FOSSIL OREGON
    Posts
    197

    covers

    Covers for handrails, and the new c-way hatch doors, are in the works. Sheesh! I also made a sailbag out of sunbrella, for the main while it's off. Actually turned out pretty good, for a beginner seamstress!
    Jr. and i were measuring up the handrails--i have small ones up by the fwd. hatch also, which keep the jib sheets from catching....
    Anyway, i had just told him to be careful with the tape measure, when thump thump, splash. Wish i had a picture of the look on his face! (He's 4 1/2 now)
    About an hour later, i did the same with the screwdriver, so then he felt better. Think we'll look into scuba gear.....
    wet willieave maria

  13. #43
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    Sep 2001
    Location
    Orinda, California
    Posts
    2,263
    ". . . thump thump, splash." Ah yes, the sound of things hitting the water. The area around my slip includes numerous screwdrivers, fasteners, winch handles, eye-glasses and even two mobile phones! Yes, two.

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Hampton Roads Va.
    Posts
    821

    Epifanes

    Willie,
    The epifanes I use does not require sanding if recoated within 72 hrs.
    I lightly sand the next to last coat to take out the inevitable "booger" and kamikaze bugs , but that is all. Never had a problem with this technique in 15 years of use.

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Larchmont, NY
    Posts
    43

    Epiphanes etc

    Don Casey's book - This Old Boat - has a relatively thorough section on brightwork. He talks mainly about teak and CupOTea IV has the original mahogany coamings (getting ready to start varnishing them with Epiphanes in two weeks) but he says wait until the last coat or two to bother sanding between coats. Also, has some interesting techniques for keeping air and particles out of the varnish (filtering through panty hose etc)

    I'm mostly concerned about finding replacement screws for some of the ones I took out which were shot. Also about applying hole filling techniques seen on other threads to the holes for the screws that hold the coamings on which are horizontal.

    Lastly, when I took the coamings off there was what I believe to be an original transluscent rubbery substance of some kind between the wood and the fiberglass. It was on pretty thick in some spots. Wondering what people are using in its place these days when reattaching the coamings.

    P.S. This is my first post on this amazing site. Ready to launch Cup O Tea IV this spring. This Commander (#290) is my first boat. The information gleaned here has been immensely helpful.

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