Moderated Discussion Areas
  ContinuousWave: Whaler Repairs/Mods
  Refinishing Wood

Post New Topic  Post Reply
search | FAQ | profile | register | author help

Author Topic:   Refinishing Wood
gthibedeau posted 03-20-2004 10:00 PM ET (US)   Profile for gthibedeau   Send Email to gthibedeau  
I recently purchased a 1971 Montauk. It is my first boat. I need to refinish and probably replace some wood on the center console. Any ideas?
gansett posted 03-20-2004 10:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for gansett  Send Email to gansett     
Don't take it apart unless absolutely necessary. If the joints are loose, consider clamping them tight and glue with clear expoxy adhesive. If laminate is peeling, see if you can clamp it back down and glue as well.

If wood is really destroyed, some dismantling will be needed. If its a total mess, take it apart and use pieces as template. If you don't have a local source for marine plywood, you can find mahagony plywood and solid mahagony at Boulter Plywood Corp, at 617-666-1340

Strip the old varnish, lightly sand so you don't sand through the laminate on the plywood. Lightly wire brush with the grain to get gunk out of the grain. This will really bring back the "ribbon" look caused by the natural grain.

I like to use an epoxy saturating resin to seal the wood before varnishing, but it adds expense and labor... and its not they way they did it in 1971. However it does a great job water proofing to prevent future damage.

When you take off the steering wheel you may be lucky enough to find original untouched finish. This can give you the color to shoot for. You can varnish the bare wood or stain to match color under the wheel. If you stain, don't use a mahogany stain, they are way too dark. Try a maple stain or cherry stain (in a small area under the wheel and see what you get.

If you're going to use the epoxy saturate, then use water base stain. If you're going to varnish directly, use oil based stain.

jimh posted 03-20-2004 10:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I am curious about the recommendation to use a water-based stain on wood to which you will later seal with epoxy. I assume water-based stain is desirable because the water will evaporate and leave the wood dry to take the epoxy. Is the a generally accepted recommendation?
gansett posted 03-20-2004 11:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for gansett  Send Email to gansett     
Yes, that's my take on it. Oil goes well on epoxy... for example varnish over saturate. But epoxy doesn't do as well over oil... saturate on stain. After using water-based stain the epoxy saturates the dry wood without having to "compete" with the oils.

That said, epoxy sticks to nearly everything!

gansett posted 03-20-2004 11:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for gansett  Send Email to gansett     
There have been several published references to expoxy over stain. For some time WEST SYSTEMS has recommended water-based under epoxy, but did some testing on various oil-based stains. Testing show epoxy dried quickly with some oil-based products and took several days for others. Minwax wood finish (which is a very popular oil base and its likely some Whaler workers would pick it off the shelf)failed to stick to the epoxy even after four days.

They published a chart that shows oil-based brands that did successfully dry and adhere at

Their final recommendation is "if you don't have a preferred stain on the chart, use a water-based stain".

OutrageMan posted 03-21-2004 09:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for OutrageMan  Send Email to OutrageMan     
You have to forgive me here, but I am a bit of a traditionalist. I really prefer to use thinned varnish for sealing. A 50/50 mix of spar varnish and thinner for the first 2 coats does a great job sealing. Plus you have the added benefit of not having to buy another product. Additionally, epoxy has no UV protection. A famous boat finisher once said "I don't paint with glue and I don't glue with paint."


Post New Topic  Post Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | RETURN to ContinuousWave Top Page

Powered by: Ultimate Bulletin Board, Freeware Version 2000
Purchase our Licensed Version- which adds many more features!
© Infopop Corporation (formerly Madrona Park, Inc.), 1998 - 2000.