In need of a sea worthy finish.

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Forum topic by woodcox posted 05-31-2013 12:07 AM 816 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1511 posts in 1428 days

05-31-2013 12:07 AM

My father retired to the Oregon coast a few years ago and has since taken up crabbing. For father’s day I’m making him a crab gauge/caliper from cherry. It is used to measure dungeness crab by their shell’s, anything under 5 3/4” must be released from the pots. He is just a hobbyist but, I would like it to be as durable as possible. I was thinking of finishing with a little shellac and alot of poly. Would the poly hold up to the salinity? Or water for that matter? Suggestions for an alternative would be cool. I’m thinking it will be wet often but, not continually submerged.

Roughly shaped.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

8 replies so far

View Loren's profile


8155 posts in 3064 days

#1 posted 05-31-2013 12:08 AM

Spar varnish or West System epoxy.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1777 days

#2 posted 05-31-2013 12:21 AM

Raw tung oil. It’ll outlast him.

-- 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 Handtooler's profile


1353 posts in 1548 days

#3 posted 05-31-2013 12:42 AM

As Loren says Minwax has a Marine Spar Varnish (green quart can) sold at Lowe’s among other paint retailers. It’s specifically intended for wet use.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View shipwright's profile


7080 posts in 2214 days

#4 posted 05-31-2013 12:46 AM

Make it teak and don’t put anything on it. It will last for about 100 years and have a lovely silver color.
No varnish, epoxy, oil or any other finish will last long without care in marine conditions.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1080 posts in 3223 days

#5 posted 05-31-2013 01:17 AM

I spent a few years at sea – - 25 years to be exact! The US navy uses Spar Varnish for these wooden details. I use MinWax Spar Varnish for all of my ‘sea worthy’ projects. Good luck.

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View woodcox's profile


1511 posts in 1428 days

#6 posted 05-31-2013 02:50 AM

Round one to spar. Thanks guy’s.
I should have thought of that Ship. I spent alot of time on Lake Powell as a kid. Our SeaRay was trimmed in teak.
Someday when I go visit him, I will have to try my hand with the crab.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View RonInOhio's profile


720 posts in 2280 days

#7 posted 05-31-2013 02:53 AM

Can’t recall the brand name but Marine Grade Spar varnish, available in Marine (boating) shops. Its quite a bit more expensive than the stuff you see in Big Box stores.

View madts's profile


1661 posts in 1756 days

#8 posted 05-31-2013 03:38 AM

BLO. Cheep but the tool will turn black but will never rot.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

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