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Sealing Blade with Woodworking Varnish?

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Dominic123 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 05/27/2009 at 7:42pm
Is it possible to use regular clear wood varnish to seal a blade ?

thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tatapx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/27/2009 at 10:21pm
not recommended.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 729 FX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/27/2009 at 10:57pm
Any reason why is it not recommended to use clear wood varnish to seal a blade?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tpgh2k Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/27/2009 at 11:24pm

doesn't varnish have a habit of making a rough surface once dried? if not then go for it. i don't see why not. test it on a crap blade and see if u like it.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hookshot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/28/2009 at 1:55am
Varnish is a general term that covers most clear finishes including poly, shellack, etc. Poly-U is the accepted toughest finish. Most varnishes will work, some better than others.  If it is made for wood, it will work. Hair spray will not seal the wood from water based glues. With a Poly-U finish, you can wash the blade with a wet rag.Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tatapx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/28/2009 at 2:39am
We seal the blade to bind the wood grain and lightly sanding with fine sandpaper to smoothen the surface, #240 sandpaper is fine enough but I prefer #1000.

There are many types of varnish as mentioned by Hookshot earlier and Polyurethane is at hard category that dries like a film.

Problem with hard varnish is lesser penetration into the wood and overtime the varnish cracks.
Varnish that easily penetrates the wood will not likely bind the wood grain, this is not good if you have open wood grain type of blade.

That is why I recommend the wood sealer, you have a choice from table tennis manufacturer or from DIY stores. If you know the basics of wood priming techniques, then go with varnish.

PS. Applying too much sealer may alter the blades performance.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Hookshot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/28/2009 at 4:12am
Shellack may crack but Poly will not. It is The reccommended finish for high end furnature, table tops, bars and high wear surfaces.  it is the most scratch resistant finish of all varnishes. It is used on high end furnature because of it's long life.

What are the sealers made out of from the table tennis manufacturers? They do not tell you.  They usually cost 4 times as much as a good brand of Poly.  Since Poly is the best finish, why do they cost more? I can tell you. Because it says made for table tennis on the can.  I would not be surprized if  it is repackaged Poly.  Read what the testers at Wood Workers Magazine have to say about finishes  and you will not be so quick to push a can of something that does not even tell you what it is.

After sealing over 75 blades, most in pairs so I can compare sealed to unsealed, i can tell you it takes more than one coat to be able to feel any difference. It will show up on slower blades first. A fast bat will take more with out noticable change.

The only problem I ran into with poly, I sealed a blade with 5 coats for a "table top" finish. Rubber cement and Tear Mender would not hold. I had to sand with #400 paper and then the glue would stick.

Even the "water based Poly-U" is water proof when dry. Just like water based latex house paints are water proof when dry. You can wash your blade with a wet rag if sealed with poly.

You reccommended "THE wood sealer". What wood sealer? Minwax makes a nice wood sealer that is poly based. Just a little easier to sand and a little thicker. Some sealers should be called fillers as they are not waterproof. They require a topcoat of poly.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dominic123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/28/2009 at 7:09pm
Thanks for the replies
I guess i"ll go to the hardware store and look for a poly based varnish?

Oh btw the blade is: butterfly vsg-2000

I have serious trouble while removing water based glue

the glue is some Aqua water based thing
blade: Butterfly vsg 2000/ Butterfly Jonyer-h-an
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zwu168 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/28/2009 at 7:32pm
Don't seal it unless its necessary. If you be careful everytime you reglue, it wont splinter at all. Seal just ruins the feel.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hookshot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/28/2009 at 7:44pm
ZWU,
     How many blades have you sealed yourself? Which ones? What did you seal with? How many coats? How did you apply the finish? Did you do two of them so you could compare?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hookshot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/28/2009 at 7:47pm
Dominic123,
     Clean the blade as good as you can before you seal it. Make sure it is dry after cleaning. Use the instructions on the Poly can. If there is a choice, get the "Fast Dry". Have fun.Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tatapx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/28/2009 at 9:44pm
not minwax.

If you compare the volume, I agree that the one from TT manufacturer are very expensive. If you only have to seal a few blades, I don't think you need a quart or a liter of it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hookshot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/28/2009 at 10:10pm
Thats true but for the price of their little can you can get a 6 or 8 ounce can of Poly and then you know what it is also.

