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sdowney717
12-14-2005, 09:16 AM
If you were to soak wood with clean engine oil, would this keep rot from starting?

So lets say you started a new project without using epoxy or modern adhesives, etc... and every piece of wood used was first saturated with new clean engine oil.
What do you think?
I have been wnating to build a small tender type craft. I have lots of bronze screws leftover.
Would oil based paints stick to the outside of oiled wood?

sdowney717
12-14-2005, 09:18 AM
Or perhaps it could be left unpainted, would the oil protect the wood from greying in the sun?

Gary E
12-14-2005, 09:22 AM
I think it would turn out like charcoal starter...

It'l burn faster... :D

bainbridgeisland
12-14-2005, 10:01 AM
30-years ago and more, commercial Fisherman on the west coast put their used engine oil on the deck. These were generally laid douglas fir decks. There was no other paint on them. From the perspective of working on the boats as a Shipwright, there were rarely problems with these unpainted decks.

David Mancebo

George.
12-14-2005, 01:44 PM
I'd hate to be on a wet engine-oiled deck, heeling hard in six-meter seas, trying to reef a mainsail...

On the other hand, maybe in the bilge it would do some good, as long as it did not damage bilge pump parts.

Jay Greer
12-14-2005, 02:09 PM
Oiled wood rots just as well as un-oiled wood will.
JG

Thorne
12-14-2005, 02:46 PM
The Scandanavians use nothing but various oils on many of their traditional boats, so it might be worth checking out their systems.

I vaguely remember reading a bit about it on this forum, so a search might be productive. As I recall, they used different types of oils and many coatings.

Don't think the lubricants in modern motor oil would be good for trying to walk on decks, so alternate oils would probably be a much better choice.

[ 12-14-2005, 02:46 PM: Message edited by: Thorne ]

Ian McColgin
12-14-2005, 03:37 PM
I'd thought it an apocryphal tale about the fellow from Kansas or Nebraska who wrote to John Gardiner then at the National Fisherman wondering what kind of oil to use. He'd tries saflower oil and corn oil and diesel oil and cod liver oil and 10W-30 oil . . . .

Oils are not biocides. If you're using modern methods and can work cleanly try using CPES on everything. Prior to curing the keytones and other volitiles are a real hazard. Once cured, it appears safer than the slow poisoning from commercial biocides of the cuprinol varieties so it will work fine even in the confines of a boat interior.

G'luck

Bob Cleek
12-14-2005, 10:38 PM
Sounds like a troll to me. Come on... engine oil might stop rot? :rolleyes:

Peter Malcolm Jardine
12-14-2005, 10:55 PM
I suspect it will stop rot, but while I am not an expert on either wood or oil, I would say that the wood itself would deteriorate in other ways from the application of engine oil. There are a lot of things in modern oils besides just oil... stabilizers, detergents, friction reducers, none of which have any value for wood. Used engine oil is a different matter... it has changed it's makeup from when it was new, and additional substances have been added, including iron dust and carbon.

Consider this.... The human race has been building wooden boats for a very very very long time. While technology has given us new fasteners, glues, and preservatives... ... the old ones work great. ;)

[ 12-14-2005, 10:58 PM: Message edited by: Peter Malcolm Jardine ]

L.W. Baxter
12-15-2005, 01:34 AM
Well, I've sunk a fair number of wooden fence posts, and I always soak the end that goes in the ground with used motor oil. No sense buying new oil, used is just as good, might as well use it for something. Maybe it's good for nothing, but I do it anyway.

Oil displaces water, keeping the wood marginally "drier", and slows down the movement of oxygen, which inhibits rot spores. I just made that up, but that's my theory, and I'm stickin' to it.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
12-15-2005, 05:00 AM
It will make glueing rather interesting.

JormaS
12-15-2005, 05:33 AM
Motor oil will go on soaking into the wood as long as you feed it, because it never dries. In an older boat with continuous dripping from the engine, you can see the oil coming through on the outside.

Oil will stabilize the wood and probably prevent rotting. It also becomes more brittle in the same way as water-soaked wood does. Oiled wood can probably not be succesfully painted, ever.

At least in Scandinavia, petroleum based paints were widely used when there weren´t drying (vegetable) oils available. Some old folks still say they were durable and easy to apply. I guess esthetics did not count in those times.

