International Guild of Knot Tyers Forum

General => Chit Chat => Topic started by: Frayed Knot Arts on January 19, 2007, 07:35:53 PM

Title: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: Frayed Knot Arts on January 19, 2007, 07:35:53 PM
Varnish is a great way to do off a piece of shipboard work... protects the weave from weather and hand wear, but it does darken the (censored) out of whatever it is you've done.

Cyanoacrylates will give a hard and impervious finish to things like bellropes, but the tactile sense is lousy and it raises every little hairy strand, creating a minutely fuzzy but very sharp and hand-unfriendly surface, not to mention changing the colour of the finished item to a rather large amount.... turns white line to ecru and 'natural' colour line to something that looks dirtied.  It's also expensive in any sort of quantity use.

I'm trying a suggestion I got to take white carpenter's glue and dilute it 1:10 in boiling water, then apply the resultant liquid in a generous coating.  Did it on a needlecase where I've completed the barrel grafting and one stopper/turkshead end.... I'll post on that one when it dries and I can evaluate it.

What other formulae do the rest of us use for protective finishes for our work that is designed for "working" use: bellropes, chest beckets, etc.?  Paint is always an option but I'm wondering about things like clear water-based polyurethanes or possibly something I've never even thought of myself (diluted camel dung in weak tea,  crushed beetle shells in acetone... powdered Angel's Wings in Dragon's tears...) there has to be a bunch of alternative methods out there and I'd like to hear 'em all....

Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: Fairlead on January 19, 2007, 10:00:31 PM
One of the most frustrating things I find in this Forum is that people ask for advice and expect everyone to know where they are - if I tell you to buy a B & Q product or use Cuprinol and you live in the USA, I am not only wasting my time but more to the point giving useless information.  Sorry to bring this up in your post, I am not getting at you personally; just making a point.
However, having spelled colour with a u I assume that you are not in the USA and can help you a little. 
About 18 months ago I, together with some other members of the Solent Branch made a set of shrouds for displays relating to the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.  We used 4 strand hemp with sisal ratlines and lanyards (because that is what we had to hand without buying rope) - I also made a rope anchor with the 4 strand hemp.  To give these ropes the 'tarred' effect we used black Cuprinol wood preserver and although it is expensive, it did an excellent job.  The anchor has been out in all weathers in my garden and is fading a bit now, but the ropework is still as good as new.
As for other types of rope - B & Q sell an acrilic clear varnish, which although it works on some rope, it is not good on others (Hemp is prone to darken with almost anything) - TEST first is of course always a good idea. 
I know some other regular contributors here use a 'home brew' which is very good, but I do not have any personal experiece with it, so I hope that they will come up trumps for you.

Gordon
Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: Frayed Knot Arts on January 19, 2007, 11:42:30 PM
Thank you, Gordon, and no affront taken.... I forget that certain products available in Europe are "No-no's" thanks to the paternilistic idio.... no politics, sorry.  The US (which is where I am...I just spell funny for a Septic...) is somewhat restrictive of certian substances, so Cuprinol is right out.  Father knows best, I suppose.

What I was aiming for was something that would give the hard finish of varnish without the colour-changeing properties...  I've done that needle-case in the dilute carpenter's white glue wash and it's dried out sufficient to handle....and I'm not terribly impressed.  It did 'harden" up the rather soft line I'd used for the finial knots, but I'm not enchanted by either the feel of it or the finish, which is rather matte.  Still, it did not change the colour of the line at all, so that's a plus.

Now I think I'll let that dry out for a day or two more and then try lacquering it  with a gloss  spray.... the "litle fishooks" should all be kept at bay by the application of the white glue...  I'll post back with results.

Incidentally, LOVE your telescope on KHWW.... that's beautiful grafting.

Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: Frayed Knot Arts on August 07, 2010, 02:22:10 AM
Well, better late than...

Actually, the white glue method DID work fairly well, but I had to "up" the proportion of glue to water to about 1 in 4 before I started getting anything close to the result I'd been hoping for.   Using nitrile medical gloves and then rubbing down the work while still damp eliminated a LOT of the "fishhooks"; allowing it to dry and then doing a spray coat of clear lacquer was nice, but not anywhere near as effective as a good varnish.   

Eventually I just decided NOT to finish the darn things at all, allowing the customer the option of finishing it off to their own tastes.  I also (re)discovered the fact that I'm still allergic to most paints and varnishes (my hands fall apart... almost literally!) so it turned into a "good decision" all round.

I also rediscovered the fact that when doing grafting or railings, indeed, any fancywork where you WANT the darker look of the old varnished items, a pre-coat with a 1# cut of your favourite colour of shellac will REALLY set things up.  Cotton line takes the hue of fresh manila line (the old stuff... REAL manila) and gives the golden undertone that we used to prize so much when covering rails aboard ship.  Funny how the memory just spills this stuff out after a strong jog, innit?

Anyway, the bottom line:  Yes, the white glue/water works, but no, I'm still not impressed either by the surface hardness OR the tactile sensation of handling it.

Back to ye olde drawinge boarde!  (Emphasis on the whinge!)
Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: Rrok007 on August 07, 2010, 01:16:09 PM
Something that might help with the fishhooks and hairyness of your projects is to treat it with fire before, and possiblyt after. I believe it's called 'burnishing' the rope. I'm not exactly sure what the IGKT's take on the "adult" rope community is, but for very practical reasons, there's a strong focus on proper care and treatment of rope. That's where I first learned about treating rope, and one of the techniques for reducing hairs and other fibers that could be irritating to the skin, is to carefull pass the rope over an open flame. I use this a lot with the rope I work with, not only before, but during, and then after I've worked with a project.


I've also considered getting one of those garment fuzzy trimmers.
Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: SS369 on August 07, 2010, 02:06:06 PM
A product that works nicely is "Mod Podge Matte-Mat". It is a waterbased sealer, glue and finish. Can be used on just about anything and is a permanent coating when dried.
My experience with it is that it darkens the item ever so slightly and remains looking like you've dampened it.
Non-Toxic as well.
Smells similar to wood glue in the jar.
Available where art supplies are sold, even Wally world and the like.

Scott
Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: dewildeman on August 10, 2010, 06:36:45 AM
Vince, thanks for the update, I've tried the water/glue at 1:3 and 1:4.  It does the job but I don't like the feel either or the look.

SS369, I've seen Mod Podge in the stores, I'll give it a try, thanks.


Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: Sweeney on August 15, 2010, 08:50:16 AM
I've just seen this having been let out of hospital for the weekend! I often us Ronseal Wood Hardener - it makes rope very hard so can be used on a finished article or to put a hard point on a rope for threading. A clear liquid it cannot be seen when dry (takes a couple of hours though) but should be used in a well ventilated area. Certainly available in B&Q and probably in other hardware emporiums in the UK. It is designed for application to wood that has softened with rot to give it a bit more life.

Barry
Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: sledge on August 20, 2010, 05:39:02 AM
Have been reading this forum item with intrest. I have a knotboard I have made covered externally with knots and sennit's. Has anyone come to any conclusion as is the best applictaion to seal the rope but not darken it. All the rope is white nylon in 1mm, 2mm & 3mm. Size. And I am in Australia. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

                                                                                                   Sledge
Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: KenY on August 20, 2010, 09:20:03 AM
Sledge,

One of our better knot tyers is Jeff Wyatt and I know that he does not loiter on this forum, so I shall give him a call and get him to make a reply post.

Jeff makes stunning frames have a look in Wydon Crafts, to seal his work Jeff mixes water with wood glue, the ratio of mix I am not sure of, but you dip it once and it drys clear, dip it twice and it becomes yellow, be warned !. I shall flush the master out for you.

Ken
Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: wydonknot on August 24, 2010, 11:05:32 AM
Having been summoned by Ken Y  ;D - I'm replying to this request for information.

