RatFink255

Best Spar Varnish on wood spokes????

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I have sanded the wood spokes on my 1922 Model 35 and now that they are sanded they look very nice and have decided to leave them natural instead of painting. Wondering what would be the best Spar Varnish to use. Rust-Oleum seams to have basically good reviews on their Marine Coatings Clear Gloss Spar Varnish. Just asking to see what others have already gone through. I did seal them with a epoxy based sealer CPES from Rot Doctor. The CEPS looks good and does do a great job sealing and penetrating the wood to seal wood. I am just starting the front wheels but here are some pics of the rear ones before final Spar Varnish after I decide what to use.

#1 Rear Drivers before cleanup.jpg

#2 PassRear before cleanup.jpg

#3 Pass Rear after sanding befor Metal Clean.jpg

#4 Rear Drivers ready for CPES on wood and paint on Metal.jpg

#5 Pass Rear after cleen and sanded.jpg

#6 Center hub wired brushed before paint.jpg

#7 Both Wheels ready for Paint.jpg

#8 Rear Drivers after paint and CEPS on spokes.jpg

#9 Pass rear after paint and CEPS on Spokes.jpg

#10 Drivers rear after paint and CPES on Spokes.jpg

Edited by RatFink255
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You did a great job, but everybody in the old days used linseed oil. They used it on wagon wheels for hundreds of years before then, as well. Modern sealants are great and might actually be better......but the one and ONLY thing that was universally used back then was linseed. Since your wheels lasted 100 years with linseed, I'd say that pretty much decides what to use for the next 100 years.

 

Nothing is going to touch my wheels but the real thing.

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There have been topics fairly recently on this, probably in the Technical forum. Try a search. You might also read through @chistech's topic on restoration of his '32 Olds. There is some discussion of this on that topic.

 

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I put four coats of tung oil and let them dry for 24 hours and then apply 2 coats of spar varnish.I have been very satisfied with Minwax Helmsman Spar Varnish.

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Hello rat fink, I am restoring a woodie station wagon and I did a lot of research into varnish. I am using Pettit Captains Varnish. The sample I made has been outside for 2 years 9 months and has not peeled yet. There are other durable marine varnishes out there such as Epifanes but I like the color of the Captains the best. It is not yellow, amber or orange. It is golden brown and looks more natural than the rest. I have read several articles about priming with CPES. The varnish supplies the UV protection. 

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Thanks Tom that is what I have decided to go with as well. Just got it the other day and forgot to add the brushing thinner but it is on the way. I hope to start applying this weekend if all goes well or at least mid of next week. I like that you added the info on a test sample you have done that helps in knowing that I am going in the right direction. I used the CPES as there is some nicks and small chunks into couple spokes and wanted to seal up and harden up good. The CPES has done a great job at that and i am very happy with it. 

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When I first used captains it tried to clean the brush with regular mineral spirits/paint thinner bought locally. It would not dissolve the varnish. The brushing thinner Pettit sells worked of course. It would be too expensive with shipping costs and a hassle to use Pettit brushing thinner just to clean brushes. I used lacquer thinner to clean brushes. I kept some brushing thinner on hand to add to the varnish if needed. 

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I did the exterior varnish on my 43 year old sailboat every year for about 20 years. In order to stay perfect it needed to be done every year. I kept track of the latest tests in Practical Sailer (like Consumers Reports) and used the best stuff from major manufacturers. I ended up with Epifanes products, one of which is somewhat golden hewed but another (I think "Clear Gloss") is almost water clear. These are the only varnish type (urethane) finishes I found that will do 2 years out in the sun before starting to "lose it". In spite of our attachment to old things, none of the authentic old type finishes will match this performance. The slightly golden colored one, I think, adds something positive if not added to too much over the years. Keep in mind that your car will not be out in the sun, on the water, for months on end. Your wheels should look great for many years.

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Thanks for your input Bill.your right it will not be out in the weather like most wartcraft are. I did end up going with the Captain’s varnish. Like Epifanes it has a nice light warm tone to it with clear gloss that does not look plastic. 

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