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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Tiki Carving can we talk about finishing / poly / staining?
can we talk about finishing / poly / staining?
pjc5150
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 01, 2009
Posts: 2259
From: Tampa, FL
Posted: 2010-07-09 08:29 am   Permalink

OK. This is the part of making tikis that I am just completely lost on. I've heard all kinds of different opinions on this subject and I just don't really know what to think. Here's my problem. I have people who want to buy my stuff, but I've only been doing this for like, a year now and I don't really know how to answer the ultimate question: "how long will this thing last out by my pool like this?" My answer is always the same "I really don't know".

I gave one to a friend of mine, and he sat it near the corner of his house where water rolls off the roof and bounces up and splashes it, and now it looks like total shit, so I'm worried.

So, consequently I've sold very few pieces just because I don't want anyone to buy something that's just going to fall apart or disintegrate inside of a year. I'd rather not sell any of them than have people walking around feeling like I ripped them off.

All the tikis I carve are of fairly fresh, wet palm, as I do not have the luxury of having a stockpile of seasoned, dry logs. So, once I carve one, they're still a bit wet.

So how long do I need to wait before I apply stain and poly?

If the log is still wet inside and I poly it will that just make it rot inside?

If I poly a wet piece and leave the bottom in a natural state will all the moisture just naturally dissipate on it's own without rotting?

The only type of finish / stain I've tried is Thompson's stain / water seal, and it seemed to work ok. Was that a mistake? Should I have used something else?

So bottom line: what the hell should I be doing here?

Please give me some advice.

[ This Message was edited by: pjc5150 2010-07-09 08:34 ]


 
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AlohaStation
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 27, 2004
Posts: 2140
From: So FL
Posted: 2010-07-09 08:49 am   Permalink

Florida is very harsh to any type of wood left outside. First you have to let the wood dry. Then coat the palm in Spar Urethane. Its sits right next to regular Polyurethane on the shelf - just look for outdoor use. If you coat the palm while it is still wet, there's a good chance that mold will grow under the clear coat. The Spar urethane will make the wood water-resistant but not water-proof. It will extend the life of the tiki but will not prevent it from rotting. I have several tikis on the back deck that pushing 5 years and they still look good. Remind the new owners that the more water the tiki is exposed to the faster the tiki will decay. Also try to keep the tikis off exposed ground (thats how bugs get in) - mine sit on pavers.

 
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TikiTres
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 28, 2008
Posts: 263
From: Forney, TX
Posted: 2010-07-09 10:58 am   Permalink

I bought three palm tikis two years ago and coated two of them with Thompsons. All three have turned grey like an old cedar fence, but the two that were coated look a lot more weathered than the one that wasn't. I recently bought a palm tiki pole from Bosko and his advice was similar to Aloha's- use spar varnish on it to keep it looking fresh. He also said to apply many coats to the top & bottom which makes sense because end grain tends to wick water. This particular pole sat indoors in a gallery for a couple of years so it is already dried out. I will be displaying it in a covered location away from rain & UV. I've read in threads that some of the carvers here will store their palm logs in a hot, dry shed for a year or more to dry them out before carving them. So it sounds like the best approach is to dry the logs out first, then carve them, then seal them with spar varnish.



 
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Hakalugi
Site Administrator

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 3040
From: Redondo Beach, CA
Posted: 2010-07-09 11:24 am   Permalink

The next time I treat my outdoor palm tikis, I'm going to go with some sort of linseed & tung oil combination.

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=30396&forum=7

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TikiTres
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 28, 2008
Posts: 263
From: Forney, TX
Posted: 2010-07-09 12:15 pm   Permalink

I used to have a cedar cabin and I used linseed oil on that, the color got darker and darker with each application. The oil worked fine as far as preserving the wood, water would bead up and roll right off. But the color wasn't too pleasant.

 
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AlohaStation
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 27, 2004
Posts: 2140
From: So FL
Posted: 2010-07-10 12:30 pm   Permalink

I've used a linseed and turpentine solution that soaked into the wood. It was hardwood not Palm. I would imagine the palm would soak that stuff up and never become sealed. Stick with the Spar Urethane for anything that may go outside.

The other issue with Palm is ROT. FL palms are often full of water - when the outside dries too fast the inside will have water trapped in it. That causes the inside of a log to rot and become a mushy mess. The outside should be fine to carve but get rid of the mushy stuff ASAP. I have salvaged loogs from the dreaded rot!


 
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chetiki
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 15, 2009
Posts: 15
Posted: 2010-07-10 2:08 pm   Permalink

I also use man-o-war spar varnish it has a nice warm color to it. also if you put your palm end down on a concrete driveway in the sun the concrete will help suck the moisture out of it. my neighbor and I havested some palm and I put mine in the yard and he put his on his driveway mine were still wet and his was dry and hard after a few months.

 
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seagoat
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 28, 2007
Posts: 195
From: Long Beach, CA
Posted: 2012-06-20 10:57 am   Permalink

bumping this thread.

I'm working on my first palm carving and trying to figure out how to finish it. Since this thread and the link that Haka posted are a few years old, I wanted to see if there are any new ideas or thoughts about what is best to use to finish/protect a palm to keep outdoors.

I am also seeing that it is still wet as I carve it more. The logs have been stored outside but are propped up on pavers. What should I do to try to completely dry it out before 'finishing' it? Since the outside always looks dry, how do you know when it is dry inside?

thanks


 
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