View Full Version : Help sealing birch

04-01-2014, 08:11 PM
I have a run of Birch needles ready for sealing. However I have never sealed a plug made of birch. Does ny one out here know what he process is for sealing birch? Thanks for your help. Charlie

04-01-2014, 09:21 PM
Charlie, i have some juice ready to go if i use if you wanna dunk your stuff, i am over in West Warwick.
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Eric Roach
04-01-2014, 09:27 PM
I'm wondering what kind of responses you are going to get. Some builders are very tight-lipped about their sealers and clear-coats.

I use thinned epoxy as a penetrating sealer, and have found it works very well for soft and hard woods. The thinner I use is Xylene, so if you do not have a respirator and a well-ventilated space, don't try this inside. You also are going to need gloves.

If you don't want to mess with that, uncut Helmsman Spar Urethane (satin sheen, quart container) is a good "encasing" sealer for any wood. This sealer performed very well in a test performed on another site.

Someone else might recommend something specific for birch.

04-01-2014, 10:04 PM
The harder the wood, the longer you need to soak.
Can you still buy val oil? That is what I used.
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04-01-2014, 10:06 PM
I use spar and spirits roughly 60/40.
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04-02-2014, 04:57 AM
Birch will absorb a lot of sealer and gain a lot of weight if you leave it soaking very long. For needles that's not usually a big deal. Just use cheap spar varnish or val oil mixed 60/40 with mineral spirits. Soak anywhere from 30" to 3-4 hours depending on how much wt you want the plug to gain. Wipe it dry and hang 24 hrs. Dispose of the rags carefully (spontaneous combustion risk if you ball them up while wet).

The Dad Fisherman
04-02-2014, 05:00 AM
I'm pretty sure Val-oil is no more...that is what I used but just ran out of the last of it...

04-02-2014, 07:44 AM
I'm pretty sure Val-oil is no more...that is what I used but just ran out of the last of it...

Lowes sells Val Oil.
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Then again maybe not.

The Dad Fisherman
04-02-2014, 08:28 AM
That....would be awesome....I'll check next time I'm there

04-02-2014, 03:48 PM
The paint guy at my local hardware store got me the last 4 gallons of Val-Oil he could find about a year it's smaller cans only.

Eric Roach
04-05-2014, 12:54 PM
I'm testing different sealers for birch. To keep things consistent, I'm microwaving each batch of blanks for 30 seconds before dipping them in sealer (my usual process for epoxy-sealing).

I can't believe how quickly the heated birch is drinking sealer solutions. Blanks soaked 15 minutes in 60/40 Helmsman/Mineral Spirits increased in weight more than unsealed blanks submerged 6 hours in salt water.