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Old 09-07-2018, 08:18 AM   #1
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Stripping “Bristol” wood finish?

I put Bristol on the transome cap rail over ten years ago. Very happy with the product, but it’s time to remove and replace (with Bristol). Anyone advice on removing these hardened urethane products?
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Old 09-07-2018, 08:52 AM   #2
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When we need to repair an area, we just sand it off (also love Bristol). Start w/80, go to 120, finish w/ 220
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Old 09-07-2018, 09:16 AM   #3
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Shouldn’t take much work. Bristol is very thin unless there’s 20 coats.
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Old 09-07-2018, 10:12 AM   #4
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So the hand rails on my 36 GB have Captains varnish in very good shape. (Boat is new to me) Maybe I should try 6 coats of Bristol? Bristol says that it can be applied over Varnish. Anyone done this? 36-48 month re coat in Northern latitudes sounds sounds very desirable.
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Old 09-12-2019, 07:13 PM   #5
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Answering my own question....I just completed stripping Bristol from the cap rail on our OA 440. I used a heat gun, a wide sheet rock "spatula" to protect the gel coat when heating the curved edges where the rail meets the boat structure, and a three inch wide sharp edge putty knife/scraper. The job took five hours including clean up. No way I'd either sand or chemical strip after this experience...it would have taken days instead of hours. Just heat the finish until tiny bubbles begin to appear in the finish, and then scrape in that area....comes off in small sheets and ribbons. Clean, bare wood. Sweep up the refuse. Just have to be careful where you aim the heat gun so as not to burn yourself. I wore leather work gloves. I covered the bare wood for the winter hibernation and will reapply Bristol in the Spring...I'm a big fan of the product.

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Old 09-12-2019, 08:56 PM   #6
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Thanks for the update. I need to strip our toe rails this winter so I am going to try heat.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cigatoo View Post
So the hand rails on my 36 GB have Captains varnish in very good shape. (Boat is new to me) Maybe I should try 6 coats of Bristol? Bristol says that it can be applied over Varnish. Anyone done this? 36-48 month re coat in Northern latitudes sounds sounds very desirable.
Thickness is good and another thing about varnish is flexibility. One of the reasons I use a high oil varnish. I believe Captains varnish is a high oil high quality finish typical of high end varnish. If I had your boat I’d sand, clean and carefully apply several more coats of varnish. A thick coat of flexible varnish will be resistant to cracking thereby keeping water from getting under the coating, allowing water to enter the porous wood and mould to develop. Look at a varnished boat and at wood joints and where screws are often .. very often you’ll see black wood running in the direction of the wood grain. A flexible and fairly thick coating of varnish works well and it’s not that hard to apply.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:50 PM   #8
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Thickness is good and another thing about varnish is flexibility. One of the reasons I use a high oil varnish. I believe Captains varnish is a high oil high quality finish typical of high end varnish. If I had your boat I’d sand, clean and carefully apply several more coats of varnish. A thick coat of flexible varnish will be resistant to cracking thereby keeping water from getting under the coating, allowing water to enter the porous wood and mould to develop. Look at a varnished boat and at wood joints and where screws are often .. very often you’ll see black wood running in the direction of the wood grain. A flexible and fairly thick coating of varnish works well and it’s not that hard to apply.
Been getting a couple of additional coats on each year. Trying to stay ahead of the curve. Boat is inside over winter. Seems to be holding up.
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Old 09-13-2019, 10:01 PM   #9
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I have found that sometimes using a heat gun does not get all the old varnish off.

You find out when the tiger eye grain stops being three dimensional in the top coat. Not the time to find out.

If the wood gets darker when you sand them varnish remains. If too much try to sand piece with grain to hide / blend it.

If really splotchy, use teak cleaner then bleach and flush thoroughly. Then let dry several days.

Never used Bristol, I am using Awlwood. Incredible product, hardness, and finish. But, unforgiving.
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