Forums - Your source for traditional winter trekking and camping information.

Snowshoeing => Snowshoeing Discussion => : Coldfeet January 24, 2018, 08:01:51 PM

View the most recent posts on the forum.

: Treating poly cords?
: Coldfeet January 24, 2018, 08:01:51 PM
Hi folks, picked up a very old pair of Bear Paws probably from the 60's that was hanging on a wall for the last 40-50 years.  The decking is a type of polyester rope maybe nylon.  I though I read that Spar varnish was not a good way to treat the wood and decking.   Any suggestions would be appreciated.  Thanks, will try to post a picture this weekend. 
: Re: Treating poly cords?
: snapper January 25, 2018, 10:23:08 AM
Coldfeet - If I read your post correctly what I'm going to say goes against what you've read but I've used a good marine spar varnish on my wooden snowshoes over the years with no problems at all.  At least none that I've ever discovered.  Other's may differ but as the saying goes...YMMV.

That's all for now.  Look forward to seeing your new snowshoes when you get a chance to post a photo.  Until well.

: Re: Treating poly cords?
: AunNordDuNord January 25, 2018, 11:07:08 AM
I think Spar Varnish is the norm on trad snowshoes. on babiche, mono, or rope/cord!!

: Re: Treating poly cords?
: Coldfeet January 25, 2018, 08:15:44 PM
Thank you guys!

Snapper, sorry for asking but what does HMMV mean?  I'm not hip on those abbreviations.   haha, never will either. 
: Re: Treating poly cords?
: Coldfeet January 25, 2018, 08:16:37 PM
oops, YMMV, sorry  ...hope my misspell didn't send a bad message out. 
: Re: Treating poly cords?
: snapper January 26, 2018, 02:31:40 PM
Coldfeet - It's funny that you should ask because I didn't know what it meant all that long ago.  Seems I'm still pretty ignorant of many of the acronyms used out there.  To answer your question though, it translates to Your Mileage May Vary

Now go forth and prosper young man!

Until next well.

: Re: Treating poly cords?
: Coldfeet January 27, 2018, 12:53:52 PM
Is Spar varnish different from urethane?  Thanks
: Re: Treating poly cords?
: HOOP January 28, 2018, 12:42:01 AM
Is Spar varnish different from urethane?  Thanks

Hi Coldfeet.  Yes, true spar varnish is different than urethane.  Try googling "spar varnish vs urethane", and you will get many hits with the info.

From my general reading, the best spar varnishes (and they are expensive, but worth it), have more % of oil to make them more flexible, and their resins designed for outdoors are different than what resins are used for indoor applications (I think?).  The urethanes produce a hard brittle finish which is not what we want for snowshoes, paddles, and any outdoor wood that might be flexing, and expanding and contracting across a wide range of temperatures.  Apparently spar varnishes also have UV blockers in them as well.  Spar varnish is classically used in marine applications to protect a ship's wood from the elements, so its what we want for outdoor woods. 

I use true spar varnish on my snowshoes for the wood and babiche and monoline.  It works for me. 

To make matters more complicated, there are blends like "spar urethane", so in my brief reading there is a wide spectrum.  My recommendation is to use the true spar varnish, pay a little more, but have the best there is.  Spar varnish is thinned with mineral spirits.  As the can ages with opening and closing, it will thicken, and thinning is just the ticket for the right consistency.
: Re: Treating poly cords?
: Coldfeet January 28, 2018, 03:29:52 PM
Thanks Hoop, yes I did a google search and found so many different opinions.  I used some stuff today that I used on the gunals of an old pack boat.   Fingers crossed.  Thanks, now to ask about a coyote fur question on clothing again. 
: Re: Treating poly cords?
: Caribou January 28, 2018, 07:50:05 PM
I haven't been to this store yet but I'm told it is very good for various marine supplies. The Chandlery is located in Ottawa. They have an incredible selection of varnishes but I think the one at the link below 'Superstar Varnish' would be ideal for varnishing snowshoes and other outdoor wood products.

For their complete selection see: