Ceilings – hull-side mahogany planking – and helm seating with a center pass-through and storage lockers fixed to the aft side of the forward seatbacks were available options on the 1957 23-foot Lyman Runabouts.
Her original owners opted for the stripped-down configuration, no ceilings and basic seating. The latter included a wide, solid seatback centered in the helm station with two short hinged wings at each end.
Her owners are opting for the upgrades, including a pair of lockers, complete with silhouetted anchors in the doors. Even better, once finished, our optional seating configuration will include a flat floor from stern to firewall, and a small step-up to each helm station seat.
We will fabricate and install the ceilings and mock-up the seating and lockers while her owners are on the east coast. Presenting our concept to them in person helps us reach a joint decision, which must translate into a superior results for all.
Here is Part II of the crew blasting through the bleach-stain milestones as we apply Wood Kote Products Jel’d Wood Stain on our 1957 23-foot Old Style Lyman Runabout.
Part I’s narrative focused on the how, why and advantages of jel’d over filler stain in these applications. Yes, it is far easier to apply and delivers an incredibly uniform color. It, goes an incredibly long way; we used about 12 ounces to stain everything we stained today. But it is not a filler stain, which translates into a surface that retains most of its cross-sectional declivities – hills and valleys – post staining, especially compared to a filler stain, which is designed, well, to fill these selfsame valleys.
Bottom line even following three full coats of Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer, filling these valleys and thereby achieving the truly flat surface we thirst for requires at least 3-5 additional coats of varnish.
We are not ready to jettison our Interlux Interstain Wood Filler Stain yet, but the ease with which we achieved an absolutely uniform color across all these surfaces makes it truly difficult to hide the Wood Kote in a deep corner of a dark cabinet!
Our 1957 23-foot Lyman Runabout conservation project blasted through two milestones today. We bleached her decks covering boards, toe rails, king planks and helm station bulkhead earlier this week. Today we stained all of the same surfaces and components.
We have long standardized on Interlux Interstain Wood Filler Stain, but have recently been seeing dramatic and superior results using Wood Kote Products Inc.’s Jel’d stains – dark and red mahogany mixed in equal proportions for our Lyman products, and a bit more red relative to dark mahogany for Chris-Craft.
Jel’d stain is not a filler stain and it is not meant to be applied and let sit until it flashes. Instead, it is applied in a circular motion using a terrycloth or old T-shirt rag and then wiped – not scrubbed – off immediately with strokes that follow the grain.
The uniformity of the result is dramatic and easily attained compared to the sweat and blood required to achieve a similar result with a filler stain.
One of the advantages of jel’d over filler stain is that those nasty, light “Oops!!” events we all experience when sanding too aggressively after the first few coats of varnish are easily repaired with a rag and a bit of the jel’d stain. That offending light spot or area disappears, at least in our experience with it thus far.
Part II follows John and RJ as they stain the balance of these surfaces.
After being urged to give it a try by a local friend and fellow woody conservator, I am using two Bahco/Sandvik scrapers, a two-handed “ergo” model with a 2.5” scraping blade and a Triangle Scraper 625 with a triangle blade.
The two-handed scraper is excellent for cleaning strake surfaces, mostly down to bare wood, and also for making the initial passes along strake edges and the seams between strakes.
I use the triangle scraper for detail work on the strake faces, but especially for cleaning strake edges.
This boat is cypress throughout, and the wood seemed to really soak up the Circa 1850 wood stripper as I removed paint and mostly varnish from the topside strakes and the transom. It also appeared to discolor the wood, which forced me to make a second series of passes using a stainless steel scrubber “sponge” and my Sandvik scrapers.
I tested using chemical stripping on a small area below the waterline, only to have running streams of liquefied copper bronze and red antifouling paint threatening to stain the above-waterline strakes, which will be finished bright.
Reaching for the scrapers is clearly the answer here. The paint being removed remains dray, becomes powdery as it releases and is easily vacuumed.
I am sold on this method for removing bottom paint, at least until it disappoints on some future project.
John and RJ trekked between home and the shop periodically into the evening last night, keeping the U22 wet with the two-part Daly’s Wood Bleach we are using, particularly in areas that resisted the bleach.
