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Traditional Maritime Skills :: Preserving Wooden Parts

Preserving wooden parts

Introduction

The complete restoration of a wooden boat can take a very long time, lasting months or even years. It therefore makes sense to preserve the wooden parts you have made for as long you need to.

Procedure

Linseed oil is used to preserve wooden parts that you have already made. This prevents the wood from drying out too quickly and prevents splits and shrinkage. Linseed oil also protects against moisture and dirt. Run through the following steps:

  • Make sure that you thoroughly clean and dry the wooden parts. Remove dirt and grease as necessary using a filler-knife or pain-scraper (image 2). (NB: the photographs show part of a frame-timber that has previously been coated in linseed oil, being scraped clean again and re-coated in linseed oil.)

  • Now coat the wooden parts with a copious quantity of linseed oil using the flat brush (image 3). The linseed oil soaks into the wood slightly so don’t apply this too thinly.

  • The linseed oil remains slightly sticky (image 5). This means that dirt remains stuck in the linseed oil and is unable to penetrate into the wood.

  • Remove spilt linseed oil using a cleaning cloth in order to prevent everything becoming slippery and sticky. Make sure that you dispose of the cleaning cloths containing linseed oil immediately and that they are not left lying on sawdust or timber. Cleaning cloths containing linseed oil can start to get hot and cause a fire.

  • Wooden parts that are coated in linseed oil in this way will remain preserved for several months (image 7).

  • Before applying the final varnish or paint finish to the boat, remove the linseed oil using a filler-knife, scraper and sander.
 
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Tools Required

  • Flat brush
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Filling-knife
  • Pain-scraper
  • Sander

Materials Required

  • Linseed oil

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