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Traditional Oakum Caulking

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In the past, there was little to no distinction made between materials used for building ships and materials used for building on land. In fact, it was common for old ships to be decommissioned, taken apart, and the useful materials applied to buildings on land. Nothing was ever wasted.

Before modern chemical sealants, Oakum was the original caulking. It was used for sealing joints between wooden deck boards and ship lapping, just as it still is today. The oakum is pounded into the joints using a Caulking Iron and a Rawhide Hammer, and it is then soaked with Linseed Oil and/or hot Pine Tar. This provides a very effective seal against water ingress and remains flexible even in harsh marine conditions.

In the past, Oakum was made by picking apart old marine ropes made from hemp or other natural fibres that were no longer useful on ships. It was, then, loosely twisted into cords and used as a crack filler and sealant.

Today, our Traditional Oakum Caulking is made from twisted jute fibre and is used in cauking, sealing, and packing in the plumbing, construction, equine, marine, and log home industries.

Oakum is used as a plumbing sealant in old cast iron drains; it is commonly used in log cabin construction to pound between the logs before the chinking mortar is applied over top; it is used in the equestrian industry to pack in horse's hooves; and it is used in the marine industry just as it always has been.

Oakum is used in the construction industry to caulk concrete joints There is also evidence of Oakum being used as a window and door sealant in older buildings, where Oakum was pounded in between the frame and the opening as a gasket. A brick mould or a mortar would have been applied over top to finish the join. Oakum is also ideal to pack between the logs of a log home construction. 

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