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Woody Mayne
06-15-2008, 07:24 AM
I will soon be starting work on a nice pulling boat, either a Duck Trap Wherry or Ken Basset's "Liz". I would like to have a mostly bright interior, but don't want the hassle of varnishing every year. Oil is so much easier to apply, but I don't like the look of linseed oil, as it turns black after a few years. Are there any oil finishes which will retain their original colour.

JimConlin
06-15-2008, 10:27 AM
If a varnish finish is not abused and the boat is covered when not in use, it's unlikely to need attention every year.

I like Ken Bassett's Liz
http://conlin-boats.com/lola_78d_2.jpg

Captain Blight
06-15-2008, 03:11 PM
Tung oil or Watco.

Has anybody out there tried using any of those patio deck finishes, of the "thompson's water seal" ilk?

Peter Malcolm Jardine
06-15-2008, 09:33 PM
Lots of discussion about this, but the best finishes in terms of esthetics are not maintenance free. In fact, if you want maintenance free and high levels of cosmetic, get a fibreglass boat.

In the real world, a well prepared finish, that is sealed first, then thinned varnish, then lots of careful coats, will last a long time, and be the envy of all.;)

Vicente
06-17-2008, 09:39 PM
The vessels I've restored the teak of include the makes Bertram, Bristol, Concordia, East Bay, Grand Banks, Hatteras, Hinckley (Bermuda 40, Sou'wester 42, just finished a classic picnic boat), Sabre (sailboat and motor yacht), various Carolina-built sport fishing boats up to 52 feet (Gary Davis, Randy Gillican), and others I can't remember at the moment.

Here are some pertinent quotes from my blog, Varnish Teak:

"For years, I've been advising prospective customers that the secret of maintaining beautiful varnish is to apply enough of it from the get-go, meaning at least eight coats of varnish, with two top coats of Cetol gloss (clear) on bare wood in Maine, and at least ten coats of varnish, with two top coats of Cetol gloss in Florida. I also tell them to ignore the professionals who insist that the teak needs two maintenance coats every three or four months."

"Some people think the 'secret' of varnishing is in what kind of brush you use, or which particular product you choose to apply to your wood. Some of the traditionalists may regard me as a heretic, because I use Jen-Poly brand throw-away foam brushes, rather than the traditionally-approved, expensive "badger" hair brushes. To those purists I reply that the famous Rebecca Wittman, who wrote the beautifully illustrated book, Brightwork: The Art of Finishing Wood, is on my side. And it doesn't really matter which brand of varnish you buy, as long as it's a reputable one, with adequate UV filters.

Some of the better-known varnishes are Schooner's (made by Interlux), Epifanes (Dutch-made), Flagship (made by Z-Spar, their top-of the line), Captain's (also made by Z-spar), and Awlspar (made by Akzo Nobel, the same company that makes Sikkens Cetol products). All of these are quality varnishes, with sufficient ultraviolet light protection, although they have different handling characteristics.

I would avoid the house brands of marine store chains-- they tend to be of inferior quality, in my opinion, having observed the experiences of certain do-it-yourselfers who wanted to save a few bucks. Just remember that the real cost of any refinishing project is in the hours spent in labor, not in a few extra dollars paid for a superior product. Besides, after investing all that time and energy, don't you want the result of all your efforts to last as long as possible, looking its best?

I personally prefer Awlspar for buildup coats, because it's a quick drying, high-solids varnish with excellent handling qualities, and best of all, you have a 24 hour time window to apply successive coats without sanding in between. Professionals call it "hot-coating", and it will save you countless hours of unnecessary labor. I routinely apply four coats outdoors on a spring or fall day here in Florida, and in summer, I've applied up to eight coats.

Now for the greatest heresy of all: mention the word "Cetol" to many boaters, especially the traditionalists, and you'll be received with a look of disgust or horror. This is because they've only seen the misbegotten-from-hell results of an amateur job done by someone who didn't know what he was doing. Granted, I've seen many a Cetol job that looks like someone used a dark, opaque shoe polish to finish his teak. I assure you that with a proper understanding of its handling, even the novice varnisher can produce a top quality finish with a two-part Cetol system, that looks almost as good as the best varnish job.

