corking? caulking? help

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by Dave Van Domele, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. Dave Van Domele
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Dave Van Domele New Member

    I'm not a boat builder, but I think I need the advice of one (I'm a cabinet and furniture maker).

    I was recently given a wood heated cedar hot tub. It's basically half a big coopered barrel. It was neglected (left dry) for too many years. Now the boards will not swell to their previous size. It's almost water tight, but I am left with several gaps near the botom of the tub that go from 1/16" + to nothing over about 12". I want to seal these up with something heat resistant and preferably natural (nontoxic, stinky etc. - to go along with the aunatural experience for which the tub is intended). I have been told by several poeple to "stuff some cotton in there," but that was the extent of the advice. I think I need more informed advice than that.

    how is it done
    what kind of cotton
    where do I get it
    etc.

    any help would be greatly appreciated....I'm in need of a relaxing soak.Thanx.
     
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I fixed on years ago by installing a wooden hoop at the seam between the sides and the bottom. I bedded it in lifecaulk.
     
  3. JonH
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    JonH Junior Member

    Caulking instructions for the product gonzo suggests:

    http://www.boatlife.com/howto.cfm

    Online supplier:

    http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/to;ID;,Caulking,Boatlife

    The one part boatlife caulk dries to a hard, odourless finish but I won't make any assertion that it's harmless when dried, you need to check with them.

    The 'natural' approach would be cotton and tar - not to be recommended, it's sticky and stinky work, where the artificial alternative is so straightforward.
     
  4. Bergalia
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    Bergalia Senior Member

    Have patience and cut some fine slivers of cedar the breadth of the 'planks' and length of the gaps; apply dry heat, and then press them home firmly into the gaps. Finally soak the tub for 24 hours. :)
     
  5. Ari
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    Ari Patience s/o Genius

    Bergalia do that meant using hair dryer ?
     
  6. Bergalia
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    Bergalia Senior Member

    Haven't used a hairdryer (nor comb) for years Ari - my unkinder critics claim I'm 'thin' on top... But put the slivers in an oven at medium heat for maybe ten minutes...(serve with new potatoes and garden peas...):D
     
  7. Ari
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    Ari Patience s/o Genius

    Thank you..:!: used to wonder about the Baretta cap..:cool:
     
  8. Bergalia
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    Bergalia Senior Member

    At my age, Ari. contraception is of little concern....:mad:
     
  9. Ari
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    Ari Patience s/o Genius

    No..no..no..no..no..what I meant is the hat..nothing to do with contraceptive method..:confused: Baretta is the name of a film thats is quite famous 30 years ago.. the hero do used a type of hat..we call it Baretta hat..They are very famous in Basque area.. in Italy..?:) :D
     
  10. Bergalia
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    Bergalia Senior Member

    Teasing you Ari. Bareta (beretta - hat worn by Catholic priests) contraception...No?
    But you've got me even more confused - Basque area in Italy ? Spain surely.;)
     
  11. Ari
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    Ari Patience s/o Genius

    :) He..he..contraception ya..ya..:!: eat at home..don't make a practice of eating out..:p
     
  12. nyna
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    nyna Junior Member

    Hey Guys!

    No need to caulk all those seams seperately. Depending on how staves were cut, just count the number of staves and measure. Then compare to the circunference -- O.D. --and compensate by increasing the width of ONE stave. Simplu cut down the length of the stave -- doesn't have to be in the center -- and re-join the two longitudinal halves with a compensating width of something or other that can be glued to both. I would prefer to use the same kind of wood.

    Also depends on how the floor is fit to the staves. I once took a hot tub apart and re-dressed the staves and floor.

    Started with the floor by laying it out and clamping it together with pipe clamps. Then, locating a center. I installed a center peg from which I could pivot a tool to re-dress the circumference. Used a router that gave a rounded edge to the floor boards ( staves? ). The side saves already had a rounded recess to match the originally rounded floor board ends. The small amount that I removed let the staves match up without any more fiddling. Otherwise, I planned to slice one stave doen the middle and widen it as mentioned above.

    I remeber counting the joints and trying to calculate the agle I would need to get good side contact, but that wasn't necessary. The sides of the staves were ronded to fit the complimentarily grooved neighboring stave, so it went together easily.

    The hoops tended to dig into the wood and not tighten evenly. I staggered the turnbuckles -- there were three hoops -- and put some high density polyethylene under the rings so that they wouldn't dig in. That kind of worked, but the poly strip tended to gather because I tried to use a single strip over the entire circumference. I cut it into shorter lengths and placed it under the hoops as I tightened. I checked the matching lengths with a light because, as you can imagine, it was dark by then.

    I set the tub by the edge of tha pool and hooked it up to the pool pump and heater. a pool heater will heat a hot tub in short order. Since the pool has a plastic solar cover, the uppermost layer of water is a lot warmer than the rest of the pool water -- I filled the tub with the warmer pool water by drawing off the skimmer pipe. When I want to change water I discharge into the pool and get a fresh supply. This obviates the need for another pump and filter.

    I circulate the spa water through the pool heater and bypass the chlorinator. When the sun is t strong, I exchange water.

    Yeah, it leakes now and then. Who cares!

    nyna
     
  13. tonydignity
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    tonydignity Junior Member

    Caulking

    In my experience Oakum which looks like brown horse hair ,was the product of choice for caulking.though emrsing it in water(outside) of barrel will probably do the same thing, but it will take several months .
     
  14. BUSBO
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    BUSBO Junior Member

    Cork?
     

  15. nova scotia
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    nova scotia New Member

    I have a 65 foot af theriault built wooden trawler i had to hire some cauking a while ago . a older french man who has caulked boats for 40 years or so . used cotton first , then oakum on top on it . then putty or cement .

    I always thought AF theriault and Snyders Shipyard here in nova scotia to be neck in neck for maybe the worlds best built wooden boats .but i could be wrong .
     
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