In need of a sea worthy finish.

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Forum topic by woodcox posted 449 days ago 496 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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568 posts in 639 days

449 days ago

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


7399 posts in 2275 days

#1 posted 449 days ago

Spar varnish or West System epoxy.


View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1420 posts in 988 days

#2 posted 449 days ago

Raw tung oil. It’ll outlast him.

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

View Handtooler's profile


1071 posts in 759 days

#3 posted 449 days ago

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


4901 posts in 1425 days

#4 posted 449 days ago

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 fiberglass trees.

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

948 posts in 2434 days

#5 posted 449 days ago

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


568 posts in 639 days

#6 posted 449 days ago

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 1491 days

#7 posted 449 days ago

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


1245 posts in 966 days

#8 posted 449 days ago

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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