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Thread: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

  1. #1
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    Default Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    Just wondering if anyone has long term experience using this type of product on bright work? I'm about to refinish all my teak and use this and wanted to hear about any drawbacks.

    Not interested in hearing about varnish, epoxy, Cetol, Sikkens, Semco, Starbright, etc.... been there done that!

    Trying to find out if anyone has been using these "old school" finishes and what their experience has been with them. Want to know if they hold up and have the advantage of being able to be touched up without having to sand, scrape and remove the old finishes every couple of years.

    My test piece is impressive and application was simple; now time will tell unless you know.

    Thanks,
    Bill

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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    I've used Watco Teak Oil. Not super impressed. I much prefer Daly's SeaFin Teak Oil.

    I'm not sure where the term 'varnish' factors into your thoughts. The Watco product is not a 'varnish'. It would require a much higher resin content to move into varnish territory. I don't think I've ever seen a wipe-on varnish that included any UV additive.
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by David G
    I've used Watco Teak Oil. Not super impressed. I much prefer Daly's SeaFin Teak Oil.

    I'm not sure where the term 'varnish' factors into your thoughts. The Watco product is not a 'varnish'. It would require a much higher resin content to move into varnish territory. I don't think I've ever seen a wipe-on varnish that included any UV additive.
    The finishing experts class Watco Danish Oil, Homer Formeby's "Tung Oil", Seafin, et al as "wiping varnishes", which is to say that they are a mixture of varnish, a lot of solvent and possibly some oil, usually with some japan drier tossed in for flavor.

    Call them what you will: this particular class of finishes are not by any stretch of the imagination an "oil finish".

    Here's the MSDS for Watco Danish Oil —http://www.jamestowndistributors.com...MSDS_65841.pdf
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ladyslipper
    Just wondering if anyone has long term experience using this type of product on bright work? I'm about to refinish all my teak and use this and wanted to hear about any drawbacks.

    Not interested in hearing about varnish, epoxy, Cetol, Sikkens, Semco, Starbright, etc.... been there done that!

    Trying to find out if anyone has been using these "old school" finishes and what their experience has been with them. Want to know if they hold up and have the advantage of being able to be touched up without having to sand, scrape and remove the old finishes every couple of years.

    My test piece is impressive and application was simple; now time will tell unless you know.

    Thanks,
    Bill
    As noted , most wiping varnishes/oils won't have much, if any UV protection.

    The old-school finish you might be interested in is Le Tonkinois

    http://www.letonkinoisvarnish.co.uk/VarMain.html

    Search this august site for some reviews of it.

    Another "old-school" finish that might interest you is Varnol: http://varnol.co.uk/index.html
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    FWIW at boat school we do use Daly's SeaFin Teak Oil.
    Gerard>
    Albuquerque, NM

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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    I must admit that I am open to any thing that works well in the finish dept. "Bright Star" was finished with LP long before I bought her. That was ten years ago and the topsides still are primo! I know from experience that while wipe on oils are easy to apply, that there will come a day of judgement down the line when the grain is filled with solidified oil and dirt and the color is bleached out and the finish is sticky and checked. Then, it will be time to strip down to bare wood. And, that process can be a real bear! So my own prefrence for finishing external teak is to either leave it bare or varnish it! I prefer varnish. It looks better and prevents weathering of the wood in areas that look better when varnished.
    Jay

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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    I have used WATCO products over the years on tables and gun stocks. Several coats are needed and the more you put on the longer it takes to dry, the last gun stock took over a month to "set" and it had only 4 coats on it. On tables the Oils will seep through the wood joints and can be seen from below. If you think that you might want to try a different kind of finish in the future think hard and long about using WaTco oils. They are great for the gun stocks and I will use them again.
    Last edited by CEFeighn; 01-30-2012 at 02:23 PM. Reason: spelling
    Replace fear of the unknown with curiosity.

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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Carey View Post
    The finishing experts class Watco Danish Oil, Homer Formeby's "Tung Oil", Seafin, et al as "wiping varnishes", which is to say that they are a mixture of varnish, a lot of solvent and possibly some oil, usually with some japan drier tossed in for flavor.

    Call them what you will: this particular class of finishes are not by any stretch of the imagination an "oil finish".

    Here's the MSDS for Watco Danish Oil —http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/pdfs/MSDS/Watco Danish Oil/Watco_Danish_Oil_MSDS_65841.pdf

    It's understandable that there's a lot of confusion about what to call the various finishes and blended finishes.

    Most wood finishes are various proportions of 3 components: resin, oil, solvent. A pure oil finish, like tung oil, or linseed oil could be 0% resin, 100% oil, and 0% solvent. A spar varnish has some of each component. The higher the resin content... the faster the film build. The higher the solvent content... the cheaper it is.

    Resins can range from old-school, like copal or amber, to phenolic, alkyd, and polyurethane.

    Oils might be linseed, soy, tung, and safflower.

    Solvents can be anything from water to turpentine, to mineral spirits, to lacquer thinner, to xylene, MEK, etc.

    According to Bob Flexner - who, I guess, is about as much of an expert as we'll find on the topic - he calls the oil finishes with a bit of resin content and a large proportion of solvents (like Watco Danish Oil, Watco Teak Oil, Daly's SeaFin Teak Oil, et.al.) "oil/varnish blend" finishes. The concoctions that are often sold as "tung oil" finishes are most frequently about half varnish and half mineral spirits (one type of solvent). Daly's ProFin is one example... though they, at least, have the good grace not to mention tung oil. Flexner calls these finishes "wiping varnish".

    It's all very confusing... and a bit arbitrary.

    So - in terms of terminology - Flexner would say the Watco and Daly's SeaFin teak oils would be called oil/varnish blends, but not wiping varnishes (as I said earlier - not enough resin content).

    So - to the OP - I'd say the same as others have. Decide between 3 strategies. First - leave it bare. It'll weather to a nice dove-gray patina, and be the lowest maintainance approach. Second - use oil. The two most common choices are boiled linseed oil and tung oil. It's easy to apply and easy to touch up. It requires discipline. If you don't refresh the finish religiously - before it appears to need it... you'll have made yourself a mess you'll have to clean up. Third - a film finish. Most common is spar varnish. This is what I'd recommend if you decline the bare teak look.

    The oil/varnish blends will build a film - just like varnish - they'll just take more coats to do it. If you should go that route - the Daly's product has better quality oils and resins, and a lower proportion of solvents. The Watco Teak Oil I've seen used did not hold up over time.
    Last edited by David G; 01-30-2012 at 07:32 PM.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    A slight correction: at school we use Daly's if there is need for an oil finish. More normally we varnish.
    Gerard>
    Albuquerque, NM

    Don't believe Republican lies.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    Not what you're looking for, probably, but I wipe some Watco on the interior teak woodwork (cabin) and it freshens it up nicely. This is both panel/laminate wood and the dimensional wood. It takes off water spots, covers scratches, etc. I have used some Watco teak oil on a cheap "teak" patio table, too. Um, doesn't seem to last all that well.

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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    Thank you for your feedback. I thought this stuff would be a better alternative to varnish or Cetol as they don't hold up very well either.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    Lady,

    What, to your mind, DOES hold up well, if not spar varnish or Cetol?

    The next step - in terms of durability and low maintenance - is paint.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    I've used Watco Teak Oil. It needs to be scuff sanded and refreshed at least annually. I used it on seats and rails of a canoe so wasn't much concerned about appearance, just water protection and it worked OK. I'd use it again. Easy to apply, good to go in a day or so. It does set up just like varnish if you get a run and don't wipe it off.

    Also have used Sea Fin oil and couldn't tell much difference, but seems like there's more added color with Sea Fin.

    Never used Cetol. I personally hate the orange color that screams "Cetol" from 10 yards away.

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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    fishr,

    Just a note about Sikkens Cetol Marine: you're right about that weird fluorescent orange color. I've always hated it too. The good news is that Cetol now has a couple of newer colors - that are actually good looking. One is simply called "Light", and the other is "Natural Teak". They're both quite pleasing to the eye.
    Last edited by David G; 02-20-2012 at 11:21 AM.
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    I am trying to determine IF Watco Teak Oil is a better choice than Cetol or varnish. So far we know it works well on gun stocks and one gentleman uses it on his canoe where "It needs to be scuff sanded and refreshed at least annually". To my mind that's as good as it gets. If you never have to strip it all down again it would be a winner. That's the problem with varnish and eventually with Cetol. I read where one user said they NEVER had to strip it all down again, just occasional touch ups to maintain. Was just trying to find out if other users were having similar experiences. Apparently a lot of folks don't use it (go figure if it can do all that; but then again margarine is still sold as butter). Paint is one step away from replacing everything with starboard and moving into a clorox bottle.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    There is no free lunch.

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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    Oil finishes or wiping varnishes are for interior.

    Cetol holds up very very well, no comparison whatsoever to varnish. And sometimes you will even mistake it for varnish. Varnish is very maintenance intensive. If outside.