The result this morning is an albino mahogany U22.
The bleach raises the grain, which is a singular plus for applying the Interlux Interstain in a couple of days.
Once the hull has reached 12-15 percent as measured by our moisture meter, we will lightly hand sand the feathers raised by the bleach, clean the surface with tack clothes and stain using the Danenberg two brown to one red mahogany stain.
CPES will follow. Sikaflex will fill the deck seams, and then, finally, we can begin varnishing the hull.
The bleaching milestone is about to disappear into our wake!
Starting very, very early this morning, John and I began bathing the 1946 U22’s entire exterior and interior surfaces with Daly’s Two-Part Wood Bleach. RJ joined us soon thereafter. (Daly’s is good, but nothing can match Clean Strip Two-Part Wood Bleach for bleaching mahogany! Unfortunately, Clean Strip is no longer available. Word is that it had to do with running afoul of hazmat shipping regulations.)
The key is keeping the wood wet for an extended period of time, and not applying one coat and calling it good. The wood must be kept wet, at least 8-12 hours in our experience, and this boat feels like it doubled in size as we raced around with our pails of bleach and 3-inch foam brushes. (We use foamies rather than chip brushes. Doing so helps guard against applying excessive liquid, especially to vertical surfaces, and thereby allowing rivulets of bleach run down and leave blonde streaks behind.
For the same reason, after applying a first coat to the decks, covering boards and cockpit components, we attach the topsides and transom from the waterline up. That way there is no chance that rivulets of bleach runs down and onto dry wood, which almost certainly will leave a blonde streak behind.
Because the first coat absorbs very quickly, we also apply bleach in tandem, working around the hull until all surfaces have been thoroughly wetted. Then the three of us work different areas, applying bleach until the surface glistens and stays that way.
That the U22 offers seemingly endless surface is evidenced by the fact that, as this clip closes we have applied 1.5 two-gallon kits.
We now leave her alone for several hours, before we will apply more bleach if the process seems to be losing momentum.
The 1046 bright U22 is finally looking, well, a bit bright. Her port topsides are now bereft of varnish and stain. I have taken a first pass at marking all of the dings and related physical graffiti with blue painter’s tape. (I erred on the clip by referencing what we are looking at as the starboard topsides.
Just when I have the sides sorted out while she is flipped, we will return her to right-side-up!)
Once John and RJ finish their inspections, it will be time for John to correct each and every ding, scratch and split, most of which he will accomplish with what I characterize as “feathery” Dutchman because they are. The smaller issues will be addressed using a mahogany-stained filler we make up with mahogany sanding dust and mahogany Sikaflex.
Serendipity visited us today. Just as I finished slathering Circa 1850 onto a section of planks, the cell rang and I was away from the work for several minutes. Upon returning to scrubbing, I noticed that allowing the stain to work, even if unintended, improved the scrubbing effect materially. If you watch the clip again, notice how much cleaner relative to the aft section the hull is amidships forward.
Lesson: Be patient. Give the stripper a few minutes to draw the stain out of the wood, and your efforts will return larger dividends in less time.
Why not wait longer? I did some informal testing as I continued. Since a very thin film of stripper is applied at this stage, I discovered that it began drying after three minutes or so, and that those dry areas resisted my efforts quite well. Two or three minutes seems to be the point at which diminishing returns to waiting set in.
We bleach using Daly’s A & B Bleach, which is available via their Web site.
The task before us, wetting down and then keeping the wood wet for at least 16 hours is daunting to be sure. Where 3” chip brushes usually suffice, we needed heavier artillery for this job, so I turned to a 12” 2/3” nap paint roller.
Even then, and especially on the topsides and transom, I found myself circling back continuously as the mahogany soaked up the bleach and seemed to be drying. Once John and RJ were able to join the fun, we became somewhat like a train with me using my roller, which applied copious amounts of bleach to the wood, and the guys following up with their trusty chip brushes.
We always take great care to begin bleaching at the waterline and working to the gunwales, followed by the covering boards and finally the decks.
Why? Soaking the wood is the goal, and beginning at the gunwales and working down all but guarantees rivulets of bleach flowing down the side of the hull and leaving vertical whitish stripes that are hellish difficult, if not impossible to disappear.