[ 12-15-2005, 05:34 AM: Message edited by: Jorma Salomaa ]

WoodenBNut
12-15-2005, 08:48 AM
Man, I sure hope that you never have to caulk or paint any of that oil soaked wood in the future!!! And the guy who might buy your boat in the future might not appreciate that oil soaked wood when doing repairs. I would forget the oil and use CPES instead. More expensive up front, but a much better solution down the road for everyone concerned (the boat, you and future boat owners of your craft)

Lewisboats
12-15-2005, 08:59 AM
I don't know about oil, but I have heard that Anti freeze work very well at preventing rot, and you can epoxy over it (after a couple of weeks)

steve

Paulyboy
12-15-2005, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by Lewisboats:
I don't know about oil, but I have heard that Anti freeze work very well at preventing rot, and you can epoxy over it (after a couple of weeks)

steveAntifreeze also works well on fungus-just ask the chemist of Germanic heritage that used it to treat his nail fungus. Worked better than any proprietary substance he was given by the company he worked for. As for used engine oil, what about the smell?

Gary E
12-15-2005, 11:03 AM
i think you can fix the smell with sented candles... then hope one turns said bot into a Viking funeral.

bainbridgeisland
12-15-2005, 03:31 PM
As for used engine oil, what about the smell?[/QB]Never noticed 'engine oil smell' on those old fishing boat decks. I suppose they might have smelled on a really hot day. But our work was always done in the off-season (cold and rainy).

The decks were not slippery. Think of it more like a timber deck with an oil finish. Molded fiberglass decks are far, far, more slippery.

I don't remember seeing that the deck oil soaked through to the underside of the deck. I suppose it is possible.

Most of these decks were tight. We have rainy winters and during the summer, when working, decks are constantly wet. This constant wetness along with the oil on the deck evidently kept them from shrinking and expanding much. Some of these boats were 40-years old (in the early 70's).

Because of the hydraulic anchor winch and fish gurneys, hydraulic oil was probably on the deck too. However, I never noticed a different color around the hydraulic equipment. These old oiled decks were always black. On painted decks, there was often a discoloration around hydraulic equipment.

The decks were caulked with cotton. I do not recall what was used to pay these decks. I would assume an oil-based product.

By the way, I am not advocating using engine oil on decks, only telling you it has been used in the past and what I know about its performance.

sdowney717
12-15-2005, 06:11 PM
I was thinking the idea is to displace the water with engine oil, no water, no rot.
Oil will also somewhat prevent the moisture cycling of wood, less movement.
Engine oil may not oxidize like linseed oil and therefore keep on protecting the wood. I also think it might keep on working its way deeper into the wood over time, especially if you put more on.
Clean motor oil on wood gives it a nice look and it dont think mmold can gron in it like linseed oil, so it should not turn colors.

Gluing like as in repairs would be a problem but the idea I had was to build a small craft not using any expensive glues.
Say how did they keep the old wooden lifeboats like on the Titanic from leaking/sinking when they went into the water?

Nordicthug
12-15-2005, 11:57 PM
I worked in a small shipyard in Seattle for 30 years, a lot of the time on wooden fish and work boats. The decks were (are) almost uniformly vertical grain Douglas Fir caulked with one thread of cotton and two of oakum, then the seams payed (filled) with hot marine pitch. The wood is left untreated as a general rule. With a good scrub periodically and a careful eye to leaks, a deck built this way will last many, many years with only minimal attention. Leakage and rot usually start where the frames pass up through the covering board to form the bulwarks.

Used engine oil on the deck would only make a G-d awful mess.

Gerry N.

[ 12-15-2005, 11:58 PM: Message edited by: Nordicthug ]

bainbridgeisland
12-16-2005, 12:45 AM
Originally posted by Nordicthug:

Used engine oil on the deck would only make a G-d awful mess.

Gerry N.I worked in a small commercial yard in San Francisco bay for 5-years (my Shipwright apprenticeship plus 1-year). I watched fisherman put engine oil on their decks. It didn't seem to make too much of a mess. They sort of mopped it on with a rag and came back a few hours later and scrubbed off the excess with newspaper. After a few days, the decks seemed less slippery than painted decks to me.

gaffman
12-16-2005, 10:47 AM
My 2 cents. I suspect fisherman put engine oil on decks because it was free and otherwise an easy way to get rid of it. Sailors used to wash the decks with urine, but we don't do that anymore. I would guess engine oil is so thick that it wouldn't sink into the wood as well as other products on the market today. We occasionally thin epoxy when we want it to sink into the wood. Why use thick engine oil when there are products on the market that work better and still allow for paint and gluing as a later option. As for anti-freeze. I wrote to Richard Jaegel (spelling?) about ten years ago and asked him about anti-freeze - as was noted above - and he said not to bother but I do not recall his reasoning.

Bruce Hooke
12-16-2005, 11:42 AM
It is worth keeping in mind that used engine oil is, as I recall, a carcinogen, which can be absorded via skin contact. I realize some people don't really care much about whether something is a carcinogen or not, so if you think the whole thing about carniogens is a joke feel free to ignore what follows.

This is likely to be more of an issue with pleasure craft, where people might well spend days on end with bare feet and other skin surfaces directly in contact with the deck, versus a fishing boat, where boots and foul weather gear would almost always be between a person's skin and the surfaces of the boat...