I use traditional spar varnish on most of my jobs, but I finish them off with two top coats of Sikkens Cetol Gloss. Confusion enters the scene when you talk about Cetol, because most people seem not to understand that it's really a two-part system, though I would say that Sikkens is remiss for not informing its customers, via the application information on the can, that if you're going for a straight Cetol job, it's best to use two coats of the base pigmented product and to top it off with multiple coats of the clear gloss second part of the system.

Sikkens (a division of Akzo Nobel) will never tell you that the gloss version of Cetol can be applied over spar varnish, understandably, thus the disclaimers you'll read on the can."

I hope this information is useful to you.

Vicente Williams

Vicente
06-17-2008, 10:05 PM
I should have added that a varnish job done this way is good for a year in South Florida.

I hope it won't be considered spam if I include a link to my varnish blog here, http://varnishteak.blogspot.com/ to which I'll post more when I'm not busy varnishing.;-)

Vicente
06-17-2008, 10:10 PM
Sorry for the multiple posts, but I also should have said that after this initial build-up from the bare wood, thereafter you need only apply two coats of the clear Cetol Gloss annually. Barring any unforeseen problems or damage, it should look good for several years.

Banjo
06-17-2008, 10:20 PM
Interesting Vincent, I just did a search on their site here: http://www.nam.sikkens.com/product.cfm?product_id=25&product_category=exterior and many of their lines are discontinued, so which one specifically are you referring to?

Vicente
06-17-2008, 11:24 PM
Banjo, that page you pointed to is for Sikkens exterior use on houses. Their marine products presently have a different formulation.

I actually once used the house products on boats, because they were available in gallon sizes and more economical, but after some problems on one job I was advised by one of Akzo Nobel's chemists that the formulation was changed to comply with VOC (volatile organic compounds) standards here in the States.

The marine versions still handle the way they always have. I don't know what marine store chains you have in AU, but here most any marine supply store will carry them, such as West Marine or Boaters' World.

If you want to do a straight Cetol job from the bare wood up, I suggest two base coats of the new Cetol Marine Natural Teak (it has the best, most natural-looking color), thinned 40% of volume. If you don't thin it, it will be hard to spread the pigment evenly, and it will look splotchy.

Note: if you contact Sikkens, and tell them you thin it this much, they will react with horror, and forcefully tell you that it changes the chemistry and don't do it. Ignore them. It's the only way to get an even-colored finish.

When those base coats have dried properly (the bare wood will soak up the Cetol and dry fast in the sun), you may then apply a coat of the Cetol Marine Gloss (clear on the wood, but dark in the can), thinned 40% of volume if there's any wind over 5 knots. You might get away with a 30% mix if there's no wind at all.

In the summer, I can apply two coats of this clear mix in a day (morning and afternoon, but not later than two hours before sundown).

I'd recommend you play it safe and apply no more than one coat per day till you learn its characteristics under local conditions.

Hope this helps.

C. Ross
06-17-2008, 11:33 PM
"easily maintained bright finish" is the same as "promises you intend to keep" or "jumbo shrimp".

There are many threads about Cetol, varnish, bristol finish, two-part polys, and all the rest on the forum. They are informative and entertaining reading. All swear by some, some swear at all. I like varnish and paint. Your mileage may vary. Good advice here is Jim's or Peter's, IMO.

chergui
06-18-2008, 12:21 AM
I will soon be starting work on a nice pulling boat, either a Duck Trap Wherry or Ken Basset's "Liz". I would like to have a mostly bright interior, but don't want the hassle of varnishing every year. Oil is so much easier to apply, but I don't like the look of linseed oil, as it turns black after a few years. Are there any oil finishes which will retain their original colour.

I don't like linseed oil either. Teak oil turns black also. Apparently Watco Danish oil doesn't though, and that's what I'm going to try on the interior of my pram. This was mentioned in a WB issue a while back, the builder of this 16' Crowninshield claimed it without any additional info. I'm going to give it a shot. It's for interior use though and I don't think it's going to stand up long, but we'll see.

Vicente
06-18-2008, 08:48 AM
I feel like an idiot now. The thread started with a question about interior finish. I guess it was the second reply that led me down a tangent (it was late at night).

Oil finishes are fine for interior work, though they'll need more upkeep than a varnish one.

