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Thread: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

  1. #1
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    Default Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    First post here, so I thought I'd introduce myself by sharing a couple of years of progress on our 1939 Richardson Little Giant - PEACEFUL. Looking forward to collaborating more.





    Here is our story so far.

    History - https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=9ce3a...9&sc=documents

    Restoration Part 1 - https://skydrive.live.com/?wa=wsigni...9&sc=documents

    Restoration Part 2 - https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=9ce3a...9&sc=documents

    Restoration Part 3 - https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=9ce3a...9&sc=documents

    Restoration Part 4 - https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=9ce3a...9&sc=documents

    Here is a photo gallery with more images - http://cid-9ce3a400f61f9f09.skydrive...n?sa=323228941

    More to come. She's a work in process.

    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Freeman; 06-28-2011 at 04:03 PM. Reason: Updated links

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Welcome Tom. Can't see the links unless logged into Facebook - so I can't see them. You can display your pictures using Photobucket or various other picture hosting pages. If you look through the threads you'll find that Thorne has explained how to do this to many people. Rick

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    I should add that I know nothing about Facebook so it's possible that everyone else will have no trouble at all! Rick

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Somewhere deep in the bowels of your profile setup is a security checkbox for photos. Allow them to be seen by all and you should be able to accomplish what you tried above.

    A bettter option is Photobucket of similar hosting site.
    Bill R

    There was supposed to be an earth shattering KABOOM!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Welcome Tom.
    I'm on facebook and can get to this link:
    Restoration Part 2 - http://www.facebook.com/notes/tom-fr...2/343222895637
    but not the others.

    Nice boat and great work!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Yup.

    After reading all four parts and looking at the pics of your restoration efforts, I think I might be cured of the "gotta have a neat old wooden boat" bug.

    Sheesh. Talk about your true labors of love.

    But it looks like she's worth it - absolutely beautiful job on the varnish!

    And what I'm most impressed by is the fact that your wife is right there alongside you doing all that scraping, sanding and painting. I told my wife about it and she gave me "the look" and said basically, "don't even think about it." There's no way that would be happening here!

    Sweet boat.
    - Bill T.

    "How many politically-correct people does it take to screw in a light-bulb?"

    "Look, I don't know, but that's not funny."

  7. #7

    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    good luck

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    HANG IN THERE! I can feel your pain (and satisfaction). I am doing a similar bit of work (this year just the exterior house and cabin tops) on a 1951 vintage 37 ft Monk. I just got my new longboard this week - party on!

    Beautiful work!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    sorry links dont work without a facebook membership. far too many privacy issues on that site. any chance you can post the pics on a picture hosting site?

    Doug
    Freudian slips : when you say one thing but mean your mother.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Wow!
    What a nice job
    Brings back memories. My Dad had a friend who kept one of these same boats on the Connecticut River, and many evenings were spent slow-cruising with the 2 families. At the same time, my Dad had a very nice 34' ACF

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Absolutely beautiful job! I love that you kept her traditional down below (white w/ blue upholstery - perfect!). - Also love the original style hanging bunks.
    What engine is in her - Chrysler 'ACE' (95hp) maybe?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    The engine is a Graymarine 6-51 at about 55hp. We think it is original, but can't be sure.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Hi Tom! I see you found the time sump site!

    This boat looks great in the flesh in case anyone needed to know. It's nice to see the old power boaters finding this place.

    In these photos, Peaceful has been hauled out at the Jensen yard off Portage Bay, Seattle. Jensen let's owners do their own work...if they like you.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Hey Lew,

    Good to hear from you. I haven't had a chance to thank you for the SoyGel recommendation. I've found it useful in the shop. Jessica has called it some more choice names when trying to use in on some of the shelves and cabinets on the boat.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    What a beautiful boat! I saw one in Boneyard boats a few issues back...and if it wasn't for the project that we are on now I would have gotten it.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    And on Lew's point about Jensen Motorboat Company, I can't say enough positive things about our experience with them. We came into this project never having owned a boat, and they've been at our side every step of the way. In fact, I just had lunch with Peter Proctor yesterday and took the opportunity to pick his brain on some of the veneering work I'm doing. Not to say we never argued about a bill, but they always did right by us.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Interiors are a bitch, that's just the way it is. I think working on interior finishes is the hardest part of the refinishing process.

