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Thread: beeswax/ rosin filler

  1. #1
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    Default beeswax/ rosin filler

    Am doing a refurb on my Chamberlain dory skiff we built down at Mystic some decades ago. We did traditional putty which as I recall was a 50 /50 beeswax rosin mix that went in over screw heads. Has mostly stayed somewhat flexible over the years but some of it needs replacement. Anyone got a good source for beeswax probably a half pound and rosin, a similar amount?

    thanks
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    Beeswax you can get from all sorts of suppliers, including marine ones who sell sailmaking stuff. Don't know what "rosin" actually is -- do you mean the material used on fiddle bows?
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    Bee's wax can best be purchased from a local bee keeper. Rosin can be found at a chemical supply house.
    Jay

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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    West Marine has small cakes of beeswax and if you need more, try googling "candle making supplies".

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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    Buy beeswax from a local beekeeper if you can. Otherwise you might end up paying for refined "food-grade" wax you don't need. One is around 5 bucks a pound, and the other three times that.

    The best place to buy rosin is on eBay or from a rodeo supply store. They sell it by the pound for bull riders and unlike at your local music store, it's cheap. Use a mortar and pestle to grind it fine.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Rodeo-Amber-Rosi...QQcmdZViewItem

  6. #6
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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    5.95/lb., plus shipping, of course, and you can make a candle or eat the leftovers if you've a mind. If you're a busy man with little time it's nice to just have UPS drop it on your step.

    http://www.peakcandle.com/category/Waxes/Bees-Wax.aspx
    Last edited by Jim Ledger; 05-26-2008 at 06:14 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    Steven Bauer may have some beeswax he could sell you pretty soon

  8. #8
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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    I'm hoping the damn critters will be gone before they can make any wax!

    I've been wondering myself where to get the rosin for this concoction. I saw the demo at the WBShow at Fort Adams and it's just perfect for covering screw holes in thin planking. Did the article in the magazine give any supply info for rosin?



    Steven

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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    Hi Ben,

    How much beeswax do you need, I keep bees and have 15 or so pounds that I've saved up. My wife uses it to put in the soap she makes, but hardly makes a dent in the quantity. I'd be happy to send you what you need.

    Brad

  10. #10
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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    I like the UPS solution and I had not thought about rodeo stores for rosin. Good ideas both. I will probably mix up more of this putty for the Langille. It beats the hard stuff that you get from marine supply stores if you don't need a yachty like finish. Twenty years ain't bad.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    Beeswax you can get from all sorts of suppliers, including marine ones who sell sailmaking stuff. Don't know what "rosin" actually is -- do you mean the material used on fiddle bows?
    Rosin is the soft resin left after the distillation of spirits of turpentine.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    I usually just go out and pick the nibs off of Pine trees.... Takes about 15 minutes to get enough to last a year.... Get the ones that are completely dry. The gummy ones are a pain to deal with. Spruce gum works great too.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    Gardening supply shop and get grafting wax . it is beeswax and rosin

  14. #14
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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    Well, as it happens, WB No. 203 (July/August) has an article by Wade Smith that includes this very subject.

    Make sure your beeswax is pure -- no parafin. Ben, the best source I've found in Maine is the Common Ground fair, where beekeepers sell it by the block. One of those will last you a long while.

    The rosin is powdered, but be careful of that, too. A synthetic "powdered rosin" is used by athletes, and that's what you'll get if you order from McMaster Carr. It doesn't work in the recipe. The real powdered stuff (which is the same as used by violinists in solid form) is still used by the printing industry. Wade's article has all the particulars.

    I know this because I just used this filler in my boat. It is temperamental -- mixing calls for some effort and attention. The result is excellent, though.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    Ok, I'm not 100% sure what rosin is - but - my friend makes a putty filler by heating up hard pine resin chips (he calls it amber) and beeswax. He got the can of "amber" from Kirby's.

    As others have mentioned - many sources for beeswax - I think my current block is from a local crafts store.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Jackson View Post
    Well, as it happens, WB No. 203 (July/August) has an article by Wade Smith that includes this very subject.

    Make sure your beeswax is pure -- no parafin. Ben, the best source I've found in Maine is the Common Ground fair, where beekeepers sell it by the block. One of those will last you a long while.

    The rosin is powdered, but be careful of that, too. A synthetic "powdered rosin" is used by athletes, and that's what you'll get if you order from McMaster Carr. It doesn't work in the recipe. The real powdered stuff (which is the same as used by violinists in solid form) is still used by the printing industry. Wade's article has all the particulars.

