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Old 07-05-2011, 07:44 AM   #1
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How to retain red oak patina

Need help! We just purchased a 1962 Safari, she's a real beauty! We've sanded the old finish off using 100 grit then 220 grit for final sanding. The wood appears to be red oak veneer, perfect condition. Heres the question, we've decided to NOT put any stain on, we wish to retain the natural patina of 49 year old red oak. What do we do? And a couple of other question, does anyone know the type of knobby fabric that David Winick has used in many of his trailers? And also, where can we find the aluminum trim for around the table, and baseboard, etc... Thanks
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:10 AM   #2
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Just MHO but I like old fashioned boiled linseed oil. Sal.
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:36 AM   #3
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Good idea not to stain, wood will darken on its own, and is unlikely to have been stained when built. Looks like pine to me, no matter, all woods have their own nature and pine fits the character of the trailer nicely. Where's the patina after sanding?

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Old 07-05-2011, 11:13 AM   #4
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On a cabinet in a trailer that is going to get used and subject to wet spills I would like to seal the wood. If you want to go the dull, natural, open wood look the Watco Danish Oil in Clear is good, as is the minwax antique oil.
But I would opt for a couple of coats of polyurthane. That way you can spill and clean and not stain the wood. A coat of clear followed by a coat of satin would be about right. If you thin the first coat a little and do not use a grain filler the result will show the pores in the oak. I like that effect. Do not use multiple coats of the satin unless you want to kill the visibility of the grain underneath.
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:25 AM   #5
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I suggest a wipe on polyurethane, Minwax makes a good one called Wipe On Poly. You could mix the satin with the gloss to control the sheen. We often use a 50/50 mix in our cabinet shop. Gives a hand rubbed look while providing protection. John
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:26 PM   #6
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Thanks for your responses. Would you first rub in the Danish clear oil and then use a rub on Polyurethane? We don't want the wood to turn a yellowish hue, so would you recommend a water-base poly over the oil and what brand? Is the poly good for all types of weather changes, We live in Iowa (extreme humidity, heat and cold)
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:17 PM   #7
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There are some really good posts here and almost any one of the suggestions sounds good. I would not suggest water based poly. It just doesn't have the durability that the oil based products have. I have tried it many times because I believe in the principal but it just doesn't perform in a harsh environment. I like the wipe on poly suggestion the best. I mix the wipe on poly with 50% tung oil. I have built wooden boats for about 30 years. We always use marine varnish on the outside but usually use the tung oil mix down below. You can lightly stain the oak (if it is oak!) a beautiful chestnut brown by leaving a open bowl of ammonia in the trailer overnight. Always try anything like that on samples before you do the real thing. Wood is beautiful! P/S - most polys won't turn wood yellow, regardless of how many coats you use. Spar or marine varnish will. More of an amber I would call it.
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:26 PM   #8
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I forgot to mention - only oak has small lines that go through the grain. Take a end grain piece and look for lines that extend from the center out through the growth rings. It is almost impossible to tell from ash except for the lines. You can tell red oak from white oak by trying to blow through a short piece. If it is red oak you can actually blow through it. White oak you can't blow through. Red oaks are a family of trees and white oaks are a family of trees. Guess I am kind of wordy!
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Old 07-05-2011, 02:29 PM   #9
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here is pic of a little piece i did a couple years ago. i used minwax wipe on poly (semigloss). this is blue or beetle kill pine. i like the finish it's very easy to use and very forgiving. although i would have to disagree with those who say it doesn't yellow. i think that it does yellow some although not as bad as the brush on stuff.
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Old 07-05-2011, 02:45 PM   #10
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Nice job Cojer! Don't need a job helping rebuilding a 40' sloop, do you? Will be done in elm and butternut. (just doing what the owner wants!)
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Old 07-05-2011, 04:34 PM   #11
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I would apply the wipe on poly only. That way you minimize adhesion problems and maybe excessive darkening. It will likely take several coats, lightly sanding between. Be sure to wipe down with a tack cloth also. Keep everything clean. We use a good quality paper towel, folded to about 3" square, to apply the poly. No lint. Good luck, let us know your progress. Your trailer is indeed a beauty. John
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Old 07-05-2011, 04:38 PM   #12
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BTW, we traveled from South Carolina to Iowa to bring home our baby. Cedar Falls, 2200 miles round trip. She's a real beauty also. Must be corn fed!
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Old 07-05-2011, 05:53 PM   #13
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Is it possible that you have red mahogany? We have it in our 65 Safari and used red mahogany Watco Oil. Lightly sanded between applications (3 all together). We were lucky that the PO had not used any paint or poly. The Watco Oil gives a very warm, rich finish.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:16 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhilley View Post
Nice job Cojer! Don't need a job helping rebuilding a 40' sloop, do you? Will be done in elm and butternut. (just doing what the owner wants!)
i've never worked on a boat and i've never been to florida....when do i start!?!
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