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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Default Caltex Timber Sealer

    Hi all,

    It's been a while but the sawdust is still flying, working our way through piles of logs and then racking out. Just thought I'd let the general milling crew know I have found a supply of the genuine Caltex Timber Sealer. Caltex stopped selling it about 18 months ago and I bought every last drum I could find at the time. Having used all that, I did some research and found the company that made it under contract for Caltex. They only supply it wholesale in 1000ltr, 205 ltr and 20ltr drums in bulk I think. I bought about 600ltr and have gone through half that.

    If anyone within driving distance of Rochester would like a 20ltr drum I am happy to put some extras on my next order. They will be about $100 a drum by the time I get them here. And no, I am not going into the business of selling sealer, just happy to help any little millers out there who may have been chasing it. It really is the best stuff I have found over the past 20 years. 20ltrs will do about 10 cubic metres of sawn boards, depending on how liberal you apply it. It's like grease for a machine, cheap if it does the job protecting it yet so many people skimp on it!

    And just to keep you drooling, picked this twig up a few months ago while cutting firewood on a farm with our rather large saw. It had been hiding in a gully since the floods in 2011 but it's in the yard now!

    IMG_6911.jpgIMG_6914.jpgEX SAW 002.jpg

    Cheers,

    James.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
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    Warragul Vic
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    946

    Default

    Hi James,

    Hope you don't mind a few reflective comments. Your generous and helpful offer is for larger mill operators. (Iím not after any wax-based end sealer as only cut re-saw small quantities on my bandsaw nowdays.)

    The wax-based emulsions for end coating sealants are the least permeable to moisture loss from ends, when dry. Although in the past, when advising wood suppliers eg farmers sending me small logs or rough sawn wood, I suggested applying a generous water based paint eg a cheap undercoat on ends (quickly). This also works but hides the end grain but can be written on eg dimensions / date / species / miller etc. Wax emulsions(ex Mobil or Caltex) were not easily available in the bush.

    One quality I did not like was their messiness (unavoidable) but worst was their stickiness when dry. As a consulting chemist about 20-25 yrs ago I worked with the development of some non sticky waxes and some formulation were effective, leaving a nice clear non tacky end making sales easier (being able to see the end grain). But I am nt sure if this formulation was commercialised (it cost a bit more, 10% from memory)/

    Even with old (apparently) dry logs and blocks now I prefer to end coat to reduce further end checks. For this is use a cheap, clear Varnish from Bunnings now. In the past I also briefly dipped the ends in hot, molten paraffin wax (using an old electric fry pan) which quickly produces a non tacky, wax coating.

    Good luck. What was the large log you were loading? A eucalypt I assume.

    Cheers Euge

  3. #3
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    Mobyturns is offline In An Instant Your Life Can Change Forever
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    Default

    Love the modern take on the old "widow makers" sleeper cutters saws. Impressive!
    Mobyturns

    In An Instant Your Life CanChange Forever

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobyturns View Post
    Love the modern take on the old "widow makers" sleeper cutters saws. Impressive!
    Yes, you're probably just about far enough away from it to feel some comfort with that setup.
    Forum members PM me for a discount on all my products - https://www.ebay.com.au/str/aldavsstore

  5. #5
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    Jun 2011
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    Hi Euge and others,

    Thanks for the comments, much appreciated. I too use water based house paint to seal the ends of the unmilled logs. This does provide a great seal during the heat of the summer months, as the wax based products melt away. It also helps to keep all boards from one log together as they are color coded by the panit. 1 slab of beer every year to the local painter usually gets me a full trailer load of half full paint tins.

    I have also tried some other brands of timber sealer, but they seem to much like milky diesel and soak completely into the board, leaving no coating and potential staining. Back some years ago when I did turning blocks and billets, a pot of candle wax on the old BBQ did an amazing job at sealing endgrain and would recommend that to anyone doing those. I used to buy the 10 pack of candles for $1 at the 'cheap shop' and melt them down, probably still got 10kg of wax if someone wants it!

    Being a chemist, you might be able to explain something that has been a mystery to me for years. The timber sealer is a waxy product, yet thins down and washes up fine in water, how could that be?

    The old log is a large redgum that is being loaded. And yes, sitting back with the aircon on while blocking firewood is pretty comfortable. We designed and built the unit ourselves and have it spinning clockwise in the photo, away from the operator. Any ejection of debris or blocks is away from the machine. It is well guarded and we now have additional screens on the machine since that photo was taken during our trials some years ago. It would have cut well over 1000 tonne of foot blocks this year from only 3 blade re-tips, and cuts more than 3 chainsaw operators can cut per hour, even in dirty wood. It was $10K in materials and $1500 per blade, but no sore backs at the end of the day!

    Cheers,

    James.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tassietimbers View Post
    Hi Euge and others,

    Thanks for the comments, much appreciated. I too use water based house paint to seal the ends of the unmilled logs. This does provide a great seal during the heat of the summer months, as the wax based products melt away. It also helps to keep all boards from one log together as they are color coded by the panit. 1 slab of beer every year to the local painter usually gets me a full trailer load of half full paint tins.