    I know this because I just used this filler in my boat. It is temperamental -- mixing calls for some effort and attention. The result is excellent, though.
    About time this got published; Barry Thomas and Clark Poston dug out the info from Crosby when we built the Breck Marshall years ago and we kept using it. I need the stuff now so I won't be able to wait for the article. Work on the Langille tender refurb is proceeding apace and then Langille goes pretty much full time after mid June. One of the forumites mentioned rosin from the rodeo business and some one else from Kirby. One of the other forumites offered me some wax and there are some other good sources.

    I do know that the results are good. Have not seen much else that my finger nail can still mark after twenty years.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  17. #17
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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    Try Graphic Chemical for rosin. They sell it powdered in cans as printmaking supplies in 1 lb. or 5 lb. sizes. You may be able to find it at a local artists supply. I know that Pearl Paint in Philadelphia carries it as a stock item. Good beeswax is usually also available through artists supply houses. Graphic Chemical has it, as well.

    http://www.graphicchemical.com/

    I watched the demo of this process a couple of years ago at the WoodenBoat Show in Newport. It was really cool!

  18. #18
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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    I will probably mix up more of this putty for the Langille.
    She must be thirty years old now. Any major repairs needed or done? Is her tender still a small dory?
    If I had a dollar for every girl who found me unattractive, eventually they would find me attractive.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    Resurrecting an old, old post..

    I live in a 200 yr. old house with wide heart pine plank floors. Part of them need serious patching/repair. I purchased a piece of reclaimed heart pine flooring which cost a fortune ($10/square foot) for patching. Part of my repair job will be, I hope, to fill cracks between planks, some of which are 1/2" or so wide and 3/8" deep. (They're T&G with no subfloor.) I'd like to create a continuous floor surface that's possible to wax and burnish. I'm thinking of using the 50/50 rosin/beeswax mix talked about above with maybe some stain or amber shellac to match the old honey-color of the floor.

    Anybody have any insight into the odds of this working? I suppose the planks work a bit with the seasons, but not a huge amount I don't think. I'm hoping for something that can be heated up and almost poured into the gap, but not end up as hard as cheap wood filler or as junky as plastic caulk (which comes in very limited tones of brown). Also the aim is to eliminate aggressive sanding so as to not disturb the patina

    tall order...

  20. #20
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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    The color of the beeswax/rosin may be darker than you want, at least mine is.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  21. #21
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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    Both rosin and beeswax come in different colors. Will work good.

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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    earling2, is your HVAC up-to-date? If you control the humidity, your chances of success are greatly improved. Is it possible (and worthwhile) to unfasten and refasten the boards to take up most of the gap? You'd be left with a replacement project at the one edge, but no real piecework.

    Chip

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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    Hardest part of this is sifting the rosin into the hot beeswax. I melt the beeswax in a old pot in another bigger one with water in it to keep the temp under control ( aka home made double boiler). What would be real useful is one of those sifters used to sift flour in the kitchen so you don't get lumps. Once you have a batch made up, then heat ( double boiler again ) and reuse. I used a couple of small cans into which to ladle it, pour until it starts to harden, scrape the harden stuff from the can back into the batch and keep going.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  24. #24
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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    Super helpful responses, here
    Chip, my HVAC is... well, let's just say, brand new 97% furnace, no AC, and the house is not tight like a modern place so it definitely expands and contracts summer vs. winter. However--it seems to me that really old wood does less movement than modern stuff (air dried, old growth). Also, this heart pine (just a gut feeling here) is about as shrunk as it's gonna get, and in the summer it might come back just a smidge. A really little smidge. As for moving the boards together, at this point those T&G edges are so old and beat the planks would have to be re-milled for that to work--not to mention, they're all glued in place with 2" of spray foam underneath (basement). All the above is why I would like to pour it in... (oh yeah, and I'm living in the space..)

    Thanks Ben Fuller for the run down, this is sounding pretty promising...onwards...

    (Just an FYI, I just ordered both beeswax AND rosin from a rodeo place online, thanks for the suggestion. They're not specific on the actual weight you get but it ain't pricey, and they have various rosin colors if this experimental batch isn't quite the thing.)
    Last edited by earling2; 12-16-2016 at 08:02 PM.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    Thanks, Ben, good material for reworkable filler.
    Basic information on rosin: http://www.rosinproducts.com/
    Try art supply houses.
    UK source: http://www.artsuppliesonweb.com/1038..._from_store=en
    US source: http://www.douglasandsturgess.com/mm...Code=GLUESGUMS
    Beeswax: http://douglasandsturgess.com/mm5/me...=WAXES-NATURAL
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  26. #26
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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    Ear, you will want to use some foam backer rod in those joints underneath the rosin/wax mixture. Any good hardware store will have it.


