Well, got a little more done this weekend, and of course took lots of pictures!
Thank you as always to everyone for the kind words - Dave, you're correct that tape doesn't usually mask stain, which is why you do an "inverse
" procedure...epoxy the parts you *don't* want stained, and then if any stain does get on them it's very easy to just rub it off. The only reason mine didn't work is that, in sanding off the excess epoxy that bled through everywhere, I also nicked the white ash itself, ruining the protective seal and allowing some stain on.
All of that being said, I managed to clean up the strips pretty good with a file and some patience. See the two below photos as a comparison of before and after:
Before filing, there's still some bleeding on the edges.
After filing, everything's nice and clean now!https://scontent.fybz2-2.fna.fbcdn.net/ ... e=5A205F29
Compare that last shot to the one from last week - much cleaner!
Now before I did all of this cleaning, I did put on a second coat of stain - so you'll notice there's no weird colour variation in the stain as well (see above shot vs same shot last week). The final, two coats of stain and following cleanup of the strips is shown below - and it looks nice!
The next step was to epoxy everything. I put on two coats in succession to completely cover the stain, as the first coat always tends to "absorb" into the wood more than cover it, if that makes sense. Infuriatingly, the first coat of epoxy actually picked up some stain, and I had to wipe down the areas by the ash strips as any epoxy that got on them showed a deep brown colour! This was all fixed by the second coat, which no longer picked up anything. Below is a quick shot after the first coat - note the dry area by the ash strips - and unfortunately I forgot to take one after the second coat when it looked all pretty!
The epoxy does help a lot with the colour, though. The almost greenish, charcoal black of the pure stain fades into a nice brown when the epoxy comes on - and the sunlight really changes things as well!
The area under the epoxy on this test stick looks more brown than the exposed stain (which looks quite black).
Once you put the same sample stick in the sun, the dark brown shines through - it's a big difference! I particularly like the very subtle red / purple tones in the brown.
This shot is of the boat, not in the sun, but with epoxy - note how the stain looks more brown than it does in previous, stain only photos (i.e. before the epoxy was applied).
Last but not least, the deck in the sunlight. The red / purple tinge is more apparent here, though part of that is because there's sanding dust on the surface which is messing with the white balance. Still a beautiful colour, and should look particularly nice once the varnish starts going on. A quick note here - If you're mixing your own stain, test strips are worthwhile. And, make sure to show your test strip in the sunlight where your boat will be...my interior photos of it show it being very dark, and I would have chosen a lighter colour if I hadn't gone into the sun...where the color changes drastically.
After getting the epoxy on, the next step is sanding...and I managed to get things fully ready for the next coat of epoxy! In a 3 step process, I got the transom and deck all ready for the next layer of epoxy. First, belt sanding on the transom matched with random orbit sanding the deck. This is because the transom was quite rough and totally unstained, so heavy removal was both required and not dangerous. But on the deck, I'd only gotten two layers built up, and it was already quite flat. The second stage was to long board both the deck and transom, to get everything nice and straight - and the final, third stage was to random orbit again with a finer grit paper (80 to start, 120 to finish). Each type of sanding does very different things as many already know. In this case I was looking to actually level the ransom, so I used the belt sander, which agressively sands until you're relatively level. I also wanted to both scuff the entire surface of the deck, and it was relatively flat, so the random orbit was the best for getting the whole surface scuffed, as it will still hit low points relatively well. The long boarding helps get everything very flat - much flatter than either the belt sander or random orbital will - but it leaves scratch marks. Finally, the second pass with the random orbit sander is very light and even...it just removes the scratches from the longboard, without affect the overall height of the surface anywhere.
There's a shot of the first pass with the random orbit on the deck...you can still make out the veneer planks relatively well, because the epoxy seeps into the gap between them more than it does on their surface.
There's a shot of the deck after longboarding - you can see the scratches in the deck from the linear sanding movement, as well as the "twisties" of epoxy dust that it makes.
After the second pass with the random orbit sander, there's no more scratches, and just epoxy "dust" on the deck surface.
That's where it stands now, notice how much "greyer" the surface is from the previous shot, now that the whole boat has gone through two more stages of sanding (long boarding + second pass with the random orbit).
Final shot for this week - washed down to get all the epoxy dust off after sanding. It will dry over the week and be ready for some more epoxy next weekend! I might not quite make it to varnish this summer based on night temperatures, as it's getting cold fast - but hopefully I can get a few coats on before it's all said and done.