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Renovating Internal Wood work (Part 1)

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Post by SNAPPER101 Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:24 am

Hi.  Recently Tony has down load photos of the internal renovation of his boat, re-varnishing. and I must say it all looks great. vanishing is a bitch to do, if youre asking for a mirror or just a good finish. 
Dust and bubbles are your enemies.
After spending hours in removing the old varnish, and sanding the timber with the grain, and preparing to the best of your ability, only to be extremely disapointed with the finish.
I kept saying to myself, light flattening it off, and another coat it will be ok, and after an overnight drying time , only to see yet another crap finish. I have tried foam and normal good quality brushes, expensive varnish, but the same old story . poor finish.
So I admire Tony, to see his results, he must have the knack.
Originally all the timber carcasses , draws and doors where sprayed lacquer/varnish, hence good quality. and unless you have this equipment , I think you have to bite the Bullet , and say that good enough finish. But  not in my case, Its a Virgo "Thing". Can't stand it if its not quite right.
The cupboard where the plates, cup and glasses are kept, I rubbed those doors down at least 3 times, as I was disapointed of the finish I was getting, and when they were re-hung and with natural light on them it looked even worse.
I came across the wood finish called Shellac. "Shellac is my Angel". it means that how ever long It takes me to prepare the timber doors or fasias, I guarantee a great finish. 
Last weekend I took the double toilet doors home, stripped the old vanish off with Acetone (sprayed on) and with a stanley blade, and drawn in-line with the grain, took off all the old varnish, right back to the timber veneer. (Wear Gloves).
Being Careful with 120 grit sand paper, as the veneer is thin. Rub any marks or water marks off the timber, then using 400 grit  paper, evened all the panel up. 
Meths on a cotton rag, to get rid of all the dust.
Then applied what they call a "wash" coat of Shellac. "thined down coat".
To all of you who don't now what shellac is, it is secreted from the Lac Bug in India, and you buy this is a flake format. 
When I prepare a mix, they call it "LB Cuts" I use 1.5lb Cut, it's all to do with the ratio of resin flakes, to the ammount of Meths in the mix.
The more flakes i.e. grams per fluid oz of meths, the thicker the mix. I have gone up to a 2lb mix, thinking that it's a thicker liquid, hence less coats are required. I turned out,not that clever, so I use a 1.5lb cut. Which means 42grams of Shellac flakes ( my option is Blonde Dewaxed Shellac flakes) dissolved in 1/2 pint of standard metholated spirits. If you go on you tube , they use  Denatured Alcohol. (USA). 
Put this in a jam jar , and turn, shake ,to  help dissolve the flakes. I give it a good shake then leave it over night, then in the morning another good shake and then run it though a good quality pair of your wife tights, to remove any bits remaining.
Then all you have to do is make up your application pads. (again look all this up on UTube) it's all so simple, but using the correct material , will give you a great finish.
So you have your door , already to start applying the finish. 
Now I will say that at this point, when you intend to use Varnish, you will be applying a thin coat, which takes approx 4 hrs to dry, unless your using a water base varnish, but oil base does take longer. After your sealing coat is dry, then you apply a top coat, and it up to You how many of those you intend to put on, I would say minimum of 2. So between drying times,  this could take approx 15hrs.
Shellac time is a 1/4 of that, and could be less, all depends how many coats you want to put on. I would say I put on 8 coats, on the pictures below.
Applying shellac is really simple, but like all jobs even simple jobs, there are correct ways in doing this.Practise this on a spare pit of wood, obviously a peice which is prepared, look on Utube again to see how this is done. its easier than me explaining this process. But all you need, is to apply your pad, with the shellac mix, and wipe over the wood, making sure you go over the "wet" side of you swipe, with the pad so you get an even film of Shellac.
You can either go across in a straight line, as if you had a brush in your hand, or go around in circles, to apply the Shellac mix. What YOU must not do, is let the pad go dry, and drag, similar to applying varnish or paint.
The First coat is the "WET" Coat, the sealing coat. So get  a small amount of the mix, and dilute it more with meths.
Shellac Mix evaporates very quickly (seconds) , its the Metholated Spirits that evaporates leaving the Shellac. and this is touch dry in 2 minutes, for you to apply another coat. 
Applying a coat, the Meths Melts the previous coat, and applies more Shellac,  onto the panel. so working Quickly is the best policy, also don't mess about, if you think you have missed an area, forget it, because in 2-3 minutes later you will be applying another coat. 
So you can understand, this is a quick method in coating timber and getting a FIRST class finish, NO DUST, NO BUBBLES,
AND NOT getting upset or disapointed. You may never even heard of this finishing product, just like me. but you will be very impressed with the result.
Once you are happy with the result, let it dry for 1-2 hrs. then go over it with 0000 wire wool , just to take out any imperfections, Then apply a wax using the same wire wool and working with the grain, work the wax onto the panel/door.
I use Antiquax Polish. let it dry and buff up , and there you have it, a fantastic Finish, and when or if it does get marked, just polish it up again. 
The photos below took me from start to Finish 10 hrs. The preparation is the longest part. in either varnishing or using Shellac, preparing the wood, is the key to getting the result. but going down the Shellac Route you will be impressed. Just one point, worth a mention, if you use Acetone, to remove the old Varnish, wear a mask, as its pretty volitile liquid and also evaporises very quickly and without wearing a mask, you will inhale the fumes which give you an awful sore throat and a banging headache, but worth it, as it melts the old stuff really quickly. 
The Top Picture is what it looked like before, and the other 2 are are after.
Hope this article help you when your'e faced with timber renovation in our lovely freemans.
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SNAPPER101
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Post by Simon j Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:23 am