All my knots constructed using man-made fibres are sealed with UPVA glue (a carpenter's white wood glue) diluted.   Never use at full strength, I dilute with water - 25% glue 75% water for a flexible finish, with anything up to 50/50 for a more rigid finish.   I've used this for many years and the beauty of it is, if and when it gets dirty you can wash the article with little or no damage as it is a water-based glue.   With bellropes, key fobs etc I totally immerse the item in the solution until there are no more air bubbles.   That way I know that it has penetrated all the fibres.   I then hang them up to drip dry.   During the drying period, a dewdrop will appear at the lowest point - DO NOT attempt to remove this - capillary action will draw it back up.    Don't forget to put a drip tray underneath your items!!!    Although the diluted glue is white, it dries completely clear.  However, once it has dried, DO NOT EVER dip the item again otherwise the glue will dry opaque.
 
I've never felt the need to seal natural fibres as they tend to bind against each other.   
 
If you'd like to see some examples check out my website (link below) as most of my work made from synthetic material have been dipped using ther above method.
 
Hope this is of some help.
 
Jeff Wyatt
 
Website: www.wydon.co.uk
Photos: http://community.webshots.com.user.lesleywyatt
Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: sledge on September 01, 2010, 04:08:55 AM
Fantastic. Thanks for the replies. And will be careful.
Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: JD on September 06, 2010, 09:03:58 AM
This is a very interesting topic, as I am now getting to this stage with some of my work.

I am not able to see this link http://community.webshots.com.user.lesleywyatt (http://community.webshots.com.user.lesleywyatt) is it just me or are others having a problem?

Some lovely work on the other link Jeff
Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: JD on September 06, 2010, 09:51:18 AM
Once you have made up a solution, can it be kept for future work?
Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: skyout on September 06, 2010, 04:48:15 PM
Try this one, Johnny.

http://community.webshots.com/user/lesleywyatt (http://community.webshots.com/user/lesleywyatt)
Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: wydonknot on September 11, 2010, 10:13:09 AM
Thanks, Rick, for the correction - I've now set everything to rights with correct URLs.

In reply to your question, Johnny, the solution will last for many months if kept in a sealed container in the cool and dark, i.e. the fridge.   However, if you're forgetful like me. after a couple of months, depending on the temperature, some black fungus could appear.   All is not lost at this point, as I just strain it through a paper coffee filter and use as normal.   I hope this helps.

Can I just take this opportunity to apologise to members, as a past President of the Guild, for not replying to questions on this Forum as much as I should.   But as a relatively new retiree, I expected to have plenty of spare time.   Unfortunately it just hasn't worked out that way.   I am busier now than I was when working.   I will try to amend my ways, but don't hold your breath :D

Jeff
Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: SlipJig on September 13, 2010, 08:06:50 AM
In reply to your question, Johnny, the solution will last for many months if kept in a sealed container in the cool and dark, i.e. the fridge.   However, if you're forgetful like me. after a couple of months, depending on the temperature, some black fungus could appear.   All is not lost at this point, as I just strain it through a paper coffee filter and use as normal.   I hope this helps

The pot of stuff you left behind in Australia is still seeing useful service.  ;D
Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: Frayed Knot Arts on September 16, 2010, 01:23:27 AM
Can someone with experience on both sides of "The Pond" tell me if that UFP...UPV....UF.... the carpenter's white glue Jeff speaks of is about the same as "Elmer's Glue" here in the States?   As I said, my experience with a 1 to  3 solution was less than optimal.  Perhaps that.... ahhh.... (whatever) glue is of a different formula?

Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: Barry on September 16, 2010, 08:04:00 PM
Can someone with experience on both sides of "The Pond" tell me if that UFP...UPV....UF.... the carpenter's white glue Jeff speaks of is about the same as "Elmer's Glue" here in the States?   As I said, my experience with a 1 to  3 solution was less than optimal.  Perhaps that.... ahhh.... (whatever) glue is of a different formula?

How Do Vince,

I think you will find them both to be PVA (Polyvinyl acetate) which is white wood glue; whichever side of the pond you happen to be on.
Though it is noted somewhere that you should add a c after the PVA part (PVAc) so as not to confuse it with Polyvinyl Alcohol.

