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Epoxy or Spar Varnish what do you like
Posted by: Glenn McMurrian (---.csby.or.frontiernet.net)
Date: December 16, 2019 02:58AM

Epoxy or Spar Varnish what do you like best and why!

Glenn McMurrian

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Re: Epoxy or Spar Varnish what do you like
Posted by: John DeMartini (---)
Date: December 16, 2019 06:57AM

Traditionally spar varnish is used on bamboo or other wood surfaces. It was originally designed for the protection of wood surfaces such as floors, boats etc.

Epoxy is better formulated for fiberglass and composites but can be used on wood also.

Depending on the application either can be used.

For restoration of bamboo rods spar varnish is preferred.

John

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Re: Epoxy or Spar Varnish what do you like
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: December 16, 2019 08:10AM

If you're talking about coating thread wraps, epoxy has it all over spar varnish. Epoxy is simple and easy to use, although many still wrestle with it. It will outlast varnish by decades.

There are some other single part finishes that while not quite as long lasting as epoxy do quite well. One was featured in a recent issue of RodMaker, Varithane Triple Thick. Also, several of the rod component supply houses sell similar one-part finishes in reasonably small quantities more suited for the rod builder. They are urethanes and although they require 3 or 4 coats to build any depth, are almost foolproof in use. They will also greatly outlast spar varnish.

............

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Re: Epoxy or Spar Varnish what do you like
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---)
Date: December 16, 2019 12:32PM

Good luck finding smaller quantities of true, long oil, spar varnish these days. The spar varnish of long ago (pre EPA) was a quality product. I've a Granger rod for which the spar made it 75 + years before failure. These days what passes for spar varnish is actually urethane - not long oil. None of the big box or small hardware stores in my neck of the woods sell anything but urethane. For the last bamboo rod I built I ordered Epifanes marine spar from Amazon. It is really good stuff but on the far side of pricy unless you're building a bunch of boo rods. And the light amber hue works well with a lot of color combinations on bamboo and similarly colored glass rods. The open time for spar is much longer than epoxy and bubbles are a non-event. One coat coverage is just not in the cards for spar.

While epoxy does eventually yellow, it begins life a heck of a lot clearer than spar, one and done coverage is possible, I find it is easier to make clear wraps with epoxy than with spar, and I suspect epoxy is the lesser expensive.

To answer to your question directly, it is not an either / or thing. For what is a limited number of applications spar is the better choice while for nearly all applications epoxy works and works well for most.

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