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Thread: When you need only a little varnish

  1. #1
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    Default When you need only a little varnish

    Here is a solution, I use, for getting just a small amount of varnish without having to filter out into a second container. The brush is a one inch sign writers "Grey Hound Flat" which is being used to cover the edges of a small placard sign. The filter is folded to fit the can and locked to its smaller shape with a tear fold of the edge. Saves time and mess!
    Jay

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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    Great tip Jay.
    Chuck Hancock

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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    So... Where'd ya get the Behr? I have a can, a single can left. It's a gallon can but still, just the one can..... Won't last me for ever though, that's for sure.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    Great idea. I keep a paper cup full of scraps of nylon stocking to do essentially the same thing. Far less wastful, and much tidier than pouring out just a dab.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    Definitely one to remember. Thanks, Jay.

    Alex

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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    Jay - are you a member of the Letterheads ??
    I saw that trick maybe 20 years ago - I thought everybody knew it. (I didn't until then).
    one guy was so cheap he actually rinses the filter in mineral spirits to live another day.


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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    So... Where'd ya get the Behr? I have a can, a single can left. It's a gallon can but still, just the one can..... Won't last me for ever though, that's for sure.
    I started talking about the longevity of Behr Spar about ten years ago and nobody listened! A few of you who did give it a try and wrote to me. They were kind enough to send me several thank you notes, swearing to God it was the best and longest lasting varnish they had ever used! Guys, I really don't spread BS when I talk about products and other subjects.
    I have nothing to gain as I am an independant boat designer, builder. I did buy enough Behr Spar varnish to last me a long long time. However, I did discover, much to my dismay that mineral spirits, the product used for washing brushes, can no longer be sold in California. This is a true disaster because, the new substitute brush wash, will take all of the finish off of the handle of a good brush! It will also attack the heel so much that it will cause a good brush to shed bristles into the job! It will also create nerds in the brush from any residue from the heel. The only thing I can think of is to use turpentine for cleaning followed by a lard oil soak to keep the bristles from gumming up from the turps as it evaporates. This is the same thing that is done with sign writing quills and flats. Brushes are then wrapped and laid flat in a tin brush box if they are to be used for enameling or varnishing. I should think that a wooden boat owner should be exempt from such legislation as the effect of all of us using traditional thinners and paints is extremely minimal. And, wooden boats need this kind of product for protection of the wood they are made of. One airliner taking off or landing once puts more polution into the air than we can in a hundred or more years!
    End of Rant!
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 07-12-2017 at 01:06 PM.

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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    Ditto to your rant, Jay! I'm so sick of the eco-craziness and I consider myself rather environmentally sensitive. I don't know why they always go after the boaters. You can't get good varnish and bottom paint, thinners, or conditioners. Penetrol is verboten, too, now.

    Diesel #2 is a fair approximation for paint thinner, if you must. Otherwise, you have to stock up someplace where it's still legal and smuggle it across the border.

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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    At the WoodenBoat Show in Mystic I bought some varnish at the Jamestown Distributers booth. It came in a plastic bag with a screw top on it. Mylar maybe? So you can just unscrew the top and pour out as much as you want. Then squeeze out any air before screwing the top back on. Genius.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    It's this stuff:



    TotalBoat Halcyon is an innovative marine varnish that creates a clear, hard, gloss finish on brightwork without the painstaking prep, long dry times, tedious sanding, and noxious fumes associated with most varnishes. Its 1-part low-VOC formula features powerful UV protection, so the finish won't yellow over time. Upon full cure, it remains flexible to prevent cracking & lifting when wood flexes with humidity & temperature changes. Halcyon cures to a harder surface than other 1-part varnishes, exhibiting excellent abrasion, scratch & solvent resistance. Since it dries super fast, you can recoat in as little as 1 hour at 72F, with no sanding between coats. Resealable Pour Pak bag prevents skinning over & waste. Soap & water cleanup. Includes 2 quart size paint pots, 2 wooden stir sticks, 2 2-in. foam brushes, 2 strainers & 1 pr. of large latex gloves.

    https://www.jamestowndistributors.co...Marine+Varnish

    The best part was the Boatshow price. It's usually $30 a quart but I got two bags for $5 each. Certainly worth a little experimenting.
    Last edited by StevenBauer; 07-11-2017 at 08:43 PM.

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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    Wow! I wanted to bring out my own brand of varnish that was to be called "Singapore Spar Varnish" in a box with a flexible vinyl liner that fed the product through a tube as the liner collapesd. That was some twenty years ago! But the powers that be would not approve it! They wanted a metal container for safe shipping so I gave up. I wanted the varnish to pour from the bottom when the box was inverted. A shot of nitrogen was to be topped with the product. The varnish would not skin over as there was no chance for it to oxidize.
    So much for innovation to make it easier for us wooden boat owners!