Hi,that looks a really good finish .
Is the process you describe french polishing ?

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Post by SNAPPER101 Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:01 am

Hi. I am not sure. you may have to go on U-tube to find out. I think one of the differances is that in french polishing they use some type of oil as well in the process. like a lubricant.
All I do know , is that after you have spent hours in perparing the timber panels , the result is very very good.
there is no Dust problem, as  it drys so quick, no bubbles as you don't use a a brush.
The actual finishing is much quicker and IF you have a stripped out boat you could go from one panel to another with out the fear of creating Dust. So I am extremely pleased with the outcome. and its not an expensive process. cheapest place for meths is (poundland).
There are different colours of Shellac available, so if your panels are sun bleached , you can tone them down.
BUT remember this is only a finish for the inside of the boat.
I confess I am not an expert, and learning all the time, what is the best way to apply, the toilet doors and the cabinet, the shellac was applied rubbing in a circular motion, something that you would dream of doing with a brush a varnish. The shellac finish was superb. a light rub down with wire wool and on with the wax , and it came up looking great.
I wrote this article just to give others an option. do I use Varnish or.......?
to get a great finish, Something that is not a pain in the arse to apply. and doesn't take months to do the complete Boat.  Very Happy

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Post by Tedison Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:53 pm

Hi Snapper Thanks for taking the time to write such an informed post. Did you use the 'Liberon' Brand? and did you purchase from Ebay? Thanks

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Post by SNAPPER101 Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:28 pm

Hi. 
No problem, in writing the article. just thought I would share this information with our fellow frematies.
The Shellac is Liberon.  Blonde Dewax Shellac Flakes.which will produce a tranparent coloured french polish. Well thats what it says on the package.I think it gives you a slight golden colour. I have tried Lemon Shellac, but wasn't keen on it so thats still in the cupboard.
I am just about to go up to Axminster Tools in High Wycome to buy some more.  250grm bag at a cost of £23.95. So far I have use 1-1/2 bags. and I have done, all the cupboard doors, both the toilet and wardrobe cupboards including the doors. the plate carcuss and inner face of the bulkhead. the sink unit, and the inner faces , by the  bunk beds. so it goes a fair way. It depends on how many coats you want to put on.  The best policy is to not make a cut more than 1&1/2 lbs. as the mix gets sticky and unless youre a master at this, you  don't get as good as result . keep it thin and work quickly and don't go back over what you have done, until the Next coat. build it up and you will be proud of the result. good luck.

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Post by Tedison Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:24 pm

I’d be more than happy if my results are anywhere near yours. Been watching YouTube for the past couple of hours! Thanks

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Post by SNAPPER101 Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:19 pm

Thats where I  have learn't  all about it , U-tube is amazing  source of information.
They make out that is simple, because it is !. Just do the basics well and you will get good results. 
I am lucky I have onshore power, So have a small heater blower on, just to warm the air up inside the boat. don't have the heat on to hot , as it just make the meths evaporate even quicker and you loose control  , but it does need to be warm.

