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Helmsman Spar Urethane.... When does the STANK go away?!

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Forum topic by ubermick posted 502 days ago 2126 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ubermick

48 posts in 539 days


502 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: helmsman urethane odor smell gassing question

Jebus. So I finished my first “ambitious” project, an astronomy eyepiece case. I based the design off a commercial wooden case, and since they use Helmsman Spar Urethane to finish their cases, I followed their lead and used it on mine.

While I’m certainly not a fan of the stuff now (hindsight being 20/20), I’m now somewhat married to it since the inside and outside was finished with it, and there’s no getting it off. The last coat was applied Saturday, and on Sunday I moved the case outside to air out (we’ve been getting unseasonably warm weather of late, so it’s been clear with temps in the mid 60s/low 70s all week) and moving it back inside at sundown. Five days of that, though, and the finish still absolutely reeks.

Since this case will hold pushing $1,000 worth of sensitive coated optics, it’s unusable as long as this is going on. So anyone got any advice to speed up the destankification process? Is this something that needs patience, or am I potentially screwed?

-- Gaz. Irishman who lives in the San Francisco area, and tends to ruin more wood than he should.


13 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

7265 posts in 2251 days


#1 posted 502 days ago

It may take a month or so to cure, but it will. Spar
varnish cures by oxidation, not by drying, so make
sure air circulates. Cabinets finished inside with
varnishes can take months to cure inside if there
is a closed door inhibiting air flow.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1651 posts in 1096 days


#2 posted 502 days ago

I would be willing to bet the inside of that case is going to smell for a really long time. Like Loren said, it takes reacting with the air….if that will be unacceptable, I’d say you may be potentially screwed. When ever you finish an interior surface and you don’t want an odor problem, try using shellac, lacquer, or a waterborne finish.

-- I long for the days when Coke was a cola, and a joint was a bad place to be (Merle Haggard)

View ubermick's profile

ubermick

48 posts in 539 days


#3 posted 502 days ago

Crap on a cracker, that’s what I was suspecting. But yeah, since I lined the bottom and lid of the case with velvet, I can’t just strip it off and refinish. Looks like this thing is going to be staying outside for a few more weeks…

-- Gaz. Irishman who lives in the San Francisco area, and tends to ruin more wood than he should.

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

3104 posts in 610 days


#4 posted 502 days ago

Maybe you could find some of that “stuff” that absorbs odors … Kinda like the stuff that sucks up moisture. If you could buy that stuff in say a quart or 1/2 gallon size you might could close it up in the case and let it do it’s thing?

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

3104 posts in 610 days


#5 posted 502 days ago

ORRrrrrr, how many of those Dr Scholl’s ODER EATERS for shoes would it take ? :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3350 posts in 2563 days


#6 posted 502 days ago

Dry vs: cure. Herein lies the quandry.
You’ll just have to wait it out.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View ubermick's profile

ubermick

48 posts in 539 days


#7 posted 502 days ago

Yep, looks like that’s the only option. It’s downstairs with a fan blowing on it, and a dehumidifier in the room (not that this will do any good for oil, it’s just there in general), and hopefully it’ll get sorted.

-- Gaz. Irishman who lives in the San Francisco area, and tends to ruin more wood than he should.

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5272 posts in 2188 days


#8 posted 502 days ago

The stenkee hum will go sooner rather than later open it up to the elements and let the air circulate and it will be a good stout strong finish in the end.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1390 posts in 964 days


#9 posted 502 days ago

I feel your pain, but it’s a great argument for limiting the use of spar varnish to spars, unless the box is gonna be lashed to the yardarm. Nyuk Nyuk

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View ubermick's profile

ubermick

48 posts in 539 days


#10 posted 494 days ago

Yarrr, it no be exposed to the harsh elements, mateys. But yep, hindsight being what it is, I’ll never use this #$# again. Two weeks now, with one week of it opened up completely in front of a fan running 24/7, and opening the case if it’s been closed for 15 minutes smells like opening a fresh can o’ urethane. Staaaaaanky.

-- Gaz. Irishman who lives in the San Francisco area, and tends to ruin more wood than he should.

View verdesardog's profile

verdesardog

78 posts in 1214 days


#11 posted 494 days ago

Use spar varnish for outside pieces only… guess you learned a valuable lesson

-- .. heyoka ..

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1447 posts in 1117 days


#12 posted 494 days ago

I have a small curing oven heated by light bulbs. It holds one guitar body or about three small projects. It has an air flow passive vent system and with about two days with the oven at the usual 92’ temp, urethane stank goes away. For you, maybe direct sunlight with a small fan?

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10598 posts in 1293 days


#13 posted 494 days ago

I’ll bet a coat of shellac on the inside of that caser will stop the smell instantly!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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