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Wipe on poly

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  • Charles Scott
    I ve applied polyurethane spar varnish to my several cedar strip canoes a number of times. Mostly I was so unhappy with my results that I d end up letting it
    Message 1 of 12 , Jun 16, 2013
      I've applied polyurethane spar varnish to my several cedar strip
      canoes a number of times. Mostly I was so unhappy with my results
      that I'd end up letting it cure and then sand it down and try again.
      I tried a number of urethane brands and for the most part, all of them
      ran and dripped equally well.

      I just sold the Winisk to a couple down in Florida and felt I had to
      renew the finish as it has been sitting in the rafters of my car port
      for three years. But I dreaded trying yet again while the temps up
      here in Vermont are not real warm yet. So in desperation I decided to
      try the wiping on method.

      I researched it on the Internet and this is what I learned: Cut the
      urethane by 50% using mineral spirits or whatever the designated
      thinner is, then wipe it on using a clean folded cotton rag.

      I did not begin until I had sanded the hull down using an orbital
      sander and 220 grit sandpaper attached to my shop vac. This took care
      of all the blemishes and drips that bothered me so but that I finally
      tolerated in order to get it on the water three years ago. Then I
      wiped off the hull using clean rags and finally wiped it down with a
      rag damped with mineral spirits.

      I thinned the urethane as suggested, using a graduated quart size
      pail, leaving most of the urethane in the can, and started wiping it
      on. After one coat I was hugely unimpressed. It looked like I had
      done nothing. But one of the benefits with the wipe on method is that
      it covers a lot, quickly, and another that it also dries very quickly.
      So in a couple of hours I got to apply another coat.

      Things looked marginally better than the first coat, but it was
      obvious that it was going to take a LOT of coats using this method.
      Before applying another coat, I hand sanded the hull to remove
      embedded lint. Seeing where I needed to continue to apply the
      urethane became an issue with the fourth coat.

      Once that coat dried it now became obvious that this method was going
      to be phenomenally smooth compared to everything I've tried
      previously. Absolutely no drips or runs. The only negative was that
      each coat was microscopically thin, which meant I had to apply many
      more coats than I ever had before. Also, each rag had to be discarded
      once the day was done. I didn't want to attempt to preserve the used
      rags, I had a large supply.

      So I'm pretty pleased now, it looks like two or three more wiped on
      coats and the new owners should be really happy with it and I will
      have done my best to earn the selling price.

      Corky Scott
    • badgerberling
      Very interesting Corky. I m about to close the football on a Prospector made for a charity and will archive this email for reference. RB
      Message 2 of 12 , Jun 17, 2013
        Very interesting Corky. I'm about to close the football on a Prospector made for a charity and will archive this email for reference.

        RB

        --- In cedarstripcanoes@yahoogroups.com, Charles Scott <charles.k.scott@...> wrote:
        >
        > I've applied polyurethane spar varnish to my several cedar strip
        > canoes a number of times. Mostly I was so unhappy with my results
        > that I'd end up letting it cure and then sand it down and try again.
        > I tried a number of urethane brands and for the most part, all of them
        > ran and dripped equally well.
        >
        > I just sold the Winisk to a couple down in Florida and felt I had to
        > renew the finish as it has been sitting in the rafters of my car port
        > for three years. But I dreaded trying yet again while the temps up
        > here in Vermont are not real warm yet. So in desperation I decided to
        > try the wiping on method.
        >
        > I researched it on the Internet and this is what I learned: Cut the
        > urethane by 50% using mineral spirits or whatever the designated
        > thinner is, then wipe it on using a clean folded cotton rag.
        >
        > I did not begin until I had sanded the hull down using an orbital
        > sander and 220 grit sandpaper attached to my shop vac. This took care
        > of all the blemishes and drips that bothered me so but that I finally
        > tolerated in order to get it on the water three years ago. Then I
        > wiped off the hull using clean rags and finally wiped it down with a
        > rag damped with mineral spirits.
        >
        > I thinned the urethane as suggested, using a graduated quart size
        > pail, leaving most of the urethane in the can, and started wiping it
        > on. After one coat I was hugely unimpressed. It looked like I had
        > done nothing. But one of the benefits with the wipe on method is that
        > it covers a lot, quickly, and another that it also dries very quickly.
        > So in a couple of hours I got to apply another coat.
        >
        > Things looked marginally better than the first coat, but it was
        > obvious that it was going to take a LOT of coats using this method.
        > Before applying another coat, I hand sanded the hull to remove
        > embedded lint. Seeing where I needed to continue to apply the
        > urethane became an issue with the fourth coat.
        >
        > Once that coat dried it now became obvious that this method was going
        > to be phenomenally smooth compared to everything I've tried
        > previously. Absolutely no drips or runs. The only negative was that
        > each coat was microscopically thin, which meant I had to apply many
        > more coats than I ever had before. Also, each rag had to be discarded
        > once the day was done. I didn't want to attempt to preserve the used
        > rags, I had a large supply.
        >
        > So I'm pretty pleased now, it looks like two or three more wiped on
        > coats and the new owners should be really happy with it and I will
        > have done my best to earn the selling price.
        >
        > Corky Scott
        >
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