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Post by BotleyBouy Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:41 pm

Shellac and French Polish are the same thing. It gives a beautiful finish on furniture and is easy to keep looking good. My only reservation would be that the finish is not resistant to water or damp. Keeping the surface well waxed with a good beeswax product will help.
As for varnishing, well hoping for an acceptable finish after just two or three coats is being very optimistic. The first and most of the second coat soak in to the wood and a re little more than a sealing coat. It is only from the third coat on do you start to build up the finish. I've found that to get best results you should only ever use thinned coats and allow plenty of time to dry before flatting down with very fine paper, cleaning off with white spirit and re-coating. Expect to put on five, six or even seven coats for a "see your face in it" finish. I found best results were achieved on panels which could be removed and varnished horizontally. This means you can use quite thin coats without the risk of running. 
I've done all the large pieces now and have started re-fitting everything.
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As noted above, varnishing is a very long-winded process but the results can be very satisfying.

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Post by SNAPPER101 Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:14 pm

I understand that this is not suitable finish in wet or damp situations. I have stated this in my article, and you are correct.  polish the timber  work with a good hard wax. is required.
I did the doors on the boat  middle of last year, and they still look good now, and that going through a very damp atmosphere that we seem to had had over the winter period. 
It sound like you are aware of all the problems with applying varnish  so I'll be picking your brains, as the Cockpit need renovating and varnish is a must.
Bulkhead, and both side panels need  re-varnishing and I am not looking forward to it. Thin coat build up on vertical panels is scary. I can see the phrase "nightmare" already.

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Post by Minerva Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:27 am

No, the whole point of applying thin/sparingly is to avoid running. I support BB 5 coat minimum theory. I always find I varnish best if I am in a rush! If I have time on my hands I tend to go too generous on the brush!

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Post by BotleyBouy Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:47 pm

Keeping your brush in good condition helps. I keep a couple of very good quality brushes which I use solely for varnishing. If I'm going to be applying coats on consecutive days I leave the brush soaking in white spirit between use but if it's going to be any longer than overnight I clean the brush with clean white spirit, wash it in warm water using washing up liquid, rinse thoroughly and work in hair conditioner. Leave the brush for a while and then rinse thoroughly in cold water, shake off as much water as possible and then wrap the head in a strip of kitchen roll. Leave in the airing cupboard until dry. Then before using again give the bristles a through "combing" with a clean wire brush. If your brush stands up to this sort of treatment you'll know you've bought a decent one. 
Anal? Me? Don't be silly!  Laughing

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Post by Minerva Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:24 pm

No BB you are right..this is key. I personally wipe all the excess off with toilet paper and then clean in white spirit. Sometimes I don't get it right and if its shows any stiffness when dry then I soak the brush in nitromoors to get it back to its silky self. I have a favourite varnish brush that I have used for years and its still in tip top condition. I steer away from new brushes because this one doesn't lose hairs....a pet hate of mine. Personally I don't leave in white spirit because I like it dry when doing a new job.

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Post by Minerva Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:30 pm

Everyone has their favourite product but I am a big Blakes (now Hempel) Classic varnish fan....with added tung oil. Yeah I know it takes ages to dry and if you are doing exterior I never apply after 1300 hours, but I can't fault it for longevity and for hardwearing quality. I love the stuff and Minerva is coated with it, and considering I've had her 27 years this April I have not varnished her that much. All the recent varnishing has been on the "project"! The key is ....get the old stuff off, 5 thin layers and it looks...well....beautiful. Getting the old stuff off for me, is scrape, then wire wool and Nitromoors.

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Post by BotleyBouy Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:08 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:Personally I don't leave in white spirit because I like it dry when doing a new job.
I like to take the brush out of the overnight tin of white spirit and put it straight into the varnish. This thins the varnish enough for a small job. I thin a little more for a larger job because I find the varnish will thicken all the time the lid is off.

I would never use wire wool. I have found strands can get caught in the grain and tiny particles of wire can contaminate the varnish. Each to his own.

I like Blackfriar Super Yacht Varnish. It's the varnish that's super, not the boat  Laughing

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Post by Minerva Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:04 pm

I use a fine wire wool dipped in Nitromoors. I forgot to mention that after this I using a fine 120 paper and then a hoover and finally a wipe down with a clean J cloth soaked in white spirit. details... details... lol! giving away all my trade secrets now!

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Post by Tedison Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:34 am

I found this mail order company ‘Homecare Essentils’. They advertise on EBay and have their own site. Stock a very large range of Shellac, steel wool and associated goods. I’ve put my 1st order in so will update when it arrives.

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Post by Dan Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:39 am

Has anyone modified their cockpit floor? Mine has 2 big panels which are difficult to lift to check gearbox oil, sea cock and fuel filter. Any ideas?

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Post by BotleyBouy Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:01 am

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Mine has three panels. The centre and starboard ones are easy to lift. The battery box needs to be slid out of the way to lift the port one.

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