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Don Maurer
04-27-2003, 10:27 AM
I am about ready to begin varnishing the spars for my sailing dinghy. They are round and tapered, about 12' and 8' in length. What techniques have you used to keep from getting drips and sags in the finish? Do you varnish the whole diameter at one time or do half at a time and feather the edges?

casem
04-27-2003, 11:17 AM
I support mine on dulled-off nail points and do them all at once. I don't get sags or "seams", but I do get little dents from the nails.

NormMessinger
04-27-2003, 12:55 PM
Nails are good. The little dents are sanded out and moved to a different location for each coat. When you are finished the last four little dent will hardly be noticable.

Paul Scheuer
04-27-2003, 05:01 PM
I usually go vetical with some means to rotate the work at least for the last coats. I find it easier to keep a wet edge and get a more even coat that way. Twelve feet might be the limit. If you need to go horizontal, there are usually places where the fittings will go, to attach temporary supports. Nail points work too.

Ian Wright
04-27-2003, 05:16 PM
Suport the spar how you like, I find that one support at the wedge position and another where the spreaders go works for me.
Then with the mast at the right height it is fairly easy to roll the varnish on all the way round and tip off along the mast with a foam brush.
Do a 2 1/2 ft or 3ft section at a time.
IanW,,,,,,, aka Rolland Tipp.

Scott Rosen
04-27-2003, 06:19 PM
I suspend my dinghy spars from the ceiling of my garage and varnish with a 1.5" round brush. I've never had problems with drips or runs. Just be careful.

DerekW
04-30-2003, 01:23 PM
Two old roller-blades from the consignment, butchered and inverted on sawhorses. One old BBQ rotisserie motor, also from consignment. Drive socket from scrap wood to suit. Shift between coats to cover the (unvarnished) contact areas.
Spar-BQ! smile.gif

cheers
Derek

Bruce Hooke
04-30-2003, 02:15 PM
While I use foam brushes for lots of things I have an easier time avoiding drips and runs on very curved surfaces, like spars, oars and paddles, if I use a high-quality "real" paintbrush -- as in one with real bristles...

Other than that, it's mostly a matter of practice. Good light also makes a BIG difference. You need to be able to see what's going on with the varnish.

If you are having regular trouble with drips and sags you are probably putting on too much varnish. Try dipping less of the brush into the varnish and brushing it out a bit more. Also thin the varnish just a touch with Penetrol.

TEWK
04-30-2003, 02:35 PM
Originally posted by DerekW:
Two old roller-blades from the consignment, butchered and inverted on sawhorses. One old BBQ rotisserie motor, also from consignment. Drive socket from scrap wood to suit. Shift between coats to cover the (unvarnished) contact areas.
Spar-BQ! smile.gif

cheers
DerekThanks for the tip. I have a boom to varnish and that will work quite nicely.

CharlieSanti
04-30-2003, 06:00 PM
We made up a rig with two sand bag weighted saw horses one with a tail stock and the other with a head stock with a 1/2 rpm gear motor. Mount mast or boom between centers and rotate until varnish drys.