Everything I said applies to exterior finishes, and would be way overdoing it for an interior job, though it would certainly last.

would work
06-18-2008, 09:21 AM
if the boat is to be well covered,cleaned ,etc i would consider using a two part urethane finish, if thats not an option, than i would highly recommend Awl Spar m3131 as you can apply up to 3 coats in a day and it is a highly durable and very easily maintained product

CoastalRower
06-19-2008, 10:19 PM
Try something different. I have been using Penofin. It is an oil rendered from the husk of the brazilian rosewood nut (I think that is correct). It has no penetrating additives or chemical finish like thompsons etc. I have used it on mahoghany decks (very expensive house decks) that we have built for customers on the water and it holds up great. It was explained to me as simply adding natural oils back to the wood as the environment dries them out; and from ten plus years experience this seems to bear true. They even make a marine oil but I have yet to try it.

onobleboat
06-21-2008, 09:30 PM
I live in Florida and you know about the sun down here, I have used almost all types of oil and varnish. If you want something easy to refinish and your working with bare wook my pick would be Deks Olje, Part one to seal the bare wood and part two for the finish. It in a pain to put on and gives off terrible fumes, but years later all you have to do is wash with soap and water and recoat with the number two coat, will last for years and easy to tough up in between, I use it for everything now down to paddles and oars, will never varnish again.

redbopeep
06-22-2008, 12:40 AM
I live in Florida and you know about the sun down here, I have used almost all types of oil and varnish. If you want something easy to refinish and your working with bare wook my pick would be Deks Olje, Part one to seal the bare wood and part two for the finish. It in a pain to put on and gives off terrible fumes, but years later all you have to do is wash with soap and water and recoat with the number two coat, will last for years and easy to tough up in between, I use it for everything now down to paddles and oars, will never varnish again.

Better find something different--Deks Olje is no longer available. Period. Flood discontinued it. Would love to find a substitute.

P.L.Lenihan
06-22-2008, 12:49 AM
I feel like an idiot now. The thread started with a question about interior finish. I guess it was the second reply that led me down a tangent (it was late at night).

Oil finishes are fine for interior work, though they'll need more upkeep than a varnish one.

Everything I said applies to exterior finishes, and would be way overdoing it for an interior job, though it would certainly last.

No need to feel like that Vicente,with row boats(which is what is being talked about) everything is"exterior" :)

Your advice is very good regarding Cetol and jibes well with my own particular application of both the Cetol Marine and Cetol Gloss which are the only two products I've used on the last three of my four boats. We won't talk about the spectacular failures of my first boat :)

I am a firm believer that there is no one perfect product but rather only perfect applications,per manufacturers instructions, of any one product.
That is to say, chose your poison and stick to it,learning as much about its' strengths and weaknesses as you can then adjusting accordingly to your own specific needs.

Sorta like the "which epoxy is best" threads...........:)


Peter

pcford
06-22-2008, 01:14 AM
Here are some pertinent quotes from my blog, Varnish Teak:



Attentive readers will note that Jay Greer and I have a difference of opinion regarding the wonders of Behr varnish. Jay has been using it for years and thinks it is the cat's pajamas. Several people have gone out on wide ranging quests for the legendary stuff. (at least legendary in this venue, if no other place.)

Well, I don't agree with Jay....but I do respect his abilities as a boatwright and a varnisher. There are lots of ways of doing this stuff and still arrive at a satisfactory conclusion. Much of this is just personal preference.

Which brings me to our new friend Vincente. There are so many errors of fact in his advice that I really don't know where to begin.
So I won't.

Kids, don't try this at home.

tonydezoc
06-22-2008, 10:20 AM
"There are so many errors of fact in his advice that I really don't know where to begin.
So I won't."
Oh go on, varnishing has been a constant bugbear in my working life, so I'm all ears. Personally I'm happy to leave it to contractors whenever possible.

