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  #1  
Old 08-06-2008
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Finish on wood battens?

One of my battens broke so that it was unusable, another is missing a small amount (broken off at one end) and the third is in OK shape, but is obviously a replacement (it is made of thin metal; others are plastic) and is way too limp. So I cut new ones out of white oak and sanded them smooth. Should I just oil and wax them or is there a good reason to varnish?
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Personally, I like to varnish, but that's just me.
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Old 08-06-2008
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I used spray on waterseal on the ones I made. I had some lying around and did not want to mess with a brush for such a small project. Only time will tell but so far I've not seen any adverse effects on the sails yet (my sails are old and will need to be replaced in the next couple of years anyway so I am not taking any great risk). I think the only concern with using any type of sealer is bleed through and I think any product you normally use to protect wood that dries thoroughly and is waterproof would do the trick.
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Oil and wax... varnish will get damaged in the batten pockets.
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Based on..................? The wax will wear off even faster and then you have exposed the sail material to the "oil" which will at the very least stain it perhaps even damage it. I would guess even a single outing could wear off the wax with all the movement a sail sees.
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I probably should have given more detail...

Because I mostly day sail, I am more concerned about sliding in and out than protecting the wood. If they get wet, they won't stay wet long and white oak puts up with getting wet and dried pretty well, especially when it is thin.

When I say "oil" I mean a tung and terps blend using 100% tung oil and sometimes substituting spirits for terps (real terps is pricey, but I use it for authenticity in building historic instruments - another hobby) usually mixed about 50/50 for the first coat with more oil in succeeding coats. For something utilitarian like this, I would probably only do a couple of coats.

When I say "wax" I mean paste wax rubbed in and buffed out.

Varnish is the Helmsman spray can from the hardware store. I don't generally use varnish for much.
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I can't imagine why using the Helmsman varnish wouldn't do an adequate job for this application. Apply 3-4 good coats and then touch them up once a year or more often if you need to.

They seem easy enough to remove and the whole touch up cycle couldn't take more than an hour or two each time.

If you are worried about the durability (I wouldn't be) you could always spend more money and coat them with one of the two pack finishes like Bristol Finish or Interlux Perfection or the Epiphanes two pack. I think that would be overkill but any of those would more more resistant to chafe in the pocket.

Having said that, I would save my money and just use the Helmsman. It will do fine.

Regards, John

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whampoa View Post
If you are worried about the durability (I wouldn't be) you could always spend more money and coat them with one of the two pack finishes like Bristol Finish or Interlux Perfection or the Epiphanes two pack. I think that would be overkill but any of those would more more resistant to chafe in the pocket.
Even though I did all my exterior teak with Bristol winter before last and am constantly getting praise, I think it would be the Absolute Worst finish for this application - It's Much Too Brittle !!!! Every other product listed in this thread would be better to include Nothing.
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If you just need to protect the battens...coat them with epoxy... They shouldn't have too much UV exposure, since they're in the sail batten pocket.
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No offense intended here Andy. I agree the white oak will do fine left unfinished but christyleigh let's remember this is a 17' day sailer.

Andy are the battens full or partial battens? Do you bend them in hard angles on a regular basis?

I surely wouldn't seriously recommend any of the two pack finishes but because of the expense not the brittleness in this application. But that's the beauty of a forum like this lots of free opinions.

But I'm just working on my post count aiming for SD before the end of the month so please disregard my previous post.

Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

John
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