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Thread: Treatment of old tarred hemp ropes

  1. #1
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    Default Treatment of old tarred hemp ropes

    The term for this is "lappsalvning" in Swedish, the goo used is called "lappsalva".
    What is the term in English? Boat soup?
    There are quite a few recepies, it seems to me that the only ingredients that are always used are Stockholm Tar and Carbon Black pigment (not entirely sure this translates directly to the Swedish term "kimrök").

    Do you have any recepies? Experiences? Thoughts?

    /Mats
    Yes the avatar depicts me; yes I drew the comic boat pic, it's a joke on the pop song I'm not a robot by Marina and the diamonds

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Treatment of old tarred hemp ropes

    Most recipes suggest similar amounts of tar, boiled linseed oil and turpentine. Several like to add some leftover varnish. Many like to have a bit of Japan drier to help the mixture set faster.

    Typical Recipes

    • Equal parts of turpentine, boiled linseed oil, pine tar. Add some Japan dryer.
    • Equal parts of genuine pine tar, gum turpentine, boiled linseed oil
    • Greg Rossel in "building Small Boats" has this recipe: 1 quart boiled linseed oil, 1 quart turpentine, 1/2 pint pine tar, 1/2 pint Japan drier.

    Japan drier needs to be fresh. It is less effective if it is too old. If you add more pine tar, it will take longer to dry and be darker.
    from https://www.christinedemerchant.com/...at-finish.html
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  3. #3
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    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Treatment of old tarred hemp ropes

    I do this. I use manila on Drake in some places, mostly block straps. If I feel like rope needs rejuvenating, I run it through a hot bath of boat sauce. Very hot. Tin pails on the shop wood stove.

    I start with Zinc Napthanate because it's poisonous and that's what you want. I add pine tar, boiled linseed oil, and Japan Drier.

    I have block straps over 10 years old, still quite serviceable, without being served.

    No hemp rope is available here, but Manila is. I like the way it splices, and reeves into a grommet for a wooden block.

    Drake's ketch rig means the sails are smaller, the loads are less, and the simpler rigging works just fine.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Treatment of old tarred hemp ropes

    /*
    You can also find lots of good stuff, including Old Ways Work, in Pete Culler On Wooden Boats (WOODENBOAT STORE LINK).
    */


    Preaching old school here. Pete Culler wrote in the first Mariner's Catalog an article titled Old Ways Work. His formula for what he called Deck Oil is amazing. 8 parts boiled linseed oil, one part turpentine and one part pine tar. I mixed up a batch about thirty years ago and seriously, if you want an answer to your question including the word best, Pete Culler's deck oil is the best. Pete Culler is an awesome read, the real deal, check him out and find, Old Ways Work.
    Have a nice day.

    (CONT'D AT LINK)
    Best Oil for Preserving Wood Handles? (LINK)


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    Hope the voyage is a long one.
    May there be many a summer morning when,
    with what pleasure, what joy,
    you come into harbors seen for the first time...

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    (Keeley - Sherrard translation)

  5. #5
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    Whangarei Northland New Zealand
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    Default Re: Treatment of old tarred hemp ropes

    Hi I have had good results by adding black"Plier handle dip" I think it is called 'Plasta dip' Something like that,
    It is a rubber like product,with a volatile solvent helps dry the pine tar it readily mixes with the various items mentioned , Adds a lot of durability to the mix I call 'Slush'

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Treatment of old tarred hemp ropes

    Very interesting, in the recepies (6) I've found, from 1899 to 1955, linseed oil (raw) is only mentioned in one, and it can be read as it should only be added when used on wood!
    As I said, Carbon Black pigment is in all of them, and Tallow is in a couple of them; this to soften up the lines - tarred hemp gets awfully stiff after a while.
    Alcohol is also common, I think this is so it can be applied thin without having to heat it. Turps would serve the same purpose, I guess.

    /Mats
    Yes the avatar depicts me; yes I drew the comic boat pic, it's a joke on the pop song I'm not a robot by Marina and the diamonds

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Treatment of old tarred hemp ropes

    Adding bee's wax to a mix of pine tar and turpentine. This allows the line to remain flexible and prevents the tar from staining hands, sails and clothing. No Japan drier is needed then either. I use it on life lines that are served with marlin. It still affords a good grip and does not stain. This is close to the mix that is used on marlin when it is first made.
    Jay

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Default Re: Treatment of old tarred hemp ropes

    Do the turps dissolve the wax? I found that turps, as opposed to alcohol dissolves tallow, which is a very nice feature of that substance.

    /Mats
    Yes the avatar depicts me; yes I drew the comic boat pic, it's a joke on the pop song I'm not a robot by Marina and the diamonds

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