Category Archives: Helmsman Teak Oil

This One’s For the Birds

Old Birdhouse

Everyone loves to watch birds, whether at a feeder or around a nesting box. Putting up nesting boxes is a good way to attract birds year round. But as you can see by this bluebird house of mine, it doesn’t take long for unprotected boards to begin to swell, crack and warp. Before long they simply fall apart.


Last week, I picked up these two cedar bird houses at my local home improvement store. This time, however, I decided to protect the wood before I put them up.

Helmsman For the first bird house, I selected Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane, which has special “blockers” to ward off the damaging ultra-violet rays of the sun while also preventing moisture from soaking into the wood’s pores.

Teak Oil For the second, I chose Minwax® Helmsman® Teak Oil. Whereas Helmsman Spar Urethane dries on top of the wood, the Teak Oil is absorbed into the wood, where it dries and hardens. It also protects the wood from sunlight and moisture.

Teak App I prefer to pour the Teak Oil into a shallow container, then brush on a liberal coat, which the wood quickly absorbs. After it dries, I will apply a second coat the same way.


I purposely did not seal the insides of the nesting boxes, as birds prefer raw, natural wood near their chicks. But protecting the outside with either Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane or Minwax® Helmsman® Teak Oil will ensure that any birdhouse will be around for a long time.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


Keep Your Workstation Clean with These Simple Tips

Here are some tips on how to maintain a tidy work station using inexpensive items you may already have around the house.


When finishing any project with legs, first place a discarded pie pan or cookie sheet under each one. Not only will it catch any drips or runs, but it will enable the bottom of the board to soak up additional finish, protecting it against water.


Sure, we never plan on making a mess, but even a little paste wax or stain can leave a permanent mark on your floor. Drop cloths provide an inexpensive layer of protection, so always have one nearby. And they can be re-used time after time!

Until our next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


A Fish Story: One That Didn’t Get Away

A few years ago Leigh Ann and I bought this fish bench from a roadside artist, not because we needed another bench, but because we loved the hand-painted rainbow trout. Last week, however, I noticed the finish and the paint beginning to flake off under the intense sun, so decided I need to take action to save it.

I started by laying out some cedar boards on my garage workbench to create a new, simple back that I assembled with some exterior glue and wood screws.

Since cedar has a great deal of natural oil, I selected Minwax® Helmsman® Teak Oil as a finish, knowing it would penetrate deep into the raw cedar, where it would dry, harden, and protect the wood.

I removed the four screws holding on the fish and used them to attach the new back. Right now the fresh cedar looks obviously new, but since cedar naturally darkens as it ages, in just a few weeks time it will match the older boards in the seat.

As for my 48″ long rainbow trout, he is now hanging on the wall of our boathouse, where he is well protected from both the rain and the sun.

Until next week,

Measure twice, saw once.



A Simple DIY Firewood Rack

After a prolonged winter, one of our firewood piles was beginning to look just a little unsightly, so I decided it was time to spruce it up a little bit by building a simple wood rack.

Using just four inexpensive 2″x 4″ boards, I quickly cut the boards to length (54″ long, 14″ deep, 30″ high – but you can make it whatever fits your space) and started putting them together.

I used both an exterior wood glue and deck screws to assemble the wood rack.

I protected the wood with Minwax® Helmsman® Teak Oil, starting with the bottom of the feet where water can easily be absorbed by raw wood.

The clear Teak Oil brings out the natural beauty of the wood. I brushed on a liberal coat, let it soak in for 5-10 minutes, then applied a second coat, and after 15 minutes wiped off any Teak Oil the wood had not absorbed, and let it dry overnight.

Now that my firewood is off the deck and onto my new wood rack, all that remains is for me to split some more firewood to fill it. (And my 2″x 4″ scraps will make good kindling!)

Until next time,

Measure twice, saw once.