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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    Hey folks. I have a 44’ sailboat that we live in. 4” either teak or mahogany toe rails that need attention. I am not able to seal all the joints and connections enough to prevent moisture from wicking in. My last attempt at varnish was 8 coats of epifanes wood finish gloss followed by 2 coats of regular uv protected epifances
    varnish. I had peeling and de lamination in one year. So. I could either go and let it gray naturally or I was thinking about possibly oiling it. So my question is if I decide to oil it what type of oil should I use and will I be happy with it? I worry about it turning dark or not setting up quick enough etc…. Thanks in advance

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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    Are these teakormahogany toerails installed on a wood boat?
    I'm wondering about the inability to seal the jointsandconnections .
    Cuz if moisture is wikkin in there , how is the rest of the vessel?
    Oiling , as you have read, is good for gunstocks and diningroom tables. Not a lotta sun/salt/bird and otter guanno/suntan lotion/sand/rope chafe on gunstocks.
    Letting wood go "natural" is the highest maintainance wood on a boat. The dirt from the atmosphere is dirty.oh i shudda added atmosphere dirt to the above rant.
    bruce

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other oil for boat toe rails?

    We live on a 44 sailboat with a 4 teak or mahogany tow rail. I am unable to seal the toe rail 100% and because of that, i get moisture at all the seams. So. My first attempt was 8 coats of epifanes wood finish gloss followed by 2 coats of epifanes high gloss uv. I had peeling and de lamination all over the tow rail. So, scraped it off. So. My question is, Since I cannot seal the wood to prevent moisture from getting in, wooden oil be something to use? I worry about turning black and I also worry about it taking a very long time to set up. Anybody have any thoughts? Thanks in advance

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    Are these teakormahogany toerails installed on a wood boat?
    I'm wondering about the inability to seal the jointsandconnections .
    Cuz if moisture is wikkin in there , how is the rest of the vessel?
    Oiling , as you have read, is good for gunstocks and diningroom tables. Not a lotta sun/salt/bird and otter guanno/suntan lotion/sand/rope chafe on gunstocks.
    Letting wood go "natural" is the highest maintainance wood on a boat. The dirt from the atmosphere is dirty.oh i shudda added atmosphere dirt to the above rant.
    bruce
    the boat is not wood. Its a 1990 Morgan center cockpit. The 4 inch tall rail has a 1 x 1 piece attached to the outer edge of it. Then there is a rub rail that is screwed in right at the seam where the toe rail and the one by 1 inch piece of wood meet. So that absolutely causes a moisture issue. Even if I use 3M 4000 or 4200 I still have an issue.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    These pieces of wood attached to a fg boat....ugh
    the rubrail that you speak of , it sounds like a beauty/hide the flange between hull and deck piece.
    the 1x1 piece also sounds sketchy.
    we have a 30 year old boat here.
    If water ,especially rain water, is creeping in , yer kinna screwed . It is a big job to fix, not a tube of goo or an oil rub.
    I grabbed this from the web...is it like yours?

    Our nomenclature may not be meshing , as this is a caprail, not a toerail.
    Last edited by wizbang 13; 11-04-2021 at 12:19 PM.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    Mad River Canoe originally used ash gunwales, decks and seat frames on their canoes, "finished" with Watco oil. Actually, they were shipped almost raw with only one or maybe two coats quickly wiped on and they were rough and looked like crap. As a dealer, we had to explain to the customer that it was a gradual building process. The claim was that dings, etc. would be easier to fix compared to a varnished gunwale. In reality, it got the folks at Mad River out of a lot of finishing work. Some customers re-oiled their boats regularly and eventually did end up with a good looking and reasonably durable finish. Many did not, and that black fungus that ash is prone to would eventually show up along with a rough weathered surface. I've had much better luck with Deks Olje #1 for use on boats, using their multi coat, wet on wet until it won't absorb any more application technique. Even so, those surfaces need recoating before they start to look like they need it. Let it go a bit too long and the wood will discolor.

    I don't, however consider Watco a worthless product, I just don't use it on boats. I get some gorgeous results using Watco on walnut gunstocks. I can do one in an afternoon with just two coats and it is dry and usable the following day. I strip, sand and stain if desired to generate a smooth, clean surface. The first coat is a quick, wiped-on coat using an old can of Watco that I've had for years. The main purpose of this coat is to be sure that the surface is taking the oil evenly, with no voids or contaminated spots. About an hour later I brush on the heaviest coat of Watco that I can apply. Since my oil is old and may have dried a bit in the can, it may even be thicker than fresh Watco. This is then allowed to sit for an hour or more, until it is really sticky and gummy.

