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Matching stain for original 76 blades?

I'm restoring a 76 AMF sunfish. I just built and replaced the tiller and extension. Does anyone know a stain that will match the color of the original honey gold mahogany blades? I would like to match them as close as possible before re- varnishing everything. Thanks in advance everyone.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
I'm restoring a 76 AMF sunfish. I just built and replaced the tiller and extension. Does anyone know a stain that will match the color of the original honey gold mahogany blades? I would like to match them as close as possible before re- varnishing everything. Thanks in advance everyone.
It's hard to find a finish that doesn't immediately darken new wood. (That includes epoxy resin--an alternative finish).
 

danpal

Active Member
I also made replacement tillers and extensions for my two rudders but I didn't bother trying to match the color. I kind of like the two tone look.

IMG_7020.jpg
One thing I have to fix is that I attached the battlestick to the underside of the tiller by mistake but that should be an easy fix.
 
Nice job Dan pal. My wood may be a little lighter than yours. I dont mind a little difference like the stocks but I dont want it to look like a mismatch or add on like mine currently does.
Thanks Breeze. I'll give the puritan pine a test to see how close to my blades it gets. It's a good start. In some of my past wood restoration projects I've even mixed 2 color stains after buying several small cans to obtain the color I want. However that kind of custom job makes it near impossible to match again later.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
What wood did you use? Minwax Golden Pecan might be a player. We bought several different cans to check out colors, dipped cheap paint brush handles in the can. You'll get a darker hue with each coat. You also need to test how your varnish will darken if you are going for a perfect match. It will take days of experimentation.

stain.jpeg

ZIP Resto.jpeg
 
Thanks SC. I tried the pine as well as the golden pecan. Both seamed a little on the brown side rather than the honey red or strawberry blond my original is. I cut my tiller out of tight grain oak so I have pieces I can test with. I'm going back tomorrow to lowes to pick out a couple other colors. Again guys I appreciate all the tips.
 
Here are the originals. I just noticed the dagger is darker slightly than the rudder blade.
I think I'm going to take them back to wood. Not sure though. Depends on if I can sand them. Or is it better to use some sort of stripper? I've used a spray on stripper on gun sticks before with great success to redo them with hand rubbed linseed and turpentine finish.
 

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hilulover

Member
Achieving just the right color is essential to having your boat be something you are proud of, and it makes a statement about you, too. The color you show from 1976 is very of that moment. Typically the parts have been darker. Nowadays the new boats mostly come with white molded parts. They are certainly modern, but lack some charm. Congratulations for trying to stick to the esthetic from the period your boat was built. I examined the minwax chart, and recommend the following blend of stains to replicate your blades:
5 % Natural
15 % Ipswich Pine
40 % Golden Pecan
10 % Gunstock
20 % Colonial Maple
10 % Fruitwood

You may need to go 15 % Fruitwood and 15 % Colonial Maple but you will have to test it.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Of course you can sand them. Then you might need to bleach them to lighten any stained areas. Alan is a Master of the concoction for that.

I'm wondering, I couldn't imagine that Alcort or AMF would have used stain, I assumed they just varnished and kicked them out the door, 60 boats a day in the early 70s. Hmmmmm.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Here's the latest info, hot off the press, concerning AMF blades, from Howie, who worked at Alcort AMF 1960-1978, then did warranty repairs for another 10 years:

"Hi Kent, any wood used in Alcort was always mahogany, even the back-up blocks for hardware. From what I remember a spray hot varnish, two coats was used an no stain or sealer."

The tillers on later AMFs were ash.
 
Hey thanks. I just finished taking the blades to wood. Will wait till a stretch of low humidity days before putting on varnish, then try to match tiller as close as possible. I couldnt find any ash so I used some good tight grain white oak to cut exact patterns.
 
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