Posted 08 March 2007 - 04:22 PM
In the past I've tried brushing, requires a steadier hand than mine. I've tried appling with my fingers, very messy and I got runs. I've wiped on, difficult with guides in place, and I prefer the look of a rod dipped after the wraps are on. I've read about a hair-brained scheme of pouring a jugfull of varnish over all your hard work, the slightest inconsistancy in the thickness of my varnish will cause a run. It couldn't possibly work, silly idea, but I'm out of options.
I hung my section from the ceiling (After doing the usual things, masking of, sanding, wipe down with white spirit.) Thinned the last of my varnish stock (The rest of it was full of cat hair and best knoted worsted wool) put it in a jug, took a deep breath, and poured...
It worked, I mean it worked REALLY well. Probably the best finish I've achived in my (short) rod making career.
The technical details are these:
I thinned the varnish a lot, maybe 4 parts thinners to 6 parts varnish, the thickness of thin maple syrup.
The technique is to start at the top, twist the rod to coat all the flats, and the follow the varnish "front" as it rolls down topping up behind any parts that are moving slower. It goes quite quickly (the rod I did was a 6' one piece and it took maybe 20 seconds) but it really looks after itself.
The highly thinned varnish flows easily over wraps and around guide feet, and because its thin doesn't seem to suffer from pooling and runs as much. It also cures quickly.
Because of the thinner coat, you'll want more aplications (I was still dialing in my dip tube and I like a fairly thin finish, but two pours is more than one dip) I'm very happy with two.
If you haven't got your finishing system sorted, try this. Infact if you dip, try this, it's that good, and a lot easier than it sounds.
Posted 08 March 2007 - 04:33 PM
I believe it is in one of the Best of the Planing Form books, but someone at one point suggested using a turkey baster to apply finish in much the way you describe. Sounds like a great alternative to a dip/drip tube. Thanks for sharing.
Posted 11 March 2007 - 06:10 AM
A turkey baster was my frist thought, but I didn't have one in the house and you know how it is when you've decided to do something.
I will try a turkey baster when I get my hands on one. Actually a friend of mine works in artifical insemination, maybe he's got something I could use?
Posted 13 March 2007 - 09:03 PM
Thanks to your clumsy cat, and your suggestion, I have a near perfect finish on my 2/2 7'1"er! Did just what you recommended, though I thinned varnish app.30%, and poured away. Recycled the mix for all 3 pieces, and redid them every hour, 5 times. I am very happy with the finish, just picked up a few tiny dust specs, and will buff them out when cured. Thanks for the idea, CJ
Posted 13 March 2007 - 09:28 PM
Credit River Cane Rods
Credit River Anglers Association
Ken Paterson, Streetsville, Ontario
Posted 14 March 2007 - 09:25 AM
A lot of people use Turps and other things but I like white sprit because it evaporates quickly. I think that lets the varnish skin over faster. It is also easily availiable and, importantly for me, cheap.
I believe that there is an issue with long-term storeage of varnish that has been heavily thinned with W.S., I keep my main stock full-strength, and then thin it for the job in hand.
Posted 14 March 2007 - 10:40 AM
Just wondering what you guys use to catch the varnish after you pour it on? I am getting ready to finish a rod here soon and was thinking about trying this.
Posted 14 March 2007 - 11:19 AM
Thanks very much. I was going to wipe on the varnish for this rod, now I have changed my mind. I have a low exposed ceiling in my basement shop that will be just perfect for this method.
Posted 17 March 2007 - 08:34 AM
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