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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:27 am 
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I have the regular Donau paddles for my boat (and love them...nice grip for the job), but reading this http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Advantage-of-Canoe-Paddle-Oil&id=3421370 it made me wonder about the advantages of oil vs. varnish (as Klepper items are coated of, afaik).
Pedro


Last edited by mussopo on Wed Jan 13, 2010 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2009 3:45 pm 
Firstly, I don't think this is too important - paddle is a small part, has a good ventilation from all sides, dries fast and doesn't rot, even without oil or varnish protection. I have seen a lot of abrasion damage on wooden paddles, but have never seen it rotten. So you might as well not do anything.

I do use an oil on my Greenland wooden paddle. People at the Paddlewise recommended Deftoil. I'm using this one http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx ... 42&p=45090 . It's a mix of urethane and tung oil. Every year it has to be recoated. It wears out on the shaft area (transfers onto my hands and gloves) after a couple of weeks, but it stays longer on the blades. Originally my paddle was varnished, but the varnish didn't stay more than a couple of years on working surfaces.

When using oil, any repairs (filling cracks etc), have to be done when the oil has almost gone after a season, i.e. before the annual oil recoating in spring. Epoxy (the most common material for wood repairs) won't stick to freshly oiled surfaces.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:56 am 
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Thanks for reply.
Question still is (for me), whether a piece of wood impregnated with oil will endure for a longer period of time than a varnished one (suspect it does). Of course abrasion might wear out oil stain faster, at least on the paddle segment where hands are holding it.


Last edited by mussopo on Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:49 pm 
mussopo wrote:
Question still is (for me), whether a piece of wood impregnated with oil will endure for a longer period of time than a varnished one

There is no rot on frequently used paddles. Mostly, they are damaged due to abrasion, and neither oil nor varnish protects from this. This is why I think that neither oil nor varnish make big difference in extending the lifespan of paddle, so it's a matter of personal preference what protection you will use. Varnish protects the surface better, but when it's gone on some area, it's gone. Oil may let some water through, but it provides more uniform protection, penetrating deeper and preventings water from accumulating. Just make sure you sand and fill with epoxy small nicks and splits, and use whatever you like better - oil or varnish.

But if your question is a curiosity about other applications of a piece of wood impregnated with oil or varnish, - then I don't know. I wouldn't suggest using oil on wooden boat frame.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:57 pm 
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Quote:
I wouldn't suggest using oil on wooden boat frame.


Why not? I'm still thinking on my stern piece issue (year ago approx...abraded area that became soaked with water), and don't think it would be worst if coated with oil, instead of varnish
...(hope not going off topic).
But again you might be right...it might be a matter of personal preference.
Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:27 pm 
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Pedro,

You've gotten very good advice from Alex on the relative merits of varnish and oil from a fellow with many years of experience in wooden-framed boats. I'll add my two cents: yes, oil penetrates the wood somewhat, but the depth is not much. In fact, a bit of abrasion will likely go deeper, leaving the wood unprotected. And, then rot will possibly proceed. Varnish has the same problem once penetrated. But, the key difference is that the varnish coating on top of the wood helps prevent the wear and tear on paddles from getting to the wood.

In other words, it becomes a sacrificial coating that takes the punishment while preventing water access to the wood. In addition, better quality varnishes have a great deal of elasticity, so that they can take a dent and flex to fit the indentation, so that the wood remains protected, despite the dent/

It is your paddle and your to protect however you please. If you like oil, go for it. In my opinion, it will not be as good, but it is your paddle.

I'd use oil only on Western red cedar, teak, or another wood that is inherently rot-resistant from the oils that reside within the wood. Other species of wood, such as oak, douglas fir, pine, etc., which have much less rot resistance, are better protected by varnish.

Added on edit: if you are wedded to applying oil, here is an authoritative source on how to do it: http://www.woodcentral.com/bparticles/oil_finishes.pdf
The author is a strong proponent on the use of oil over varnish, so I suspect his approach may resonate for you.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:08 am 
krudave wrote:
...the varnish coating on top of the wood helps prevent the wear and tear on paddles from getting to the wood.

In other words, it becomes a sacrificial coating that takes the punishment while preventing water access to the wood.