A 6 or 8 ounce can of poly would do one coat on more than 50 blades.Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zwu168 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/28/2009 at 11:40pm
Hookshot
Actually...I have 2 OC's, i put 1 coat on my shakehand one didnt feel too good. now i am forced to play shakehand with my penhold OC -.-
The feel of OC is not as "vibrant"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote doraemon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/29/2009 at 12:00am
I agree very much with Hookshot.  However, for convenience, I have Donic Sealer which cost a fortune compared to my old trusty Minwax Polyurethane spray (by volume comparison).  It seems that Donic Sealer is more convenient if you are asked by friends to seal their blades in between TT games (I can put it in my small TT bag and don't require a rag to wipe it off, just roll it on). 

But since most of you will seal blades at your own house, get Minwax.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rokphish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/29/2009 at 1:04am
i use empty i-sure bottle and also empty donic combi cleaner bottle and refill them with sealer liquid...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote doraemon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/29/2009 at 3:08am
Originally posted by rokphish rokphish wrote:

i use empty i-sure bottle and also empty donic combi cleaner bottle and refill them with sealer liquid...



Clever !!!  However my Donic sealer is still half full and I don't know how to transfer spray-on sealer to the empty bottle later on.  I might have to get the liquid type.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rokphish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/29/2009 at 3:23am
i asked hookshot before... he said something about the liquid might get dried up due to the hole on the bottle and also might hardened the sponge...

but i use water-based sealer and so far no problemo... i don't know what will happen if non water-based liquid is put in the bottle...

just a thought...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote saif Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/29/2009 at 5:15am
I sealed my Stag all round bat with clear wood varnish. I'll play today so that I can feel the difference
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote constanta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/11/2009 at 2:20pm
Please help.
 
Is there a way to remove water-based varnish without sanding it? I put 3 layers of andro seal on my Acoustic, and I now think that it ruined the feel a little, would like to get rid of the varnish now, but not sure of what would be the safests way.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote figgie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/11/2009 at 2:42pm
Originally posted by constanta constanta wrote:

Please help.
 
Is there a way to remove water-based varnish without sanding it? I put 3 layers of andro seal on my Acoustic, and I now think that it ruined the feel a little, would like to get rid of the varnish now, but not sure of what would be the safests way.
 
No
 
Water pased varnish still is poly, acrylic etc after the water evaporates. Nothing will take that off except for sand paper and elbow grease.
 
<-- Poly-U rub. Works well and it is thin enough :)
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote constanta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/11/2009 at 2:45pm
Thank you!
What kind of sand paper should I use, so I won't damage the wood?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hookshot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/11/2009 at 3:10pm
Use #320 wet/dry. Use a HARD sanding block to keep it flat. A soft sanding block will remove softer areas faster than hard. Depending on how much finish you have to remove, you could start with #220 and finish with #320. Just go slow and have a good light to work with. Sand a little, wipe it off with a dry rag, check. Holding it at an angle to the light will show where you are.

It would be nice to know what Andro Seal is made from. None of the ones I have seen tell you.

To really know if you changed the feel, you should do one bat to compare with one that is not sealed. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote constanta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/11/2009 at 3:33pm
Originally posted by Hookshot Hookshot wrote:

Use #320 wet/dry. Use a HARD sanding block to keep it flat. A soft sanding block will remove softer areas faster than hard. Depending on how much finish you have to remove, you could start with #220 and finish with #320. Just go slow and have a good light to work with. Sand a little, wipe it off with a dry rag, check. Holding it at an angle to the light will show where you are.

It would be nice to know what Andro Seal is made from. None of the ones I have seen tell you.

To really know if you changed the feel, you should do one bat to compare with one that is not sealed. Smile
Yes, unfortunately they don't list the components on the container. It appears white at first and becomes clear as it dries up, I don't know if it tells you anything except for it being water-based. Thank you for your advice!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tommyzai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/11/2009 at 3:39pm
Blade Sealing by Tommy Zai

*Prepare blade first. If you have to lightly sand, do it carefully with a fine gauge sponge sanding block-DRY. If you wet-sand a bare wood blade it might soften the wood and could deform it. Do not round off blade edges. Use rubbing alcohol to clean. Let dry (a few minutes). Now you're ready . . .

VARATHANE DIAMOND INTERIOR WOOD FINISH-SATIN (not gloss)-#2002-61.

