Dried out wood

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by Sulian, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. Sulian
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    Location: Bath, UK

    Sulian Junior Member

    Hi,

    A little advice / opinion required.

    I am in the process of restoring a 1964 Mirror sailing dinghy, she has a strengthenthing / rubbing strip that runs around the outside of the top of the top of the hull.

    The rubbing strip is approx 25mm x 25mm and is held on by adhesive and pin nails, the pin nails being tapped through the hull (6mm ply) from the inside to hold the strip in place.

    The problem is that the adhesive is no longer effective and the wood has dried out to such an extent that many of the tacks are loose and can be pulled out with your fingers.

    As I want to use the original wood the 3 soluitions I've come up with are -

    1) Remove the strip, clean, rebond and secure using slighlty oversize brass screws in the original holes left by the nails.

    2) As above but reposition the pin nails filling in the old holes.

    3) This is more of a question, is there anything I can do to feed the wood so that it expands and once again grips the pin nails?

    Once the above is done I would need to then varnish the strip to its original finish so any wood treatment would need to be compatible.

    Your thoughts / suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Sulian
     
  2. thudpucker
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    thudpucker Senior Member

    There's a big long thread on the Mirror 16 on this site somewhere. Post over there and I'll bet someone has the experience your asking about.
     
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    It depends on which wood the rail is made from, but it's very probable it's been neglected too long and though some restoration of the checks, splits and cracks will take place, they'll never completely close up. It sounds like teak or oak.

    Remove the rails, strip them down bare and apply a mixture of 50% tung oil, 50% mineral spirits liberally with a rag. Do this once an hour for a full day. Follow with straight tung oil (okay maybe cut 10% with spirits) once a day for a week, then just straight tung oil once a week for a month, with the last coat having a couple of ounces of Japan drier added to cure the coating quickly.

    This will bring back the wood as best as it can be brought. At the end of this process, you get what you get. It will not be perfect, but it will be the piece you started with, looking much better. This "restored" wooden rail can then be reattached to the boat, using screws from inside, maybe in the same holes (drilled for the new bronze, not brass screws of course). Use polysulfide as the bedding, so you can remove it again without damage if necessary.

    There are other things you can do, like applying steam with a surgeon's precision, to close up checks and dings, etc., but this is usually way beyond anal and for the purest wanting as much of the original boat as possible.
     
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  4. Sulian
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    Location: Bath, UK

    Sulian Junior Member

    Thanks For the information Par, I'll give the tung oil a try and see how that works out.

    Thanks again
    Sulian
     
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  5. thudpucker
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: Al.

    thudpucker Senior Member

    PAR, if you heated that TUNG oil to boiling, and had the wood hot, would the Oil sink in further...faster?
     
  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Yep, boiling oil will penetrate deeper, but with spirits in the mix, I wouldn't recommend inviting this trouble on someone. Warming the wood is a better option. It doesn't have to be very hot, say 120 to 140 degrees, which should be safe for the spirits.

    The spirits will drag the oil deep into the wood, then flash off, leaving the oil in the cellular structure. If you could fit the part into a pressure cooker or autoclave, then all the better. My mother caught me doing this to a few old cleats as a lad (I had three cleats in her stainless pressure cooker, with hot linseed oil), . . . she wasn't pleased and it stunk up the house for a week. I was apparently a difficult kid to raise.
     
  7. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member


    The idea of replacing the nails with screws is sound. You could certainly use the original nail holes, which should be spaced about every 5" or so.
    The rail can be bedded in a non-adhesive caulk.
    Forget about using nails unless you're using them along with an adhesive like epoxy. They really have poor holding power, being so short.
    Given the dimensions of the rail and the hull, it seems like a #6 x 1" flathead bronze or brass or stainless screw would be about right.
     
  8. thudpucker
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    thudpucker Senior Member

    Do we have a Glossary on this site?
    If not you should google "Nail Sick" or maybe WikiPedia or both.

    I had a 53 Chris Craft.
    down in the forefoot (where else) the rot had gotten out of hand. MY friend in the Coast Guard came out with his henchment to make an inspection.
    This was in prep for the now-in-place legislation of pulling a plank on vessles for hire or paid crew that are wood construction.

    Boy did we all learn a lot on my old CC that day. Also we went inside and did the same things on an old CC Hangar Queen.
    Same thing.

    Even if you have good wood, or think you do, you should pull some fasteners and test them. When you do, use the right kind of tools and replace the fastener with a new BRONZE Screw. Sister ribs if you can....etc.

    You aint lived in such a state of terror, intil you've 'blown a plank' while underway and had the boat slowup, then realized it filled up right under your feet as you were underway. It happens so fast, your batteries are shorted before you know whats happening and you never even get the chance to send out a call. If your PFD aint handy, you better hope for some floatsome or jetsome.
    Hellow Davy Jones, goodbye boat!
     
  9. Sulian
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    Location: Bath, UK

    Sulian Junior Member

    Thanks for the further info. Due to time constraints I'm probably going to feed the wood to a certain extent and then refix with screws.
    Talking of which I suggested brass screws in my original post, it was later suggested that I use bronze, and later still that I could use either of these or stainless.
    I don't want to use stainles because the heads will be visible and it won't suit the overal look, which leaves brass or bronze.
    In my minimal experience I thought that brass was the metal of choice for marine fixings, I could well be wrong...... could someone pont me in the right direction?

    Thanks
    Sulian
     
  10. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Brass is the weak kneed, redheaded stepsister to bronze. Brass is nearly useless on a boat, except as a cup hook in the galley. Bronze is the choice.
     
  11. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Sometimes brass will do, and stainless screws also have a place. Not below the waterline, and not in salt water, but in the case of rails screwed from inside, it is often almost impossible to locate bronze screws. No hardware store has them (unless located near salt water), but you can get stainless or brass anywhere.
    Strength isn't always an issue. If corrosion isn't likely to occur, stainless is very strong and cheap (compared to bronze). Brass is what I found a couple of years ago throughout a '53 Chris Craft, and none were corroded!
    Brass can and will corrode especially when submerged and especially when in salt water. Bronze is king, for sure. But the qualifier on any boat is, what is the anticipated lifespan of the rest of the boat? Does every boat deserve unlimited funds and time? Food for thought.
     
  12. mike76
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    mike76 Junior Member

    buy bronze screws online

    It is easier to buy bronze screws online now. [U]www.j2depot.com[/U] has almost 100 different items. The quality is, if not better, at least as good as those high profile distributors. If for any reason you don't like their screws, you can simply return them for full refund. That is, risk free! By the way, their price is 15-20% lower than other distributors with $5-11 flat rate USPS priority mail shipping cost. You will get screws in 3-4 days.
     
  13. Landlubber
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    ...do not be afraid to replace the wood with a "new" piece...what is a new piece anyhow, just how old is a new piece.......

    ...when I was playing with quality engineering equipment in a past life, my mate said to me one day, why do you want new machinery anyhow, it was made by old machines......worth considering.
     

  14. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    True.......
     
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