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Author Topic: Refinishing Grabrails  (Read 2447 times)

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mark_53

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Refinishing Grabrails
« on: April 17, 2017, 08:53:20 AM »

I removed my grab rails last week and have been stripping and sanding ever since.  One side I was able to unscrew the acorn nuts from below and remove the rail without removing any plugs.  The other side I had to remove 4 teak plugs because the acorn nuts would spin the whole screw.  Now it's time to somehow secure the screws from spinning and replace the teak plugs.  My question is should I super glue the screws before replacing the plugs or just clean and anti-seize the treads?  Also, when replacing the teak plugs, should I glue in, varnish in, or press fit? My plan is to seal and varnish with Flagship many coats so glued in plugs may not be necessary.

Another issue is blotchiness.  After stripping and sanding, I applied a coat of teak oil and the rails have many blotchy spots.  See photo.  Bleach did not seem to help much before I teak oiled.  Will TSP or teak cleaner help or is this just the way old teak looks?  I really don't want to sand my rails down to toothpick size.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 09:44:16 AM by mark_53 »
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Noah

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Re: Refinishing Grabrails
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2017, 10:05:31 AM »

Why did you oil if planning to varnish? Try oxalic acid, that is my preferred "bleach" for teak.
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mark_53

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Re: Refinishing Grabrails
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2017, 10:19:11 AM »

Why did you oil if planning to varnish? Try oxalic acid, that is my preferred "bleach" for teak.

I read a article on West Marine site that said to oil before varnishing and let oil set in for a few weeks.  Also, it says to let stand for 72hrs before varnishing on the Watco teak oil can.
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Noah

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Re: Refinishing Grabrails
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2017, 10:52:34 AM »

Really? Never heard about that way of doing things in all my years varnishing. Regardless, first you need to get the teak where you want it, before you put on any finish oil or varnish. Just wet with water and that will show you the color/condition of the wood, and if you have removed all staining, etc., or if it needs more "work", using the appropriate wood bleach, letting the sun's UV work on it, etc. Some staining may never come out. Remember to light sand again after water, as it will raise the grain. Then for varnishing, start with a thinned coat (50% varnish and 50% thinner) for first cost,  then sand and build up with 100% coats (or slightly thinned depending on weather and brush ability) from there.
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mark_53

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Re: Refinishing Grabrails
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2017, 12:52:28 PM »

Really? Never heard about that way of doing things in all my years varnishing.
I never have either but the teak oil can says to clean with mineral spirits so it must be oil based.  I think the idea is to replenish the natural oil that's been lost due to stripping, and cleaning and add some color.
I used gel stripper to remove the varnish but seems like it took off as much teak as varnish.  I'll try the heat method next time.
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lazybone

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Re: Refinishing Grabrails
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2017, 01:57:32 PM »

I was always told to wipe/wet down the teak with acetone to remove any natural oils before varnishing? 

Go figure
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mark_53

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Re: Refinishing Grabrails
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2017, 03:11:15 PM »

I was always told to wipe/wet down the teak with acetone to remove any natural oils before varnishing? 

Go figure

Yes, that's what I've read.  To remove oil on the surface.  I'll let it dry out for a few days then sand oxalic acid wash as Noah suggested.
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KWKloeber

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Re: Refinishing Grabrails
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2017, 06:02:56 PM »

It appears like there's possibly varnish sealing the pores so that the uptake of the teak  oil isn't  uniform.  Is that possible?

 I ran across the identical thing with half of my grab rail carriage bolts.   I was able to get them back on and tight without needing to do anything extraordinary.

Next time I need to remove them, I'll do one of two things:

A) Epoxy the head/square of the carriage bolt into the grab rail.