    Jessica as everyone must know, is Tom's beautiful and forbearing wife. It's gotta be a kick to have a wife that not only likes boating, but works alongside you.

    Soystrip: I learned about it here from another person (can't remember who put me onto it) when I decided I didn't want to touch any more MEK than I had to in my life. Just passing the tip along....

    I like Peter Proctor a great deal. Who bought lunch?

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Ha. I bought lunch, but borrowed his cordless drill because I forgot to put mine in the truck, and spent 15 minutes cutting plugs on his drill press. So I'm easy, but I'm not always cheap.
    Last edited by Tom Freeman; 02-26-2010 at 01:48 PM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Excellent and thoughtful restoration! Someone who is doing it right!!!
    "Don't listen to those eastern blockheads."

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Quote Originally Posted by Lew Barrett View Post
    Jessica as everyone must know, is Tom's beautiful and forbearing wife. It's gotta be a kick to have a wife that not only likes boating, but works alongside you.
    As I was moving these articles over to the public site today, and looking at all of the old pictures, I was reminded of this comment. While there is a certain appeal to having a boat as a private sanctuary where you can go drink some scotch in the winter, I know that I couldn't have done this project single-handed. As you can see from the pictures, Jessica has been on the boat about 90% of the time that I have. She is the perfectionist around the yard, which is both good and bad news. It's good news when you want to get the final masking just right, or get the last coat of paint perfect. It's bad news when you are rough sanding old finish with 80 grit, and aren't too focused on style points. In either case, this project is as much hers as mine.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    I made some progress tonight on refreshing the veneer on some interior cabinet doors. After sending the head door out to be "professionally" veneered and getting a sub-standard result, I decided to try a technique that a cabinet maker friend recommended.

    First I painted wood glue on both the doors and the veneer.




    Here is a "before" shot of the veneer on one of the doors as viewed through the dried wood glue.


    Once the glue dried on both pieces, I dry fit the veneer and then used an iron to seal it to the cabinet doors. Went on like butter on warm toast. I'm very pleased with both the process and the results.





    I'll try this on a couple of larger interior door panels later this week.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Nice. I've never seen that veneering technique, and will have to try it. Thanks.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    thanks for finding a public forum for the pictures. looks like you had a lot of fun rebuilding that wonderful boat. very interesting veneering method but what kind of wood glue did you use? and are you saying that you melted the glue with an old clothes iron to bond the veneer on?

    Doug
    Freudian slips : when you say one thing but mean your mother.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    I'll take a look back at the specific glue and add that info when I get home tonight. It was one of the Elmers wood glues, I believe. For the small bits, I used a small sealing iron that I've used for years with heat shrink covering called Monokote on my RC airplane fleet. For the larger pieces, I'll use Jessica's clothes iron. So yes, once the glue dries, heat reactivates it and causes it to bond. To be sure, I didn't try it for the first time on my boat bits. I grabbed a small scrap from the bone pile and tried it there first. I left a bit of the veneer overhanging the edge of the scrap piece, so that I could grab it with pliers and try to rip it off. No way. So I then used it on my small doors. Try it in your shop and see if you like it.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Doug, here is the glue I'm using. You can see another door panel wetted out in the background.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Another day, another door. Can't be happier with this approach, but there are a couple of tips and tricks. Some will be obvious to shipwrights, maybe others not.

