View Full Version : 60% Helmsman / 40% Mineral Spirits

Eric Roach
04-08-2014, 07:47 AM
Curious to know how long you feel it takes for this sealer to dry. The plugs feel dry after 48 hours, but I can still smell the mineral spirits. Do you usually wait until there is no smell, or is the "dry touch test" OK?

Plugs have been hanging in 60 degree, 55% humidity basement for 2.5 days.

04-08-2014, 08:32 AM
that humidity sounds rather high for drying
someone must have a humidity guage
in the perfect man cave

Eric Roach
04-08-2014, 09:37 AM
Yeah, I never get any actual water but the sump well in the basement raises the humidity. I don't see it lower than 55% unless I run a dehumidifier.

I have two of those cheap Woodcraft clocks in different rooms in my basement, they have a thermometer and humidity gauge on them.

04-08-2014, 10:22 AM
Eric i will let them sit in my basement for a week to be on the safe side, i have had luck with a few days and then not so much once the heat hit them during the epoxy phase.

Eric Roach
04-08-2014, 01:55 PM
Thanks, Skippy.

The Dad Fisherman
04-08-2014, 02:04 PM
Thats one of the reasons I like the Val-oil....dip today....ready to go tomorrow.

04-08-2014, 07:26 PM
if you have a furnace that does heat n hot water put some screw hooks in the ceiling and hang your newly sealed plugs from them. The radiant heat works great . i let all my plugs hang for 2 days then keep them hanging close by for 3 to 4 more days.between this and a dehumidifier in the summer months sealing and drying painted plugs is a snap.

Eric Roach
04-09-2014, 01:55 PM
Thanks, Ron.

I'm testing the effectiveness of four sealers. I made 24 plugs on the Vega, dipped 6 plugs per sealer type and now they are all drying. I'm weighing them every 12 hours with a lab balance to see how much weight they are losing to evaporation as they dry. I guess once they level off I can objectively assume they're fully dried/cured.

I'd love to add some heat and/or air movement to speed things up, but I'm going to keep them all (relatively) at the same temperature, humidity and air flow that I started them at.

04-09-2014, 09:14 PM
I'd still give it an extra day to be safe.A life long painter told me to be carefull as a soak penatrates differently from one peice of wood to the next due to the grain dencity thus it cure differently for the wrong reason. Out gassing can still ruin a finish when using water base an oil base in the same project ie createx an so on over oil base soaks an primer or even base coat.I had it happen to me a few times when i started playing with makin plugs.Now that I'm sellin them I'm extra carefull with this.

Eric Roach
04-09-2014, 09:56 PM
Good advice Ron. I planned on letting all of them dry/cure for at least 10 days, but if they're still losing weight to solvent evaporation I might extend it.

04-10-2014, 02:46 PM
The experiment will continue into the season...
as you take NOTE of which sealer out performs the other.

it'll be cool to hear the results. :btu:

Eric Roach
04-10-2014, 03:07 PM
The experiment will continue into the season...

Well, unfortunately not from these 24 blanks I turned -- they're simple 4.5" x .9" blanks with a straight-cut face and a rear tapering to 3/8". -- I made the Vega template just for sealer tests.

04-10-2014, 03:25 PM
oh ok ...Got ya....

ed morini
04-27-2014, 09:15 AM
Hi Eric,

Just my two cents here. The formulation of a spar/ helmsman varnish differs greatly from that of regular varnish. The marine types are very flexible due to their use in exterior situations and from what I've learned never really dry or become a rigid covering. I think a regular urethane or varnish thinned makes a safer sealer as far as layer additional coatings. Oil based type finishes and sealers dry by a reaction with the air surrounding them and humidity plays a large factor in the completion of that reaction. The more humidity the longer drying time. The finish first skims over then slowly dries underneath, "gassing #^&#^&#^&#^&. I do not believe the addition of a thinner to a finish alters it properties greatly, but in some cases increases the drying times. The thinner is the vehicle that will carry the finish to a depth dependent what type of wood, moisture content and species. I would also recommend hanging there near a heat source to aid in drying which would aid in the drying, but would add that the blanks be placed there prior to sealing to stabilize the moisture content and avoid the trapped moisture from lifting paint.

sorry for the length


Eric Roach
04-27-2014, 11:58 AM
Thanks, Ed. I think I'm following you here. I agree dry times can be improved by helping to dry the wood prior to sealing, and increasing airflow and temperature after sealing.

I think a concern would be using a sealer that trapped solvent underneath a "shell". the concern specifically is the solvent could then be forced out at higher temperatures when the air expanded in the wood and start attacking the primer, contributing to separation from the wood and layers in the system.

I always thought the perfect sealer would be something that penetrated well and cured/dried as a solid without the use of solvents -- like a seriously low-viscosity, 100% solids epoxy, or maybe a moisture-cured urethane that could cure within the wood using the wood's moisture. But honestly, the testing I just did kind of left me feeling what's more commonly available (and cheaper) is very acceptable for basement building.

ed morini
04-27-2014, 12:39 PM
I fully agree. I also feel that as long a we are working wood there will be a constant condition of the wood either gaining or losing moisture, that's just the nature of the beast. I think sealing helps prolong the stability of the wood, but that only goes so far. Even with a totally hard sealer the wood will still react to its environment eventually. I know most epoxies take five coats for "waterproofing" but I have seen some dramatic failures. I view sealers as means of getting a good footing for the subsequent coatings.

As Quint says in Jaws: Hooper?...turn a plug of wood, throw the wood in in the water?...Farewell and ado my fair Spanish ladies.....


04-29-2014, 05:27 AM

I use a similar formulation with turpentine instead of MS (won't gel on you).
After I soak mine I hang them outside for the rest of the day and then in the shop on a cloths drying rack with a fan on them....just some moving air will rapidly speed the drying. As for the smell of the turps....I have some that were sealed over a year ago that I haven't finished and I can still smell it :confused:

Anybody want to come to Wisconsin and help me pack up both the wood shap and the finishing shop for a hurry, I have 16 days to find a new house and get everything moved :yak4:
ha......freaking out a little

04-29-2014, 11:42 AM
Good luck Musky
Posted from my iPhone/Mobile device

05-01-2014, 06:17 AM
maybe a moisture-cured urethane that could cure within the wood using the wood's moisture. [/QUOTE]

Eric the KBS clear coat cut 20% w/ KBS thinner is an example of a moisture cure product but $60.00 a quart isn't for "fishing lures".