Bruce Hooke
12-16-2005, 11:47 AM
As an aside, I have to say that I think the issue of rot in small wooden boats can get a bit overblown. There is a traditionally constructed wooden rowboat that has been in my family for almost 50 years. We are finally to the point of having to replace some wood, but I'd say that a 50 year run is pretty darn good.

If you use proper wood, build the boat properly and take decent care of the boat, rot should not be a big deal. If you use cheap wood, build the boat wrong, or fail to maintain the boat then rot will be an issue no matter what chemical soup you apply to the boat.

Bruce Hooke
12-16-2005, 12:01 PM
sdowney,

In addition to the issues already meantioned (like motor oil being rather thick to soak into wood) I see a couple of practical problems with your plan:

1. If you are planning to soak the wood in new motor oil after you have shaped the pieces of wood and before you put them on the boat for the final time you are either going to have to wait quite a while at each step along the way to let the oil dry on the surface, or you are going to be wrestling with slimy, oil coated bits of wood. Keep in mind that just wiping some motor oil onto the surface of the wood is going to do pretty much nothing -- to have any hope of doing any good you would have to really soak the wood in motor oil, and I expect that after such a treatment it would take a LONG time before the wood stopped feeling oily.

2. You say that you plan to just use traditional methods, but you need to keep in mind what this really means. For example, even people using basically traditional methods will often find it convenient to fix, say, a small crack in a plank with epoxy rather than discarding an entire plank. Epoxy has also made repair work easier in many situations. Yes, you can decide to ONLY use traditional methods, but you need to consider what you are giving up in the process.

Lastly, to me a lot of the attraction of building a boat using traditional methods rather than with lots of modern polymers is that you get to spend your time around materials that are nice to smell and handle. Having oil all over everything and the smell of oil permeating your workshop strikes me as even less pleasant than dealing with a lots of epoxy! If you want "better living through chemistry" do it right and build a wood-epoxy boat...

wyndham
12-16-2005, 12:58 PM
It would seem that the used oil which is now full of carbon and minute metal flakes from rings and bearings etc. would have some nominal non skid effect if it is applied as has been described.
Used motor oil makes a dandy coating for fence posts as someone said, we used it for rustproofing up in NH on all our logging trucks,
swabbed it all over the skidder chains and the chokers.
More than likely the bottom line is that as a coating for a workboat deck it was free and it was available.
I would not use new motor oil for anyhting but putting into an engine.

Rod Tait
12-18-2005, 09:04 PM
Well, I don't want to sound like a raving environmentalist, but doesn't anyone see the harm in pouring used engine oil all over a boat that is floating in our ocean.

It may be an age old cure for rot, but I ask, not in the harbours where I like to fish and paddle.

Bruce Hooke
12-18-2005, 10:38 PM
Rod,

That did cross my mind, but I figured that realistically, assuming one lets the oil dry enough so that it does not come off on the clothes of the people using the boat, I'd guess that the amount of oil the boat would release into the water in the first year would be much less than the amount of oil your typical old 2-stoke outboard releases into the water in a matter of a few hours of operation.

That said, potential environmental impacts are yet another reason why this whole idea does not strike me as very good.

Paul G
12-18-2005, 10:53 PM
I think your question about constructing a boat from oil soaked timber would be a false economy. It would also be messy and I doubt any glue would work on an oiled soaked surface or oil contaminated surface.

There are far better timber treatments out there to avoid rot, but I would put forward that essentially all wooden boat construction that is meant to last deals with rot prevention on a fundamental level. From selecting the right timber for the job at hand to design considerations and final use.

That fishermen pour sump oil on deck makes it appropriate for your job is a moot point. I ran an old 1962 6 cylinder car for a year or two on sump oil as it was free from the local garage and I didnt want to repair a rear main bearing seal on a throwaway dirt road car. I dont do the same with my new vehicle.

In short, if you are intending to keep the boat and put some time and effort into building it, then as previously mentioned an appropriate epoxy sealer and/or a good paint job will go a long way to solving your problem.

Ruaridh
12-19-2005, 09:46 AM
Originally posted by wyndham:
It would seem that the used oil which is now full of carbon and minute metal flakes from rings and bearings etc. would have some nominal non skid effect if it is applied as has been described.
Ch**st Almighty!! If there were THAT much metal filings etc. in your engine oil the least of your worries would be what you were putting on the decks!! :eek: How about re-building your mangled engine!? (Sorry was that a serious reply?)
This thread seems to have rather strayed off-topic from what the man asked...
Q: Would soaking wood in (clean) engine oil prior to building a small boat prevent rot?
A: Maybe, but probably more bother than it's worth, in light of better options. End of.
Sorry, I don't mean to be provocative I'm just surprised this question has raised such a long discussion.