We are experimenting with Danenberg’s sanding progression, rather than employing the 80-grit rough surface approach to prepping the bull for bleaching and staining. That progression from 60 through 80, 100, 120, 150, 180 and finally 220 grits leaves the surface silky smooth.
That we have made so many additional passes with our 18” pneumatic flatboard sanders delivered an additional benefit. The surfaces is absolutely flat and should provide an excellent foundation for the varnishing to come, which is Danenberg’s core contention.
We kept her wet for 16 hours, and then let her dry down until the moisture meter read 12%. Time to stain, yes?
Not quite. The bleach wreaks havoc on the formerly silky smooth surface. The grain is raised and sometimes bleach residue presents in unpleasant, blotchy hues. The remedy? Don Latex or Nitrile gloves and grab a role of 320-grit, sticky-backed longboard sandpaper, and, yes, sand the entire hull, but this time by hand.
Key here is using the lightest touch possible and knowing when it is time to move on. Let your fingers be your guide Even through the glove fabric you can feel when the surface is silky once again. Move on right then, or risk sanding through the approximately 1/32 – 1/16 inch of bleached wood.
We follow sanding with vacuuming and then tacking the entire surface.
Removing Sikaflex and caulk of all sorts from a wood deck seam is tedious process replete with downsides. We have used fences held down by two crew and a Dremel mini router, which is fine, unless and until it walks. Everything else we have tried is makes cleaning seams the task that all three of us happily hand off to the next guy.
I discovered Teak Decking Systems while searching online for some other solution. TDS distributes its products through value added resellers, Jamestown Distributors in our case. The copy on its Web site, http://www.teakdecking.com/index.php?…, made it seem way too easy, as you can read below, but I ordered both the TDS Reefing Hook sand the TDS Seam Sander.
They arrived and stayed on a shelf until yesterday. TDS calls for using a razor to free the caulk from the sides of the seams. That seemed way too much like the misery we have already “enjoyed” for way too long.
Using a waste piece of seamed decking as our lab rat, I first experimented with using a heat gun set at 1,000 F to soften the caulking, thereby rendering its removal easier. The results were excellent, but the process remained very slow, as I found myself heating and removing a layer, heating again and removing more, and on and on.
Then RJ, who was stripping the ’53 Shepherd’s decks using Circa 1850 Heavy Bodied remover, suggested laying a thick coat of stripper onto each seam and waiting half an hour. As the Millennials among us are given to exclaim, “OMG!”
RJ inserted the reefing hook and pulled. Out came a complete length of caulk. One pass cleaned 95 percent and more caulk out of the seam.
And there was a bonus. The edges of the seams were/are razor sharp. We will use the TDS Seam Sander for final clean-up, and the jury will be out until we have applied this process to many additional boats, but for now we have a new problem, “How about letting me have a turn at cleaning the seams?”
Please weigh in with your thoughts, reactions, ideas, and even your secret sauce method for getting past this nasty milestone, one that plagues every wood boat preservation project!
Teak Decking Systems Information:
TDS REEFING HOOK Available from Jamestown Distributors
Used before re-caulking, this tool is for removing caulk or other sealants from a seam. A razor knife should be used to free the caulk from the sides of the seam. Our Reefing Hook is specially designed and constructed for long service life, and ease and speed of operation. You can remove most of the caulking, leaving minimal material for final hand sanding – using the TDS Seam Sander. TDS Reefing Hook is made to be a fine quality tool with hand comfort in mind. Different sizes can be made to order.
Designed for vertical sanding of the sides of a seam, to remove old material before re-caulking, the TDS Seam Sander ensures the best possible preparation for new caulk to bond to the teak. Our Seam Sander is specially designed and constructed for long service life, and ease and speed of operation. Use it to remove final residue of caulking, leaving a totally clean surface for the new caulk to bond to.
Made of the finest quality steel and hardwood, TDS Seam Sander is manufactured with a comfortable smooth grip and has an adjustable depth sanding surface – from 5mm to 22mm (1/5″ – 7/8″). Other special sanding surfaces can be made to order.