    I do hail the person or persons that have brought this concept to fruition. However, I might note that a water clear coating does not add to the enhancement of a wood finish. It is the subtle amber cast of either shellac or amber varnish on fine furniture made in the time of Queen Anne, Chippendale and Heppelwhite that gave and still gives depth and beauty to the wood! Remember those clear resin coated cargo hatch covers that were used for tables in many waterside restaurants in the late sixties! No class with clear as glass!
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 07-12-2017 at 01:31 PM.

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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    Quote Originally Posted by John-1948 View Post
    Jay - are you a member of the Letterheads ??
    I saw that trick maybe 20 years ago - I thought everybody knew it. (I didn't until then).
    one guy was so cheap he actually rinses the filter in mineral spirits to live another day.
    Sorry, John I have never heard of the "Letterheads". Walter Methner and I had a sign shop in Newport Beach CA next to the Crab Cooker Resturant called Walters Sign Shop. We also invented the sand blasted sign that was once so popular.

    My boat shop was next door. Walter always wanted trail and arch boards made up so I ended up learning sign painting from Walter. I already was into calligraphy and carving prior to that. Incidently, filters used to be free. and then went up to ten cents which, was outrageous! Now West Marine charges a buck apiece! So, old panty hose is a lot cheaper but can be messy! The strainers do make general pouring easier if you have a strainer stand. I only need this trick once in a blue moon
    It is handy as the brush can be drawn over the inner surface of the filter to get rid of excess varnish in it. I figure this costs me two or three filters a year to use this trick.
    Jay

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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    I heard your advice and purchased the only can I could find. I still have it. I'll use it on my Catspaw once she's completed. Not sure there will be enough in a gallon can for enough coats on the Catspaw but I do plan to paint the hull so I won't need too much. Too bad about the way they seem to target boaters with enviro-craziness though.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    I, too, have an unopened gallon of Behr Super Spar Varnish stashed away for Talisman.

    Jay, they told me at the Jamestown booth, and the samples seemed to confirm it, that this water based varnish does impart an amber color to the wood. We will see.

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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    We used a lot of water based acrylic coatings when I was in the sign business. The stuff was bullet proof! I never saw it weather to the point of failure.
    However water based sign paint sucks!! It is in no way shape or form as good as One Shot sign paint was. I have found that water based black acrylic artist's paint is an excellent replacement for pine tar on servings made of marlin. It remains flexible and seals the fibers of the servings against moisture intrusion and will last and last and last!
    Jay

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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    Hello Jay,

    I learned about One Shot from you but haven't gotten to painting the name on the transom yet. Are you saying that there is a better alternative to One Shot or simply that it is not as good as it once was?

    Thanks,

    Greg

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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    Quote Originally Posted by gregleetaylor View Post
    Hello Jay,

    I learned about One Shot from you but haven't gotten to painting the name on the transom yet. Are you saying that there is a better alternative to One Shot or simply that it is not as good as it once was?

    Thanks,

    Greg

    I too am interested in hearing Jay's response. I know that the One Shot paint that is now available pales in comparison to the One Shot of the past. I recently debated on what paint to use for an exterior sign. I have some artist acrylics in the correct color, but was hesitant to use them due to concern over light-fastness. Reds especially are quite fugitive.

    Jeff

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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    "One Shot Sign Paint" is designed to be just what it says. It covers in one stroke. The paint was designed to be used straight out of the can and contained a higher amount of lead than normal enamel. It flowed off the brush slicker than snake snot and needed no prep sanding. The company still makes sign paint under the same label but the lead has been taken out and it no longer works as well as it did in the past. It is now very difficult to use for pin striping! Still it is far better than is the new Aqua Coat water based Sign paint that is about as controllable as having a ferret in your britches!
    Jay

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    "One Shot Sign Paint" is designed to be just what it says. It covers in one stroke. The paint was designed to be used straight out of the can and contained a higher amount of lead than normal enamel. It flowed off the brush slicker than snake snot and needed no prep sanding. The company still makes sign paint under the same label but the lead has been taken out and it no longer works as well as it did in the past. It is now very difficult to use for pin striping! Still it is far better than is the new Aqua Coat water based Sign paint that is about as controllable as having a ferret in your britches! Jay
    hahaaaa thanks Jay!! Priceless.. I sought advice and got it; a bonus to add slick snake snot and aside order of ferret britches!!!

  20. #20
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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    Here is the sign that was shown in the beginning of this post now with three new coats of fresh new varnish. Sorry about the oversize here! Drop shading comes from the east on this as the sign aligns west to east on the club dock. Although the letters are not as precise as vinyl letters I hope they convey a bit of a human touch. The club burgee has a Tbone displayed on it after the nick name of one of the club founders, Roy, "Tbone", Riley Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 07-15-2017 at 02:04 PM.

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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    Gosh, why didn't I think of that...

  22. #22
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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    Here is another example of drop shading. for you travelers who check such things, again the sun is coming above from the right or "East". The shading is not as obvious due to the dark background. This is a foam casting from the original pattern. We made a whole lot of these. This one is on the wall of the bar at the Balboa YC. Note the uneven dropping of the letters as well as some that are above the line rather than to the line as most vinyl ones are done. And, there is a difference between repeated letters such as the "O"s.
    Jay

    Last edited by Jay Greer; 07-16-2017 at 01:59 PM.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    Here the letter heights were made taller to correct perspective when viewed from the deck of another boat.
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 07-17-2017 at 07:25 PM.

