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Hi - Just made an introduction post - so here goes with my first proper post.

Is there a consensus about the best methods of varnishing? The first sticks I tried were all done following instructions from a book. I first used sanding primer/filler (can't remember the name), followed by a 50/50 mix of white spirit and yacht varnish, finally followed by several coats of yacht varnish. This seems like overkill compared to the catapults I made which were varnished with a couple of coats of the spray polyurethane (which still look spot on several years later!)

Any suggestions?
 

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There are a number of choices, Danish oil, Tung oil, linseed oil, Marine or Spar varnishes and Polyurethane All are good. It is makers choice. Most of the time I use marine poly or a marine tung. I like them for their durability. I live in a hot and humid area where we get 60+ inches of rain a year. The Marine finish seem to do best here.
 

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Hi, most stickmakers have tried all things and selecttheir own preferences. I tend to stick to Tru Oil (Tung Oil) as mentione by CV3 - this is a iol with a bit of added varnish for finishing gun stocks so ia designed for skin contact ie doesn't feel tacky when dry so use it on toppers / handles as well (unless they have a white paint finish). With ref to number of coats I predominantly leave bark on on shanks and because I make sticks for use and not Show I use only 3 to 5 thin coats of tru oil with no problems - show sticks are in a world of their own re finish.
 

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I don't think it matters a lot which finish you use. You'll develop your own preferences as you work. For me it's either several thin coats of tung oil or shellac followed by a rub down with steel wool and wax because I like a less glossy finish. The steel wool and wax leaves a nice silky smooth finish that feels good to the hand.

Several thin coats of whatever finish you use is better than a couple thick ones.

Rodney
 
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