Part II, continuation for blog post A new prototype: SUP paddle part I
To finally finish the SUP paddle pair I started building way back when.. I needed to do the most annoying bit: sanding and varnishing !!! Basicly its a simple chore, so simple that its easy to botch and then the end result looks cheap… so much for all that painstaking woodwork! 😉
So its time to confess. I’m probably a laziest sander I know and my varnishing skills are pretty poor, but in my defence I only make things that get banged up, scratched, misused, and usually at some point broken… so if the varnishing isn’t top-notch I suppose it doesnt matter much in the end? 😉
So the sanding. Yes, its booring. I won’t go into that other than despite its tediousness.. Its actually an important part of the process!! Don’t skip it! I start out usually with grit 80 -> 120-> 180-> 240 after that its time to varnish! Sometimes I start varnishing after 180. Sanding between every 2-3varnish layers I use 3m scotchbrite pads (or similar).
For the past 5 years or so I’ve mainly used the following method for varnishing my wooden paddles:
- Pre-impregnation with Hempel Wood Impreg oil
- 4-7 layers of varnish, Le Tonkinois Brand. Light sanding between every 2-3 layers
- redo varnishing as needed, usually after each season
This cocktail seems to work nicely. Le Tonkinois seems to hold on better than urethane-alkyd varnishes out there! ‘Le Tonk’ is more expensive, but on wooden paddles you don’t need that much! Varnishing approx 6 paddles with 4 coats I use slightly less than 0.5 liters of varnish! One of the greatest things about ‘Le Tonk’ is that the paddle shaft doesnt feel slippery when wet, when it has been varnished with ‘Le Tonk’!
‘Le Tonk’ is an natural wood oil varnish. Consists of linseed oil, Tung oil and some other ‘natural’ ingredients. It doesnt require hazmat suits, its quite easy to apply with brush, is durable, has nice UV protection. Works nicely on paddles! It is my “go to” choice!