B)  Eliminate the need to mess with plugs again. i.e., Epoxy and re drill the holes, and use lag bolts up from below  in favor of nuts, acorn nuts showing.

kk

PS, I've found oxy clean ( or dollar store brand) to be a great teak cleaner/bleach.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 06:05:26 PM by KWKloeber »
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Noah

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Re: Refinishing Grabrails
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2017, 08:32:31 PM »

I recommend just keep up the maintenance and no need to remove them if they aren't leaking.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 08:33:29 PM by Noah »
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Paulus

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Re: Refinishing Grabrails
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2017, 02:48:35 AM »

It looks to me that moisture has penetrated the teak and the only way to remove the dark spots is by standing.  Try sanding one spot lightly to see if it is surface spot or goes deeper.  As Noah suggested, wipe with water to see how the final product will look like.
Paul
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Refinishing Grabrails
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2017, 05:49:35 AM »

I recommend just keep up the maintenance and no need to remove them if they aren't leaking.

I agree.

The "trick" to avoid having the bungs coming out from above when you lift the handrails is to remove the acorn nuts and NOT push up on the all-thread, and then back out the intermediate screws and push up on the screws.  The handrail will lift enough to do what Noah shows. 

You can refinish and/or rebed them this way.
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KWKloeber

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Re: Refinishing Grabrails
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2017, 07:34:28 AM »

Stu,

Are you saying partially lift and retighren the rails with sealant under them? 

 I initially used teak lifecaulk, but next time I'll  probably use butyl.   With butyl's holding power, I'm not sure it would be that easy to get the rail lifted without prying it completely off. Nevertheless, don't you think it might invite leaks when reinstalling them without redoing the bedding?

 If that's the maintenance routine, what would you think about using something like a silicone rubber pad rather than butyl?

ken
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Refinishing Grabrails
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2017, 08:25:48 AM »



1...Are you saying partially lift and retighren the rails with sealant under them? 

2.   I initially used teak lifecaulk, but next time I'll  probably use butyl.   With butyl's holding power, I'm not sure it would be that easy to get the rail lifted without prying it completely off. Nevertheless, don't you think it might invite leaks when reinstalling them without redoing the bedding?

3.   If that's the maintenance routine, what would you think about using something like a silicone rubber pad rather than butyl?


1.  Partially lift, yes, but not remove.  If they are leaking there's no sealant left.  Lift them up enough to clean out the gunk that may be left.

2.  Most folks have or used silicone.  That's why they leak!!!  :D  If you use butyl tape from Maine Sail, it will last the next 30 years, so I wouldn't figure I'd ever have to do it again.  :D

3.  There's a "maintenance routine" that is repetitive, then there's butyl, which is almost a once-a-lifetime event.  30 years from now if that's the case, then maybe you'd have to lift them higher, but I doubt it.  Pads may not get into the grooves the way the softer butyl tape will.  Depending on how you "make up" the tape, it may be wise to use two layers under the rails.  I did when I  reinstalled my saloon hatch.
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mark_53

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Re: Refinishing Grabrails
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2017, 08:43:09 AM »

Stu,

Are you saying partially lift and retighren the rails with sealant under them? 

 I initially used teak lifecaulk, but next time I'll  probably use butyl.   With butyl's holding power, I'm not sure it would be that easy to get the rail lifted without prying it completely off. Nevertheless, don't you think it might invite leaks when reinstalling them without redoing the bedding?

 If that's the maintenance routine, what would you think about using something like a silicone rubber pad rather than butyl?

ken

I saw one post where o-rings were used.  That seems like a simple was of keeping water from seeping into the screw holes.  When I removed the rails, it looked like a thin layer of a tar like substance was under the rails.  Don't know if that's OEM or not.
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KWKloeber

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Re: Refinishing Grabrails
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2017, 08:55:34 AM »

 Stu,

Just to be precise, mainsail isn't the only source for butyl. C30-ers have used mine for two decades on the aluminum "RV" windows.   I just haven't given it a fancy name.   :shock:  Shipping is less and you don't need to buy two rolls at a time if you don't want to.  :thumb:

 Anyway, what I'm trying to get at is presuming you have a good seal, no leaks, and just performing revarnish maintenance, you don't think there's an issue on disturbing the butyl to raise the grabs?   Aren't you concerned about introducing a leak?

 Also if I did need to re-bed, I would definitely remove them totally to make sure I got the old gunk off the meeting services before butylizing them.  MBMC.  :D

kk
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Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain
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