With that varnish coat that they put in stores, it abrades same easily as without any varnish, IMO. OTH, thicker varnish coat would become too rigid and crack more easily. The only coat that survives a season on my GP is the thick layer of epoxy on the last few inches of the blade.

Quote:
I'd use oil only on Western red cedar, teak, or another wood that is inherently rot-resistant from the oils that reside within the wood.

This is exactly what I have - red cedar. Though, I don't think there would've been much rot in a less rot-resistant blade, if any cracks were fixed timely, which I usually do.

Disclaimer - I don't have many years of experience with wooden frames, Dave. Only with wooden paddles. On wooden frames my preference would be varnish, rather than oil, for 2 reasons - hardness of varnish and no transfer of the fresh coat to cargo and skin. Hardness and thickness of varnish coat is just enough to protect the frame a couple of seasons from mild abrasion impact caused by cargo (though not enough to protect paddle from abrasion, at least on our rocky coast). Oil has no such benefit as hardness. But, where wooden parts of the frame rub against each other, like small stern and bow pieces on Longhaul frame, varnish coat disappears in a matter of days.

Quote:
http://www.woodcentral.com/bparticles/oil_finishes.pdf
The author is a strong proponent on the use of oil over varnish

At a glance, - he talks more about the appearance (which I don't care for), and some statements like "oil is vastly more durable than varnish" are hard to accept (until you read carefully what he means). I agree with his observation that oil is easy to re-apply, no peeling off, no stripping. Note, that he recommends so called "Danish oil", i.e. mix of oil and resin, and this is again what I use (i.e. not a pure oil). I'm not totally "for" or "against" oil mix on paddles. My mix was suggested by somebody at Paddlewise, it works for me, and when the can runs out, I will use some varnish that I have (probably won't see much difference).


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:03 am 
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Many thanks to all for feedback...it's been thoroughly explained and fulfils my concerns.
Happy season for everybody with lots of paddling miles too:)


Last edited by mussopo on Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:17 am, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:16 am 
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On WRC and redwood GP's, I prefer oil to varnish ( Watco Danish Oil). Oil is easy and quick to apply,
and re-apply, and since it doesn't crack like varnish, water can't get trapped. However, with proper care,
varnish works fine. I know some paddlers who don't coat WRC paddles at all, and they seem to do fine
with just occasional sanding.

One major advantage I've found with a Watco oil finish, is that it provides superior grip when wet
compared to varnish.... at least the slippery varnish I've used.

On wood kayak frames, I oil the WRC or Redwood stringers, but epoxy / varnish the plywood cross sections.
On aluminum stringers and HDPE cross sections I do nothing at all, and nothing at all is always my
favorite options :lol: Cheers, Tom

http://www.yostwerks.com/SBFinishingA.html - Scroll to bottom of link for frame finishing details.

WRC GP with Watco Oil finish and Redwood Take-apart with latex enamel finish...
Image


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:42 pm 
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Well, just how much penetration can one achieve when try to protect the object with either Tung Oil or Watco Oil finish?

I would think each of those respective oil products could penetrate fairly significantly ( not necessarily 'Marinating' the wood ) with liberal treatments ... yes? At least when applied more deeply than a mere surface coating. Is it possible that the wood fibers could be damaged if the wood were to be soaked? Do those same wood fibers resist anything like impregnation by means of these finishing fluids?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:08 pm 
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Nothing penetrates hardwoods farther than about a millimeter or so, except thin fluids introduced into end grain. The validity of oil over varnish is based on the fact that the vehicles in varnish are the only items in it that penetrate at all. And then they evaporate away on cure. The resins and other gunk lay on the surface.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:49 am 
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krudave wrote:
Nothing penetrates hardwoods farther than about a millimeter or so, except thin fluids introduced into end grain. The validity of oil over varnish is based on the fact that the vehicles in varnish are the only items in it that penetrate at all. And then they evaporate away on cure. The resins and other gunk lay on the surface.


Very well.

Then there's no soaking wood in a bath ( I'm partly reminded of creosoted timbers used for telephone and power poles ) .

Raw wood that's been crafted into a tool such as an old-world paddle would qualify as end grain, yes? They're sawn, ground, chisled and shaped. The grain has been opened pretty much every which way. Unless you mean simply the ends of a cross-cut board length.

