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Thread: Any problem with staining before gluing?

  1. #1
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    I plan to stain the interior of my Acorn hull a rich mahogany color, but I'd like to do it before I put in the floors, but if there are problems with epoxy bonding to stained wood, I will think twice about it. Is the type of stain (oil or water based) I use significant with respect to holding a glue bond?

    Kevin

  2. #2
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    Thanks, I'm not planning to coat the interior with epoxy, just varnish. My concern is that if I stain the interior prior to gluing up the floors, there will be some problem with the bond of the floor to the hull. In that case, will I need to sand the stained wood to glue?

  3. #3
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    Most stains really interfere with any glue's ability to stick. If you feel like doing this, assemble all the parts you'll be gluing, mark out the mating surfaces and mask them with good masking tape, disassemble and stain, then once dry remove masking and glue up.

    In time most woods darken and richen in color naturally, and most stained woods begin to look like crap. I wouldn't stain a boat, unless I were repairing an already darkened plank, and then I'd stain it after gluing.

    Just a thought, you could paint your bilges and floors, then leave the rest bright. This would wear well too.

    Good luck whatever.

  4. #4
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    Yes, I've just gone back and read some threads regarding staining, and now I'm rethinking that decision. The only real reason I was considering stain was because of my lack of faith in my ability to prepare the wood surface properly. There are lots of little dings and scratches that would require too much wood removal to smooth, and stain seemed like a good way to diminish their obviousness.

    So, in the absence of stain, perhaps some pointers on the art of repairing scratches and dings?

    Thanks!

    Kevin

  5. #5
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    A wooden boat without dings and scratches?

    Blasphemy!

  6. #6
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    Um, stain should be transparent to tint not hide the character of the wood. It wouldn't hide dings very well. The last issue of WEST's EposyWorks had an article on staining wood prior to glueing. Use water based stain.

    We can't tell what you mean by dings but I suppose carefully matched wood filler might do. Now we gotta discuss what we mean by filler. etc. As Donn suggests, maybe you should look at scrapes and dings as character and love your boat for what it. I used to think living with a 30/40/50/60... year old woman wouldn't be much fun but it gets better every year.

  7. #7
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    There seems to be a lot of differing opinions about stain. I have used a water based stain with excellent bonding results. I tested an oil stain with awful results, but know at least one other builder who says he had success with oil stains. I've also heard some professed experts say to only use alcohol based stains. But nobody seems to think a stain will actually enhance epoxy bonding, and there's a fair chance it will weaken the bond. And 'dings' always add character - on someone else's boat [img]smile.gif[/img]

  8. #8
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    I wouldn't use stain. As said above, the wood will darken naturally. As you use the boat, dings and stuff will happen anyway.

    You may wish to skip the varnish altogether, and go with an oil finish. That way, if you get a scratch you can just oil it and the scratch will go away. Varnish will be a constant maintenance headache, while the oil would just be a periodic maintenance task.

  9. #9
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    Stains versus glue.... I would contact the manufacturer by e-mail and ask for their advice. There are alot of different glues out there and manufacturers have technical experts whose only job is to handle customer questions.....

  10. #10
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    I have read that stain can reduce wood's rot resistance. Dunno the truth of it though...
    If you don't think for yourself, someone else will do it for you!

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by kevinwal:
    So, in the absence of stain, perhaps some pointers on the art of repairing scratches and dings?
    One trick is to put a wet cloth on top of the ding and apply heat ... like an iron ... to "steam" the ding out. Swells the wood fibers and that plumps 'em up so they fill the ding better. This works best on flat surfaces, because you can get the iron in there. (Hint: don't let your wife know you are about to do this. That is how you end up having to buy a "garage iron.")

    For gouges and chips, you can try a filler, but I think it always looks bad. I've never had much luck getting them to match, especially after you varnish the wood and it starts to age ... the filler becomes more and more noticible. Kind of like Poe's Telltale Heart. For really big gouges, you can always make a "patch" of matching wood and glue it in. You have to decide if the glue line is less objectionable than the gouge. The best patches have irregular edges to fool the eye, but there's a lot of work involved in making those.

  12. #12
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    JimD's results with stain precisely matches the tests Gougeon reported in the latest editin of EpoxyWorks. If you use epoxy and do not subscribe to EpoxyWorks, why not? It's free, fer Whosits sake. Almost all of what the periodical reports is directly applicable to any of the expoxies we are likely to use.

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