    Steven

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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    I will look into the backer rod, thanks for the idea. Not sure the cracks are necessarily that deep, but I will have to experiment with the stuff to see how viscous it is, don't want half of it buried into my insulation foam ...

    MNDave I will definitely use that art supply place in the states for my beeswax, I might enen in a pinch find a use for 10lbs of beeswax (I actually use toilet rings and kerosene on my truck frames and bodies, home made Waxoil, but that's not REAL beeswax)... the stuff I got from the rodeo outfit will be the experimental batch

  28. #28
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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    Backer rod is used to limit the depth of fill when sealing a joint with a moisture curing elastomeric sealant like silicone that does not cure well in deep sections. Silicone should be limited to about 1/4 inch thick. The silicone is meant to bond to both sides of the joint and stretch or compress to accommodate joint movement. The wax mix hardens by cooling, so the only problem with depth is shrinkage as it solidifies. The spray foam is sealing the back side, so the molten wax isn't going to run out through the gap.

    As I understand it, the wax and rosin is a fairly hard, stiff mixture that is meant to fill and conceal holes in a solid surface, not a moving joint. It isn't strong, so it needs a solid surface underneath to support it. The foam backer rod is very soft and if there is a gap so large that it can take a backer rod, I don't think it can work. A gap that big might be better mostly filled with a loose wooden spline that can be covered with the wax mix.

    While I'm at it, I was looking up something unrelated and found this: Repairing Cracks and Splits [wood filler] And this: Deep Scratch Repair

    From Ben's description in post #23, mixing sounds somewhat problematic. The beeswax (Wikipedia numbers) melts at 65C and darkens at 85C while rosin melts between 100 and 120C. It might help to add a small amount of mineral spirits to the rosin to lower the melting point, then add the beeswax to the melted rosin. Paint thinner has a higher boiling point that the melting point of rosin, so it won't be a problem. The mineral spirits will dry eventually. Some online shoe polish recipes recommended something similar and indicated that the solvent will dry, especially if you pour it in a thin layer in a pan while still hot.

    This is an interesting aside from a 2005 thread on this filler:
    Quote Originally Posted by sseay View Post
    Rosin potatoes! A great 4th of July traditon when my father was alive. They are just baked potatoes with inedible rosin all over them. Always fun watching the new guests trying to eat the rosin hardened potato skins. Dad got the recipe from his southern relatives.I think people involved in turpentine production would through thier lunch taters in the boiling cauldrens of rosin. Mom finally put a stop to the tradition because Dad always gave himself some real nasty burns after a few beers. I still have the pot of rosin somewhere.
    Humor mixed with beer.
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  29. #29
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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    Did I mention that a heat gun was sometimes handy to get the mixture to lay down in a deep check?

    The article that Wade did ( in WB ) talked about the heating melting point issues, and the dangers letting the beeswax get too hot. The double boiler approach limits the temperature to the lower melting point of rosin. And I now understand why the mixture came out darker than the colors of either the wax or rosin. The mix does have some give in it, but not as much as say pitch would have which was what was traditionally used on decks.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  30. #30
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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    So just looking online briefly I see a fraction of an ounce of rosin for just under ten bucks or a pound of rosin for just under twenty. Kind of crazy.


    Steven

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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    So just looking online briefly I see a fraction of an ounce of rosin for just under ten bucks or a pound of rosin for just under twenty. Kind of crazy.


    Steven

    from a literally 10 second search I see it from $12/lb to $15/lb, I'm assuming I could find it cheaper

    Great replies, I see I have a lot experiments to do...I will also almost certainly fill most of the crack(s) with pine splints so as to minimize the amount of this witches brew I'm putting in there

  32. #32
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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    Look on eBay.
    Chuck Thompson

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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    If you search google shopping or ebay include pine, gum and maybe rock or you will see mostly violin bow rosin. You could also click the links in post 25.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  34. #34
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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    Above, Ben says pitch is more flexible? Is that correct?
    Chuck Thompson

  35. #35
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    Default Re: beeswax/ rosin filler

    Not my experience. George Kirby (where I got my pitch) said to add bees wax to make it less brittle.

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