    I have also tried some other brands of timber sealer, but they seem to much like milky diesel and soak completely into the board, leaving no coating and potential staining. Back some years ago when I did turning blocks and billets, a pot of candle wax on the old BBQ did an amazing job at sealing endgrain and would recommend that to anyone doing those. I used to buy the 10 pack of candles for $1 at the 'cheap shop' and melt them down, probably still got 10kg of wax if someone wants it!

    Being a chemist, you might be able to explain something that has been a mystery to me for years. The timber sealer is a waxy product, yet thins down and washes up fine in water, how could that be?

    The old log is a large redgum that is being loaded. And yes, sitting back with the aircon on while blocking firewood is pretty comfortable. We designed and built the unit ourselves and have it spinning clockwise in the photo, away from the operator. Any ejection of debris or blocks is away from the machine. It is well guarded and we now have additional screens on the machine since that photo was taken during our trials some years ago. It would have cut well over 1000 tonne of foot blocks this year from only 3 blade re-tips, and cuts more than 3 chainsaw operators can cut per hour, even in dirty wood. It was $10K in materials and $1500 per blade, but no sore backs at the end of the day!

    Cheers,

    James.
    Thanks for you comments and answers James,

    Great system you have going there!

    To answer your question, though I have not been involved in the lab formulation, my response is based on other experiences I had. In the case of end sealers I was advising on the quality of the end product that were made in small batches for quality testing on wood. Changes to the formulation were made to optimise the product.

    Its a WAX EMULSION / Dispersion ie a stable suspension of wax particles in water. Hence like water paints they can be diluted (to a small extent) and brushes washed if not dry. Emulsions of Oils, fats and waxes occur naturally eg butter, mayonaise etc as well as in creams used in cosmetics. Some are water in oil or wax, others are oils/ waxes in water. Some are used in fruit and packaging coating.

    This is what I believe the process is like: Waxes (like fats) are hard oils (but not drying oils). They need special additives (surfactants) + co-solvents, to soften dissolve the wax. The process requires melting waxes, usually blends of synthetic / paraffin waxes. Premium waxes of specific hardness, melting points, tackiness etc) blending with solvent and vitally, specialty surfactants (synthetic detergents), before water is slowiy added (or added to water) with high agitation. The viscosity of final product is important (ratio or waxes to water). This forms a stable cream or paint-like emulsion with a consistency ideal for application. Flow control additives, like used in paints, may be added as well as antioxidants or fungicides.

    As you know, when applied to wood the water evaporates breaking the emulsion and leaving a film of wax and some solvent, which helps adhesion & slight penetration but which also evaporates, leaving a wax film. The best QUALITY films adhere well, are transparent and not sticky. Most wax emulsions have a shelf life.

    If you google "wax emulsions" (for wood) you get a lot on use not much on HOW because much is proprietary.

    Hope this helps explain the mystery of wax emulsions.

    Euge




  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tassietimbers View Post
    Hi Euge and others,

    Thanks for the comments, much appreciated. I too use water based house paint to seal the ends of the unmilled logs. This does provide a great seal during the heat of the summer months, as the wax based products melt away. It also helps to keep all boards from one log together as they are color coded by the panit. 1 slab of beer every year to the local painter usually gets me a full trailer load of half full paint tins.

    I have also tried some other brands of timber sealer, but they seem to much like milky diesel and soak completely into the board, leaving no coating and potential staining.

    Cheers,

    James.
    Back a lot of years ago, Mobilcer M, was a paint on product and when I bought my 2nd 20 litre drum I found that it was runny like milk. I went back to the agent to inquire and they said the formula had been changed to suit it's use in knapsack sprayers. I sold it off and changed to plastic paint, which has worked well for me since. I am processing some of the blanks I cut back in the 80ies at present and I forgot how messy the waxy crap is, got it all over my clothes and the bandsaw table.
    Rgds,
    Crocy.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Rochester, vic
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    Hi Euge,

    Great response mate, certainly clears that mystery up for me.

    Despite the waxy finish, I am still very happy with the end result. We paint about six inches on all sides at the ends of each board, which allows us to reduce end split. I figure that if we rack away 1000 boards in a year of various lengths and recover and extra 3 inches each end, being 6 inches per board, that is 500 lineal feet of furniture timber saved rather than docked. That's 1.5 cubes of 200 x 50's, which is around $7500 worth for an outlay of maybe $300 worth of timber sealer, a good investment in my mind, despite the sticky end result! As any sawmiller will agree, anything that increases your recovery margin from a log is well worth it. Most logs only yield about 20-30% recovery on sawn boards, maybe 40% on large logs, so a small increase is significant to the bottom line, even for a small private operation like mine.

    If only all our logs were as big as this 20 tonne redgum last year, recovery wouldn't be an issue!

    IMG_6747.jpg

    Cheers,

    James

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