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Thread: Help with finishing, now I've started...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    West Yorkshire, UK
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    Default Help with finishing, now I've started...

    Hi all

    I've been lurking for a while with the plan to build a boat. People have been universally helpful and have given me th confident to jump in (or should that be overboard?!).

    So I'm going to build an Oughtred Guillemot. I have the plans, which are beautiful, and have decided that (while I work out where to put the junk that's currently in the garage) I will start with the spars.

    I have bought Douglas Fir for the mast, boom and yard and yesterday made the boom...! Other than a hardwood cleat that I made last month, this is the the first woodworking I've done since school, and I'm really pleased with the result. (If I can work out how to post images on an iPad, I'll post a picture...)

    My questions are about finishing... I said I'm really pleased, but there are a few spots where there are slight "dings" that I don't think I can get rid of and a rough patch I can't sand out where I think I got confused about the grain direction and planed the wrong way. The dings are max 1mm deep and really not very big, but I think they might need filling before finishing. So what do I do about this? Do I have to use a certain type of filler? And what do I finish the spars with? I read that Djeks oil is good, but need a pointer from people who know!

    Thanks in advance.

    Noel

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Kiel, Germany
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Help with finishing, now I've started...

    Hey,

    Welcome aboard. Great choice of boat! I'd say your spars will get more dings on the water, apply finish and get on with the build. If you finish them clear, you can't really fill without it being noticable anyway.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    PNW, an island west of Seattle
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    1,095

    Default Re: Help with finishing, now I've started...

    Tips from a retired furniture maker:

    Small dings and holes can be filled with un-thickened epoxy or the super thick variety of super glue. Apply it generously, mounding it deeper than the hole. Then scrape, sand, or file smooth. Neither epoxy nor super glue is uv tolerant so a coating must be applied and maintained. The filler will not darken with the application of an oil type finish. But, for that matter, an oil won't protect the filler from uv… so I would only use varnish or other film type finish.

    I've used this technique on some very fancy interior woodwork and if don't carefully the patch isn't noticeable.

    Another thought: Clear shellac sticks might also be used a the filler. These are generally melted with a hot knife during application. I've no experience with their durability in a marine environment.

    Jeff

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    San Francisco Bay
    Posts
    11,144

    Default Re: Help with finishing, now I've started...

    For very minor nicks and dings, Briwax wax filler sticks, the soft wax crayons sold for use on furniture, work sufficiently well on brightwork. The come in various colors to match the wood. Use as directed: https://briwax.wordpress.com/2010/01...-filler-stick/



    As for a bright finish, you'd be better off with a decent quality traditional spar varnish. Apply a sealer coat of thinned varnish (or CPES penetrating epoxy sealer) and six or eight good coats on top of that. Beware of often high-priced "miracle finishes." Most hold up little better than traditional varnish and are many times more difficult to remove than traditional spar varnish when it comes time to refinish. Maintenance is only a couple of coats a year or much less if the boat is stored out of the sun most of the time. When varnishing, which is an acquired skill but not one the average person cannot master, remember to avoid the beginner's most common mistake: removing most of what you just put on when sanding between coats!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    66

    Default



    Ok. Thanks everyone. This image is partially just to see if I can upload and partially for scrutiny. 😐


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    9,864

    Default Re: Help with finishing, now I've started...

    Nice to have you aboard and it is wise that you making your spars first. This saves you from having to wait to go sailing if you build your hull first. Here, spars are easier to store than paying rent for a hull under construction.
    If the "dents" you speak of are compression dings from the lumber being hit, most often, they can be removed by steaming with a damp cloth pad and soldering iron over it. This will cause the damaged wood to expand and often, removes the dent.
    Jay

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    66

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    Nice to have you aboard and it is wise that you making your spars first. This saves you from having to wait to go sailing if you build your hull first. Here, spars are easier to store than paying rent for a hull under construction.
    If the "dents" you speak of are compression dings from the lumber being hit, most often, they can be removed by steaming with a damp cloth pad and soldering iron over it. This will cause the damaged wood to expand and often, removes the dent.
    Jay


    Hi Jay
    Yes, some of the dings are from the wood "bouncing" in plastic vice jaws as I sanded enthusiastically. I'll give the soldering iron suggestion a go, thanks. Some of the "rough" bits are from planing the wrong way - against the grain, I suppose. I'm a rookie...
    Cheers


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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    South Australia and Tasmania
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    10,032

    Default Re: Help with finishing, now I've started...

    I think the first response was spot on. It's not a dining table. Varnish and move on to the next thing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    PNW, an island west of Seattle
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    1,095

    Default Re: Help with finishing, now I've started...

    The steaming with a soldering iron (or regular clothes iron, my choice of heater) won't work on those chipped out areas. There, you'll have to fill or just be OK with the fault.

    When I made the mast for Emily Ruth, I was pretty careful and ended up with quite a smooth and blemish free surface. No longer… Two seasons of moving her on a trailer, mast on/mast off, etc. there are numerous dents in the varnished surface. Sort of like myself after all the years.

    Jeff

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Shoreline, Washington
    Posts
    2,191

    Default Re: Help with finishing, now I've started...

    For small clear fills I tend to use 5 minute epoxy from west or sys 3 or whoever. Typically over a stained or sealed surface. A bit of epoxy over an otherwise bare wood surface will be a blemish.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
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    Default

    Ok then, so some kind of sealer and then traditional spar varnish. Ignore the dents and scratches and scrapes.
    Thanks for all the advice.


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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Help with finishing, now I've started...

    I've used a regular clothing steam iron instead of the soldering iron. The clothes iron can add even more wood fiber plumping steam by pushing the steam button. Make sure the towel is just damp, you want it to convert to steam quickly and to much water slows that process down. Good luck, your woodworking looks great!
    A ship is safe in the harbor, but that's not what ships are for.

    http://www.seadreamerproject.com
    http://www.youtube.com/c/SixPointsWoodWorks

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    West Yorkshire, UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott2640 View Post
    I've used a regular clothing steam iron instead of the soldering iron. The clothes iron can add even more wood fiber plumping steam by pushing the steam button. Make sure the towel is just damp, you want it to convert to steam quickly and to much water slows that process down. Good luck, your woodworking looks great!


    Thanks Scott. Fingers crossed it carries on OK... just been knocking up boom and yard jaws designs, so will tackle them next.


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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Help with finishing, now I've started...

    Welcome aboard and what a beautiful choice for your first boat! I've built his Fulmar and have plans for the Auklet.

    I'll throw in with the go with it camp. I own a small cabinet shop and it was soooo nice to put aside my perfectionist tendencies when building my boat. My boat has all sorts of little things that only us boatbuilders would notice, and I love her all the more for them.

    Mike

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    West Yorkshire, UK
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike J View Post
    Welcome aboard and what a beautiful choice for your first boat! I've built his Fulmar and have plans for the Auklet.

    I'll throw in with the go with it camp. I own a small cabinet shop and it was soooo nice to put aside my perfectionist tendencies when building my boat. My boat has all sorts of little things that only us boatbuilders would notice, and I love her all the more for them.

    Mike


    Thanks Mike. I am just clearing some space. Spars don't take up much, so think I will try to get as much done as I can before the hull takes over!

    I'm aiming for "as good as as possible" - I'd like to have perfectionist tendencies....!



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