1953 Shepherd Model 110 S Staining the Hull is in Her Wake

June 4, 2016

Bleaching is in our wake. Now the real fun begins. Bleaching is easy. Apply it over and over, keeping the surface wet. Let it dry. Lightly sand it with 320 grit. Call it good.

Staining? Get ready for exhausted shoulders, arms and especially hands and fingers! We used Interlux Interstain Wood Filler Stain, 2 parts of Chris Craft Red Mahogany (0573) to 1 part of Brown Mahogany (042), thinned to the consistency of thick house paint using Interlux Brushing Liquid 333

The 22-foot Shepherd’s seemingly endless expanses of mahogany presents two challenges when staining. The thinner tends to gas off, causing the working stain to become ever more viscous. We found ourselves thinning the “soup” anew multiple times as we applied stain.

The real challenge, however, is controlling the degree to which the stain is flashing in front of us as we worked, always cross-grain, rubbing the stain into the valleys while removing it. (We use cheese cloth here.) Getting anxious and scrubbing away too soon produces a very weak, almost totally transparent outcome.

Waiting too long and the stain flashes to being nearly dry to the touch, which renders that stain virtually impossible to scrub into the grain and off the surface.

Even though we had masked off all but three boards along ta seam on the topsides, we found ourselves racing against flashing …. and losing. (It was uncomfortably hot in the shop and we had a fan running, which only compounded the rate at which we were losing the race against excessive flashing,

No amount of swearing, scrubbing or sweating made any difference. What to do? In desperation I wet a new shop towel with 333 and went at if. Voila! The stain liquefied just enough so I could scrub it into and off the surface. (My shop towel was wetted to the point of being damp, not dripping with the 333. While I have not experimented doing so yet, my gut tells me that applying too much 333 risks washing the stain away prematurely and excessively.)

In any case, after a long, long day that ran well into the evening, she is stained.

What a great way to celebrate my birthday!

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