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Caulking Irons, also known as Making Irons, are used for packing or putting the Cotton or Oakum into the seam between the planks. Typically, Oakum is used to fill wider gaps in planking seams, whereas cotton caulking squeezes into tighter seams. Extreme care must be taken as heavy hands can do considerable damage. Caulking irons are made of cast malleable iron.
For boat seams, caulking process is commonly followed by painting (seams only) with a marine paint. Once dry, the remaining space is filled with seam compound (one for above waterline, another for below) before applying overall boat paint.
May 2, 2021
The problem with these irons (I bought two different sizes) is that the width of the driven edge not only doesn't match the stated size but the iron varies in dimension along the edge. So, the 1/16" iron really 3/32"-1/8" and variable at that. I returned them and found better elsewhere. That sounds picky, but If you need a fine iron to caulk a tight, consistent seam, these aren't the ones.
April 11, 2013
I am rebuilding a 50 year old wooden punt and want to use old methods to do so.
October 21, 2009
I ordered a #00 caulking iron, 1/32" thick, but instead received a #0 iron, a fat 1/16" thick. So I called Jamestown and they kindly said they'd send the correct one. They did send another, but exactly the same thing as the first, so I ended up grinding the 2nd down to size. I think they must be getting unmarked irons from the manufaturer and the folks in the warehouse not taking the time to measure the iron.
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