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Old 05-03-2018, 10:47 AM   #1
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Swim Step Sanding Question

Current task is to sand and re-Cetol the swim step. Sanding between the grids has always been a PIA. I was looking at Grizzly's portable oscillating spindle sander to do this, but they are currently out of stock on this tool.
I tried a small drum sanding attachment for the drill, but it was a little more than worthless. Hoping someone has a great suggestion I haven't thought of, suggestions?
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:56 AM   #2
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Current task is to sand and re-Cetol the swim step. Sanding between the grids has always been a PIA. I was looking at Grizzly's portable oscillating spindle sander to do this, but they are currently out of stock on this tool.
I tried a small drum sanding attachment for the drill, but it was a little more than worthless. Hoping someone has a great suggestion I haven't thought of, suggestions?

Sanding previous finish is tough ! you don't really know how much wood you are taking off .... What works for me is paint stripper then a wire brush ( the narrow one with a handle ) and then just a very light touch up with sandpaper, I do it by hand and it'd relatively quick n easy.

For what it's worth ... never been a fan of Cetol, tried it once and never again !

fb
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:58 AM   #3
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Greetings,
Mr. MS. Foam sanding blocks perhaps? https://www.amazon.co.uk/foam-sandin...anding%20block

Compress to fit in between slats...
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Old 05-03-2018, 11:03 AM   #4
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Sanding previous finish is tough ! you don't really know how much wood you are taking off .... What works for me is paint stripper then a wire brush ( the narrow one with a handle ) and then just a very light touch up with sandpaper, I do it by hand and it'd relatively quick n easy.

For what it's worth ... never been a fan of Cetol, tried it once and never again !

fb
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What would you recommend?
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Old 05-03-2018, 11:49 AM   #5
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What would you recommend?

Le Tonkinios, nice to work with, flows nicely, stands up well and not expensive compared to " marine " stuff .... I love this stuff

Le Tonkinios Linseed Varnish
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Old 05-03-2018, 01:12 PM   #6
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I bought a Black and Decker PF260 1/2 belt sander. It fits into the slots and removes the previous finish very quickly. Be careful because it works fast. I did my swim platform slots in about an hour.
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Old 05-03-2018, 02:52 PM   #7
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Are trying to strip or just sand to re coat?
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Old 05-03-2018, 02:57 PM   #8
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I add some sand/grit to the cetol when I do mine. Makes it non skid.
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Old 05-03-2018, 04:43 PM   #9
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Since it is off the boat I would use a sandblaster designed for ground walnut shell. I have one and have done a few wood projects and it works great. Not so good on soft woods like pine but for harder woods, no problem. Princess Auto in Canada, Harbor Freight in the US.
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Old 05-03-2018, 06:14 PM   #10
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Per my post #6, I think that the belt sander was about $30. I would not sand blast the wood, you will remove any soft grain of the wood and make it uneven. Look up the belt sander, it will do the job very well. Eastwood also makes one for $40.
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Old 05-03-2018, 07:29 PM   #11
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Do yourself a favor and once you have that crud off there, leave the teak alone. The Cetol serves only two purposes: 1) makes the platform "look" good cosmetically for awhile to landlubbers and 2) adds a bunch more work to maintaining the boat, as you have discovered.
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:00 PM   #12
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I have a similar Swimgrid. When about 20 yrs old, I added 13", 5 full width slats and 5 spaces in each section. The top surface had never been finished (thankfully) so I sanded lightly and it matched the new wood within a few months. I put three coats of varnish on what had been the top surface, flipped the whole swimgrid over and mounted it. That was about 15 yrs ago and it still looks great. No finish whatsoever. I clean it occasionally, but really, it needs little or no maintenance on the top surface. With varnish on the underside, it washes off easily, should green try to get a foothold. That is a great improvement over the unfinished underside before I varnished it. It would collect green at an incredible rate and bothered me.