    • Make a template or pattern from paper or other suitable material. Nothing on old boats is square/fair/flush. I did this based on lessons from the school of hard knocks, but it may not be so obvious to others. Tape the pattern down on your veneer and cut accordingly.
    • Dry fit the veneer and shave edges as needed to get a perfect fit. Get comfortable with the dry fit, as you are probably going to have your faith challenged.
    • Thin the glue with warm water by about 10-15% so that it brushes out better.
    • Beware - the veneer will expand after it is wetted out. I noticed it a little on the small bits I did last night. It was quite noticeable on both door panels that I did tonight. Here is where your faith in your dry fit will be tested.
    • Tack or tuck the edges, and iron from the longitudinal edges toward the center of the piece. The heat will shrink the veneer back to the dry fit size, but it's critical not to push wrinkles toward inside edges where they have no place to go. I didn't ruin a piece by making this mistake, but I came very close.
    Otherwise the approach was dead-easy again. Still happy with the results on a larger surface.

    Last edited by Tom Freeman; 03-12-2010 at 02:29 AM. Reason: Spelling/typos

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Thats very cool. I would never have guessed that you could reactivate Elmers with heat. nice way to get the veneer in the door without getting glue all over the place.Looks like no problem with some places being thicker with glue either. I am going to have to try this when I am doing my Galley this summer.

    Thanks for the info.

    Doug
    Freudian slips : when you say one thing but mean your mother.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    We thought that we'd be starting to stain the cabin formers by late today, but when we rubbed them with mineral spirits to test the quality of our sanding job, we could still see hints of white paint in some of the grain, and some hickeys that needed to be touched up with Famowood. So what was supposed to be a light day of staining turned into another 3 hours with sanding blocks and 80 grit working overhead. Days like this make me second guess my desire to varnish these bits. It's interesting that when my courage is flagging, Jessica picks up the charge and says "dammit - we've gotten this far, we are going to do this." It takes a village on some days.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    I'm a sucker for a beautiful piece of wood. I grabbed this out of the bone pile at the boatyard over the summer and have finally gotten around to planing, shaping and sanding it into a new step. I like the look of it so much that I find myself looking for more prominent places to use it. I'm not sure what it is. Quite hard, and smells like hell when being worked with machines.

    Last edited by Tom Freeman; 03-20-2010 at 01:44 AM. Reason: spelling

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Made a little more progress this weekend. We're getting ready to have new side and back curtains made for the boat. We are going to add an extra (removable) frame to creat more headroom for passengers on the aft bench seat. Prototyping the new layout here to get a sense of the lines of the boat.



    I think this is actually going to improve the lines a bit. We are thinking about beige fabric with white zippers and red piping.




    We also finally made some progress on the cabin interior that actually looks like progress. After about 3 weekends, we finally got the formers sanded to a point where they are ready for stain and varnish. Getting that old paint out of the oak grain was a real chore. In some cases we used dental tools.

    Before stain:



    After stain:


  31. #31
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Picked up the Wallas Nautic 30D furnace today and the accompanying kit. Reading the manuals and installation bits tonight, and tweaking my plans accordingly. Thanks for the offline replies on the separate thread I posted on the folding helm seats. Some good ideas and some actual hardware have been offerred.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Today was a good day on the boat. I want to give some recognition here to Dean Simonson. He did the some of the interior upholstery work on our bench seats last year, and he's building our curtains this year. After working at a local shop for two decades, he now runs his own business and is thoughtful and detail oriented. He brought back the stainless steel bow that we prototyped last weekend to improve the headroom on the bench seats.



    Dean then spent a few hours making paper templates that he will use to sew the curtains. The cut-out on the side isn't the final window shape, just a way to get on and off.



    A folding helm seat also found us. Another classic yacht association member saw my post on that topic and brought one by the marina that we looked at and purchased for a very reasonable price. The hinges between the base and the seat back are slightly bent, but overall, it looks to be a good starting point.






    Also managed to get five coats of sealer on the cabin formers. Will start priming the interior and varnishing those bits tomorrow.


  33. #33
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    It's nice to see everything coming back to a single color, even if it is primer. Solid colors improve morale!



    We ran out of primer about the same time we ran out of daylight. There should be a special circle in hell devoted to sanding and painting areas like the forepeak.


