Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: New Toy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Central Vermont
    Posts
    417

    Default New Toy

    OK - we've got a new toy . . . a 1956 Lightning . . .

    It is bright finished on the inside, and I am dreading preparing it for new varnish. On my other antique Lightning, I completely stripped the varnish off, but I am not planning to do that on this one.

    The plan for restoration is to make it look like the old war horse it is, with darkened varnish, visible wounds from a long history of racing, and an imperfect brushed-on low gloss paint job.

    The varnish prep plan is to get rid of loose old varnish and scratch the rest up enough to give the new varnish something to hook onto, clean it up, and start varnishing.

    I am looking for tips on how to make the preparation process as easy as possible on my old back and elbows.

    Thanks in advance,

    Mike

    DSCN2270.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    St. Helens, Oregon
    Posts
    3,243

    Default Re: New Toy

    Hire a 16 year old Nice find, though!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Location
    Bush Alaska
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: New Toy

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh MacD View Post
    Hire a 16 year old Nice find, though!
    Is that to save the back, or to accent the rough warhorse look?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    PNW, an island west of Seattle
    Posts
    2,865

    Default Re: New Toy

    Sweet and probably a lot of fun to sail! The varnish prep on the other hand... not so much. But here's a wild thought... How about grit blasting? Use walnut shells or plastic beads to remove the loose old varnish without harming the wood. Try this on scrap first! Thoughts?

    Jeff

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Portland, Maine
    Posts
    21,486

    Default Re: New Toy

    Quote Originally Posted by narfiwillem View Post
    Is that to save the back, or to accent the rough warhorse look?

    Yes!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Norwalk CT
    Posts
    1,869

    Default Re: New Toy

    If you have access to the equipment grit blasting will be a treat. Use one of the softer organic mediums like corn husk or nut shells. Dont use plastic. It will be everywhere and its bad for all of us. The organic stuff can be swept up and thrown on the compost pile.
    One of those flappy sanders that chucks in a drill or grinder will work too. Use a light grit and a light touch. You can fold a Scotchbrite pad like a pinwheel. poke a hole in the center and use it on almost any disc grinder.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Branchville, NJ
    Posts
    193

    Default Re: New Toy

    Mike, here's a photo of a 1927 old Town I'm working on today. That's just what we did to this. Instead of totally refinishing the interior. We used a heat gun to get most of the old varnish out. We didn't go crazy a lot of it got left behind with the dents and scratches. Heat guns pretty easy to use, almost fun sometimes. Then sanded with 220 and varnished with Epifanes matte. The customer wanted that old weathered look . IMG_4889.jpgIMG_4889.jpgIMG_4891.jpg oops got 2 of the same photo up. sorry
    David Satter www.sattersrestoration.com
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten" Ben Franklin

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Central Vermont
    Posts
    417

    Default Re: New Toy

    Thanks for all of the suggestions.

    David - beautiful work, just what I have in mind.

    Re: grit blasting . . . wow . . . I don't know about that . . . today I decided against even power washing . . . didn't want to take the risk of damaging the old and very dry cedar planking . . .

    I realized today that there are many places where the varnish is peeling and shouldn't hard to remove. And the wood is bare in places where it has already peeled off, so I may end up closer to stripping it than I had hoped. I guess I will go with the flow and see where I end up.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    dfw
    Posts
    1,484

    Default Re: New Toy

    WOW! that old girl sure brings back some interesting rememberies

    i was introduced to racing and flying a spinnaker on one like her 'long about that time

    BON CHANCE

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Stroud, UK
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: New Toy

    I've just picked up a Scorpion in similar condition and logged in to start a thread when I came across this. I shall follow with interest!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Central Vermont
    Posts
    417

    Default Re: New Toy

    Well, when the rain finally stopped for a while, I did my 1st round of scraping and sanding yesterday. I used a regular paint scraper and then 80 & 120 grit paper. I got a lot of old varnish off pretty easily, but some was a lot harder.

    If the rain gives me a chance, I will try the heat gun today.

    Question: This boat was sitting covered in a nice dry barn for 25 years, so the wood is about as dry as it could get. At this point, I don't have it covered, thinking some moisture would do it some good. Am I right about that? So far it has had one day of fairly steady light rain, and today it will get another day of that. I am thinking about covering it today. Thoughts?

    This boat has some history . . . it was the International Lightning Champion in 1956 & 1957, with Bill Cox at the helm. And it was on cover of Sports Illustrated in 1959 when Bill Cox wrote a piece on Small Boat sailing.

    I am thinking about rigging it like it was in the 1950s, but don't have a clue what that would have involved. Would appreciate feedback on that.

    ZigZagger SI Cover.jpg

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    St. Helens, Oregon
    Posts
    3,243

    Default Re: New Toy

    Quote Originally Posted by narfiwillem View Post
    Is that to save the back, or to accent the rough warhorse look?
    I was thinking to save the back, but if warhorse is your goal ... Nice find on the history of the boat.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Central Vermont
    Posts
    417

    Default Re: New Toy

    OK - The good news is that the seat supports are in good shape. The bad news is that Skip Etchells used copper rivets to secure them. But I need to remove at least the cross seats up front and perhaps additional seat supports so that I can get up under the deck. Also, stripping the varnish would be a heck of a lot easier if the seat supports weren't there.

    What is the easiest way to remove copper rivets . . . without destroying the old seat supports?

    Well, stripping of the varnish is moving forward, but very slowly. And my old elbows and back are complaining. I am going to try chemical stripper today in hopes that it will make things go more quickly with less effort (and, therefore, less pain). Hate to use that stuff, but don't feel I have much choice.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
    Posts
    19,790

    Default Re: New Toy

    Do you use an oscilating tool for sanding?
    I ve been customizing a few old triangle foam corners and old saw blades for tricky sanding lately.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Central Vermont
    Posts
    417

    Default Re: New Toy

    Haven't used an oscilating tool yet, but it is on my list of things to try.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
    Posts
    19,790

    Default Re: New Toy

    The store bought corner sanding attachments are cool, but they wear out fast.
    The storebought pre cut triangles of sandpaper fit perfectly...too perfectly, as most fiddly boat sanding jobs are better with the triangles cut oversized.
    Also, stores tend to top out at 80 or 60 grit roughness, where fast stock removal uses grit one might not even consider...24/30 ish .


    I grind the teeth off old cutting blades and contact cement glue pieces of very coarse grit onto them, again , cut oversize.Extra long blades are especially cool for this.
    Grout removal triangles pull the thickest gunk out of the tightest corners fast!
    so, there's a coupla tricks
    I may never hand sand again !
    bruce

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Central Vermont
    Posts
    417

    Default Re: New Toy

    Well, I took a break from preparing the inside of the boat for new varnish because it was making me crazy.

    The insides of the topsides are the issue. I want to preserve as much of the old varnish look as possible, but every section has some varnish that is peeling. So after a little sanding, I have some of what may be the original varnish that looks good. But I also have sections that are completely bare where the old varnish peeled off.

    What Now? The pictures show you what I started with, and where I am now. I am looking for the KISS method of making the bare spots blend in with the old varnish.

    A friend of mine faced the same problem and ended up staining the entire inside of his Lightning. But I am too old and tired and lazy to do that.

    I was thinking about trying to find the varnish that darkens the wood the most, and doing a test to see what the sides look like with a coat or two on them. What varnish would darken the wood the most?

    I would appreciate any suggestions on how to solve this problem.

    Thanks much,

    Mike

    DSCN2314.jpgDSCN2322.jpg

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •