Thompson's Water Seal

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
robinfw
Posts: 414
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:10 pm
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Thompson's Water Seal

Post by robinfw » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:19 am

Thompson's Water Seal
Why have I never seen this mentioned?
Do Luthiers know about this?
If so what are the thoughts?

John higgon
Amateur luthier
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:25 pm

Re: Thompson's Water Seal

Post by John higgon » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:08 am

It looks like an oil-based finish and oil-based finishes are not unusual on guitars. There is a wide range available. This looks like it's intended for garden sheds, but why not try it on a scrap of wood and see what it looks like? There are specialist oil finishes like Tru Oil and Danish oil which luthiers are more inclined to use.

robinfw
Posts: 414
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:10 pm
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Re: Thompson's Water Seal

Post by robinfw » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:45 pm

This was not intended to be a finish but a control for humidity changes I think.
I first came across this in the Overholtzer guitar book.
Long ago I built two guitars using his method and they were both superior instruments.
One was a cedar top and the other spruce.
I think there are references to him on the forum.

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Brian McCombs
Posts: 1477
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:55 pm
Location: Union City, Michigan

Re: Thompson's Water Seal

Post by Brian McCombs » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:52 pm

Somewhere I read states that it is mostly paraffin wax once all the materials dry. I coated a picnic table with it several years ago, I seem to recall it always stayed a little sticky to the touch.

Paul Micheletti
Amateur luthier
Posts: 510
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:48 am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Thompson's Water Seal

Post by Paul Micheletti » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:40 pm

I seem to remember a Fine Woodworking magazine article on outdoor finishes that said that Thompsons is essentially paraffin wax suspended in turpentine. This would offer no real protection for wood over any wax finish. Shellac is a much more protective finish than wax.

RedCliff
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:26 pm

Re: Thompson's Water Seal

Post by RedCliff » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:13 pm

Overholtzer used a sealer made by some old boys somewhere which he could never reproduce. His local college analysed the stuff and said it was mainly paraffin and kerosene. However, paraffin means different things in different places - it doesn't say whether it was paraffin wax, or paraffin oil etc. Whatever it was, he was able to glue over it, which doesn't seem likely with Thompsons water seal IMO.
Giles Ratcliffe
Sheffield
England

robinfw
Posts: 414
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:10 pm
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Re: Thompson's Water Seal

Post by robinfw » Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:22 am

Overholtzer used a sealer made by some old boys somewhere which he could never reproduce. His local college analysed the stuff and said it was mainly paraffin and kerosene. However, paraffin means different things in different places - it doesn't say whether it was paraffin wax, or paraffin oil etc. Whatever it was, he was able to glue over it, which doesn't seem likely with Thompsons water seal IMO.

Wrong

Read the book.

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