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Wampum Clear Coat Polished

The clear Klass Kote two-part urethane was sanded and polished today. Looks pretty good!
Bought myself a new tool... the Porter Cable 7424XP 6-Inch Variable-Speed Polisher! It worked much better than my cordless drill that I had been using.

Here are some more pictures:

You can see a bit of the deck in this one. That's the next step... finishing the deck and hatches. Then it's time for the rigging.

You can see the small brass rudder keeper that I made.

Below is a section from my Vintage Marblehead Construction Manual on finishing:

How to get that perfectly smooth, gloss finish: So how do those guys get that perfect, glossy finish?

1.       First, they sand the paint. Just about any gloss paint will create some orange peel. To get a glass-smooth finish you will need to sand it down a bit. Start with very gentle pressure using a sanding block with 800 grit and WET sand it. This should just flatten the orange peel at least enough to where the urethane/varnish will fill it in. Be careful not to sand through the paint or you’ll have to start all over again with painting. Use a swirling, random pattern to avoid obvious scratches. Finer scratches are OK to leave as they will easily be filled with a few coats of urethane/varnish.

2.       Apply one of the following: Spray on two-part clear urethane, roll-and-tip on urethane varnish, or roll-and-tip on real varnish. We spray on four or five coats of two-part. If you use either of the hand-applied varnishes, then you must wait a full day between coats and sand lightly between coats. You’ll want at least 5 or 6 coats, maybe up to 10. Urethane varnish cures harder than regular spar varnish, and it polishes better, but it takes FOREVER to cure hard enough to polish. When we use urethane varnish, we waited over a month after the final coat until we could polish it. If you spray on clear two-part urethane, depending on your brand and such, you can usually apply all your coats in one day, waiting 15 or 20 minutes between coats. It will be ready to polish within 48 hours. Generally, you can use the smell test to see if it’s cured… put your nose right up to the finish. If you can still smell it, then it’s still gassing off and isn’t fully cured.

3.       Mechanical polishing. This is the final step we used on our hull. Then we WET sanded the cured urethane/varnish starting with 1000, 1200, 1500, and finally 2000 grit. Have a little tub of water next to your work place. Be sure to often dip your paper in a tub of water to clear the paper. Keep a slick, wet surface. You’ll notice a whitish film so keep rinsing it off. You’ll also want some sort of flexible ‘backing’ for your paper instead of your fingers. Perhaps you have a small scrap of thin plywood left? Maybe a piece of thick cardboard? Use something flexible though. If you have nothing, then at least fold the paper into three layers.

Then we went to the local auto paint supply store and bought a package that included a couple foam pads that we could chuck into our power “dual action” polisher. (We have the Porter Cable 7424XP). You could also use a cordless drill. Then we used Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze
® Professional Medium-Cut Cleaner #1 and worked it all over the boat with the foam pad. It should largely disappear but you’ll probably still see some brownish residue. Carefully wipe any residue off with a terry cloth.

We followed that with Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze
® Professional Swirl Remover 2.0 #9 which gave us a plasticky-smooth finish. You could stop there if you wish. We have also followed that with Meguiar’s Professional Machine Glaze #3. It looks really nice and professional. Mechanical polishing is wonderful.
More later!



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