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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.
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is there a groove in the end of the iron?
No. It's a flat end iron.
I've never seen a groove. Doesn't mean someone didn't try it once. I've seen many irons, haven't seen a groove yet.
I have several irons, all sizes and shapes, all have either a rounded edge or a somewhat sharp edge to force the chalking into the gaps between the planks.
The one I bought does NOT have a groove in the end. It is flat.
Hello, Which Making Iron do I want for oakum in to a canalboat with 3mm gaps between planks please?Thanks from a limey.Edward
First I would not recommend oakum for such a small seam. Rather I'd use cotton and a 1/16 (or half the width of the outer seam) thick iron to start. Start by reefing out the offending seam, removing as much of the old material as possible. The seams should be basically like a V and you'll want to practice hand packing about one foot till you see how much looping it takes to fill the seam and still be a bit over half full once hammered home. Take care not to over drive else you'll blow through and/or cause over expansion once the boat takes up.This process is difficult to describe in words so take some time to watch several You-Tube videos to get a visual on what the process looks like. For me it's all about feel, sound, and many lessons learned from the old-timers.
Edward:I can't answer your question as I am a novice boatbuilder. But I would suggest that you post your question on the WoodenBoat Forum. They are often very helpful. Good luck.-Denny
Great product, just what was needed
I am rebuilding a 50 year old wooden punt and want to use old methods to do so.
St. David's, Bermuda
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.