Carlsboats
06-22-2008, 12:21 PM
TINSTAAFL -- ..."no free lunch." The trouble is that varnish is not a particularly scratch-free, sun proof finish. Beautiful as it is (after 10-12 coats) it is vulnerable to dings and scratches, and if water finds any way to get to the wood beneath, restoration calls for stripping and starting over. I love the look of it , but as a practical matter the only way keep it that way is to cover it from UV as much as possible, and have some painted floorboards or matting to keep shoes and sand from scratching it. You can try the "hard" clear coats -- epoxy, two-part urethanes, etc. -- but I have never had much luck getting the "look" with those, and you pay a price when you try to remove them for refinishing.

would work
06-22-2008, 02:51 PM
go with your gut! but do not use cetol!!! absolutely disgusting looking finish highly akin to sea gull sh$%. and by no means durable whatsoever. lots of people use it and swear by it, however the result cheapens the look of the vessel. the only place i would ever consider using that garbage is on a swim platform of a lobster boat(ie id never use it)

StevenBauer
06-22-2008, 03:10 PM
Attentive readers will note that Jay Greer and I have a difference of opinion regarding the wonders of Behr varnish. Jay has been using it for years and thinks it is the cat's pajamas. Several people have gone out on wide ranging quests for the legendary stuff. (at least legendary in this venue, if no other place.)

Well, I don't agree with Jay....but I do respect his abilities as a boatwright and a varnisher.



Pat, I thought you said that you haven't actually tried the Behr Super Spar varnish. (Now sold as True Tone Spar Varnish.)

Steven

pcford
06-22-2008, 08:22 PM
Pat, I thought you said that you haven't actually tried the Behr Super Spar varnish. (Now sold as True Tone Spar Varnish.)

Steven

When and if an independent source can verify that this stuff is the wonder product that one (1) person has said it is, then I may try it.

Until then, I will let the more naive do the experimenting.

Products fall in and out of favor. Behr Rawhide had a brief streak of popularity in the late 70s. I have only heard one person sing the praises of Behr varnish. And I have been doing this stuff since the early 70s. I am sure Jay G. likes it; I am sure that it is a good product since Jay is no fool.

Is it a wonder product? I doubt it very much. Why don't others endorse it? Some kind of conspiracy....I thought that was in Tylerdurden's purview.

We all have favorite products, but I would never recommend what I prefer to the entire world. It might not be a good fit for you.

Preparation of bright surfaces is time intensive. I am not going to bet thousands of dollars of time and material on Behr/Tru-Tone varnish.

But you go right ahead. Tell me what you think three years hence.

pcford
06-22-2008, 08:55 PM
Better find something different--Deks Olje is no longer available. Period. Flood discontinued it. Would love to find a substitute.

Deks Olje had a brief span of popularity 30 years ago. It is popular in Nordic countries on workboats...ok use. Not a replacement for varnish. Though there were advertisements for it on the back of WB for a couple years touting its use on speedboats.

Cuchilo
06-23-2008, 02:44 AM
Deks Olje is all the rage here in England . I have just done some cabin doors and rails on a friends boat with it . It will be nice to see first hand how it has faired after six months .

Maybe i should set up a company exporting Deks Olje and brush mates to the States :D

Thorne
06-23-2008, 02:27 PM
www.tarsmell.com (http://www.tarsmell.com) has a couple of products I've heard recommended if you don't want to go the standard varnish route -- Le Tonk and the Uncle Billy's Old Time Wood Oil.

The first mate of the scow schooner Alma was raving about Uncle Billy's during the Gunkholing trip. Don't know if it is still available or not...great logo, though!

http://www.tarsmell.com/Images/billy.jpg

http://www.tarsmell.com/Images/number_one.jpg

prestonbriggs
06-23-2008, 08:20 PM
Has anyone tried the marine version of Waterlox?
I've used the interior version (on Dave Fleming's
recommendation) and the result was great.

Preston

Woxbox
06-23-2008, 09:07 PM
Woody -- Is this boat going to live outdoors or not? If not, varnish will last way more than a year. It's the sun that kills it most. Even if you have to store the boat outside, a good cover will save many hours of refinishing.

I used Deks Olje on a skiff that I kept on a trailer in a garage many years ago. It needed touching up from time to time, but never a complete refinishing over a period of 7 years. Likewise, my current boat has a bit of varnish here and there, but living in the garage, it holds up just fine.

David G
06-23-2008, 09:32 PM
go with your gut! but do not use cetol!!! absolutely disgusting looking finish highly akin to sea gull sh$%. and by no means durable whatsoever. lots of people use it and swear by it, however the result cheapens the look of the vessel. the only place i would ever consider using that garbage is on a swim platform of a lobster boat(ie id never use it)

Hi - I'm afraid I have to disagree. As mentioned, Sikkens Cetol Marine is a 2-stage product. There's the basecoat and then there's the Gloss. The original basecoat imparted a muddy, sorta fluorescent orange cast to the finish. Good for UV protection, but in many people's opinion (including mine)... too ugly/weird. Perhaps that's what you've seen and are reacting to. At this time, they make a variety of colors of basecoat. I've used their "Natural Teak" flavor for a couple of recent projects and really like the color and effect. I can't speak for the longevity, but all reports are good.


