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rigging preservative?

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I often use shellac as a wood finish and sanding sealer, but I've never used it as a rigging preservative. I wouldn't think a preservative would be necessary for synthetic materials, but for cotton and linen (which I prefer) I use beeswax. A thinned shellac would work well as a preservative, but it might have a couple of  effects which might be undesirable. It could make the rigging line shiny,and it could stiffen it as well. Experimentation on your rigging line will show you just how shellac affects its appearance. Another choice would be to dissolve beeswax in turpentine or xylene, and dip the line in that. If you make it thin enough, you won't get the detail-hiding buildup that you get by drawing the line over a block of beeswax.


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 I'm using linen for the largest standing rigging, and Egyptian cotton for the rest. Some DMC Cordennete cotton maybe too, not sure yet.


So far experiments with shellac look OK on the running rigging. I'm thinning it a lot. Im yet to try it on the running rigging thread. I'll see tonight.


I'll try thinning the beeswax further, but it hasn't soaked in as I've wanted yet. we'll see.


Von Stetina

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Beeswax has been identified as being slightly acidic, which is not good for the lines in the long run. Conservators' wax, which is pH neutral, might be a better choice.

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The author Rob Napier uses conservator's wax.  I have read all of his works and have talked with him.  He is a firm believer in the stuff.

David B

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  • 2 weeks later...

In addition to the conservators wax I found three kins of bees wax off the internet The basic yellow color, black, and a white or neutral color.





I also found a thread treatment from an American company  www.herrshners.com






It is similar to the conservators wax.


I still learn to the conservators wax



Edited by Geoff Matson


NRG member #2666
Current build : USS Constitution


Finished builds: Armed Virginia Sloop (in gallery)

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