  34. #34
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Please keep up the good work ! you show some of us that it
    " CAN BE DONE " and we are not completely out of our minds to consider such a project!
    R

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    I could use a little feedback from the crew here. After brushing and rolling some of the primer yesterday, I wonder if it wouldn't be more effective to spray some of the complex areas like the forepeak, the head, and some of the interior cabinets before rolling and tipping the interior cabinsides and bulkheads. We are planning to paint with Pettit Semi-Gloss 101. I have a good compressor and both a regular and detail gun, but haven't used them with this paint or on the boat. Any lessons from the school of hard knocks on that?

  36. #36
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Beg, borrow, hire or steal a full-face forced-air respirator. And a clean-air compressor to go with it.

    All the boat painters I have ever known were out of their minds with paint fumes.
    Keep It Simple: KISS it better.

  37. #37
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Good advice. I've met a couple of long time painters that are as mad as a hatter. Can't blame everything on the whiskey. But for a couple of hours of spraying, I'll probably take my chances with the non-forced air variety respirator if we decide to go this route.
    Last edited by Tom Freeman; 03-30-2010 at 02:18 AM.

  38. #38
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Painting doesn't make for a very good photo journal as one day doesn't look all that dramatically different than the next. Still adding primer between varnish coats on the cabin top formers. Hopefully I'll be forgiven for boat work on Easter Sunday since Jesus was a carpenter who mostly ran around with fishermen.



    I don't have very good luck with flash photography of varnished bits since the mirror finish seems to pick up reflections of all the surrounding surfaces and lights. I got a touch of "wow" at the end of the day today as the formers are really starting to polish up nicely. This is coat number 6 over 5 coats of sealer and I think I got it laid down nice and clean. If so, I'll move next weekend to getting the cabin sides and ceilings primed. This may be it for the varnishing this season in the cabin. Well, except for all of the doors and trim that are at various stages of refinishing in my garage/shop.

    Last edited by Tom Freeman; 04-05-2010 at 01:38 AM. Reason: typos

  39. #39
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Looking great! What type/brand of paint are you using on the interior?
    Are we crazy??!!

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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    We're using the Pettit Hi-Hide white undercoat. We're planning to use Pettit Semi-Gloss 101 for the finish coats. Still debating whether to tint it a little off-white or not. Leaning toward not at the moment, but that may change once we get everything in primer.

  41. #41
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    We spent a lot of time working on the boat, but masking and final sanding doesn't make for very interesting progress photos. Dean Simonson did come down today and dry fit the new curtains.



    Next step will be to sew in the windows. Here Jessica and Dean are discussing exactly how the port side window should follow the lines of the cabin sides.



    We're happy with the choice of adding the red welting on the edges. Complements the painted details nicely.



    Interior view. The privacy is great, but visibility is a little limited at the moment.


  42. #42
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Another day of finish work. We may get done in time to sleep aboard again around September.

    One of the last tasks prior to adding primer was to fair out grooves in the tongue and groove cabin ceiling, including getting out any remaining loose paint. After trying a couple of sanding blocks, I found that the corner of a cabinet scraper was the best tool for the job. This photo was just before the last scraping pass.



    Then we were able to prime the remainder of the cabin sides and ceilings. We rarely leave the boat on days like this one saying "Wow, we got a lot more done than we expected today. We used regular primer in the grooves in the ceiling and Pettit Hi-Hide primer on everything else. Jessica is brushing the inside edges here before coming back over the flats with the 4" roller.



    We were pleased with the way the ceiling came out. Hoping our tape lines do the job on the varnished formers. We used delicate tape to mask it and then came back over it with 3" blue tape to give a little extra protection from sanding rash.




    Here are the cabin sides with the first coat of primer on. After seeing everything in pure white primer, we are thinking about tinting the finish coat off white to warm it up a bit. Have a finish color that you love? I'd like to see your off-white color choices.




