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Thread: I need a good book on varnishing.

  1. #1
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    Default I need a good book on varnishing.

    Any suggestions for a good book on traditional varnishing? I usually just follow the directions on the back of the can, but end up with so-so results. I'd like to learn to do it right with this boat.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: I need a good book on varnishing.

    Brightwork by Rebecca .......

    can't remeber her last name but a great resource

  3. #3
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    Default Re: I need a good book on varnishing.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: I need a good book on varnishing.

    You just do it smooth, no holidays and no runs, and tell the flies and bugs to stay away. Easy!

    ( my wife varnished our front door yesterday and I noticed 2 runs, but I ain't saying anything)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: I need a good book on varnishing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skegemog View Post
    Thanks, I'll be looking into that one. Looks good!
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: I need a good book on varnishing.

    Rebecca Whitman's book is quite out of date and she is wrong about several things, but it is a good starting point.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: I need a good book on varnishing.

    I've concluded that there really aren't any "really good" books on painting and varnishing. Whitman's book is a good start, but the fact is that, like many crafts, varnishing requires practice and experience to ensure consistently good results. As Pete Culler said, "Experience begins when you start."

  8. #8
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    Default Re: I need a good book on varnishing.

    Rich,
    You are invited to come and help us varnish "Bright Star" I guarantee you will know all you need to know in just a few weeks.
    Jay

  9. #9
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    Default Re: I need a good book on varnishing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    Rich,
    You are invited to come and help us varnish "Bright Star" I guarantee you will know all you need to know in just a few weeks.
    Jay
    Just send the airfare for the wife and I and we'll fly right out there! Always wanted to see the PNW.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: I need a good book on varnishing.

    As you are probably aware, Fine Woodworking which does everything "stupidly perfect," as opposed to "practically good enough." May be worth a look.

    Just google, fine woodworking varnishing
    basil

  11. #11
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    Default Re: I need a good book on varnishing.

    It seems to me that climate has a lot to do with how your finished wind up (unless you have an actual climate-controlled finishing booth), so I'd lean toward local knowledge, too.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: I need a good book on varnishing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Cleek View Post
    I've concluded that there really aren't any "really good" books on painting and varnishing. Whitman's book is a good start, but the fact is that, like many crafts, varnishing requires practice and experience to ensure consistently good results. As Pete Culler said, "Experience begins when you start."
    Just so. I'd only add: she has two editions. A large, glossy, coffee-table-type version, and a smaller, trade-paperback version that is both less expensive, and more suitable for shop use. Essentially the same info.
    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)

  13. #13
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    Default Re: I need a good book on varnishing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Woodward View Post
    By the looks of your work Rich, I'd say that you pretty much got it down. Use good phenolic/alkyld resin oil based varnish, and a good bristle brush.Build and sand 3-4 coats til smooth. 4-5 coats will be a competent workmanlike finish. If you want a half inch thick showroom finish.coat and sand til you are happy. 8-16+ coats. Sand til there are no shiny spots. Vacumn and tack rag until dust free. Varnish in the nude if thats your thing. Keep everything clean and don't stir up to much dust. You got this.
    Seen from 10' away, my varnishing jobs are passable. With this new Palmer launch, I'd like to take it up a notch. Lots of flat decking to show up the imperfections. Just ordered a used edition of Wittman's book. It'll be $12 well spent.
    Dust is my biggest enemy, but I think I'll skip varnishing in the nude!!
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: I need a good book on varnishing.

    Every successive boat I build has less varnish.
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: I need a good book on varnishing.

    Dust.
    I get satisfactory results by running a ambient ceiling air filter prior to varnish work, varnishing first thing in the morning or several hours after any other activity, and by wetting the floor down big time. I think wetting the floor is a huge help. I also use Flagship which kicks reliably and fairly quickly. To eliminate any question about crud migrating out of a previously used brush, go with new bristle or foam(roller and/or brush). There is always the polishing business if you still are not happy.

    I think most marine varnishes, some of the epiphanes excepted, flow pretty well out of the can or with only minor tweaks. Then it is just a matter of developing a feeling for the right amount of material to put down. That does call for some practice and skill on vertical surfaces.

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