    Now comes the fun part. With a small piece of cloth you start rubbing off the excess oil. If this isn't extremely difficult and a hell of a lot of hard rubbing, you didn't wait long enough. Something like a rifle butt stock may take half an hour or more of continuous rubbing. Eventually, you will get to the point where the surface is no longer sticky. Oil will not be coming off on your hands or the cloth and it will be baby butt smooth. Let it dry overnight and the next day assemble the rifle. It's a gorgeous, silky finish, but it would be totally nuts to try it on anything boat-sized.

    Second coat of Watco, brushed on as thick as possible. 1860 Henry rifle butt stock.

    second-coat.jpg

    Replicas all Watco refinished
    1885 Winchester Low Wall, 22LR
    1866 Winchester Yellow boy saddle ring carbine, 44-40 Black powder Cartridge Rifle
    1873 Winchester 44-40 BPCR
    1860 Henry 44-40 BPCR

    DSCF1255a.jpg

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    These pieces of wood attached to a fg boat....ugh
    the rubrail that you speak of , it sounds like a beauty/hide the flange between hull and deck piece.
    the 1x1 piece also sounds sketchy.
    we have a 30 year old boat here.
    If water ,especially rain water, is creeping in , yer kinna screwed . It is a big job to fix, not a tube of goo or an oil rub.
    I grabbed this from the web...is it like yours?

    Our nomenclature may not be meshing , as this is a caprail, not a toerail.
    that is a picture of the exact boat
    we have. And the same messed up cap raill and rub rail setup.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruski View Post
    that is a picture of the exact boat
    we have. And the same messed up cap raill and rub rail setup.
    tryin to upload picture. Pia
    Attached Images Attached Images

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    run a skilsaw kerf down the seam between the cap and inch piece below it. fill the kerf with epoxy.epoxy another piece of wood to the side in lieu of the metal half round garbage.
    but the boat still has the stantion screws, the chock fastenings, the metal "protection" bits...more damage than protection in the long run.
    see...these fg boats are a LOTTA work!
    dump some ospho into the chain locker

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    I use Deks Olje...... do you count that?
    There is a joy in madness, that only mad men know. -Nieztsche

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    I was initially very happy with Deks Olje #1, but I think one would need to recoat more often than I have done to be successful. It might want 3-4 coats per season. I am working with black locust rubrails, belay pins, Doug Fir spars, ash cockpit combing, etc.

    Ken

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    I've always had pretty good luck using Deks Olje #1, which is the one which yields an oiled finish. Their Deks #2 version is more like a gloss varnish, made to be the optional topcoat for #1. I never found a lot of use for that one. If I wanted varnish, I used regular varnish. Deks #1 is very thin and made to apply wet on wet until the surface won't absorb any more, which can take five or six coats, though it's about as easy to apply as anything you can find and neatness or application technique doesn't matter much. Once saturated, you wipe the excess off and give it a day or two to dry.

    Recoating is best done before it starts to look like it really needs it and the same basic multi-coat, wet on wet as needed for saturation technique is the way to go. I've actually been somewhat surprised at the durability and the amount of protection it can offer. This is an ash canoe side motor mount that I built for one of the canoes at our place up on the lake. Somebody in the family left it on the ground under the porch for about three years before I found it. The top side had gotten some sun and the finish had pretty much faded away, yet without much of that nasty black fungus that ash gets from weathering. The underside, which was directly on the ground, still had a fair bit of the oiled finish on it. It's not pretty, but the usual result of leaving a hunk of ash on the ground for a couple of years isn't likely to look anywhere near this decent or be as free of fungus or rot. I'm pretty sure that without the Deks #1 treatment, this thing would be toast.

    mount.jpg

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    Really good long term test results of different finishes here https://www.practical-sailor.com/boa...d-finish-tests The second paragraph has links to other finishes

    The upshot was for lowest cost + results , the one part Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane is a good choice

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    Quote Originally Posted by Three Cedars View Post
    Really good long term test results of different finishes here https://www.practical-sailor.com/boa...d-finish-tests The second paragraph has links to other finishes

    The upshot was for lowest cost + results , the one part Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane is a good choice
    Thanks for that link, it was very, very helpful to a newcomer to boat building.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Anyone using Watco Teak Oil or other wipe-on oil/varnish?

    are we trying to find long lasting varnish or fix the leaks from crap construction ?

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