View Full Version : Plumbers Putty
Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson )
03-28-2004, 09:06 AM
OK so I'm putting the skiff back together all the hardware and stuff. I have the centerboard cap. I know I need to bed it in something but I don't want to have to take a 45min road trip to Merrmaronac or order marine bedding compound online. So being a good resourceful Yankee I began to wonder and look around the shop. I see a can of Plumbers Putty and I'm thinking why not? So I figure Ill post here. Plumbers Putty why not use it as a bedding compound and form a gasket for the centerboard cap ??
[ 03-28-2004, 09:08 AM: Message edited by: Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ) ]
03-28-2004, 09:47 AM
I don't know what 'plumber's putty' is made of. Call Jamestown Distributors and order a can of Dolphinite Marine Bedding Compound, or its equivilent. It'll be there Tuesday or Wednesday. In the meantime you can have the cap all set to go, even fasten it, even sail the boat. Just take it apart and bed it when the gunk arrives.
I've also left this joint dry with no seeming harm, though some bedding is likely a good idea. I'd be reluctant to use what you suggest. It probably wouldn't hurt anything, but it might not work very well either. Then you, or someone, will have to scrape it out and do it over again.
03-28-2004, 09:52 AM
It is just as good as Dolphinite.
03-28-2004, 09:54 AM
In my experiance with plumbers putty there are
two kinds,one that hardens up like epoxy and becomes very brittle(not intended to be used
on things that flex).Then there is the kind that stays
soft...once again not ment to flex,and I don't
think it will hold up to prolonged heat(sunny days)
and freezing temps.
and as far as the form-a-gasket...It will probable
seal but I don't think it has good adhesive properties
ie; so the parts can be seperated if need be.
If you have to use something from the local hardware
I would probably look in the caulking/adhesive Isle.
[ 03-28-2004, 11:35 AM: Message edited by: Leon m ]
03-28-2004, 01:17 PM
Amazing! I was wondering the same damn thing yesterday while perusing my catalogs! The stuff does seal against moisture and stays soft. I doubt you could paint it though! I'll bet that regular glazing compound would work too. Plus, it does get a skin over it for painting. Both are easily reversible. Rick
03-28-2004, 06:50 PM
I'm gonna be the contrarian. Unless you plan to remove the cap every year, I'd use something along the lines of a plastic goo in a tube, maybe one of less sticky Sika products. Plumber's putty isn't usually used on wood. I think if you used it on unpainted or unsealed wood, the wood would soak up the linseed oil in the putty and it would dry out.
The idea of bedding the cap it to keep water from getting in the joint, seeping into the endgrain of the trunk and causing rot.
On the other hand, if you sealed the wood properly with paint, varnish or epoxy, it wouldn't much matter what you use for bedding.
03-28-2004, 07:30 PM
Joe - I wouldn't bed anything with it because I don't think it's designed for the temperature cycles. That being said, it's one of the most used things in our tool box. Whenever we remove a stanchion or anything on deck, plumbers putty goes in the holes. I've had it even keep water out of holes that were recessed and held rainwater/dew.
The other good use is in making dams - say on a larger boat you need to dry out a section of the bilge, but it's got a constant water trickle running through it - ta da - build a little plumbers putty dam :D . Seriously.
Who knows, maybe on a smaller boat where the hardware is easily removed or you routinely pull it for refinishing. I have had the stuff last down here in the sun for months - not that I'd pull hardware and not get around to putting it back on or anything... redface.gif
I used the product called 'Plumbers Goop' to stop the leak around the centerboard pin which is below the waterline on our daysailer. Works like a charm and easy enough to remove if you have to. Seems to do just as good a job as more expensive marine compound.
Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson )
03-28-2004, 11:19 PM
So as soon as I heard Oyster say "It is just as good as Dolphinite." I just went for it and ya know what I think Oyster is correct. The cap is varnished and the CB edge and box are epoxy encapsulated & varnished so no absorption into the wood and it JUST SEEMED to be the perfect thing. I probably will be taking the CB apart every year and it will be an easy maintenance to scrap the old and re-bed the new. I recommend this solution for small trailered day sailors
03-29-2004, 05:10 AM
Holy Toledo Bateman, Were your PFDs okay, HEHE. There have been at least two manufacturers that used nothing but the regular plummers putty for rails forever. I only know the flexible type myself. Many jobs that require removal of hardware on a regular note, I have used it. If you compare the price in proportion to the amount, I am not sure if you really save any dollars. BUt it is readily avaliable in those remote places like rual New York. :D So on jobs that requires a lot of it, or a steady bead for a long run, it could be a bit pricey, plus the time to smoothe it over the area, too.
I neeeedss a close up picture Bateman. ;)
[ 03-29-2004, 05:24 AM: Message edited by: Oyster ]
03-29-2004, 10:49 AM
Why not use something as a solid gasket to get you going? Why use a goop at all? You're not sealing end-grain, are you?
You could lay a ring of wire solder around the top of the trunk and then cinch the cap down tight. It'll flatten, depending on thickness. This was a traditional Chesapeake technique.
Or buy gasket material and cut one to fit.
Or use slickseam -- it'll be completely adequate for a year or two and adhere not at all.
03-29-2004, 11:45 AM
There are several reasons for not using gasket materials in many applications of sealing joint of wood and or metal to wood. One major problem is the lack of ability to seal pores of wood even though the gasket material may confrom to the shape of the joints. Sometimes this allows for water to actually travel between the gasket and piece joined together. Over time this created a huge problem with rot.
Using a bedding or a flexible material that conforms to the grain will eliminate this problem Actually the thicker the gasket the worse this problem will be if the gasket does not match the design that well. You will need to predrill all of the holes for the fastners before securing it. If not when using screws for later access, this will distort the gasket upon "hardening" the joint up. ONly my take on this issue, or should I say my ..02 worth.
[ 03-29-2004, 11:46 AM: Message edited by: Oyster ]
03-29-2004, 01:06 PM
You're not sealing end-grain, are you? Actually, he is, the fore and aft pieces which hold the sides of the trunk together. They should be well sealed in anycase, but they are there.
03-30-2004, 11:36 AM
Then why not seal the end grain with epoxy, and then use a solid gasket? Any tiny film of wicking water won't matter much then, and taking the top off the trunk becomes a breeze.
I don't see it as much of a problem.
03-30-2004, 11:51 AM
A little perspective. I don't have answers, but a boat I worked on had this.
It was a 21 foot daysailer, and had a well of cedar on oak. The cap was mahogany, and it overlapped the sides of the trunk by three inches in places; was actually kinda fancy, had hand holds and such. But the important thing, I think, is that it overlapped the sides of the trunk by some measure. The boat was thirty years old. The deck and transom were rotten but the well was sound. The cap wasn't bedded when I took it apart, and I put it back dry. When something works you don't fuss with it. smile.gif
Take what you will from that, but the protection from the water afforded by the edges of the cap overlapping impressed me.
[ 03-30-2004, 11:52 AM: Message edited by: Jack Heinlen ]
Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson )
03-30-2004, 02:35 PM
Here ya go Oyster
[ 04-02-2004, 12:12 PM: Message edited by: Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ) ]
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