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Post 13 Jul 2011, 03:09 • #1 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 03/16/08
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Location: Upstate-NY
On some lighter-colored blanks, a less-yellowing option than spar varnish might be preferable to me.

Not comfortable with other finish options like permagloss, epoxy, etc.


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Post 13 Jul 2011, 10:24 • #2 
Master Guide
Joined: 04/15/06
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Location: Fayetteville, NC
I don't have an absolute answer to your question, but some varnishes, like Helmsman, have UV protective ingredients, which I would think would be important to delaying or avoiding yellowing, whether in a urethane varnish or traditional. I use Helmsman over Permagloss, and one of the reasons is that Permagloss has no UV protection. At least the Helmsman keeps my thread from fading, if nothing else.
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Post 13 Jul 2011, 13:47 • #3 
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Like crosscreek, I don't know for sure either. Even way back when, some brands of conventional spar yellowed very very little, Some were extremely clear; others, and this is indicated on the label, imparted a slight amber tinge but didn't yellow appreciaably afterwords. The urethanes I've used were sparkling clear, but I don't know that they have the track record for lack of yellowing over as long a period of use, so only time would tell. The worst yellowing/clouding I've seen, not that it's particularly bad, was in the epoxy/plastic type finishes. You may just have to try both forms of spar and fish the rods hard 30 or 40 years to see what happens. My guess is that the contemporary spars have the best uv protection ever and probably resist yellowing as well as or better than ever regardless of type. You know, Corlay, maybe you'd get a good clear answer right from the technical inquiries/ consumer info section in response to an e-mail to a major manufacturer or two--one that produces both urethane and traditional--as to their relative weathering traits. Just "of your spar varnishes. . . " and then about the same query you have above. I'd be interested to see what they said. I forget which companies still produce and sell both types as urethane seems to prevail these days but there have got to be some top marine suppliers who make both.


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Post 15 Jul 2011, 14:24 • #4 
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Joined: 01/26/07
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Location: Ada, Oklahoma
According to Minwax, their Helmsman Spar Urethane may cause mild yellowing over light wood finishes, but their Water Based Helmsman Spar Urethane is supposed to be crystal clear and will not yellow. If used over some other type of light finish, the underlying finish may yellow slightly. This is just the information I got off the Minwax site, as I have no personal knowledge on this subject.

Larry


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Post 16 Jul 2011, 00:08 • #5 
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Location: western Massachusetts
This is a good question. I don't think any Urethane can yellow as much as some oil-based spars. Although, I have never tried to compare oil spars and urethane, I do know that Ace oil based spar yellows a great deal. Now, it is good stuff and I use it when I refinish bamboo (both rod and silk wraps), but I rarely use it to coat glass or graphite nylon wraps.

Last summer, I used Ace spar to coat some wraps and a white background decal on a glass build. I then put the rod (in a cloth bag) away in my rod closet. In January, I inspected the rod to discover that the varnish had yellowed considerably in the dark! The whites of the decal were now yellow.

One of these days, maybe I will try a urethane, but I have so much permagloss and epoxy sitting around I will probably use them first.

John


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Post 16 Jul 2011, 01:50 • #6 
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Interesting point. The one on Ace rings a bell; I seem to recall reading the can and they explain the "amber" effect it may have, which could give that "yellowing" result as Archfly replied. Other brands don't do that, but its not a fault of Ace, just a characteristic that like archly said is "good stuff" in some applications--where rich warmth is wanted in the finish, as on some woods or bamboo. For instance, for 30 years or so I used Masury Cosmo Spar ("extra pale" "the varnish that won't tarnish") described as exceptionally clear and nonyellowing by the maker. I don't think any of those rods have yellowed noticeably in all that time. I can figure there would be a downside to that trait in some applications where people want a finish to mature, deepen and develop warmth over time, again usually in various wood applications. So any how, I have found the makers pretty reliable as to their labeling and technical info, so I figure they would add good explanatory info even more in response to an inquiry.


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Post 16 Jul 2011, 03:35 • #7 
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Joined: 03/16/08
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Location: Upstate-NY
Yes, Ace spar is the brand ive been using, and yes it yellows even with the rod in storage.

Can anyone comment on other spar brands (other than discontinued, vintage brands like 'cosmo').
Man-o-war, for example?

I really like the ultra-translucence spars gives a silk thread wrap, but like I said yellowing on some blanks isn't the best result.


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Post 16 Jul 2011, 08:58 • #8 
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Just used Man o' War on a couple rods, don't see any immediate yellowing, but no long-term experience. Hope some of the guys using the various current conventional spar brands for a longer term will kick in on the most stable/clearest. Some of the woodworking sites might be a good source on user experience, too.
The old vintage brands like Masury had phenolic resins, which I don't think are used anymore (just as in fiberglass resin types), but whether that affects yellowing resistance, I have no idea. I bet there are brands as clear as ever and even better in overall weathering resistance.


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