[ 12-19-2005, 09:49 AM: Message edited by: Ruaridh ]

Gary E
12-19-2005, 11:31 AM
I cant believe sd asked this question.. I mean he has come up with some very good new products and spends a lot of time researching them before promoting or if you prefer telling us of them... Sanitread for one example....

Maybe the oil on the deck "was" ok for some guy on a old pc a crap fishboat in poor repair at some time, but who in their right mind would actually condone this... OIL is LUBRICATION...meaning SLIPPERY..put it in your MOTOR... not on a deck that you walk on....or..maybe these guys also use paint in the crankcase?

Hey, maybe Exonn and the other big oil co's completely missed the boat on the use of this stuff called oil..ya think??? :D :D

One good use might be as a signal fire, oily wood does burn and make nice thick dark smoke smile.gif

sdowney717
12-19-2005, 12:33 PM
I am always thinking about stuff.
This came about because I spilled about a quart of new oil on some wood and now quite a while later, the wood still repels the water and is not overly oily. So I am thinking low tech might be good enough. I sure dont want to create an oily sheen on the water, so paint on the outside, oil the inside that is one of my biggest worries with the big boat say like a blown engine.
I got a lot of old screws, perhaps 2000 I can still use and I would like to perhaps build a small rowboaty thing, like the old lifeboats used on the liners, something that looks nice. Anyone ever drag or keep a lifeboat for their cruiser just in case?
I dont often see a powerboat pulling a lifeboat behind them.
I would also want ig large enough that I could put 6 people in it. And then you could anchor out and row the boat ashore.

Gary E
12-19-2005, 12:45 PM
sd,
your worry to much...

If your really concerned about your boat sinking and want something to save you and who else might be on the boat, take a walk down by the charter boats and you will see a canister on the front deck a little smaller than a 55 gal drum... That is a life raft...talk to the guys that are doing this all the time.

Dave Hadfield
12-20-2005, 08:58 AM
I sure hope engine oil prevents rot.

Lord knows I spill enough of it!

Nordicthug
01-03-2008, 04:47 PM
I was surfing the forum and found this old thread. I have another thought. (Sharrup aready, I think several times a year !)

Many, but not all the fish and work boat owners whose boats we worked on used drying oils such as logwood oil and boiled linseed oil, usually thinned with paint thinner or turps and a little Stocholm tar to facilitate penetration of the wood on fir decks. If memory serves most reapplied their favorite witch's brew every two or three years. Seemed to work well enough and smelled wonderful.

The aroma of logwood, turps and Stockholm Tar alone makes it well worth doing.

Gerry N.

Pokey
01-03-2008, 07:22 PM
Pokey is a 100 year old power dore the best wood is around the engine were it is oil soaked BUT I have found no paint that will stick to the out side of the hull. I sanded it wash it with degreasers and paint thinner it still weeps oil and I keep an oil rag in the bilge to soak up what I loose.
So in my view oil prevents rot but paint will never stick

Bob Adams
01-03-2008, 08:13 PM
I sure hope engine oil prevents rot.

Lord knows I spill enough of it!

Me too....my boat has Detroit Diesels!

DGentry
01-03-2008, 10:32 PM
Thank you Rod Tait (of Orca Boats, fyi) and Bruce Hooke for your words of sanity back then!!
I am a raging environmentalist, so I'll give it a short rant: Holy cow, folks! There actually ARE valid reasons for not basically dumping motor oil into the aquifers, ponds, lakes and seas that we eat and drink out of. And used motor oil should be recycled, not used to coat your decks!

Rant over.
Dave

Bob Smalser
01-03-2008, 10:41 PM
There are no shortage of fine old heirloom shotguns requiring new stocks because Grandpa stored it upright in the back of closet. The oil from the metal seeps into the walnut end grain of the inletting, turning the wood punky in time. And Black Walnut is a very durable wood.

boylesboats
01-03-2008, 11:15 PM
Fresh motor oil soaked into wood? :eek:
I wouldn't think so... Even if it may prevent rot some...
But where are you planning to use it at?
Water on oiled wood decking spell "disaster" to me... "Slippery when wet":eek:

Tylerdurden
01-06-2008, 07:09 AM
Fresh , used ? doesn't matter. My utility trailer has lots of oil spilled on its plywood deck. It does last longer than untreated but not as long as paint. Tends to delam.

http://www.clubivy.org/img/fight-club-old-motor-oil-fertilizer-url-resize.jpg

bob winter
01-06-2008, 08:04 AM
Bob Smalzer it correct. I was always told by my father and grandfather to go light on the oil, otherwise the stock would rot out.

botebum
01-06-2008, 09:45 AM
Is it actually the gun oil, or the corrosives in the cleaner that is responsible for rotting out the stocks on a gun?

