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Varnish, polyurathane or ? for deck finish

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I am on the verge of sealing and finishing the main deck of my Bounty build.  I have two issues to deal with.  First, the color or tone.  The deck is basswood and when sanded it's pretty white.  I've sample tested several other wood tones and all were too dark.  I did the lower decks simply by using polyurethane over the rawmin.  Turned them slightly yellowish.  So for the main I would like to get something with a bit more weathered appearance, but I'm OK with just the poly if it comes to that.  Second, I just realized that polyurethane does not glue to very well, if at all.  There were just a few things that I had to glue down to the lower decks and they stuck pretty well (very well actually).  That may be cause I applied only 2 coats of the poly and rawmin is pretty porous.  I don't want to encounter glue down issues on the main deck but I'd also like to do whatever finishing before I start adding fixtures etc.  Would a real marine type varnish inhibit the glue from being absorbed?  Any suggestions would be appreciated.  Here's a picture of the deck just to show how white its gotten since being sanded.




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Hi Captain Al


Glue does actually stick to Polyurethane pretty well,it is the bond between coats of poly that is the weak link.Whichever route you choose it is advisable to abrade the surface where glue is applied and fit brass dowels to stressed items.Most varnishes have a brown tinge to them which will turn the deck yellow.The only varnish I can almost guarantee won't is produced by caldercraft and is advertised as not changing the colour of the wood.There are other true clears available but these are not really designed for wood,so longevity could come into question.

Regarding weathering,some members are experimenting with a product called weather-it,but I haven't used it before.If you have had some plastic modelling experience and are proficient at doing washes,then this is a possible route,Matti's Vasa build being a testimony to this.It may be an idea to apply some of the Caldercraft varnish beforehand though as you deck will absorb acrylic paint like mad and make it harder to control the depth of the wash.


Kind Regards



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Hi Captin Al


Try using Testors Dullcote Lacquer on a sample section made up of some scraps. I have used it on basswood and have liked the results. If it is too yellow for you,add some brown to tint it. I have used it on basswood decking on myMSW's Armed Virginia Sloop and it looks very nice.


I used a Brown Gundam Marker paint pen to simulate the caulking between planks.Painted the edges of each side and end of the planks(the ends were sealed to prevent the end grain from wicking up the paint). The Dullcote did not have any effect on the Gundam paint.


The Dullcote Lacquer doesn't leave a thick layer of paint either.I put down three thin coats with sanding between. Then let the deck cure for a week. Then I lightly sanded to even out the final coat,leaving it with a satin finish.


If you want a glosseir finish,just rub it out with a polishing stick,it will gloss up with little effort. Remember-make up several deck samples with exactly what you have on your ship,and use different paints to find the combination that YOU LIKE and WANT!!!


Remeber also that with the time we all spend on a ship doing the samples to find out what works and what you like is time well spent.



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I will look for those products and give em a go.  But I can't recall seeing any of them in my hobby store so on-line might be the only way.  With the attendant shipping costs and time delay.  But thank you, its worth a search since you are right about trying to get the looks just right after much work to get this far.

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Nope, never tried that one either.  I guess the real answer is that there are an awful lot of things that could be used.  Its going to be a matter of narrowing them down to those I can get my hands on and then testing those out.  Right now I am working on the trenailing of this main deck and finding its tough to get a perfectly straight line across the deck without a pencil line to mark it.  Might try taping a straight edge across and then marking or drilling right up on the edge of it.

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