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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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Old 10-03-2011
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Best finish for Ash

I just built a new tiller out of Ash. Now I need to finish it. The 2 ideas I have so far are: 1) Stain and then tounge oil, 2) Stain and then varnish. Any thoughts or recommendations?

Thanks,
Scott
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Old 10-03-2011
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you may want to stain or tung oil....not both, as they may not be mutually agreeable and one may interact badly with the other...

tung only or,
stain only

Similarly with stain and varnish...one usually stains and "seals" or varnishes, as the varnish will likely not adhere well to a truly stained finished. There are products to use with stain, to achieve similar finish
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Why stain? IMO, it destroys the beauty of ash.

Tung Oil is not an exterior finish. I highly recommend using a spar varnish like Minwax Spar Varnish (which is actually a urethane as are most "varnishes" today). Apply about 10 coats. It has UV protection and is flexible to allow for the inevitable contraction/expansion due to temperature and humiodity. However, NO finish is totally impervious to the elements and requires replenishing at least yearly. I would make a sunbrella sock to protect it, removing the tiller and storing inside during the off season.
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kd3pc is right. If you insist on staining, be VERY careful regarding the type of stain.
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Thanks for the replies. My thought behind stain was so the tiller would more closely match some of the other woods on the boat which are not natural. So, it sounds like I should either do the Minwax Spar Varnish OR a stain and seal.

Scott
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Minwax Spar Varnish. More traditional look and really tough. I use it on my cabin floor and all the high wear areas inside.
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I was told my window panels are African Ash? I used West 207 epoxy to seal the wood, and then varnished over it......i2f
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Best finish for Ash-photo1976.jpg  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Vickery View Post
Thanks for the replies. My thought behind stain was so the tiller would more closely match some of the other woods on the boat which are not natural. So, it sounds like I should either do the Minwax Spar Varnish OR a stain and seal.

Scott
My Wayfarer had teak benches that needed refinishing. Some areas were dark and some very light. I stained them with a medium wood stain bought from Home Depot and then 5 layers of spar varnish. The results were absolutely fantastic. The boat also had an ash tiller stock that the previous owner had stained to match the teak. Looked good too.

My suggestion would be to get an offcut of the ash, and experiment with the stain until it matches your existing wood. I found if you soak a tissue and then rub the stain into the wood, it is much more controlled than brushing. With the tissue you can add several thin layers until the wood is dark enough. With brushing it just goes really saturated with the first coat.

When I get home I can post a pic of the re-finished benches.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabreman View Post
Minwax Spar Varnish. More traditional look and really tough. I use it on my cabin floor and all the high wear areas inside.
second vote for Minwax Spar Varnish....even a novice who can read can get awesome results....just be careful polishing it..I once used some pledge on a newly done compass rose floor inlay...and it was so slick you could not walk on it in stocking feet...it held up very well, and still is.
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Old 10-04-2011
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First is the before picture. Note how some of the teak is grey, and some the varnish is still on but has gone orange.



I used the stain selectively to try and level the colours of the weathered and unweathered parts.

End result. Doesn't show the dyed ash tiller but it is the same colour.



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