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Can anyone recommend a lacquer or varnish etc?

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Anonymous

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HI, I've posted a topic on the other forum a while ago about making my own nunchucks for karate. I've covered them with chrome vinyl but now i need to find a good varnish or lacquer.

I've already tried a varnish called Japlac but it doesn't really protect that well. I'll ideally need something that protects well against dropping and impact as much as possible and doesn't feel too slippy to hold as i've found a lot of varnishes make it fell like you've got very sweaty hands! can anyone recommend anything?

Also the reflective chrome vinyl i use doesn't seem too strong either so are there any places i can get a better and stronger quality? At the moment i've tried the crome stuff from motor world that you use for car windscreens.
 

Chris Knight

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If these things are striking each other, you are not likely to find any varnish standing up very well to the experience. The best would be a spar varnish as used in boats. Spar varnish is a long oil varnish that stays fairly flexible - as it has to for use where timber is subject to humidity changes , flexing and knocks.

Another alternative would be to eschew the use of varnish altogether and use an oil based finish (Liberon finishing oil is what I personally prefer but Rustin's Danish oil or similar will also do). An oil based finish will not crack and flake like a damaged varnish.
 

Steve Maskery

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Hi Pcam,
I don't have a solution, but the guy to ask is Terry Smart from Chestnut. You can PM him from this board, and I have always found him to be very helpful as well as knowledgable.
Cheers
Steve
 

Aragorn

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Hi PCam
For Bo and Hanbo and the like, I would recommend an oil finish onto the bare wood, (3 or 4 coats) then when it is all set up and dried, give it a sand down until you are happy with the ratio between grip and slipperiness. If you go too far and get it too smooth, just put a bit more oil on and try again!
These things tend to get better with age as the oils from your hands are worked into the timber.
I'd avoid a varnish finish for the reasons Waterhead states above.
 
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Anonymous

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It's not for finishing a bo, It's for finishing nunchaku (nunchucks). I made this pair as shown below and covered the wood or plastic with chrome film. I'm just trying to now find the best thing to finish them with to protect from the film peeling off and against knocks as much as possible. I've already used one type of varnish and that hasn't worked too good.

P.S: Does anyone know where i can get a good quality chrome film from because the one i used isn't very good?

 

Aragorn

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I think there is little hope of finding a product to finish this chrome that would withstand any kind of use whatsoever.
If you do find something - let us know!
 

Terry Smart

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Hi All... thanks Steve :oops:

One of our customers uses our Melamine Lacquer on martial arts equipment and has been pleased with the results although this would be more than we would expect the product to withstand so whilst you're welcome to try this it wouldn't be an 'official' recommendation!

Meanwhile, I think Waterhead is on the right track that rather than trying to find a finish that will stand up to this treatment a better alternative would be to find a finish which is flexible enough to move without cracking.
The aforementioned Danish Oil/Finishing Oil is a good place to start, and a Shellac Sanding Sealer and Wax (ie WoodWax 22) should also be suitable. The wax will not be as long lasting as the lacquer and will need reapplying but this is easy enough to do and doesn't require the original finish to be stripped back.
The wax and oil finishes probably won't be as high a gloss as a gloss lacquer; I'm not sure if this is a consideration.

An alternative would be a moisture cured polyurethane; I seem to recall that these are more flexible but would recommend you check this before buying. The drawback with this is that as far as I know this is only available to the trade in 5 litre containers... guess that would go a long way!
If you want me to investigate this product further let me know and I'll make some enquiries for you.

As for the chrome vinyl, the only suggestion I can come up with at the moment would be to try one of the sign cutting shops who would use a self-adhesive version; this stuff is used externally and is very hard wearing so might be a good option, although again I couldn't say how it would stand up to this sort of use.

I hope this has been helpful, let me know if you need further information on any of the above.
 
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