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Old 01-24-2019, 04:18 PM   #1
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Major Wood Project

When we got Sonas the outside curtains on our pilot house windows were made of a fine mesh material. Over the years this had let in lots of sunlight, to the extent that the wood had become discolored. We have now replaced those with lined Sunbrella.

Last year we had a couple of people who specialize on boat wood come and look at the job. Nobody would touch it.

So we called in the guy who did the complete interior and exterior painting on our home when we bought it four years ago. Asking if he could do it and was willing to. His eyes lit up. Not just because of the contract value, but as he told us, he and his dad used to build small wooden boats when he was young and in fact that is how he started in his profession.

So he laid out his plan. Sand the wood down so that it becomes porous. Rub on the stain - in our case Pecan. Leave the oil based stain for three days so that it completed soaks in and dries. Put on the first coast of clear coat poly. After that dries, use "four ought" steel wool and rub the first coat with the grain to rub the poly into the stained wood. Then add a second coat of poly.

Estimate is three to four weeks of work. He started yesterday. Will update as it moves along. Not inexpensive, but it needs done.

Photos are of the wood prior to starting.
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Old 01-24-2019, 04:20 PM   #2
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First area sanded.
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Old 01-24-2019, 04:35 PM   #3
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Are you sanding areas that have veneer? If so then it might end up splotchy. Your treatment steps might overcome that, but there is significant risk to doing it.

I would completely finish the one area that has been sanded already to confirm the steps taken give a good result, before sanding any more areas. Hope it turns it well, I'm sure it will no be cheap!
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Old 01-24-2019, 04:43 PM   #4
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I have used furniture grade steel wool with furniture wax on reproduction "antique" furniture finished with a bright gloss varnish. It tones down the varnish and produces a mellow softer "older" finish,giving the piece a way better look. Your expert`s method brings it to mind.
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Old 01-24-2019, 05:09 PM   #5
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The solid wood shouldn't be a problem at all. It should come up great with those steps, but I agree with Brian - the veneer is very delicate; not much margin for error.
Hopefully the initial original coat wasn't overly thin and didn't soak in too far, or at least is consistent.
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Old 01-24-2019, 05:32 PM   #6
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I guess the goal of your guy is not to sand to bare wood but just to g a rough surface so next coat will set. I would be careful with the steel wood as metallic particles can result in bad stain, be sure to vacuum and rub areas so no steel dust or wool piece remain. Personally I would use thinned varnish and wipe 5+ coats to get a build up (one coat a day), no need to sand between coat and wiping is very easy and give amazing finish.
Just for saying...

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Old 01-24-2019, 05:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insequent View Post
Are you sanding areas that have veneer? If so then it might end up splotchy. Your treatment steps might overcome that, but there is significant risk to doing it.

I would completely finish the one area that has been sanded already to confirm the steps taken give a good result, before sanding any more areas. Hope it turns it well, I'm sure it will no be cheap!
We absolutely did discuss the approach with the veneer. However it seems that there is veneer and there is veneer! He showed me the edges where you could see and measure the veneers on Sonas. She has 1/4 inch wood veneer. Most veneers are less than 1/8 inch. So he is comfortable with the approach. Regardless, if you look at photo #1 above, anything will be an improvement!

See veneer pics below.
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Old 01-24-2019, 05:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou_tribal View Post
I guess the goal of your guy is not to sand to bare wood but just to g a rough surface so next coat will set. I would be careful with the steel wood as metallic particles can result in bad stain, be sure to vacuum and rub areas so no steel dust or wool piece remain. Personally I would use thinned varnish and wipe 5+ coats to get a build up (one coat a day), no need to sand between coat and wiping is very easy and give amazing finish.
Just for saying...

L
Lou, the goal is to get the wood so that it takes the matching pecan stain first. I personally think this is the biggest challenge to get an even stain. Now if the stain is a perfect match to what is there, will that be an issue. Don't know, but will soon find out!
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Old 01-24-2019, 05:58 PM   #9
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Another worry I had is the sanding dust getting into the electronics and controls. So I made him cover them all with old bed sheets we have!
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Old 01-24-2019, 06:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menzies View Post
We absolutely did discuss the approach with the veneer. However it seems that there is veneer and there is veneer! He showed me the edges where you could see and measure the veneers on Sonas. She has 1/4 inch wood veneer. Most veneers are less than 1/8 inch. So he is comfortable with the approach. Regardless, if you look at photo #1 above, anything will be an improvement!

See veneer pics below.
Well, it ain't pretty, I agree.

I have had good results stripping veneer. Admittedly this was veneer that had years of being oiled, it wasn't varnished.

The problem with veneer is the thickness of the top ply, and any high spots. Sanding veneer is a brave approach, needs skill. You may just have th guy for the job though. And dust, yes it will go throughout the boat, Don't worry about it. A good detail clean at the end sorts it out.
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Old 01-24-2019, 06:11 PM   #11
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NEVER, NEVER, EVER let steel wool on a boat! Spend the money, buy bronze wool and avoid the rust stains.
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Old 01-24-2019, 06:13 PM   #12
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And dust, yes it will go throughout the boat, Don't worry about it. A good detail clean at the end sorts it out.
Already scheduled as we leave for Exuma early March. In fact I suspect (actually know) the missus is using this as an excuse to have the whole boat deep cleaned - including the cabins, heads etc. which are no where near the work!
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:41 PM   #13
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Quick update.

It is going really well, and I mean really well.

I will post a more detailed update on the process, he is dragging us down to the boat at the end of every day to show us what is happening (even though we were going down after he left anyway!). He is clearly proud of the results.

I will post before and after pics later of each areas of the PH. These are just random photos for now, showing the first Poly coats which he will wire wool and then do a second and, because it is going better/quicker that he had expected, a third coat for the same project cost!
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:51 PM   #14
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Looking great so far.
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Old 02-10-2019, 01:00 AM   #15
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Don`t you just love a boat with a spiral staircase. Looks great.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:55 AM   #16
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Looks very nice. What poly product and sheen are you using ?
I need to get busy on mine.
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:23 AM   #17
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Don't know what poly he is using, must look tomorrow, We choose Gloss over High Gloss or Semi.
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:32 PM   #18
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Second coats are on, the helm area is getting a third since it gets more sun. Floors and steps last to be done.
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:45 PM   #19
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Based on the early results, I hope he's got some free time in the future. I imagine he just established a new niche market for himself.



Looks great!
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:01 PM   #20
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I will make a comment but please don't shoot the messanger, to be honest I took long time to decide if I should post it or not so please don't mind me, there is nothing bad behind it.
For my eyes (and my eyes mays be wrong), the end result is not so astonishing. On the picture named PHWall I can see "orange peel" finish that does not look pleasant. On some pics ( the lat one but also others) some areas looks lighter and show sanding pattern.
Ok now that I posted my comment you can think I am picky and a jerk but this is a comment in honesty (and yes I am very picky on wood finish as I know it is very hard to achieve a really good one).

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