Doug

boylesboats
01-06-2008, 09:53 AM
Fresh , used ? doesn't matter. My utility trailer has lots of oil spilled on its plywood deck. It does last longer than untreated but not as long as paint. Tends to delam.

http://www.clubivy.org/img/fight-club-old-motor-oil-fertilizer-url-resize.jpg

Oh, how could that work?:D
Its great for getting rid of poison ivy and stuff

Bob Smalser
01-06-2008, 11:21 AM
Is it actually the gun oil, or the corrosives in the cleaner that is responsible for rotting out the stocks on a gun?


There weren't any "gun" oils in the 1890-1940 era of antique and classic firearms. Motor oil, sewing machine (3-in-1) oil, vaseline petroleum jelly dissolved in gasoline, or (rarely) whale oil were used....with 30-wt motor oil the most common. Bore cleaning solvents were separate products formulated to remove gunpowder residue, and all of them required a coat of oil applied afterwards.

Even the earliest gunsmithing texts recommend sealing stock inletting with varnish to protect the walnut from the lubricants that eventually cause rot.

Petroleum oils and wood are a bad mix.

boylesboats
01-06-2008, 01:53 PM
There weren't any "gun" oils in the 1890-1940 era of antique and classic firearms. Motor oil, sewing machine (3-in-1) oil, vaseline petroleum jelly dissolved in gasoline, or (rarely) whale oil were used....with 30-wt motor oil the most common. Bore cleaning solvents were separate products formulated to remove gunpowder residue, and all of them required a coat of oil applied afterwards.

Even the earliest gunsmithing texts recommend sealing stock inletting with varnish to protect the walnut from the lubricants that eventually cause rot.

Petroleum oils and wood are a bad mix.

I use "bore butter" as lubricant on all of my black powder firearms..
It made with food grade stuff... It seasoned the bore to prevent corrosive effect of black powder from rusting the barrels.. Allows easier reloading after each shot..

donald branscom
01-07-2008, 09:47 AM
There are no shortage of fine old heirloom shotguns requiring new stocks because Grandpa stored it upright in the back of closet. The oil from the metal seeps into the walnut end grain of the inletting, turning the wood punky in time. And Black Walnut is a very durable wood.

"PUNKY" what does that mean? Does that mean soft?

donald branscom
01-07-2008, 09:52 AM
There weren't any "gun" oils in the 1890-1940 era of antique and classic firearms. Motor oil, sewing machine (3-in-1) oil, vaseline petroleum jelly dissolved in gasoline, or (rarely) whale oil were used....with 30-wt motor oil the most common. Bore cleaning solvents were separate products formulated to remove gunpowder residue, and all of them required a coat of oil applied afterwards.

Even the earliest gunsmithing texts recommend sealing stock inletting with varnish to protect the walnut from the lubricants that eventually cause rot.

Petroleum oils and wood are a bad mix.

I have cut blocks of wood that were oil soaked, Doug Fir and Oak and
the inside was dry and hard and the outside was slightly soft.
The oil seemed to soak in about 1/2 inch.

Tylerdurden
01-07-2008, 09:58 AM
I know oil can be good for wood in some circumstances.
I used wooden bearings on a couple of small scale hydro projects I built. Pobco takes a chunk of hard wood (depends on application) and puts it in a high temp pressurized oil bath. What you end up with is a self lubricating wooden bearing. I had one where a 4" shaft turned inside with the water flowed around it. Damn thing lasted almost a year and a half until the grit tore it up.
I cut up what was left and it was impregnated through and through.
Gotta love early tech, still works best today in many applications.

Woodonwater
01-07-2008, 12:01 PM
I am going to thread-jack somewhat, since we are off the road and half way to Nellie's house anyway....

My boatwright insists on using roofing cement to put my stern framing back together with, after a generous bath of copper napthanate. The only parts that were not rotten were put together with roofing cement, so there seems to be some validity.

Bob, I respect your opinion, do you think this too is a bad mix?

On another related issue, we will be pouring tar back into the framing crevices so water will be shed down thru the limber holes instead of festering in the pockets. The tar I am taking out is brittle and comes out in flakes. Brittle=cracks=water intrusion. My boatwright was told to add some engine oil to the tar to keep it more flexible. Is this acceptable, or is there a better additive? Stockholm tar? Still a bad mix, Bob?

Thanks
(Is this thread sponsored by Exxon?)

emichaels
01-07-2008, 12:54 PM
Oiled wood rots just as well as un-oiled wood will.
JG

Jay is correct.

Probably will rot even faster becasue the oil will trap water in the wood and prevent sufficient air circulation at the surface as water would normally try to dry off.

