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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
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    598

    Default 3 Coats of Marine Varnish?

    I decided to try burning some streaks on a few supers for a different look. How many coats of marine varnish should I apply.......I recall that someone was using 3 coats, but I will put on more if it will last longer. Winter is a good time for these projects!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
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    2,477

    Default Re: 3 Coats of Marine Varnish?

    Ask Lauri, she's a master at that stuff.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
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    7,103

    Default Re: 3 Coats of Marine Varnish?

    I have 3 coats on mine and they are 3 years old now.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
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    598

    Default Re: 3 Coats of Marine Varnish?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    Ask Lauri, she's a master at that stuff.
    I sent Lauri an email as suggested.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
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    598

    Default Re: 3 Coats of Marine Varnish?

    Quote Originally Posted by AmericasBeekeeper View Post
    I have 3 coats on mine and they are 3 years old now.
    I am up to 3 coats but it does not look very substantial yet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,754

    Default Re: 3 Coats of Marine Varnish?

    Three would be a minimum in my opinion. You can use a high build non-sanding varnish for buildup coats and then apply two UV resistant top coats.

    The high-build is cheaper than the top coat.
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,859

    Default Re: 3 Coats of Marine Varnish?

    Here is what I have done:
    At least two coats, three is better. I don't use varnish. I use an outdoor Marine Spar urethane. Minwax Helmsman to be specific. Buy a gallon can and roll it. Don't use the spray cans. Although the spray is really easy to apply, it is mostly aerosol and not much in protective coverage. Spray cans are very costly
    For a clear finish, I am now applying a clear natural stain ( Like Watco brand) to the bare wood before the urethane. It seems to hold up better in the wet weather and the oils in the stain conditions the wood. Let it soak in overnight.

    Brush urethane into the handle area well. Don't worry about runs, you'll be going over it again almost immediately with a roller. I use a 1/2" nap weanie roller and put it in a big ziplock plastic bag in between coats.
    Roll the rest on the box-don't brush it. Load your roller with urethane and start at the end grain box joint ends, roll slowly from the bottom up, pushing the liquid urethane in a pool above your roller. You'll see the urethane soak into the ends where the wood is the most porous. Then roll the remainder of that side of the box. Light coat, side to side-top to bottom, no matter. Just be sure to work it into all the wood. Move on the next side of the box and repeat..etc.
    After a few minutes, go over the box with the same roller with no urethane on it to roll out any runs. Now watch out for runs around the handle area until it sets slightly.

    Let it dry several hours before repeating with another coat. If temps are cool let it dry overnight between coats
    If you lightly sand your box before finishing and use gloss spar urethane, your finished box will have a smooth as glass finish.
    If you have some rough sawn wood and apply it on a horizontal surface, you can really slop on the urethane, LOL. Nice thick coats! Thin coat are necessary on smooth wood.

    The trick is to avoid the runs.
    Here is an example of the finishes. The mating nuc fence hanging mini double box's are burned with propane torch, then have one coat of Walnut stain applied to condition the wood. The 8 frame deeps have a Watco dark walnut stain applied first. Both have three coats of Spar urethane. Yo can see how glassy the smooth wood it. And these were not sanded.(They are all totally dry.)
    I have a few turntables and stack my box's four high, then apply my finishes. This allows me to stand in one place and make good use of table space. I just spin the stack and apply.




    If a few years later, you find your box is looking weak, you can easily take a propane torch and burn off the old finish This leaves the box prepped to paint or accept a new urethane finish.

    I will say this, just like beekeeping, your hive finishes need to be climate specific. I hear in a hot climate like Texas, urethane will just crack. My climate in the Pacific Northwest is very wet and mild so it is a good method for me.

    You area absolutly right, winter time is great for building and finishing! I've been building mating nuc box's and mini frames in the barn while keeping my eye on two very large girlfriends



    Also made use of some of the plywood scraps left over from hive building..new nest box's for the rex rabbits.


    They hang right over the compost piles



    There was a thread here about meat rabbits I've been meaning to address. Just need a rainy day to take time on the computer to do it.

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited by Lauri; 01-14-2013 at 09:42 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    598

    Default Re: 3 Coats of Marine Varnish?

    Thank you!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,744

    Default Re: 3 Coats of Marine Varnish?

    Holy crapola that's a lot of poo! lol

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,859

    Default Re: 3 Coats of Marine Varnish?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Beeman View Post
    Holy crapola that's a lot of poo! lol
    LOL, no, that is my composted horse manure and peat moss. Just mounded it up into two rows for the cages to hang over. I'll be digging it out and filling my pots this spring to grow tomatoes in.

    Heres one of my favorites: Celebrity


    And the rabbit poop lover Burpee's Porterhouse!




    Last edited by Lauri; 01-13-2013 at 07:40 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Auburn, NY
    Posts
    500

    Default Re: 3 Coats of Marine Varnish?

    The answer to how many coats of varnish to put on is.. NONE. DO not start it. Depending on your location, it may last a bit longer than others, but its a recurring process to keep up with. Time is much better spent on other tasks. The cheap marine varnish may last you two seasons before you should recoat. The expensive a season or two longer. Once the base coat has worn down to wood, you need to strip, sand and recoat. Or.. if you dont care about looks, reapply over the old peeling varnish. Trick is to reapply before you need to strip and sand.

    If you are hell bent on spending time on this, buy the polyurethane type varnish. Do yourself a favor and get the kind you do not need to sand between coats. Cetol is OK but some dont like the end color. Epifanes is well liked also.
    My experience is with "Bristol Finish". First coat is usually dry within an hour or two and ready for coat #2. Though winter may increase dry time. 4 coats is minimal recommended, I would take the time and add 6 or more. Mix correctly or this will not dry right. Cannot stress that point enough. Use a foam brush and do not over apply or you will have drips and need to sand, sand sand. DO not try and put a ton on at once. Thin layers, drip free, build it up coat after coat. I would brush downward so any drips will be at the bottom and not run back down the box. Good luck, but be ready for an investment in time and a bit of material cost. It should look nice when you are done though.

    Dan

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    598

    Default Re: 3 Coats of Marine Varnish?

    Too late Dan......I already started. I am going to try this on two hives. If it doesn't work, I can always burn off the finish as Lauri said and then I can paint them.

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