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Discussion Starter #1
What would be the best finish for a mahogany rudder? I'm working to restore and modify rudder for a dinghy. I bought an old and very neglected mahogany rudder. So what would be the most practical finish for this wood? Rudder will be stored inside, out of the weather, at least most of the time.

Another question. This wood is very wet, having been sitting in water for a very long time. How long does it take for this type of wood to dry? It is a solid plank, just a tad over 1" thick. I am drying it slowly inside the house.
 

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Put it in a coll corner of the basement if you have one! What I've found is that if dried slowly in a cool environment it stresses the wood less. After it has been allowed to dry like this there is less chance of splitting and cracking. I myself would put it outside under cover away from sun shine or the heat related to it, but not let it freeze. I see your in North Carolina, so this may not be a problem any down there, anymore. When it is dry I would coat it with a coat of epoxy and then varnish it regularly. Ie spring fall, and a needed if it gets dinged
 

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hmmmmm has the water absorbtion bent it?

its relly hard to get it completely dry and what happens if you do especially artificially by using heat it will most likely warp and maybe even not line up with your gudgeons and pintles...

soooooo thats one thing to think about

if that not an issue and the wood is salvageable Im a big fan of sligtly thickened epoxy and varnish top coats for traditional looking rudders especially if they are removable and baggable...

a couple of tapes of cloth on the leading and bottom edge to prtoect it a bit more works too

Im used to laser rudders, fjs, optimists, 420s and the like....

on the optis we glassed them over lightly, with polyester resin...sanded, recoated and varnished...they got severely abused by the kids...

anywhoo
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice. I will move it to my unheated garage. The warp is minimal, but the wood is very swollen. I was thinking of running it through a planer on both sides once it is dry.
 
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