I am in the finishing steps of the Chesapeake Light Craft Wood Duck 10. Finishing does not mean that I am actually finished with the boat, it simply means that I have started sanding and painting (See our blog “Finishing a Boat“). On the deck of the kayak I am using Interlux Schooner Varnish. I have tried many varnishes and there are some great ones out there, but I have had the best luck with Interlux.
After the first night of varnish, I got a call from my wife later that afternoon. “Honey, the house wreaks of chemicals,” she said.
I came home that night, skeptical of the claim. I know paints have an odor, but I doubted that the varnish had permeated the basement ceiling and made the house “wreak.” My wife, like most mothers, has a overly cautious nose when it comes to chemicals, gases, or something burning. Unfortunately, when I walked in the front door, the odor smacked me in the face like Don Corleone slapping Johnny Fontaine. Down in my woodshop, the smell was ferocious. Then I remembered the last time I used Interlux Schooner Varnish. Oh yeah….that stuff STINKS and stinks for 2 days!
Since I don’t plan on stopping the use of my favorite varnish, I had to come up with another solution. I went on to Amazon and made some purchases for what I refer to as my vapor removal system. The whole setup cost under $200. I purchased a 400 CFM In-Line Fan and a 6″ range hood duct kit that included 8′ of 6″ duct and a louvered vent. I also purchased a second 25′ section of 6″ duct for the intake. I want to have the ability to move this section of duct over to whatever project I am working on, so I got one that was sheathed in vinyl. Lastly, I picked up a timer outlet just so I don’t accidentally leave this thing running for weeks on end. It took a little over an hour to cut the hole in the wall and to hang everything from the ceiling.
I won’t tell you that this device eliminates the odor produced by paints and epoxy and it does not take the place of a good Vapor Respirator, but it does a fantastic job reducing that smell. I have done several coats of Schooner Varnish and other marine grade paints and have not had a single complaint from Super Nose. Comment below if you have any questions.