    Tommorow we'll just be doing some surface fairing and finishing the priming in some awkward spots in the hanging locker and forepeak, so I'm not sure that I'll have anything new to share. The doors now have 5 coats of varnish on one side in the garage shop. I'll share those later this week if I can grab a decent photo.

  43. #43
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    I found myself hitting the wall a little bit today. Build coats (both primer and varnish) are my least favorite things. But it was a beautiful day here, and one of our celebrity neighbors was in port and tied up about 500 yards from our slip. We don't see her too often as she is a very hardworking boat.


  44. #44
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    We didn't have much time to work on the boat today as the CYA auction was tonight. The curtains were installed today by Dean Simonson. I can't say enough good things about his work. If you are in the Puget Sound area, I highly recommend him. His e-mail is violetdean@comcast.net.



    Of course, they immediately came off the boat and went home to live under a bed until we get the interior work completed. Here is a shot of Dean with his finished work.



    And a very rare shot with Jessica, me and the boat in the same frame.



    Tomorrow, it's back to sanding out the primer in the cabin.

  45. #45
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    "CYA Auction?" What is a "Cover Your As*" auction? JK. Lovely boat you have there and nice work.

  46. #46
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Nah, Classic Yacht Association - a bunch of crazy people that care for these old boats. You can see some of the member boats from the Pacific NW here - http://www.classicyacht.org/gallery/index.php?cat=2
    Last edited by Tom Freeman; 04-26-2010 at 02:26 AM.

  47. #47
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Wow! Some nice boats in that club!

  48. #48
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    I really want to visit Seattle or Vancouver shows. The fleet in the PNW is just astounding. Thanks for the link, Tom.

    Why is Rita AWOL on the CYA site?

  49. #49
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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Freeman View Post
    Here are the cabin sides with the first coat of primer on. After seeing everything in pure white primer, we are thinking about tinting the finish coat off white to warm it up a bit. Have a finish color that you love? I'd like to see your off-white color choices.
    Hi Tom -

    Beautiful boat. You Seattle guys with covered slips & weather that makes year-round work possible make me jealous. Yeah, I know, I could move. Almost did move there 15 years ago, but it didn't quite happen... However, I digress.

    I don't know about "warmer", but I have become a huge fan of Interlux Seattle Gray. No, not just 'cause my boat was built there. It's white with a tiny bit of black added to scale it back from bright white - no doubt cooler (as in shade, not as in "Hey that's cool";-) than an off white made by mixing in burnt umber or some such.

    I find it goes really well with a lot of brightwork - either interior or exterior. In the image below (not a great pic for color) - the bulkhead is Seattle gray, while the fire extinguisher is plain ole white (ignore the bright spot to the top right of the extinguisher, the part below is closer to real):



    [edit] Most people think it is white, until I point out a comparison like the fire extinguisher, so the difference is subtle.
    Last edited by Garret; 04-25-2010 at 12:57 PM.

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    Default Re: Restoration of a 1939 Richardson

    @ C. Ross - not sure why there are no photos in that particular gallery of the lovely Rita. Maybe Lew will chime in here and point us to some images.

    @ Garret - thanks for the recommendation of Seattle Gray. I'll take a look a it. It certainly looks great in your galley. Our friend Mark Garff who has SWIETENIA recommended Interlux Hatteras Off White, so I plan to take a look at that as well. We sanded out a lot of the Hi Hide primer today, and the surfaces are fairing out well enough to do gloss if we want to go that way. I was leaning toward semi-gloss (as if I get any sort of real vote in the decorating department), but there is a part of me that says "if you did all the hard work to support gloss during the prep stages, then why not use it?". If anyone has used Hatteras Off White on your interiors, post a picture. I'd love to see in on the boat as well.

    Here is a gratuitous primer sanding photo to give you a sense of how our day was spent. That is Jessica sanding away like a champ as always in one of the most painful spots on the boat. Edited to add in pre-emptive self defense - she has no gray hair as far as you know - that is all primer dust.


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