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Thread: Those Oars Again !

  1. #1
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    Default Those Oars Again !

    Forgive me if I'm starting to bore you all ! I have one final question: I've applied two coats of Interlux Schooner Varnish to my spoon-bladed oars and am very pleased with the result. Should I add a third coat ? Or will two do ?

    Advice would be appreciated.

    Dave

  2. #2
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    On the river, Auckland, New Zealand
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    Default Re: Those Oars Again !

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Reynell View Post
    Forgive me if I'm starting to bore you all ! I have one final question: I've applied two coats of Interlux Schooner Varnish to my spoon-bladed oars and am very pleased with the result. Should I add a third coat ? Or will two do ?

    Advice would be appreciated.

    Dave
    If those oars are going to spend much time out in the sun, a couple more coats would be a good idea.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Those Oars Again !

    Quote Originally Posted by john welsford View Post
    If those oars are going to spend much time out in the sun, a couple more coats would be a good idea.

    John Welsford
    or four or five. You cannot apply too many coats of varnish. It is the filler powders in paint that protects the wood. As varnish does not have fillers, you need many more coats.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Those Oars Again !

    And don't neglect to add leathers and buttons.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Those Oars Again !

    Thanks Gentlemen, I'll go for four, at least, even though the oars live indoors most of the time.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Those Oars Again !

    I use eight. That is the normal amount of coats when starting from bare wood. It will save you the hassle of having to redo them in mid season.
    Leave the hand grips bare. This will prevent getting blisters on your palms and and fingers!
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 02-06-2018 at 02:34 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Those Oars Again !

    For clients, the minimum # of coats I apply is 6. For myself - it depends upon how much abuse I think they'll be subjected to - in use, in transport, and in storage. Might up it a couple of coats for tough duty.

    Just for clarity - I don't think Jay was meaning to leave finish off the looms, but off the handles. I leave mine as naked wood as well. Both for proper grip and absorbency. Avoids blisters.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "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)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Those Oars Again !

    Yes David,
    You are right! I have been calling them looms all of my adult life becase that is what my father called the oar grips. I just looked up "loom" in an old nautical dictionary and whatdayaknow, a "loom" is the area between the grips and the blades. Thanks for the correction.

    A day is not complete unless we learn, at least, one new thing, word or idea!

    Jay

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Those Oars Again !

    Jay, I have left the thinned undercoat on the handles. If they give me grief I shall sand them down to bare wood. For the past 15 years (the oars were made in 2002) they were bare wood.

    Dave

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Those Oars Again !

    I should not think that the undercoat should cause problems for you Dave. Your hands will tell you if you should sand them down.
    Jay

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Those Oars Again !

    I just applied the 5th coat of varnish to my self-built sassafras oars, and the open grain is not yet completely filled, but getting close. (I'm using McCloskey Man o' War #7509) I hope the 6th coat will do it.

    I sewed the leathers on mine after the 4th coat, which is great because now I have a way to handle the oars while the varnish is wet. My varnish requires 24 hours between coats, so to keep things moving along, I have been varnishing one side, then turning the oar over while still wet to do the other side. I rest the the wet varnish on 2 brads near the tip of the blade - leaves tiny dimples in the varnish, but I work out the marks between coats. For the final coat, I'll let the first side dry, before flipping the oar over to do the other side.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Those Oars Again !

    Quote Originally Posted by runswithsizzers View Post
    I just applied the 5th coat of varnish to my self-built sassafras oars, and the open grain is not yet completely filled, but getting close. (I'm using McCloskey Man o' War #7509) I hope the 6th coat will do it.

    I sewed the leathers on mine after the 4th coat, which is great because now I have a way to handle the oars while the varnish is wet. My varnish requires 24 hours between coats, so to keep things moving along, I have been varnishing one side, then turning the oar over while still wet to do the other side. I rest the the wet varnish on 2 brads near the tip of the blade - leaves tiny dimples in the varnish, but I work out the marks between coats. For the final coat, I'll let the first side dry, before flipping the oar over to do the other side.
    I ended up with six coats (due to messing up a couple of the earlier ones). I hung my oars vertically by tying cord around the leathers for the first few coats then for the last coats clamped them in a vice and applied the varnish with the oars horizontal. Interlux Schooner settles beautifully, it is quite viscous, and within about three hours had set (still tacky though). At about six hours one could touch the varnished surface.

    The finish is beautiful (see photo).

    Schooner on Oar.jpg

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Those Oars Again !

    Absolutely stunning!
    Jay

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Those Oars Again !

    Quote Originally Posted by runswithsizzers View Post

    I sewed the leathers on mine after the 4th coat, which is great because now I have a way to handle the oars while the varnish is wet. My varnish requires 24 hours between coats, so to keep things moving along, I have been varnishing one side, then turning the oar over while still wet to do the other side. I rest the the wet varnish on 2 brads near the tip of the blade - leaves tiny dimples in the varnish, but I work out the marks between coats. For the final coat, I'll let the first side dry, before flipping the oar over to do the other side.
    For years when revarnishing old oars (mine get used pretty hard so I don't fret over the finish as boat, back of truck and rock dings rule) I've taken advantage of the leathers. Two horses close together, handle goes under the top of one and the leather rests on the other. A couple of spring clamps on the leather horse to keep the oar from rolling into the neighbor. I can do 4 oars in a setting, just need to be careful placing the oar to be varnished next to the one that is wet. Mine often get some kind of paint stripe, chevron or diamond so I can keep pairs matched. While a diamond may reach down to the tip, I don't put any paint on the tip as I have had tips leave paint on the boat.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Those Oars Again !

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    For years when revarnishing old oars (mine get used pretty hard so I don't fret over the finish as boat, back of truck and rock dings rule) I've taken advantage of the leathers. Two horses close together, handle goes under the top of one and the leather rests on the other. A couple of spring clamps on the leather horse to keep the oar from rolling into the neighbor. I can do 4 oars in a setting, just need to be careful placing the oar to be varnished next to the one that is wet. Mine often get some kind of paint stripe, chevron or diamond so I can keep pairs matched. While a diamond may reach down to the tip, I don't put any paint on the tip as I have had tips leave paint on the boat.
    Thanks for the tips! These are the first oars I've built, so I'm trying to figure it out as I go.

    My idea about varnishing one side at a time was not a good one; requires overlapping the dry sides of the loom, leaving a line. Your method sounds great!

    I haven't decided whether to paint the tips or not. (I will have only the one pair of oars.) Since I have been resting the wet varnish on supports at the tips, I have a few marks down there, and I thought to hide them with paint, but any surface irregularities will probably show about as bad in gloss paint as varnish? Not that I really care about a few marks; I don't expect that "new oar smell" is going to last very long once I start using them. But, while I'm waiting for planking to build the skiff, I've got nothing else to do but finish these oars.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Those Oars Again !

    Dave, I have to echo Jay - those are absolutely gorgeous oars --- Well done, Sir !!!




    Rick

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Those Oars Again !

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeye54 View Post
    Dave, I have to echo Jay - those are absolutely gorgeous oars --- Well done, Sir !!!




    Rick
    Thank you Rick, and Jay, A lot of the credit must go to the quality of the varnish. One pays a bit more for it but, if careful, the results can be rewarding.

  18. #18
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    Erin, ON, CANADA
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    Default Re: Those Oars Again !

    Very Nice!! I love the way you've oriented the grain in the blade. Looks fantastic!

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