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Old 01-16-2014, 09:16 AM
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Default Stripping Varnished Mahogany

I am restoring a 1973 13 Boston Whaler. The next step in the project is to strip and re-varnish all of the wood, this includes the forward hatch cover, forward bench seat, bench seat back, console, rear bench seat, glove box trim pieces, and two runners along the side that holds everything in place. In total it is 7 large pieces of wood and 3 or 4 smaller pieces. The wood currently has 3 or 4 coats of 2 year old varnish on it that is cracking in some places. What is my best bet as far as stripping this wood? They are not perfectly flat so I do not want to run them through a planer. I have used Strip Ez before but it is pretty messy and doesnt work great. I have also used a heat gun but ended up putting slight burn marks in places. The heat gun worked well, but for mostly smaller pieces. Does anyone have any other suggestions? Could I simply sand what is there and re-varnish assuming I get all of the cracks smoothed out? Also, does anyone have a suggestion for varnish? What type, how many coats? The boat does not have a cover, and therefore gets a good amount of sun.
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:54 AM
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a planer will be your best bet to strip the wood, i dont think the forward hatch cover will fit in planer though. i like captains varnish as well as awl brite and awl spar.
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:31 AM
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The forward hatch cover is much smaller than all of the other wood, about 2 feet shorter but the same width (probably about a foot wide) as the benches and consoles. Im worried since they are not perfectly flat about loosing the edges and corners on the planer.

I used awlspar/awlbrite on another boat and it turned out very nice but its pricey and I had to put down like 8 coats of each. Is there anything else comprobably thats less labor intensive? The real concern is the UV protection.
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Old 01-16-2014, 02:50 PM
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Heat gun and a set of scrapers.
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Old 01-16-2014, 04:12 PM
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Heat gun and scraper isthebest way to go... I use a 1" scraper, sharp as I can get it. use the heat gun carefully - when the varnish bubbles, it's ready to be removed - the scraper pulls towards you, ALWAYS with the grain of the wood! Just be patient, and don't force the scraper - with old varnish, it should scrape clean, and be ready for sanding. good luck!
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:11 PM
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These are cabinet scrapers,look at the set and a burnishing tool.

This is what it takes to do a professional job

http://www.woodcraft.com/category/3/.../Scrapers.aspx

Apply paint remover,let set till it bubbles then draw back toward you.

Watch you tube video for sharpening and use
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:50 PM
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I did all the teak on a Mako I used to own. It had all been painted white by a previous owner. Some kind of epoxy type paint that was a royal bitch to get off. I used the Dad's paint stripper that you spray on with a pump bottle. That stuff just works... but it was still a lot of work.
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:17 PM
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Below is the scraper you want to remove the varnish with a heat gun you can get at Lowes/Home Depot in the paint department. When done you have to sand it to remove the rest of the varnish and to make it smooth for new varnish.

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/200...t-Scraper.aspx
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