Eric

Bob Smalser
01-07-2008, 02:38 PM
I am going to thread-jack somewhat, since we are off the road and half way to Nellie's house anyway....

My boatwright insists on using roofing cement to put my stern framing back together with, after a generous bath of copper napthanate. The only parts that were not rotten were put together with roofing cement, so there seems to be some validity.

Bob, I respect your opinion, do you think this too is a bad mix?

On another related issue, we will be pouring tar back into the framing crevices so water will be shed down thru the limber holes instead of festering in the pockets. The tar I am taking out is brittle and comes out in flakes. Brittle=cracks=water intrusion. My boatwright was told to add some engine oil to the tar to keep it more flexible. Is this acceptable, or is there a better additive? Stockholm tar? Still a bad mix, Bob?



I too use roofing cement (bituminous tar) in boats regularly. It ain't the same thing as pouring motor oil on wood by a long shot.

Tar, whether from tree sap or out of the ground, tends to keep water out, and oil keeps the wood wet. As I said, the trade experience of stockmakers is that wood kept wet by oil rots even the most durable woods just as fast as wood kept wet by water.

I spose we could examine whether motor oil is hygroscopic or not, or what other scientific basis there is for all that gunsmith experience, but frankly, I don't think it's worth the effort. I can think of few practices more thoughtless and ecologically unsound that pouring motor oil on any surface of a boat, as much will eventually wind up in the water. A bad mix.

Henry offers several well-proven bituminous roofing compounds that will remain supple without the addition of solvents like motor oil. http://www.henry.com/

PeterSibley
01-07-2008, 08:49 PM
There are no shortage of fine old heirloom shotguns requiring new stocks because Grandpa stored it upright in the back of closet. The oil from the metal seeps into the walnut end grain of the inletting, turning the wood punky in time. And Black Walnut is a very durable wood.

I've seen that ..:( a cousin obsessively oiled that stock of Brno bolt action ...about 3 years til it went soft .

Woodonwater
01-07-2008, 09:16 PM
Bob,
I have looked over the Henry's site and emailed Henry's asking for their input. Do the roofing compounds you are thinking of actually cure/dry to the touch? I don't want this goop to remain too soft. I can see it getting all over me when working down in the bilges!

James

Bob Smalser
01-07-2008, 09:39 PM
Bob,
I have looked over the Henry's site and emailed Henry's asking for their input. Do the roofing compounds you are thinking of actually cure/dry to the touch? I don't want this goop to remain too soft. I can see it getting all over me when working down in the bilges!



I've used a good bit of Henry 206 Wet Patch Roof Cement (a bituminous tar) to bed anything and everything on work boats for some time. Spread it real thin with a spatula, and it dries like a soft paint. In thicker coats like bedding, it remains soft and pliable although you can paint over it.

Now I'm using Henry 206r...the same tar but with rubber modifiers. Adheres to wet and cold surfaces better. At 12 bucks a gallon or less, you can afford as much as you need.

http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL12/1104763/3297171/289955742.jpg

Recently I used 206r and a spatula to seal the plywood panel joints and nail countersinks in a primed 1250 sf subfloor. It's had snow or rain on it almost continuously since December 1 and hasn't seeped a drop. That's no small feat for a surface not designed as a roof.

Woodonwater
01-07-2008, 09:47 PM
What about the framing crevices where the depth of the 206 might be 2" or more? Will that 'skin' over enough to stay put and be painted?

Nice cabin on a lake, btw!

James

Bob Smalser
01-07-2008, 09:52 PM
What about the framing crevices where the depth of the 206 might be 2" or more? Will that 'skin' over enough to stay put and be painted?


Yes, more or less.

The tar skins over and accepts oil paint, but if you poke at it or kneel on a seam proud with tar you can certainly smear it in warm weather if you try. But that plasticity is what keeps the tar sealing effectively as the wood moves back and forth seasonally. Pine tar doesn't behave any differently, and costs severalfold as much.

I've only used the 206r rubber-modified stuff once, but it appears to skin over faster than the original 206.

tevisu
01-09-2008, 02:03 PM
The Scandanavians use nothing but various oils on many of their traditional boats, so it might be worth checking out their systems.

I vaguely remember reading a bit about it on this forum, so a search might be productive. As I recall, they used different types of oils and many coatings.

Don't think the lubricants in modern motor oil would be good for trying to walk on decks, so alternate oils would probably be a much better choice.

[ 12-14-2005, 02:46 PM: Message edited by: Thorne ]

I try to answer - I live in Scandinavia, Finland. So I can say something. I have to pardon my poor english, but maybe you´ll understand...