"Free advice is worth the price" -- Robert Half

Lew Barrett
06-24-2008, 02:26 AM
Regarding Le Tonkenois, which was widely praised on these pages for a bit, I heard the following from Paul at CWB. It seems last year they tried it on Pirate, but this year are back to, I believe, Captains. Le Tonk didn't pass their test, and he laughed out loud when I asked him if it was any good. Just reporting some hearsay on the product, as I've never ventured there myself.

I'm with Pat on this subject in general, and I'm afraid, one of those boring traditionalists. There's no magic bullet for these finishes.

Rebecca, much as I enjoy her, respect her and have profited by reading her attractive books, hasn't varnished a boat in twenty years. Rebecca's writing is useful because it conveys the notion of taking a systematic approach to the task. That's the main benefit of her approach. That, and the idea that there is a proper end result to strive for, which she illustrates with good examples.

Today, probably the most practiced and revered lady finisher in town remains Christine Greene. I doubt she'll ever write a book. If she ever does, I'd hope she will feel comfortable enough to tell her whole story, which is quite amazing and touching. She has developed the biggest little varnish business on the west coast (I'm guessing, but in any case, the biggest in the Northwest), as one look at her former facilities would verify. She sold the business a couple of years ago, and now works for the new owner in an exhaulted position, and says it is easier for her that way. To make the point that one's technique and approach develops across time and through what works for the individual, she uses brushes for varnish, which isn't to say she doesn't have uses for foam.

Anyway, Native Brightworks turns out absolutely stunning results, and Christine knows the materials side cold. When she speaks, one is wise to listen. I hasten to add that she's not afraid of trying something new. Often, they bring the new materials to her and give them to the shop for her to try. I've been at parties (imagine now a party in a paint shop) where she and Rebecca would walk off to a corner and chat with each other, They are not competitors or competitive.
I own, but rarely use badger hair brushes. I don't consider them the best brushes you can get, but have them available for my friends who might work alongside of me. I prefer them for paint, and hand them out for tipping off paint, and use them mostly for that. My personal observations are that good brushes are great tools, but that technique, more than the brush, is the critical factor. The new cheap Proforms are an interesting development (introduced to me by Capt. Ron Render) and are cheap enough to toss after doing a big run of varnish. They break every rule, being synthetic, but work just fine. I will varnish with a good quality chip brush (they sell such things) before I would use foam for most of my work, but I'd freely admit that it's all a question of what you get used to and what works for you. I've never had good luck with foam as loading them is a problem for me, and I like the tactile feel of the brush. There are so many variables when it comes to clear finishes, that only practice, practice and more practice are really going to get you where you want to be. Weather conditions on any given day are probably more important than what sort of varnish or brush you use, but primarily to reduce the variables, I have developed a style and materials choices that work for me. I'm not shooting for perfection. I can varnish a rail, spar or door trim as well as the next guy, but little sticks are easy. Getting a thirty foot house side on straight what with the breaks, long wide runs, ports and windows, and little moldings that first catch, and then release globs of material, and accomplishing this task drip and holiday free is another story. You'll need technique first and foremost. The rest is refinement.

RichardH
06-24-2008, 10:49 AM
When and if an independent source can verify that this stuff is the wonder product that one (1) person has said it is, then I may try it.

Until then, I will let the more naive do the experimenting.


I suppose as a "naive" doing the experimenting I won't constitute a two (2) person endorsing Behr varnish. I do however appreiciate Jay's varnish tip, mainly because it has saved me a ton of money. I have recently ordered another 4 gal. for $71. I have used other varnishes and Behrs behaves well in the application. I'm hoping that it endures well. After doing much of the varnishing on my son's bright hulled boat I keep a cover on mine (under restoration). Nothing wonder about the varnish, just as good as the others but -$. The draw back is that it isn't sold in Ca. or some other states. I live in Nevada though my boat is in Ca. lucky me.

James M
09-08-2008, 05:25 PM
Have you found a product to replace the Deks Olje #2 ? The Deks Olje products have been discontinued.