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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    On Larry and Lynn's second boat, I used a modified Roman alphabet as the transom planking is T&G. I didn't think the letters would look right crossing the plank seams. I also compressed the "S" which normally would go a bit over the plank line. The descending diagonal of the N would normally drop down as well. The transom is oiled and the carved letters are gold leafed and left bare. The carving took an hour and a half to do during a raging party at their digs in Black Canyon at Lake Elsinor. I drank my share of rum when the carving was done! Note that I am not intentionally printing big fotos here. It is my storage
    site that has changed their set up.
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 07-18-2017 at 12:32 PM.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    Although boat registration numbers are normally supposed to be white on black and plain, many fishing communities like something more decorative






    They love drop shading, serifs, and twiddly bits.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    Jay, I didn't realize that this thread had continued down such fascinating paths from its origin as a small-but-useful varnishing tip until I saw your "overlooked posting" thread. I'm here, as I suspect are many others now. Hand painted name boards (or hand-carved) are on my list for Petrel so this thread is definitely going in my file. And I saw someone else mentioned keeping a "Jay G." file as well so I suspect I'm not alone there. I know it has been said before about many of the resources here, but your posts really deserve a book!
    - Chris

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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    Wow! I wanted to bring out my own brand of varnish that was to be called "Singapore Spar Varnish" in a box with a flexible vinyl liner that fed the product through a tube as the liner collapesd. That was some twenty years ago! But the powers that be would not approve it! They wanted a metal container for safe shipping so I gave up. I wanted the varnish to pour from the bottom when the box was inverted. A shot of nitrogen was to be topped with the product. The varnish would not skin over as there was no chance for it to oxidize.
    So much for innovation to make it easier for us wooden boat owners!

    I do hail the person or persons that have brought this concept to fruition. However, I might note that a water clear coating does not add to the enhancement of a wood finish. It is the subtle amber cast of either shellac or amber varnish on fine furniture made in the time of Queen Anne, Chippendale and Heppelwhite that gave and still gives depth and beauty to the wood! Remember those clear resin coated cargo hatch covers that were used for tables in many waterside restaurants in the late sixties! No class with clear as glass!
    Jay
    Absolutely! And, I have pretty much decided to ignore anything in the paint and varnish department that is touted as not having "noxious fumes." If you can't stand the smell of real paint and varnish and their related solvents you just plain don't belong in the wooden boat game at all. (With a nod to Apocalypse Now,"Smells like... like... BOATS!")

  28. #28
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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    Incidently, filters used to be free. and then went up to ten cents which, was outrageous! Now West Marine charges a buck apiece! So, old panty hose is a lot cheaper but can be messy!

    Jay
    I've found it's best to wash the old panty hose first before using them as strainers.

    Once one has cut off the prime "toe ends," quite a few strainers can be gotten out of a pair of panty hose by cutting a perhaps 8" length from the "leg" section and tying a knot in on of the ends of the resulting tube. The remaining edge of the "sock" created by tying off the other end should fit the top of a quart can and the elastic properties of the nylon should hold the "sock" strainer well if stretched and pulled over the edges of the can, assuming the original user of the panty hose had a nice pair of legs.

    I've also noticed that a lot of gas stations still provide free paper cones for use in pouring oil into engines. They are usually someplace around the oil can rack. these are identical to the paper cones with the strainer mesh in them. A piece of nylon stocking can be taped to the outside of the oil pouring paper cones and a reasonable facsimile of the WestMarine buck a piece Cadillac models thereby achieved.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    Now that is a good tip!
    Thanks Bob!
    Incidently, in the states the law concerning registration numbers is pretty much no nonsense! Drop shading or script would not fly here!

    Chris, I do have a book in the works. Time to devote to it is my worst dilemma! I tend to get distracted by other projects and Honey Do's.
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 07-19-2017 at 06:44 PM.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    Here is the sign at the entrance door to my boat shop. The drop shading is opposite to the room occupancy mermaid sign with the sun from the west and above. I used the old One Shot for this. The new paint does not allow for easy pin striping!
    Jay

  31. #31
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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    Full transhom shot of pardey's boat. The word "of" is done in script to break up the formality of the name and add balance to that which is modified Roman.
    Jay

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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    Chris, I do have a book in the works. Time to devote to it is my worst dilemma! I tend to get distracted by other projects and Honey Do's.
    Oh man, I did NOT need to know that. Now I am going to be impatiently waiting for it. I know how other things get in the way of projects like that so I won't expect it soon. But I'm going to check in on it every so often.
    - Chris

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  33. #33
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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    Well. This isn't about varnish at all.

    It's about art!

    Lovely stuff. Thank you.

    Peace,
    Robert

  34. #34
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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    This is great news. I can't wait to buy your book, Jay.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: When you need only a little varnish

    Thanks for the support guys. More posts to come here.
    Jay

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