Since you asked about sanding Cetol: I once made a serious mistake, putting Cetol on my cedar 4x12 front porch at home. It looked fantastic for almost a year. Then the Cetol started to fail. Removing it was really tough. I eventually gave up on it and laid porcelain tile on top. Drastic, I know.

Oh, back to your swimgrid: I would try a sharp scraper. Get down to bare wood, sand any rough patches and walk away from it.
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:15 PM   #13
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I suggest oiling it after getting the old finish off. First time involves saturation,after that it`s a 3 monthly or greater wipe or brush over. You can get a brush in the gaps. The oil is absorbed,mine is never slippery. They don`t call it "Deck Oil"(Deks Olje) for nothing, it is intended for decks.
If you leave it unfinished it will groove and look bad as soft material wears away. You need to preserve it,as well as have it look good. Barring side gates,it is the front doorstep for visitors.
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Old 05-04-2018, 12:10 AM   #14
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If you leave it unfinished it will groove and look bad as soft material wears away. You need to preserve it,as well as have it look good. Barring side gates,it is the front doorstep for visitors.
Bruce: I disagree. We are in a cool climate. Here the teak left untreated will last as long as the Fibreglass, which is a VERY LONG time. Sorry you are stuck in an less hospitable climate.
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Old 05-04-2018, 12:51 AM   #15
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Bruce: I disagree. We are in a cool climate. Here the teak left untreated will last as long as the Fibreglass, which is a VERY LONG time. Sorry you are stuck in an less hospitable climate.
Oops,forgot the climate difference.
I leave my teak decks unmolested, but the FB protects them(unprotected foredeck is painted, not teak). I`m sure my swimstep looks better oiled than not,but it`s personal preference.
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Old 05-04-2018, 10:58 AM   #16
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Wow fellas, thanks for all the feedback
A little more background. I last finished the swim step 12 years ago, not giving much time other than a light hand sand between the grids. I use Cetol, because I believed that it could be maintained easier than a hard varnished finish.
The boat is kept in a house, so out of the direct weather 95% of the time (though I'd like to get that down to about 80%).
The Cetol finish held up pretty good for about 8 yrs even with no re-coats, but really fell apart fast two yrs ago.
I prefer the look of a finished swim step, but only keep it that way because it's under cover, if moored outside it would be raw.
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Old 05-04-2018, 12:19 PM   #17
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Bruce: I disagree. We are in a cool climate. Here the teak left untreated will last as long as the Fibreglass, which is a VERY LONG time. Sorry you are stuck in an less hospitable climate.
Obviously I agree. My boat spent almost all its time in temperate to hot climates. as we cruised to follow the good weather. Leaving the decks bare was the only way for me... and them. They like clean salt water by the way, which is how I washed them.
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Old 05-04-2018, 12:21 PM   #18
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Wow fellas, thanks for all the feedback
A little more background. I last finished the swim step 12 years ago, not giving much time other than a light hand sand between the grids. I use Cetol, because I believed that it could be maintained easier than a hard varnished finish.
The boat is kept in a house, so out of the direct weather 95% of the time (though I'd like to get that down to about 80%).
The Cetol finish held up pretty good for about 8 yrs even with no re-coats, but really fell apart fast two yrs ago.
I prefer the look of a finished swim step, but only keep it that way because it's under cover, if moored outside it would be raw.
Unfinished gives you better non-skid characteristics, by the way. I was dumb to finish my pulpit in Cetol for "looks". I ended up having to add non-skid granules.
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Old 05-04-2018, 02:40 PM   #19
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Use a stripper like Citrustrip and a scraper. Better than sanding. Other good choice is a heat gun and scraper.
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Old 05-04-2018, 05:29 PM   #20
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Bruce: I disagree. We are in a cool climate. Here the teak left untreated will last as long as the Fibreglass, which is a VERY LONG time. Sorry you are stuck in an less hospitable climate.


Looks like a beautiful part of the world koliver but minus 11c isn't hospitable climate I do hate our 45c days in Summer but 30c this week in autumn was beautiful
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