Scott Rosen
09-08-2008, 06:16 PM
The varnish threads are a hoot.

You can get ten different people, applying ten different finishes ten different ways, and if they are good at what they are doing, all will look great.

I love it when someone asks me what varnish I use. I tell them I've used quite a few over the years, and I can get them all to look good.

I like Lew's advice. Find a system that works for you. The less you like to varnish, the more you should consider getting a full-sized cover for your boat. Pretty much any spar varnish will last for five to ten years or more if kept under cover.

Like Lew, I don't like the foam brushes for anything other than very small areas and touch-ups. I, too, have used chip brushes to apply varnish, and it works fine. The main problems with chip brushes is they lose their bristles easily, and you can't load them to much. Truth is, if you work with one kind of brush long enough, you'll get good at it. I have a set of Chinese bristle brushes that I keep stored in Kerosene. I like them because the bristles are fairly stiff and full, so they hold a lot of varnish and release it in a very controlled manner. I use badger bruses for really fine paintwork, but I find the Chinese bristle ones by Purdy to be just fine.

If you leave your boat out of doors, uncovered for six to nine months of the year, you will have to apply refersher coats every year, if you care how it looks. And you will probably have to wood it every five, regardless of which product you use.

If all you want to do is protect the wood, then paint it.

Bob Cleek
09-08-2008, 08:12 PM
What Scott said, and, damnit, my "five years" were up a couple ago... time to do some serious refinishing soon.

Look, people, most all varnishes are pretty much the same, basically. (Why anybody pays what they charge for Epiphanes is beyond me!) The main ingredients are the same for all of them. As a renouned paint chemist once explained it to me, the price differences are almost exclusively proportionate to the amount of UV inhibitor (whatever that magic stuff is... Joan Rivers and Elizabeth Taylor probably bathe in it) that the brand contains. Beyond that, there are minor variations in the amount of "solids" (usually tung oil) versus solvents in the mix. Solids are more expensive than paint thinner, so that can affect the price somewhat as well.

The workability of the product is mainly a function of climatic conditions and after-market conditioning by an experienced user (e.g. adding a dash of Penetrol). Once you get to that point, however, the end result is going to be a function of the painter's skill and experience and nothing much else. No amount of money spent on "primiere" varnishes or fancy badger ass hair brushes is going to compensate for knowing how to prep and lay down a finish. There's a reason the Painters and Decorators Union has a three year apprenticeship program, ya know.

There are no decent looking "quick and dirty" bright finishes. There are no short cuts to a good looking finish job. This is why a good one is prized and priced accordingly. If you could buy "skill" and "experience" in a can, they'd be adding it to a lot more than varnish! So, if there's something wrong with your varnish job, odds are overwhelmingly that it was your own fault. Don't give up, just practice. As Pete Culler said, "Experience begins when you start."

David G
09-08-2008, 08:29 PM
Mr. Cleek,

I agree. One minor quibble, though. Any bright finish has three components: resin; oil; solvents. the resin comprises the bulk of the "solids". So, while tung oil is good, you also want a high percentage of good quality resin - usually phenolic in the better spar varnishes. The difference between a high-grade spar varnish like Interlux Schooner, or Epiphanes and the cheapest off-brand "Teak Oil Finish" on the bargain shelf is that the latter will have fewer solids, less oil, and a lot more solvent. Plus the quality of the three components is likely to be less, eg. boiled linseed oil in place of tung oil.


"It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to paint it" -- Steven Wright

Bob Cleek
09-09-2008, 02:10 PM
Absolutely correct as to the solids content. I suppose I should have been more specific. I was talking about differences between the various brands of "good stuff." The "bottom of the barrel" is a whole 'nuther thing entirely. The really cheapo crap is cheap because it is mostly cheap solvents. I wouldn't bother with any of those at all. The best stuff Lowe's and Home Despot carry is probably ranked somewhere around the lower twenty-five percent of the top quality stuff. That's plenty good enough for ordinary work. There's no point in putting the hugely expensive soups on anything other than a Riva.

ToddFwbf
09-09-2008, 04:12 PM
Say, speaking of phenolic resins it seems to me that I use to find that percentage written on the label of a lot more brands years ago than I do now. Is it just the aging of my eyes or has anyone else noticed that?