1. Stir can well without shaking (causes air bubbles).
2. Dip the corner (twisted or folded up a little to provide a nice little flat area) of clean, dry cotton cloth* and quickly rub the sealer into the blade and with a technique that covers evenly. I go in circles starting at the center of the face of the blade and work my way to the outer edges, then wipe along the side edge (perimeter) of the blade where the edge tape will go, then quickly return to the face of the blade to wipe off any spill over from the edge sealing with some light vertical strokes from handle out over top of blade. You might want to stroke a nice even level line across the top of the handle where the bottom edge of the rubber will go; however, I think it looks better and strengthens the blade to seal the wings/shoulder. Some prefer to use a sponge or china bristle brush when applying, but that leaves a heavy coat and/or streaks of sealant. THAT IS NO GOOD IMO. The trick is to rub the sealant INTO the blade, then gently wipe off the excess with the cloth.
3. Wait one hour, then polish with a clean dry cloth.
4. Repeat.
5. Repeat a third time ONLY if the blade is like bare porous wood or if you want a stiffer lacquered effect (I have over sealed and made a mess. My blade looked like an over protected night table . . . hard as a rock and too thick). Luckily, I managed to fix this by sanding with a fine gauge wet sanding sponge and it took hours to repair my disaster. But only do this if you mess up, which you shouldn't. However, I should mention many of the Chinese players are over-sealing to stiffen the blade. Some call over-sealing "lacquering." There are also other product and techniques specifically designed for lacquering, but I recommend using Varathane and adjusting the number of layers.
6. Let harden overnight.
7. Affix your rubbers! I use glue sheets and NEVER get splinters when removing!!!!!!

*Use a cotton cloth or an expensive paper towel like Bounty that will not leave lint of fall apart and get stuck to your wet sealer. I use an old pair of 100% cotton boxer shorts. :-).

I learned the technique in China.
I don't remember who turned me on to this Varathane, but it was on MYTT.
My hats off to him/her. I added the boxer shorts.

THE UNSTOPPABLE EJ MADMAN!


For More Information, Contact: tommy@tommyzai.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hookshot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/11/2009 at 4:10pm
Thanks Tommy,
     Your system works just as well with Poly-U. I prefer the spray but both work.
     When people say it ruins a blade, it is not true. "Heavy" sealing will make a change. This change might be to the good. It "might" make a blade a little faster. It "might" reduce the vibrations a little. I don't like vibration in a blade. It "might" make the sweet spot bigger. It "might" make a blade a little stiffer.
     What it "will do" is make the blade immune to water based glues and non-water based glues.  It will make the edges tougher and less prone to chipping. It will prevent splinters from coming off when changing rubbers. It will allow you to rub old glue off. Water based glue can be wiped off with a wet rag with NO damage to the blade. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote figgie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/11/2009 at 6:08pm
Originally posted by constanta constanta wrote:

Originally posted by Hookshot Hookshot wrote:

Use #320 wet/dry. Use a HARD sanding block to keep it flat. A soft sanding block will remove softer areas faster than hard. Depending on how much finish you have to remove, you could start with #220 and finish with #320. Just go slow and have a good light to work with. Sand a little, wipe it off with a dry rag, check. Holding it at an angle to the light will show where you are.It would be nice to know what Andro Seal is made from. None of the ones I have seen tell you. To really know if you changed the feel, you should do one bat to compare with one that is not sealed. Smile

Yes, unfortunately they don't list the components on the container. It appears white at first and becomes clear as it dries up, I don't know if it tells you anything except for it being water-based. Thank you for your advice!


Water based and white. Ploycrylic by minwax is exactly as you described. I use Wipe-on poly.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hookshot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/11/2009 at 6:31pm
I have used the Wipe On Poly also and find it a very tough finish. I have used it on rifle stocks that have been taken out in the rain for days and it protected them perfectly.Smile

The water based Verithane that Tommy uses also is white looking but dries clear.Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote figgie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/11/2009 at 6:38pm
Originally posted by Hookshot Hookshot wrote:

I have used the Wipe On Poly also and find it a very tough finish. I have used it on rifle stocks that have been taken out in the rain for days and it protected them perfectly.Smile

The water based Verithane that Tommy uses also is white looking but dries clear.Smile
 
 
Well the reason I like it is because it goes on thin. :) That and no brush streaks too (cotton lint free rags). If i require another coat, I know it is not going to be too thick and hence not affect play to much. I just finished sealing a blade with it yesterday. Used some Bty Free chack (the white mini bottle). So we will see what happens in 3 months time when rubber replacement comes to be... :)
 
Yeah I am not an EJ!! lol.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hookshot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/11/2009 at 7:39pm
"THREE MONTHS?"  Whats the matter with you? The manufacturers won't make much from you.  LOL  Smile Wink
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