Archive | August, 2009

Slaying the Mighty Humpies

We caught real fish this time around.

Eighteen of them actually. But with five licenses onboard, that wasn’t even the limit. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay and keep catching them. That work thing always gets in the way. I would be so good at being independently wealthy!

This is the Captain’s Happy Place. The salmon were jumping all over, the sunset was gorgeous.

I think anywhere on the boat is Nity’s Happy Place.

And the fish were all processed and vacuum-packed before we even hit the dock. Good times!

Down To Bare Wood

And now begins the layering up of varnish. The Tufshield has both a Base Coat and then a glossy Top Coat. We did get a coat of base on it yesterday after this picture and it is going to be quite stunning, I think. The plan is 4 coats of base, followed by a couple of top and see where we’re at. That’s supposed to give you the look of 10-12 layers of straight varnish. We shall see.

Brock is off driving the Royal today, so I’m left to my own devices. Hopefully that won’t result in any Jamie-adventures. I’ll try to behave and follow the rules and not drop anything!

Mahogany Continued

We’re getting there. Have chemically stripped all of the wood down to bare. Brock will lightly sand with 90 grit now, I will follow along behind him with 120 grit, then we’ll end it with 400 grit for that perfectly smooth finish. It’s all that grunt prep work for now, which is one of the life lessons I’ve always worked on. At 39 with a classic yacht to care for, I seem to finally be getting it, with the right encouragement (by which I mean, a man who will not let me get by with anything less!).

After today’s efforts comes the fun part! I was originally going to go with Epifanes clear polyurethane, as Brock has had good luck with their products and forums are highly complimentary as well. But when we were at Fisheries Supply (one of my very favorite places on earth), their staff was extremely enthusiastic about the Tufshield products in our Northwest environment. It’s expensive, but with boats, what isn’t? They steered us well in the past with the Top Secret products, so we decided to go with their experience.

Alright, now I’m just stalling. I can hear the captain out there, rustling electrical cords and banging about. So I’m off to assist. At least it’s nice and overcast.

OK, Woodworking People, I Need Some Help

It’s time for some annual varnish and we’ve been taking it down a bit more to bare wood. The caprail is made of Honduras mahogany. Previously I’ve been able to get away with just a light sanding and a topcoat of varnish. But in several spots, we’ve needed to get down to the wood itself.

And there’s my problem. Wherever we sand, the amber color (the varnish) disappears and is replaced by a darker reddish color (on the left in the above photo – the natural color of the wood). Either of which would be fine, but the combination of patchwork colors is completely unacceptable.

So my questions are:
1.) Why is this happening?
2.) How did they get it to the golden amber color?
3.) Am I going to have to take the whole frippin’ thing down to wood and live with a reddish caprail from here forward?

The ideas we’ve kicked around tonight have ranged from chemical strippers to heat guns (Brock doesn’t think I have the patience for that, but if it works without sacrificing any wood, he might be surprised). I’ve read Wittman, who deplores sanding more than anything when doing brightwork and I can be a disciple and learn to heat/scrape.

Anybody out there understand WHY my mahogany is going red on me? Is that it’s natural color? It would probably be spectacular that way as well (I love my dark cherry floors, after all). But I just don’t get it.

****More research later…OK, so apparently Honduras mahogany is naturally a “coppery-brown” reddish wood. I still can’t figure out how they got it blonde. A stain? I do like the blonde look, but don’t want the “blonde-russet patchwork quilt after years of varnish repairs” which was described by some folks. Russet OR blonde. Not both.

Meanwhile, Brock has acquired both heat gun/scraper and a gallon of chemical stripper. Evidently, we each get a five-foot section and we’ll “race” to see who gets done first. I may have to remind him that the quality of the job matters as well. There’s little doubt in my mind that chemicals will be faster.

++++ Later again…ooooh, my new very favorite friend ~ the heat gun! Wow, that was truly awesome, the varnish just came right off of her sweet and easy. And for all of the detail areas (window frames, etc), well, I’m never going back to any other lame techniques. That is much too easy (no dripping of chemicals, blowing of sawdust)! I’m thinking the mahogany is just going to be darker than it was. Which is fine with me as long as it’s consistent. Should actually be quite lovely, I think. But HOW DID THEY GET IT BLONDE IN THE FIRST PLACE???