The heat gun/scraper combo works well but you have to be conscious of the possibility of setting the varnish on fire. The trick is to heat the varnish enough to loosen it, remove the heat, then scrape. Burning the underlying wood makes for ugly visuals.
While I've always liked the way Epifanes looked, it doesn't have a lot of UV protection and is "soft". This can be cured by applying a 3-part acrylic polyurethane clear coat similar to Awlbrite. The Awlbrite is pricey (as is all Awl*** components) but the results greatly prolong the life of the varnish.
Lately we've been experimenting with Captains varnish as it has a better UV reputation and doesn't require the cover coat.
Capt. Douglas Abbott
USCG/MCA IV/C.I./M.I. 500-ton Oceans
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