It´s true that usually we don´t use epoxy of fiberglass in our traditional boats. Typical boats here in Finland are made of solid wood, mahogany and pine are most common. Plywood construction is not so common. The wood is oiled for example with Owatrol, but nowadays it´s popular to oil wood with flax-oil. Flaxoil needs also some ingredients that prevent wood from rot or fungus. I don´t know if you know what flaxoil is...? We use a lot of oil - it´s typical to use 50 litres (1 litre = 0.26 gal) oil with 5m boat. (1 m = 3.281 ft)
After oiling, we use varnish - several layers. In my own boat, there is 15 layers LeTonkinois-varnish.

I have seen what motor oil can do with wood: it will break it. All petrol-based products are bad.

Picture of my boat (year model -68): http://www.elisanet.fi/teemu.suuronen/puuvene/vesille_4.jpg

Lew Barrett
01-09-2008, 10:07 PM
Well now. Rita's old Nordburgs leaked oil for years. Of course, they didn't put pans under them when they went in, the bastards. The bilge smelled of oil before we repowered, but I think as much because the cotton had absorbed it as the wood. I always floated oil absorbant patches in her because I hated the whole mess.
She took plenty of planks before we put her new engines in. And her new bottom. Dreadful idea, motor oil in the wood. Forget about it. A completely nasty idea with no redemption I can think of.

Added: This should really be the last post to this thread unless sd kicks in and says he's abandoned the concept!

Eric D
01-10-2008, 01:53 PM
Lew, I have to disagree with you heartily, your's should not be nor SD's be the last in this thread, mine telling tevisu his boat looks INCREDIBLE and to thank him for sharing his boat with us and his knowledge should be!!

Lew Barrett
01-10-2008, 02:42 PM
Eric, I was being playful, hence the !! However, when you get Jay Greer, Bob Smalser (not to forget Bruce Hooke) and the like weighing in on wood tech, not that they are the last word on all things, you have a pretty powerful mob on the "anti" side. In my case, oil saturation failed to resist rotting, and created other problems, mainly mess and odor. In the end though, I continue to stand on my statement that there are other, more tasteful solutions to this issue.

And, I am surprised at the life this topic has shown. But I really was trying to be (sort of) playful!!

Canoeyawl
01-10-2008, 04:58 PM
“Motor Oil” is formulated to emulsify water.

This feature will allow moisture in your engine to be captured and evaporated during operation.
It will absorb water out of the atmosphere, let alone from a direct application. For this reason alone I won’t use it to lubricate my machine tools.
Using Motor Oil on guns and machine tools is a good example of thrifty being a poor economy.

There are many other petroleum-based products that will not emulsify water; some are manufactured especially for wood, Deks-Olie for instance.

redbopeep
01-10-2008, 07:42 PM
I am going to thread-jack somewhat, since we are off the road and half way to Nellie's house anyway....

My boatwright insists on using roofing cement to put my stern framing back together with, after a generous bath of copper napthanate. The only parts that were not rotten were put together with roofing cement, so there seems to be some validity.

Bob, I respect your opinion, do you think this too is a bad mix?

On another related issue, we will be pouring tar back into the framing crevices so water will be shed down thru the limber holes instead of festering in the pockets. The tar I am taking out is brittle and comes out in flakes. Brittle=cracks=water intrusion. My boatwright was told to add some engine oil to the tar to keep it more flexible. Is this acceptable, or is there a better additive? Stockholm tar? Still a bad mix, Bob?

Thanks
(Is this thread sponsored by Exxon?)

We sure seem to be doing all the same stuff on our boats! About those pockets next to the keel that need filling up. Crocker specified the use of paraffin in the original design/spec documents for our boat. Yours may have been the same. We will be using a paraffin/sticky wax mixture that is a little more pliable the paraffin. Both have 140F melting temps and can be purchased in bulk. Finally, my method will be to paint beeswax onto the frame/keel/floor/plank interface there and then fill up each pocket with the paraffin mix. The beeswax has some anti-microbial properties that we don't know paraffin to have.

The original paraffin was in the boat when we started the re-work. Hubby dug it out of the bilge pockets. So it lasted 75 years.

neilm
01-10-2008, 07:49 PM
Peter Culler writes about using Kerosene to treat wood. Makes it easier to bend.

