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

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Forum topic by ubermick posted 03-14-2013 05:55 PM 2465 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ubermick

48 posts in 601 days


03-14-2013 05:55 PM

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

7618 posts in 2313 days


#1 posted 03-14-2013 05:58 PM

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

1816 posts in 1158 days


#2 posted 03-14-2013 06:02 PM

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.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View ubermick's profile

ubermick

48 posts in 601 days


#3 posted 03-14-2013 06:12 PM

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

3281 posts in 672 days


#4 posted 03-14-2013 06:17 PM

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

3281 posts in 672 days


#5 posted 03-14-2013 06:19 PM

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

3469 posts in 2625 days


#6 posted 03-14-2013 06:29 PM

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 601 days


#7 posted 03-14-2013 08:52 PM

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

5381 posts in 2250 days


#8 posted 03-14-2013 08:59 PM

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

1465 posts in 1026 days


#9 posted 03-14-2013 09:51 PM

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....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View ubermick's profile

ubermick

48 posts in 601 days


#10 posted 03-22-2013 08:24 PM

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

91 posts in 1276 days


#11 posted 03-22-2013 09:06 PM

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

-- .. heyoka ..

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1447 posts in 1179 days


#12 posted 03-22-2013 09:50 PM

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

10974 posts in 1355 days


#13 posted 03-23-2013 01:59 AM

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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