Paddle Refinishing Advice
Posted by: old_user on Jul-02-10 1:42 AM (EST) Category: Paddles
My Sawyer bent shaft is long overdue for another coat of varnish, and I don't want to screw this one up. I actually have worn through the varnish in one spot from rubbing on the gunnel, so that has to be done. The rest really isn't too awfully bad.
My plan was to lightly sand and coat the whole paddle with probably 2 coats of clear spar varnish, and then do probably about 5 coats in the problem areas.
I think this is the correct thing to do, but no having varnished, painted, or sanded a lot I could use some technical advice.
1. What grit of sandpaper should be used.
2. Do I sand in between coats?
3. How can I keep the varnish from running when I'm painting the round and sloping contours of a bent shaft paddle? Does it need to be super thin? I don't want streaks running down my paddle.
4. I'm thinking about stripping and oiling the handle. Any thoughts on this? The factory varnish is quite thick, so I'm wondering if this would be more trouble than it is worth?
Any technical/procedural advice of this sort would be appreciated. I just stripped and varnished my canoe thwarts and they turned out ok, but did have some drips/runs which needed to be sanded out. I'm hoping to avoid this with my paddle as much as possible.
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Posted by: Kudzu on Jul-02-10 5:20 AM (EST)
Treat it like a GP and oil it instead. Get it down to bare wood. Oil it with tung oil finish; 2 or 3 coats; rub with fine steel wool between coats. Use the steel wool after the last coat to get rid of the gloss. (It's nice to feel wood in your hand and not varnish.)
Posted by: Jsaults on Jul-02-10 7:26 AM (EST)
Is the paddle laminated? I assume so. I have recently heard that exposing the edge of glue joints (as would happen with oil) may lead to delamination. Remember, I just recently heard/read/dreamed this.
Spar Varnish is best.|
Posted by: cockneykayaker on Jul-02-10 7:42 AM (EST)
Spray Spar Varnish?|
Posted by: old_user on Jul-02-10 11:57 AM (EST)
I just found some spray-on spar varnish at Farm and Fleet today. Seems like this would be ideal fo all of the rounded and sloped edges of the paddle. Has anyone had experience with these types of products?
Posted by: glider on Jul-02-10 4:48 PM (EST)
Are you suggesting tung oil or one of the commercial tung oil "finishes" like Minwax or Formsby?
Tung Oil 'Finish'|
Posted by: Kudzu on Jul-02-10 5:47 PM (EST)
Wood is somewhat stronger if the|
Posted by: ezwater on Jul-03-10 11:52 PM (EST)
moisture content is kept low. When paddles are oil finished, the moisture content is not going to stay as low as it will if a paddle is carefully varnished.
Posted by: old_user on Jul-04-10 12:44 AM (EST)
If you're not going to epoxy the entire paddle, don't epoxy any of it, it'll hold the moisture in rather than keep it out.
Griffin, where do you come up with these|
Posted by: ezwater on Jul-05-10 10:03 AM (EST)
ideas? Moisture does not move across epoxy glue joints, which exist in blade laminations, blade-to-shaft connection, shaft laminations, and in the shaft-to-grip connection.
a little experience might help|
Posted by: old_user on Jul-06-10 4:59 PM (EST)
Having a little experience might help. The laminations on all the paddles I've seen are lenthwise not across the paddle, thus the epoxy joints that the moisture can't cross aren't in the way.
OK, look at it this way. How does the|
Posted by: ezwater on Jul-06-10 6:29 PM (EST)
moisture you postulate as "trapped" get into the paddle in the first place, if it was made "dry" and then epoxied? Go to the West site and read up. Epoxy does not trap water in wood, it keeps it out. Otherwise you would see people oiling wooden yachts and speedboats, instead of using epoxy.
If your paddle comes under significant|
Posted by: ezwater on Jul-05-10 5:01 PM (EST)
stress, enough that breaking may be an issue, then data on how increased moisture content (usually) lowers wood strength may cause you to consider whether using epoxy plus varnish will leave a higher strength margin than an all oil finish. The data was obtained regarding airplane construction, and is reprinted on page 75 of "Wooden Boat Restoration and Repair," a free pdf download from the West epoxy site.
Posted by: pblanc on Jul-06-10 5:31 PM (EST)
I showed Marc Ornstein (of Dogpaddle Paddles) a paddle a couple of weeks ago that required re-varnishing and asked his advice. Mine also was bright finished (varnished) with the finish worn through in spots.
Make my own grips, have varnished|
Posted by: ezwater on Jul-06-10 6:45 PM (EST)
some but have come to prefer oiling for grips. A bit better traction when I need it. Appreciate your passing along those tips from Dogpaddle. I have some dogwood set aside for paddle grips and a clear varnish may preserve the pinkish color better.
Posted by: Jsaults on Jul-07-10 9:39 AM (EST)
gives one the option of ordering online. And you can order 250ml cans of varnish. They are expensive, but if you routinely have varnish go south between projects then it might be an option.