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S&S Swan General - Wooden nameplate for a Swan 40
25 May 2021 - 18:45
Join Date: 31 October 2020
Posts: 11

Wooden nameplate for a Swan 40

Here is a short story about diving into details and gold leafing according to Cennino Cennini's traditions from 14th century. The nameplate is manufactured from khaya mahogany by cutting and planing three nine-millimeter-thick plys.


The plys were glued together with epoxy, while matching the wood grains. The glued “veneer” was put into a strainer, which was built to match the Swan 40 hull shape. 


After two weeks, the minor defaults were planed and carved. The final curvature and the gold leafing were first experimented with a flexible prototype.


The letters were carved by hand and planed with special hand planes to achieve a smooth and even surface. Due to the gold leafing, the surface and cuts needed to be smooth and flawless.


The letter bottoms also have a curvature to avoid cracking or typical splicing of the O and A letters’ middle parts.


The final fitting was done before gold leafing and varnishing: six layers of diluted Epifanes, which were speeded up by curing with a UV light.


On the first six layers of varnish, the 24 carat gold leafing was attached with French Mixtion adhesive. Mixtion is the best for marine and harsh conditions.


After the gold leafing and Mixtion, the surface was finalised with five layers of undiluted Epifanes varnish, which was again cured with UV light.  


The nameplate will get an annual light sanding and varnishing to avoid any laborious restauration. During the winter, the plate will be stored in a dry place with plus Celsius degrees.


Carpenter and artist Pentti Saares ( is more than happy to replicate the same (or any other wood restauration projects) according to old models and/or hull drawings.  

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