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  #31  
Old 01-02-2012
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Though most everyone here has seen this:



for those varnish freaks like me... Twenty coats, hand rubbed....


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  #32  
Old 01-02-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichH View Post
It makes a huge difference if the bronze has verdigris on it or not, rouge will never work with green verdigris present. To remove verdigris (or even the brown copper oxide) soak the part in citric acid (lemon juice if you cant get citric) .... If you cant remove the part soak the citric in absorbent cotton, apply and cover with saran wrap ... it does take some time to dissolve the verdigris.

Then, sand down to remove pits, roughness, etc. I prefer the 3M face discs made with their abrasive 'purple and green' pad abrasive. Hand sand down with 300-->100 grit emory; down to 600 W&D, then polish with jewelers rouge. You can use "Flitz" on the final polish.
Yes I use hand drills, and dremels with rotating fabric wheels on the non-removable parts and just a 'bench grinder' with cloth polishing wheels if the part is removable.

If possible, the part should be entirely coated as if you dont the oxidation will propagate from the 'backside' through screw/boltholes, etc. after a few years. My next trial/attempt with removable parts will be heavy clear 'powder coating' after mirror polishing.
Thanks for that - BUT - those are the steps I'm good with.

After any necessary sanding, cleaning, etc. I use tripoli or green abrasive sticks on a hard sewn wheel to get the stuff polished to a decent shine. The problem I have is just with the rouge phase - what they call "colouring". The loose wheel I use is the softest available and only has rouge on it. I've tried lightly loading it with rouge, heavily loading it, varying the speed, pressing the workpiece in hard against it, pressing it very lightly etc. but it always just leaves black streaks of polish instead of bringing up that true mirror finish. For example, the best finish I can get on aluminium is still a bit "creamy", never truly chrome like.

What speed do you use, what texture buff etc.? I'm using about 2000 RPM and three grades of cotton buffing wheels - spiral sewn (hard) for the first step, single sewn (softer) next and loose for the final step - that's the one I have the trouble with. That wheel has the texture of fluffy, very soft cotton. It's as soft as you can get.

By the way, if you are going from 600W paper straight to rouge, you can save time by using one or two of the abrasive grades I mentioned - from what I understand, rouge is about 3500 or 4000 grit.
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  #33  
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Originally Posted by CharlieCobra View Post
Though most everyone here has seen this:



for those varnish freaks like me... Twenty coats, hand rubbed....


Charlie - does your mother know that you are a boat pornographer?

Is that sprayed or brushed? Do you thin the varnish? Add Penetrol? Do you do it like high end car paint - wet sand to 600 and then buff? Anything else?
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Old 01-02-2012
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Thanks RichH for the info on the newer finishes. I am assuming ferrous oxide = iron?

In the flooring business, the latest trend is aluminum oxide in the finish, for the "50 year finish" The same stuff in sandpaper. keeps the finish protected by making a hard shell, and wears away grinding a new finish as it goes. No wonder the stuff is a bear to get off!!!!!!

I notice all of the brightwork mentioned is teak. Sadly, I have a more utilitarian boat that has 45 year old Phillipine mahogany. I still want to keep it protected though. How do these products work on this wood? Anyone?

The pictures of the boats are gorgeous. I noticed that the comment that the cetol didn't give the same shine. I sure nothing gives the shine of hand bubbed and polishe varnish. But there was also the quote about "being a slave to the varnish". I too would rather be sailing. What about the Cetol gloss finish that they sell? Anyone have comments on that stuff. I will definitely check out the honey teak products mentioned also... Thanks and keep the comments / observations coming.
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Old 01-03-2012
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Originally Posted by upei1 View Post
The pictures of the boats are gorgeous. I noticed that the comment that the cetol didn't give the same shine. I sure nothing gives the shine of hand bubbed and polishe varnish. But there was also the quote about "being a slave to the varnish". I too would rather be sailing. What about the Cetol gloss finish that they sell? Anyone have comments on that stuff. I will definitely check out the honey teak products mentioned also... Thanks and keep the comments / observations coming.
Those who are slaves to brightwork are likely those who don't do a full varnish schedule because they'd rather be sailing- then they have to do it more often, instead of sailing.


Regarding the mahogany on your ship, me and mahogany are old friends.
All the advice I have given here, is what I have learned, here:




It takes me an hour to lay on a varnish coat on the exterior brightwork on our sailboat. Our cruiser, as you can see, is a lot more wood intensive.

New and Improved Cetol is like saying "More leather-like vinyl."
It is what it is, and it ain't what it ain't and what it ain't is varnish.
If you're going to go with Cetol, then just paint the bloody wood and be done with it, or tear it off and replace it with stainless.
Cetol is crack for sailors- billed as quick and easy, it's lack of durability and leprosy-like incompatibility with other finishes means that you have to keep buying Cetol, every year.
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Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
Charlie - does your mother know that you are a boat pornographer?

Is that sprayed or brushed? Do you thin the varnish? Add Penetrol? Do you do it like high end car paint - wet sand to 600 and then buff? Anything else?
The wood was prepped with 400 and then the first six coats were brushed heavy, sanded back and the rest sprayed with sanding between every fourth coat. Yes, Penetrol was used. No thinning other than what's necessary for spraying using T-10. No wet sanding but she was buffed.
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Thanks for all the posts so far! These posts make me wonder if varnish is really the best product for my application. I am not nearly as concerned with the way it looks as opposed to how the coating performs. Again, i'm concerned first and foremost with the potential for cracking due to the massive amount of bend I get in the mast in higher winds. Secondarily, I am concerned with the longevity and lastly with the look. Is varnish the most flexible of the available coatings? And I am storing the mast inside when not in use, so I am hoping that the finish holds up for several years, but if there is a more flexible coating that will last a reasonable amount of time, I would love to hear more about it.

Awesome pics! I thought that dealing with this small mast was a pain in the butt, but I see now that I have it easy compared to many of your beautiful boats.

Last edited by Hookturn; 01-03-2012 at 06:09 PM.
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Apart from Cetol vs Varnish flame wars...to respond to the OP, from my limited experience Cetol does not appear to ever solidify, which makes me think it may actually work out better on a very flexible spar. But my spars as Al, so I don't know for sure.

Another option is to use an oil or wax-based finish. Again, some people swear by these, others hate them.

Pros: "Classic" look, "natural" finish, can be almost as beautiful as varnish. Protects/nourishes the wood.
Cons: Needs recoating regularly. Over time, the wrong oil can "blacken" as it accumulates dirt and oxidises.

Anybody care to flesh out this option?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hookturn View Post
Thanks for all the posts so far! These posts make me wonder if varnish is really the best product for my application. I am not nearly as concerned with the way it looks as opposed to how the coating performs. Again, i'm concerned first and foremost with the potential for cracking due to the massive amount of bend I get in the mast in higher winds. Secondarily, I am concerned with the longevity and lastly with the look. Is varnish the most flexible of the available coatings? And I am storing the mast inside when not in use, so I am hoping that the finish holds up for several years, but if there is a more flexible coating that will last a reasonable amount of time, I would love to hear more about it.
You are way overthinking this. You could have had the first two coats of varnish done by now.

A properly applied schedule of varnish will not crack until your mast does.

If you want ease of application and don't care about aesthetics, then paint your mast.
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Lol- thanks bl, I kinda thought that was the case, but then again I wanna do it right. I will continue with the varnish then. More info is better than less. It gives me options at least. And since I'm still waiting on my sail to get a new bolt rope, I have some time to play with it before I am ready to sail her again. Thanks again for the input!
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