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Old 12-31-1998
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Tools and Materials for Wood Care

  • Varnish - Select a high-quality product with good UV resistance. We use Schooner by Interlux. Epifanes, however, is another highly regarded product that is used by many professionals.
  • Thinner - Each type of varnish requires its own special thinner. This will be indicated on the can of the product that you choose.
  • Small Container - Save small containers to pour your varnish into. Never use the varnish directly out of the can.
  • Extended-use masking tape - This blue or green tape is designed to stay on for longer periods of time than regular masking tape. These tapes can be easily removed after 5 to 7 days of direct sunlight. Don't cheap out here and use regular masking tape or you'll be sorry.
  • Sandpaper - 220- and 320-grit--100-grit is also helpful if you need to repair an area. Expensive paper lasts longer than cheap paper so buy good stuff. We think 3M gold is a good choice.
  • Tack cloth or diapers - A tack cloth is basically a resin-impregnated piece of cheesecloth that you wipe over your sanded areas to remove any dust or debris. The dust sticks to the cloth, leaving your teak squeaky clean. A diaper splashed with thinner also does a reasonably good job for wipe downs. The key is to remove the dust and debris from your surfaces prior to finishing.

    Using a handy sponge brush, Sue applies a coat of varnish to the teak top of a cowl housing.
  • Foam Brushes - Foam brushes are wonderful for varnishing without leaving bristle marks. Always keep a variety of sizes on hand and never try to reuse them as you can never get them totally clean. Buy the good-quality ones with the round wooden handles. The cheap ones with the plastic handles fall apart when exposed to the solvents present in varnish.
  • Razor Blades - Have some flat razor blades to help remove any runs or drips from your fiberglass surfaces. If you find that you are occasionally nicking the gelcoat with the blade, apply a light coat of wax to each area prior to scraping with the blade. This will help the blade slide easily over the gelcoat surface and reduce the tendency of the blade to bite into the surface.

    - - S.H., L.H.

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