Culprit and the Cure

First off, I’m always amazed at how many things go wrong when I’m involved with a project.  It seems to me I’m a magnet for problems, especially when chemistry is involved.  It’s like the chemical Gods of the universe say, as they did with Tevye “what trick can I play today on my friend (Brent)?”

After varnishing my lap trays, bunk tops, cabin filler boards, window frames and the thunder plank, I notice an alarming result.  The finish was blotchy.  Not just a little blotchy.  And, that’s where the chemistry God’s went wrong.  A little blotchy and I would’ve never figured out the problem, writing it off as some minor quirk of bad luck.  No, majorly blotchy, like hell no this is not right blotchy.

So, as I lay in bed feeling dejected by my beautiful wooden pieces, wondering where I went wrong, I mentally walked back through the crime scene analyzing all the previous step I had taken while applying the finish.

And, I think I’ve found the culprit:

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That’s right, wax paper.  I’ve been using wax paper during my epoxy and finishing process for a long time now.  I would tear off a piece, pour the varnish or paint on the paper and then roll up the finish with a roller and apply.  Well, the varnish is oil based and hence contains lots of paint thinner.  And, thinner softens wax, and the roller picked up the wax and deposited it on my finish pieces, leaving me with a terrible looking finish.  It appears the epoxy doesn’t soften this stuff and works just fine.  But, varnish and paint is another story.  Don’t do it, It’ll cost you a lot of time and anguish.

I went back out this morning and after sanding aggressively, reapplied the varnish yet again.  This time directly from  a new paint tray.

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This is really good stuff, especially when you don’t mix it with wax.

Here’re the results:

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Summary:

There’s always something waiting to get you in boat building.  Don’t let the wax man into your shop.  Say No to wax paper.  I’ll never use wax paper again when finishing.  

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