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Help please - staining the hull


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Forgive me if this question seems really dumb. I am building my first ever model ship. I thought it might keep me occupied during lockdown. I have finally finished planking the "lower" hull (before the next lighter wooden planks are added). my question is, should I stain the darker wood now, before adding the lighter wood? in fact, should I stain it at all? What happens if I just leave it as natural Sapele and then varnish the whole thing. I just have no idea at all what I am doing. But its fun... and there are so many things I would do differently so its a great and steep learning curve. Any advice is greatly appreciated

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Posted (edited)

 Manic, first off, welcome to MSW. Second, please start a build log, it's a lot easier to ask for help/opinions and for us to reply when you have a build log. At the very least post some pictures of your model, it's a bit tough to give advise when we're not able to see what you've got.........KB

Edited by Keith Black
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3 hours ago, manic8479 said:

Forgive me if this question seems really dumb. I am building my first ever model ship. I thought it might keep me occupied during lockdown. I have finally finished planking the "lower" hull (before the next lighter wooden planks are added). my question is, should I stain the darker wood now, before adding the lighter wood? in fact, should I stain it at all? What happens if I just leave it as natural Sapele and then varnish the whole thing. I just have no idea at all what I am doing. But its fun... and there are so many things I would do differently so its a great and steep learning curve. Any advice is greatly appreciated

I am pretty new to this and am using wipe on poly and not stain.

 

The poly works well and doesn't leave brush marks.

 

https://www.minwax.com/wood-products/clear-protective-finishes/wipe-ons/

 

 

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 PRS, I'm a poly man myself but poly isn't accessible to everyone. The UK comes to mind and there maybe other parts of the world as well? From what I understand folks in the UK have to use varnish unless they're willing to pay exorbitant shipping charges for poly. I only say this not knowing where Manic lives. 

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If you are going to stain it, do it before you add a different wood unless you are going to stain that wood too with the same stain/color. I do not stain at all but leave the wood natural color. As to varnish, varnish will give you a shiny surface. depending on what you are building this may be good or bad. I use Testores Dullcoat which is a matte finish and does not shine. For what I build I feel the dull finish is more appropriate. Take a test try on scrap if in doubt.

Rich

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, Keith Black said:

 PRS, I'm a poly man myself but poly isn't accessible to everyone. The UK comes to mind and there maybe other parts of the world as well? From what I understand folks in the UK have to use varnish unless they're willing to pay exorbitant shipping charges for poly. I only say this not knowing where Manic lives. 

"Wipe on polyurethane" is nothing more than thinned polyurethane varnish. Only in America do people pay exorbitant prices for polyurethane varnish that is already diluted 50/50 with inexpensive thinner. It's the "instant everything" mentality. Minwax is laughing all the way to the bank. :D 

 

As barkeater wisely advises, always test any coating on scrap wood first to see how well it works. Always test and experiment before committing to coating the final work piece!

 

Edited by Bob Cleek
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12 minutes ago, Bob Cleek said:

"Wipe on polyurethane" is nothing more than thinned polyurethane varnish. Only in America do people pay exorbitant prices for polyurethane varnish that is already diluted 50/50 with inexpensive thinner. It's the "instant everything" mentality. Minwax is laughing all the way to the bank. :D 

 Bob, sometimes instant is expedient. Poly works for me but it's sure not for everybody. And price, poly is the least of my expenses in this hobby.

 

 Bob, do you have a build log? I've looked for one and couldn't find one. I'd like to see your work.........Keith 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Keith Black said:

 Bob, sometimes instant is expedient. Poly works for me but it's sure not for everybody. And price, poly is the least of my expenses in this hobby.

 

 Bob, do you have a build log? I've looked for one and couldn't find one. I'd like to see your work.........Keith 

My comment about "wipe-on poly" was for the benefit of modelers outside of the US who repeatedly search for it to no avail as it is apparently not marketed in Europe. I didn't want them to think they were unfairly deprived of some magic elixir. :D

 

I don't have any active build logs and don't anticipate starting any. I don't have anything to add to what the master modelers post nor do I have the time to maintain a build log in any event. Frustratingly, the impact of the pandemic on my business has left me with very little free time at all these days. I presently have four builds planned, a "generic" Connemara hooker, USS Boxer (1905), a scratch-built Charles W. Morgan "as launched" in 1841, and perhaps RMS Lucania (1893.)  I'll post a few pictures of these in the "gallery" section if and when finished... if I live so long. :D  

Edited by Bob Cleek
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manic,

 

Don't underrate first efforts. There is a learning curve, and getting other modeler's comments really helps.

 

But something newbies often don't realize is that their "dumb" question sometimes cause the old-timers to stop and think. And the comments often reveal a multitude of ways to do the same basic things. Maybe there is a better or easier way than what the experienced modelers have been doing.

 

There are no "dumb" questions, but sometimes the answers make you wonder!

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