cherokeescot
01-19-2012, 11:09 PM
I spent some time in West Virginia where the weather is wicked and thousands of log buildings over 200 years old still stand. The gentleman I spent some time with that built some of these log buildings over the years was a real character. His name was Basil. Never saw him wear shoes, winter or summer. He was 76 when I met him and he looked 40. I asked about the stories I heard that the black color on some of these wooden structures was due to painting them with motor oil. He said no. I asked what type of wood they used. He said Poplar. I said hey we have thrown that stuff away in Georgia for years.
He told me something that made more sense than anything else I have ever heard in woodworking, specifically boat building. He said that his grandpa, who taught him about building these structures, told him that wood rot is nothing more than 'little bugs'. As in microscopic termites. And he said if the big bugs wont eat it then the little bugs wont eat it. I dont know how/if that applies to Poplar. I decided to use Poplar for cabinets in my new home. Everyone said you cant work with it because it splits and warps even if it is properly dried. I used it anyway. After laying bare for five years and darkening I applied a varnish and these are the most beautiful colored and grained woods I have ever seen.
Now, my personal favorite is without a doubt tidewater cypress. Has to come out of brackish water or it isnt any better than any other woods. I owned a tidewater cypress boat that was built in 1879. No rot.
Ok back to the subject at hand. There are microbes that will develop in oil which will eat the wood. Same problem with diesel fuel. When the air comes into the tank to replace the oil that has been removed, it contains moisture which brings in the 'bugs'. That is the primary reason it goes bad. Again, yes there are microscopic 'bugs' that eat oil, and most everything else. And so it would stand to reason that a specific bug could gain entry and eat the oil and the wood.
I termite treated my new home not with toxins but with ice cream salt in the footers. Dang termites would start up the concrete foundations and the tunnels would dry out and fall off the wall due to the salt drying them out. 20 years later, living in the middle of a swamp, I got lots of termites eating the blowdown in the swamp but none in my house.
So, dry is one preservative in itself. Cant live without wicking in moisture somehow.
I build wooden boats using traditional methods. No modern materials. No fiberglass. My boats will outlive a fiberglass boat by hundreds of years, using tidewater cypress.
So, in conclusion, you must either keep your wood dry somehow, or coat it with something that will keep it dry, or use tidewater cypress.
There is no other solution. It is that simple. Im 70 years old now and have searched for other answers since I was 14 and built my first boat.
Dont waste your time. Just get the right wood and get out there and spend your time building a boat instead of doing useless research.
PS: I use baby oil on my wood from time to time just to make it look pretty. It soaks in well, and I never varnish a boat finish. It wont be any more slippery after a week or so that the wood was in the first place.
I hope this doesnt cause the tidewater cypress prices to go up or use it all up. There was a tidewater cypress boat found in a mud bank that was 2000 years old. You could have gotten in and just rowed it home!

Jay Greer
01-20-2012, 06:22 PM
Well now there then. I am just a guy who has been called upon to correct the mistakes of others for many many years. As a result, I have accumulated quite a backlog of information concerning what works and what does not work with the maintenance and building of wooden boats. Usually the guy that tells me that certain products, I know, from experience, are useless or inappropriate for use on seagoing wooden boats, has a wild look in his eyes and tends to talk fast and stare over my left shoulder!

So, here is the reason that fishing boats out of San Francisco had their decks oiled with motor oil. It was used for two reasons. One was to prevent fish blood from soaking into the wood which makes for a very stinky boat! It was cheap and so they used it. In addition, many of the fir decks were tight seam planked and burlap bags soaked in sea water were used to cover and keep the seams tight when the boats were in port. Motor oil has a tendancy to retain moisture which kept the decks tight as well. But, as I have noted before, petroleum based oils do not prevent rot, THEY WILL SUPPORT IT! This is the reason that diesel oil must be treated with a fungicide in order to prevent fuel tank contents from from turning to Jello! Any time someone tells me how oil or tar prevented rot in their boat, I look to the kind of material it was use over. More often than not, it is the quality of the wood and not the petroleum based product that kept the structure sound.

I have replaced garboards in boats that had bilges sealed off at the top of the garboard with all manner of fillers. Two stand out as being more rot preventative than others. One is Portland cement, a mixture that was used in many of the Monterey Fish Boats. I have never found rot under cement filled areas in bilges. The other, my favorite, is bee's wax. Bee's wax is antifungal and will not support rot under any condition. It also holds on like crazy and will flex a bit as the wood moves. On the opposite side of the coin are products that are petrollium based. I once had a customer that wanted a diesel leak fixed at the tank petcock. It was continually dripping on a frame just under it. The frame was soaked with diesel and was also rotten in the entire affected area.
So, If you want to use motor oil on your decks, I encourage you to do so as it keeps guys like me employed.
Jay

Eddiebou
01-22-2012, 08:51 AM
So where's this 2000 yr old cypress boat now?

Mad Scientist
01-22-2012, 03:41 PM
...I termite treated my new home not with toxins but with ice cream salt in the footers. Dang termites would start up the concrete foundations and the tunnels would dry out and fall off the wall due to the salt drying them out. 20 years later, living in the middle of a swamp, I got lots of termites eating the blowdown in the swamp but none in my house...

That makes sense (although it wouldn't have occurred to me).

Some wooden ships had 'salt pockets' as part of their mast steps, so that any rainwater that trickled down the masts would not cause rot in the heels of the masts.

Tom