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Guest Frank Hagan, Weekender, O

Okume, meranti or luaun?

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Guest Frank Hagan, Weekender, O

I'm planning on finishing parts of my new Spindrift bright, and need some opinions on which marine plywood looks the best finished bright ... okume, meranti or luaun? If the luaun is the same wood as found on doorskins, I know it tends to turn pinkish and fade in light. I'm not opposed to staining either wood before glassing, if that's necessary.

With only 4 sheets to buy, I figure I'll spring for the marine plywood instead of suffering through the A/C fir plywood at Home Depot again. :b

fshagan@ev1.net

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Guest Graham Byrnes

Frank, buy okume. We have built or have seen Spindrifts built from about everything. Okume is the lightest of the species you mentioned and because it is 5 ply versus fir 3 ply it is stiffer. I think okume has a richer color than than luan or meranti. My own Spindrift, the one you posted on this forum was launched in '93 and has been sailed hard and does not have a hairline crack anywhere. I recently bought a fir marine ply Spindrift from an ailing friend and even though it was beautifully built and coated with 3 coats of epoxy and nicely painted and stored out of the weather, it has checked all over.

If you want to really lash out monetarily, you could get sapele, utile or khaya faced marine plywood (they have okume cores). These are gorgeous, but the price is reflective of that "gorgeous".

Needless to say, any wood can and does change from tree to tree. For example, the meranti I have here has a courser grain than the other woods - and is a rather bland color/grain etc... for finishing bright.

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Guest John Burritt

We have been toying with getting a darker, richer color out of Okume. Have been trying Solar-lux Stains from Behlen looking for a color something akin to "old" mahogany. Tried "Van Dyke Brown" - too brown. Then tried "Medium Red Mahogany" - maybe too red. A half and half mixture gives a good color. They also have a number of other "mahogany" colors which might be OK without mixing.

This stain appears to have no impact on epoxy's bonding ability with the wood. As usual, the wood gives way long before the bond. You would probably have to pre-stain the wood before things were epoxied together. Anything already coated wouldn't stain. Behlen sells a "retarder" to slow the drying time to help eliminate lap marks.

We haven't done the deed yet on a full sheet so can't say this is the definitive answer, but its a strong possibility.

jbncb@coastalnet.com

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Guest Gordy Hill

Frank,

I was impressed with the depth I got with the Okume. In the sunlight it would change as I changed my point of view. After a time it faded a bit so it might be a good idea to finish with a coat or two of varnish with UV filter. I'd be reluctant to stain it just because I think you'd loose that depth. A few simple tests should give you a pretty good idea. Maybe a varnish that has that litle bit of amber tint would give you the look you want.

sirgordy@peoplepc.com

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Guest Frank Hagan, Weekender, O

Thanks, Gordy. That's probably the way I'll go ... I prefer to keep wood as it is, or just slightly enhanced. Now to find a good source of okume ...

fshagan@ev1.net

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Guest Frank Hagan, Weekender, O

I've been concerned about the possibility of interaction with oil-based stains and epoxy. I have heard some horrow stories with paint and Minwax stains.

From Gordy's message, I'll probably not have to enhance the color if I use okume. That would probably be best, although Gordy did mention some fading.

fshagan@ev1.net

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Guest John Burritt

The stains I mentioned earlier are alcohol based and don't interfere with epoxy or (according to the distributor)with any of the other types of finishes.

jbncb@coastalnet.com

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Guest Frank Hagan, Weekender, O

Thanks for the clarification! I haven't personally had any compatibility problems with epoxy and paints or stains, but the people I've talked to who have had problems feel almost devastated by them. From what I've read from System Three, its limited to the driers in oil based products.

fshagan@ev1.net

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Guest Joe Nelson

I would call system three support. They are very good about answering technical questions! They manytimes will tell you things that they dont want to print in the manual that require some degree of expertise to pull off.

joe_nelson22@hotmail.com

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Guest bill Heil

There are also water based stains. Haven't used them for years so don't have a source. Bill

schwmh@cconnect.net

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Guest Mark W

I used luaun for my Spindrift and finished the interior and transom bright (spar varnish over raka epoxy). Three years old now and still looks pretty good (to me at least). That's my kid rowing it in the North Channel (Lake Huron), BTW.

Full Size Image

standard.jpg

weaver@corvusdev.com

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Guest Frank Hagan, Weekender, O

As I said above, very nice! How did you hide the fillets with the bright finish? Or did you use wood flour with about the same cured color as the luaun? Its something I've thought about, although I'll probably keep some of it bright, with paint over most of the hull.

fshagan@ev1.net

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Guest John Burritt

You can pre-mix wood flour with your cabosil for your fillets. The color comes up darker than you might first think, so a little experimentation on the proportions is in order.

jbncb@coastalnet.com

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Guest Mark W

Well, the pine wood flour is a reasonably good match to the finished luaun--a bit darker than the ply, but not bad (maple, OTOH, was way too dark). If you look at the big version of this shot, you can get an idea of the color of the fillets around the bow bulkhead (unfortunately, I don't think have a closer shot that shows them).

Large version

standard.jpg

weaver@corvusdev.com

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Guest Frank Hagan, Weekender, O

Pine flour is a golden tan color, while maple flour makes a dark brown color ... which came in handy around my Phillipine mahogany trim. I haven't experimented with other types of wood flour (RAKA had both pine an maple, so that's what I got.)

fshagan@ev1.net

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