No, Petroleum Trees

Posted by Kurt Maurer on May 27, 2006

Never, never, never ask Kurt Maurer about finishes, unless perhaps you're building a telescope or coffee table. It's a huge weak spot in my moral makeup... I simply haven't the patience to let stuff dry and work things out (I'd rather go paddling). But here's the deal, as I see it:

You either achieve a beautiful, durable finish on a GP that sucks because it gets so darn slickery in use, or a so-so looking one (at best) that grips a whole bunch better. Whaddya do??

The paddle on my web page looks pretty rough today, although it's still rock-solid and performs admirably (it's laminated with wood glue, y' know). It's been refinished once, and to be fair I'll have to admit it's really been through the wringer (I killed a CF paddle in two seasons). I need to update that web page, maybe I'll do that soon...

My favorite finish so far is to give the paddle three coats of epoxy, or whatever it takes to thoroughly seal all the wood beyond a doubt, sanding between each app for max smoothness. The final coat gets sanded to 320 grit and you go paddling. The finish looks kinda misty on shore, but really pops to life when it gets wet. And it feels great.

On my latest, a matched set of GP and Stormy, I did as in the above paragraph, but applied a final coat as a wipe-off. The finish is a lovely satin oil-look, and it feels alllmost perfect... still a little slick when wet. But life is full of compromises, and there are concessions that must be made to pride here and there.

I still haven't graduated to varnish yet, that's for next year or two. Hey, maybe I have more patience than ANYBODY, and allow my R&D experiments to run into years and years! I mean, I'm experimenting with varnishing kayaks this year for the first time ever (believe it or not... hey, I warned you about me and finishes).

Cheers, Kurt

In Response to: Carbon Fiber Trees? by M Davis on May 26, 2006