Oiling would engrain and Varnishing would encapsulate ( well, painting would encapsulate as well ) .

If I were Emperor of Watercraft Fabrication, I think I'd only allow Oiling in my realm :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:20 am 
Quote:
Raw wood that's been crafted into a tool such as an old-world paddle would qualify as end grain, yes?

I think Dave meant end-grain exactly at the end (or butt, whatever). Wood fibers are oriented lengthwise, and at the end their small diameter cross-sections with gaps between them allow some fluid penetration. In other words, if you cut your nice old paddle across the shaft for some reason, you will have end-grains to work with.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:15 am 
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Alex covered the endgrain question.

I said hardwoods would not absorb oils well; telephone poles and similar (pressure-treated posts and the like) are made of softwoods like douglas fir or spruce or hemlock. The pressure treatment also enhances the penetration, as do the punctures. If you cut the end off a PT post, you can see how far the penetration goes.

Without use of pressure, the penetration would be very slight, even for softwoods, maybe 2 mm.

Some folks make Greenland paddles out of western red cedar, definitely a softwood, and light, but not really durable (strong) enough for a reliably strong paddle. Even so, folks use them, and typically oil them. Often, they make the loom extra thick to compensate for the low strength. You can carve a Greenland paddle from an 8-foot 2 x 4 in a day, and finish it in another couple of days of oil treatment. When the oil wears off, just re-oil it..

But, a Greenland paddle requires more torso rotation than a Euro paddle does. Not a great choice for you.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:38 pm 
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krudave wrote:
Alex covered the endgrain question.

I said hardwoods would not absorb oils well; telephone poles and similar (pressure-treated posts and the like) are made of softwoods like douglas fir or spruce or hemlock. The pressure treatment also enhances the penetration, as do the punctures. If you cut the end off a PT post, you can see how far the penetration goes.

Without use of pressure, the penetration would be very slight, even for softwoods, maybe 2 mm.


Thanks for the clarification, Dave ... Pressure treating makes sense.

I actually brought up the question being reminded of an experience some years ago.

In a previous life I played the drums for local bands.

One day I quickly snatched some Gretsch Drums drum sticks which were discounted because Gretsch were leaving the business of making and marketing sticks.

They proved to be terrific drums sticks, if a bit mysterious. Drum sticks are typically made of Maple, Hickory or Oak; and I think the sticks in question were Hickory.

On second look, they felt and appeared to be plastic. I eventually found out they were wood (when they finally broke) .

They were polished to a nice low sheen which enhanced the grip. They were noticeably heavier than others and were stained a fairly deep mahogany hue. They lasted what seemed like forever - at least in terms of normal drum stick longevity. Now I played those same sticks for about two years ( unheard of ) ... this is playing against bronze cymbals and invoking thousands of Rim-shots against steel or brass rims. That's a significant amount of energy absorbed . They didn't seem to dent or suffer abrasion and exhibited a very few cuts from occasionally striking the cymbals at a wrong angle ( drum sticks break quite readily when that occurs ).

When they finally broke I could see wood grain through and through, so that solved that part of the mystery ( they weren't man-made with faux wood grain printed on the exterior), but the stain seemed to have permeated the whole way through the interior of the stick ( at ~12 to 13 mm at its widest part ).

Hearkening back to those drum sticks, I thought the old school GP paddles would benefit from the same treatment those drumsticks were made with. I wish I still had those sticks to show - perhaps someone could then explain how they were manufactured, as I'm still stymied.

Quote:
Some folks make Greenland paddles out of western red cedar, definitely a softwood, and light, but not really durable (strong) enough for a reliably strong paddle. Even so, folks use them, and typically oil them. Often, they make the loom extra thick to compensate for the low strength. You can carve a Greenland paddle from an 8-foot 2 x 4 in a day, and finish it in another couple of days of oil treatment. When the oil wears off, just re-oil it..

But, a Greenland paddle requires more torso rotation than a Euro paddle does. Not a great choice for you.


The jury's just about to return from deliberations - I've asked elsewhere for other's opinions about my situation ( in addition to what I've posted here ) - it certainly doesn't look promising at all.

Motorizing a 'Yak looks more and more the likely course for me :(

Electric Troller looks best; but I'm scoping a 4-cycle 2 HP petrol outboard, too.

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