View Full Version : Gluing Treadmaster to varnished steps

Ross Faneuf
07-26-2001, 12:01 PM
Ceol Mor's companionway steps are part of the engine box, and are professionally varnished; very pretty indeed. But I want to glue Treadmaster to the appropriate surfaces, leaving the remaining varnish as intact as possible. I can scrape/sand through the varnish so I can use epoxy, holding my breath all the while. Or do you folks know of an effective adhesive I can use without removing the varnish (possibly scuffing it only)? I note that I can buy patches of Treadmeaster with an adhesive backing, but I already have the sheets in the right color. This is not on deck, so has minimal exposure to sun and weather (we all know a companionway does NOT mean no exposure to sun and weather). Thoughts?

Scott Rosen
07-26-2001, 12:22 PM
This totally unscientific Ross, but my thought is to cut the material long enough to carry around the front and back edges of the step around to the bottom, so that you have an inch or so of material on the front and back of the bottom. Then scuff up the varnish on the top of the step where the material will lay, apply a thin coat of epoxy, and then use copper tacks to fasten the excess material on the bottom of the step. I wouldn't glue the treadmaster to bare wood, because one day you're going to want to remove it.

Bob Cleek
07-26-2001, 12:23 PM
I would think that treadmaster on a nicely varnished surface might clash a bit. Sort of like a turd floating in a punch bowl. Have you considered plaiting a mat out of some nice line and fastening it with a few escutcheon pins? Easily removed for revarnishing. Soft on the feet and, if fastened properly, very good traction. Check out Ashley's or any other good fancywork volume for some properly shaped and sized designs. Or, use rubber cement (contact cement) to glue the treadmaster down, if you must. When you pull it up, the rubber cement can be removed from the varnish by rubbing it off. You don't need to prepare the varnished surface for it, either. Just slap it on per the can directions.

07-26-2001, 12:35 PM
Purchase and install the material that already has the adhesive on it. Save the other stuff for another time, or trade it, sell it, give it away. You're not talking about alot of material/money here are you? What do you have for boarding your boat? Maybe you could glue the previously purchased material to your boarding ladder steps, or to strategic locations on engine room floor boards? Screwing up your varnish job in an attempt to glue this material down is like kicking a dollar out of the way in order to pick up a dime. You could also make some cutsie-pie wood (thin) treads which you could glue your Treadmaster to (leave an acceptable margin around the Treadmaster), varnish to match your engine cover/steps and then fasten these to your existing steps from the topside (use decent fasteners) or from the underside (don't blow thru). Get the picture? Good luck.

07-26-2001, 12:39 PM
[like a turd floating in a punch bowl]......

or...a couple of Baby Ruth's (sans wrappers) in the swimming pool..... http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/biggrin.gif

Nicholas Carey
07-26-2001, 01:15 PM
Originally posted by Bob Cleek:
Or, use rubber cement (contact cement) to glue the treadmaster down, if you must. When you pull it up, the rubber cement can be removed from the varnish by rubbing it off. You don't need to prepare the varnished surface for it, either. Just slap it on per the can directions.

I wouldn't use rubber cement. Too much creep: it'll slide around. Rubber cement is latex dissolved in solvent (alcohol).

The mat suggestion is a good idea, though.

You might want to consider masking out a rectangle with rounded corners where you want the non-skid and laying down a couple of coats of an enamel in a suitable contrasting color directly on the varnish, with the final coat containing non-skid. If the underlying varnish is in good condition, the wood won't get glopped up with paint and it will look a lot better than Treadmaster.

07-26-2001, 03:08 PM
I would use contact cement provided the steps were not going to cook in sunlite or engine room heat.

07-27-2001, 07:28 AM
In the top five most frustrating experiences of my life trying to clean Treadmaster isn't first one the list, but again, in the top five. Hope you have the dark brown stuff.

07-27-2001, 08:03 AM
To clean treadmaster put one capful of JOY in a bucket of water (even seawater) and use a $39.95 pressure sprayer from Sears. The smallest inverter will work from the ship's battery....rinse with fresh water.

07-27-2001, 11:51 AM
I'd vote for the rope mat idea. Much more in keeping with the style of your boat http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif Treadmaster is unpleasant under bare feet anyway.

07-27-2001, 01:09 PM
Oh, dear....well, I do actually HAVE Treadmaster on varnished companionway steps for the very obvious reason that...

...unlike rope mats it does not pick up dirt and get messy....

....and unlike rope mats, it is properly non slip. which is pretty danged important on a companion ladder....

....and I DON'T think it looks like a turd in a punch bowl....

So I say, go right ahead. But no need to bother with epoxy in this position.

Use ordinary contact cement, eg (in UK) Bostik. Our companion steps have done 5 years now, with no problems at all. The individual patches are small enough that no creep takes place.

Oh, yes, more shock horror; the thwarts of the launch have Treadmaster glued on them, too, same way, with contact cement. Not done by me; done by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution who had her built by the International Boatbuilding Training Centre at Lowestoft. What's good enough for the RNLI and the IBBTC is certainly good enough for me (the point being that you often step on the thwarts, and it dries fast in rain and wet when you are sitting on it).

Ross Faneuf
07-27-2001, 09:39 PM
Different strokes etc. Steps on the engine box are a rather chancy way to get up and down the companionway - especially since Lois and I aren't as young and agile as once we were (although, parenthetically, working on a boat has a remarkably beneficial effect). The ONLY criterion here is: how to make anything we're going to step on as safe and unslippery as possible. As near as I can tell, Treadmaster is way ahead of anything else for this purpose.

Eventually, when I can afford it, I'll probably do the deck end to end in Treadmaster as well. Done with a good eye for layout, I find it quite attractive; not as classy as teak, of course, but much better footing and (expensive as it is) a lot more reasonable. I've only been in one boat with teak decks, and they were great when the decks were dry; when wet, they were thoroughly treacherous.

This is one of the nice things about Ceol Mor; as a cold molded boat, however yotti in some of her details, she doesn't impose the kind of really heavy duty constraints on me (or, I guess, on her) as would obtain if she were, say, a 1911 Herreshoff - where application of Treadmaster would be pretty horrible.

Actually, I'll take the easy way out for now. Turns out it I can get the peel-and-stick Treadmaster pads in the right color from Defender (this is one product for which their service is good) so I'll try that - right over the varnish. If they hang on, I'm done; if not, I'll adjust. I have so much to do, and so little time...

BTW the thwarts on my dinghy (Ceol Beag) are ordinary Interlux nonskid; I'll go to Treadmaster if that isn't nonskid enough. I absolutely agree on the importance of being able to step on a thwart while the dinghy pitches about without being catapulted into either one's boats topsides or the cold grey Atlantic.

[This message has been edited by Ross Faneuf (edited 07-27-2001).]