View topic - Gunwales---oil vs 'varnish'.

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PostPosted: October 1st, 2019, 12:46 pm 
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I know this topic has been discussed a few times but here goes----I have just sanded the varnish off my Langford Prospector. I know some swear by oil, e.g. tung oil, but that seems to need frequent re-application. Oil, according to some, looks better but to me the varnish looks just fine. My #1 objective is to minimize mildew. I store it indoors during the winter. I am leaning towards using "Spar Varnish" urethane. Comments? thx

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PostPosted: October 1st, 2019, 1:33 pm 
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I use oil on all my wood gunnels because I find the upkeep easier. I store outside, and may get a little mildew, but it sands off easily.


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PostPosted: October 1st, 2019, 2:51 pm 
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Badger oil -
https://badgerpaddles.com/badger-wood-oil-info/
or can order from Canadian outdoor Equipment.
https://www.canadianoutdoorequipment.co ... p-oil.html


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PostPosted: October 1st, 2019, 3:44 pm 
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Oil goes into the wood and cannot chip, crack or peel. Varnish goes over the wood and is probably more durable but it's also way more work when it comes time to refinish. I can see an argument for varnish if you store outside with constant exposure to water. I like oil for the look and feel and for the ease of touch-ups...if you have a spot that needs a touch-up a quick sanding with 150 sandpaper and another coat and you're done. I also like Badger oil because it is totally safe to touch. I've used Watco products and they provide a more durable oil finish. I like Watco Teak oil which does contain a mildew inhibitor. Watco Danish oil contains some varnish as well as oil. I think rot will start in cracks and difficult to reach places and I'd think that oil would penetrate better into cracks and crevices.


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PostPosted: October 1st, 2019, 4:02 pm 
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Oil

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PostPosted: October 1st, 2019, 7:25 pm 
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I use 30-30-30.
As in one third varnish, one third oil and one third thinner.
Mix in jar. Wipe on. Wait ten minutes. Wipe off.
Doesn't form a film that will crack and peel.
To refinish a light sanding and then re-coat.
When a pure varnish finish fails from age and sun --- the work begins.


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PostPosted: October 2nd, 2019, 6:07 am 
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Take gunwales off boat, sand, coat with system three clear coat, two or three coats,on all four sides, finish with 3 to five cots of spar varnish, don'y worry about your gunwales for a vey long time.


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PostPosted: October 3rd, 2019, 9:39 am 
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I use varnish on all my cedar/canvas boats.
And interestingly enough I am replacing oiled outwales on an Evergreen Prospector that has been stored right beside the Chestnuts for years. I admit that no one regularly oiled the gunwales on that boat but I'm still surprised how quickly they deteriorated compared to the varnished ones.

Bruce


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PostPosted: October 6th, 2019, 8:09 am 
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Thx for the comments, folks.

RH--no doubt that's more effective but too much work for me. I replaced the gunwales on a Novacraft a few years back and that was quite a job for a not-so-handy guy like me.

Stencil wrote:
I use 30-30-30.
As in one third varnish, one third oil and one third thinner.
Mix in jar. Wipe on. Wait ten minutes. Wipe off.
Doesn't form a film that will crack and peel.
To refinish a light sanding and then re-coat.
When a pure varnish finish fails from age and sun --- the work begins.


This sounds like quite a good idea but doesn't the oil really slow down the drying/recoat time? BTW---what's the other 10%? Vodka? :lol:

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PostPosted: October 6th, 2019, 5:28 pm 
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Drying time is overnight.
Other ten percent can be elbow grease.
If you find any spots that are tacky just buff them with a rag with some finish on it
then wipe dry with a clean rag.
Dispose of oil soaked rags by hanging them to dry.
Wet oil rags in a pile or bucket can burst into flame.


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PostPosted: October 6th, 2019, 5:43 pm 
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I've never dealt with wood gunwales. That aside, treating wood with oil, I like to heat it up for the first coat (be careful) - it really seeps in when it's hot. Then, I cut it with mineral spirits, 50/50. Last coat is undiluted - at least one day (up to a week is better) between coats.


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PostPosted: October 6th, 2019, 8:16 pm 
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Years ago one of my favorite canoe dealers used to sell bottles of home made "Gunnel Lotion" which was 1/3 boiled linseed oil, 1/3 mineral spirits, and 1/3 distilled white vinegar. I made my own and used it for years...it's super easy and fast to apply a quick thin coat periodically and it gives the wood a nice soft natural look. My canoes were always stored inside. For wotrock the mixture with 1/3 varnish and 1/3 oil seems more like what he's after.


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PostPosted: October 8th, 2019, 9:59 am 
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Stencil wrote:
Drying time is overnight.

If you find any spots that are tacky just buff them with a rag with some finish on it
then wipe dry with a clean rag.
.

I assume by 'finish' you mean the oil-varnish-thinner mixture?

this article says that linseed oil, even when double boiled, serves as food for mildew!! That's the very last thing I would want to do!

https://teakpatiofurnitureworld.com/tea ... anish-oil/

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PostPosted: October 27th, 2019, 11:29 pm 
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we use Watco oil on our ash gunwhales. i believe it's a blend of thinners and tung oil, etc. easy and works very well. this is for a canoe stored indoors.


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PostPosted: October 28th, 2019, 6:28 am 
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IIRC Watco Danish oil is a mixture of oil and varnish...

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