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Finishing silk
Posted by: Bob (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: June 18, 2001 07:09AM

I will be redoing a few bamboo rods and will be trying to keep their traditional appearance. Silk finished with spar varnish. This is a new arena for me and would like to hear any tips or tecniques. Such as dealing with the fuzzies and keeping a smooth level finish with the varnish. What type or name brand varnish and where to buy it? Any comments are welcomed.

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Re: Finishing silk
Posted by: Russ Gooding (---.dejazzd.com)
Date: June 18, 2001 08:33AM

Hi Bob,

First, when buying silk, buy "continuous filament" silk, not "spun" silk. The former is the good stuff, created from long strands of silk fiber, thus it has fewer fiber ends, aka fuzzies, that project from the wraps. The latter is a blended (spun) strand created from all the scrap pieces left over after the long filaments have been directed toward the production of quality threads; this type of thread can have literally dozens of filament ends protruding over the length of a guide wrap. Pearsall's silks are continuous filament silks - very few fuzzies. They are also fine diameter - so fine that some consider their use to be masochistic. If you enjoy a challenge, the Pearsall's rodwhipping silks are definitely superior to other silks.

Second, when considering spars, go for high polymerized tung oil content and low or no linseed oil content - Sutherland Welles is a great choice. Over time, tung oil will prove a more durable finish, breaking down less readily than linseed oil based finishes. As with most superior products, there are certain challenges attendent to their use. Spar varnishes with a high solids content - especially those that rely primarily or entirely on tung oil - cure with relative rapidity upon exposure to the atmosphere. For the user, this means that an expensive quart of varnish can cure in the can if not properly cared for. It is best to decant a can of varnish into smaller jars, eliminate any air pockets in the jars by tossing in a few very clean ball bearings, and then add a squirt of Bloxygen prior to sealing the jar.

I strongly suggest that you apply a thin layer of spar, wait just long enough for the solvents to evaporate, then apply a second, equally thin layer of spar. Rotate this double layer for three hours or so, then cure for three days. Add successive single coats until the wraps are smooth. This will be three to five coats depending on the viscosity of the spar and the diameter of the silk you wrapped with.

For a much more detailed account on wrapping and finishing silk whippings on cane rods, sign up for RodMaker Magazine in time to get the next issue that Tom produces. In the meantime, I hope you'll visit our web site at www.goldenwitch.com .

Best regards, Russ

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Re: Finishing silk
Posted by: Davesrods (---.dsl.wchtks.swbell.net)
Date: June 19, 2001 10:57PM

I have been using Guderod, and fishhawk silk thread would good results.. I have been using guderod 811 for color lok, but you need to make sure you seal all pockets around guides with 811, then I apply 2 coats of spar marine varnish full strength, then I dip rod 2 or 3 times.. I would go buy a 2 inch pvc tube and make your own dipping tank, my mixture for the dipping tank is 60% varnish and 40% mineral spirits, this mixture works great for me.. Thanks Dave

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