I use a mixture of 1 part white wood glue (PVAc) to 1 part water (H2o), I find this works well for "me" and my uses
The glue I use is "Evo-Stik Weatherproof Adhesive" this dries clear and also has the added benefit of being water proof when fully dry; so if you use your items in a damp environment the coating will not show cloudy white patches, which I have found with some "white PVAc craft glues" poorer formula maybe?

I hope this helps?

Take care,
Barry ;-)
Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: JD on October 05, 2010, 05:15:19 PM
I notice that here in the UK one can buy black bitumen paint, I was wondering if that was any good for finishing rope-work to give it more of an Olde Worlde look?

I am sure that if you use this it would need to be diluted with white spirit?
Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: KenY on October 05, 2010, 05:35:07 PM
Johny,

I am sure I used some Black' Saddling '  tm  (nothing to do with horses) to black up some straw hats, and it worked well.

I think Failead used Black Cupranol when we worked on some Shrouds too.


Ken.
Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: Fairlead on October 05, 2010, 06:06:44 PM
Sadolin (the wood preserver) works well on any natural fibre ropes - it comes in clear to black and it was the black we used on the shrouds Ken is referring to.

Gordon
Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: KenY on October 05, 2010, 08:11:38 PM
Johnny,

Sorry supper got in the way, for me to correct my spelling.

On a second look, I found the tin,  SADOLIN  woodstain  (ebony)

Ken.
Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: JD on January 03, 2011, 05:45:42 PM
When using a PVA finishing solution; is it best to brush it on, or soak the rope-work in a container of the stuff?
Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: Barry on January 03, 2011, 08:25:55 PM
How Do Johnny,

Either way works, I have a jam jar full, that I use for dipping keyfobs, and small items, anything that will not fit the jar gets the brush.

Dipping is good for small items that have a wood or rope core as you can saturate the whole thing through, sealing it inside and out, you can do the same with the brush, just a little messier.

Also 2 or more thin coats will work and penetrate better than one thicker coat.

Take care,
Barry ;-)

Edit: meant to add "Less is more" don't go caking you ropework in a protective bomb proof shell, that will just detract from the work.
Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: TheKnotGuy on February 14, 2011, 12:38:49 AM
On my website (www.morethanknots.com) I indicated the white glue 10:1 solution.  It works well on cotton provided you fully soak the cotton.  You can use different ratios to get stiffer results.  However, if you do that I'd suggest you pick up a mixer at a yard sale for cheap.  The spouse got upset when I took out her favorite mixer to work on rope. 

Another option on my website was to use Minwax polycrylic.  You can use a 50:50 solution on cotton and you can also use 100% on cotton where it's needed.  However, it can give a yellow tint to the finished product.

As for the whiskers, we left the work dry thoroughly, then used a blowtorch on a low setting to flash burn off the whiskers.  Obviously I'd suggest doing this on a trial piece so you can see how it would work on your finished piece. 

Hope this helps.
Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: JD on February 14, 2011, 08:38:49 AM
I just tried the wood glue method of 1:4 glue to water on some work that I did using cotton cord. The result was good, but was surprised that I ended up with a matt finish?? In my mind I though it would be more silky.
Title: Re: What do you use for fiinishing solutions??
Post by: JD on July 11, 2011, 03:11:26 PM
I have just this weekend mixed some PVA wood glue with water at a ratio of 33% PVA to 66% water. I then dipped all my varied bits of rope-work into the solution till the bubbles stopped coming to the surface. Bit like how one should treat submariners!!

They are now being sun dried ............. well supermarkets do the same with tomatoes to make them seem more exotic!!

I had assumed that the finish would be slightly glossy, but it turns out that on the cotton thread it is more of a matt finish. The colour line seems to be as before.

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-qWtAqJaM4YY/Thr-1Wfk-lI/AAAAAAAAAfg/K3DNp4yHCHs/s512/Finishing.JPG)