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  15 bow locker, epoxy coat over varnish?

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Author Topic:   15 bow locker, epoxy coat over varnish?
trainer posted 03-07-2002 10:37 PM ET (US)   Profile for trainer   Send Email to trainer  
I have sanded, stained and varnished the marine plywood bow locker cover on my 15 super sport. Reading the receint posts on plywood, I wonder should I use a coat of epoxy over the varnish. If so what brand. I am using Captians Spar varnish. plan to have between 7 & 10 coats when done.
Chesapeake posted 03-08-2002 12:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
Nope: You don't want to expose epoxy to the sunlight. It will break down, lose its waterproofing, turn cloudy and generally look like crap.
Arch Autenreith posted 03-08-2002 11:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
I think you have it backwards. Epoxy is first then varnish. Varnish protects epoxy from UV.
I'm not convinced of the benefits of this method and myself wouldn't do it.
OutrageMan posted 03-08-2002 12:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for OutrageMan  Send Email to OutrageMan     
I too am not convinced about epoxy coating. A famous marine wood re-finisher once said "I don't glue with paint, and I don't paint with glue."

It sure seems to me that 2-3 coats of thinned varnish first would be better than epoxy.

ratherwhalering posted 03-08-2002 02:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for ratherwhalering  Send Email to ratherwhalering     
After consulting with several experts, including those on this web site, I decided not to epoxy first. I thinned 3 coats of varnish first, the followed up with 8 full coats. The results are staggering! A friend of mine, who varnishes for a living, does use epoxy first, but only on surfaces that are out of direct sunlight. For example, he epoxys the underside of the front locker hatch, the underside of the cooler chocks, the back (gelcoat) side of the door framing, ect. The theroy is to create a waterproof barrier on areas that are not subject to air drying, and stop moisture from seeping into the wood and creating damp conditions under the varnish. He first applies tape to the unfinished areas to prevent slop over, (the finish will looks much darker when expoy is first applied) He then epoxys with a wood based epoxy (name brand "Smiths"...He claims this allows better adhesion for the remaining 2 coats of full strength varnish) He then applies 3 thinned and 6-8 full strength coats of Epithanes varnish to the exposed areas. I saw a whaler he did two years ago, and it looks great. The underside of the bow locker hatch did look darker, though. The varnish there looked "happy", and has not peeled from the epoxy.
ratherwhalering posted 03-08-2002 02:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for ratherwhalering  Send Email to ratherwhalering     
By the way, as long as you have everything off, and sanded, I thought I might make a sugguestion. When I refinished, I was concerned that the mounting screws on the door frames and trim would cut right through my new varnish. I bought 1/4" teak plugs from Wests, took a 1/4 inch drill bit, cleaned out the countersink holes, and plugged them, sanding off any excess plug. The idea was to use wood screws from the inside of the console. It didn't work, as there was not enough purchase in the framing, and the plugs popped out. (yeah, I know, you guys warned me). Here's the upshot, though. I simply drilled through the plugs from the backside, and mounted with the old "through wood" machine screws. Since the old countersink holes were plugged, I used a finishing washer and rubber washers. It looks really cool. In addition, I kept the teak plugs in the little trim strips above the hatch/doors, and mounted them from the back, countersinking the beveled head wood screws, before installing. With the trim strips in place, I had plenty of purchase to back mount the upper door and hatch trim! The end result was that the trim strips have plugs (like on the RPS) and the top of the door/hatch trim has a clean, secure mount.
ratherwhalering posted 03-08-2002 02:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for ratherwhalering  Send Email to ratherwhalering     
O.K., so this doesn't really apply to the original question, I just had to tell somebody! :-)

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