Waterproof wood "sealer" for resevoir - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 09-17-2020, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Question Waterproof wood "sealer" for resevoir

I built a couple bogs/planter boxes for filtration of my small backyard pond using some MCA treated lumber from local box store. Water will be pumped into them, filtered up through the pea gravel/plants, and then flow back out through the waterfall. I can silicone all the joints to make it watertight, but what can I use to seal the wood itself that won't break the bank and isn't toxic to fish? I know epoxy or liquid EPDM would work, but those are expensive. I also want to avoid using a pond liner or plastic liners, as I need the bulkhead flanges on the outside.


Would just simple polyurethane work? My understanding is that it's plant/fish safe once fully dried.
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post #2 of 13 Old 09-17-2020, 11:51 PM
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Well, you ruled out my first ideas....

So, I thought some more and came up with spray on Flex Seal .

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 09-18-2020 at 12:57 AM.
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post #3 of 13 Old 09-18-2020, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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I was actually just browsing Amazon and found this stuff, which isn't too bad on the wallet and seems to be ok for pond use according to reviews...
https://www.amazon.com/Liquid-Rubber...DAERJ5GV5&th=1

Also, just to clarify... I don't need it to be 100% sealed on the inside, as the boxes will be exposed to the rain and hot FL sun all the time anyway. I'm more just looking to extend the life of the wood and prevent major leakage/seepage and having to add water to the pond all the time. That's why I was wondering if a few coats of poly (or similar) would cover those basis? If not, I'll prob give the roll on liquid rubber a try.
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post #4 of 13 Old 09-18-2020, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Or what about marine paint?
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post #5 of 13 Old 09-18-2020, 09:16 AM
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With wood movement nothing you paint on will work. It will eventually leak. I would recommend lining the inside with shower pan rubber. What would have been better is to find some square plastic containers and build the boxes to fit around them.
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post #6 of 13 Old 09-18-2020, 09:24 AM
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That liquid rubber sounds like just the ticket!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainBound View Post
I was actually just browsing Amazon and found this stuff, which isn't too bad on the wallet and seems to be ok for pond use according to reviews...
https://www.amazon.com/Liquid-Rubber...DAERJ5GV5&th=1

Also, just to clarify... I don't need it to be 100% sealed on the inside, as the boxes will be exposed to the rain and hot FL sun all the time anyway. I'm more just looking to extend the life of the wood and prevent major leakage/seepage and having to add water to the pond all the time. That's why I was wondering if a few coats of poly (or similar) would cover those basis? If not, I'll prob give the roll on liquid rubber a try.

It has enough elongation at 900%, to bridge any gaps AND they recommend a seam sealer tape if a no leak condition is what you want. AND it's water based, no fumes or VOCs to deal with. Good Find!
BTW, I was NOT impressed with the Flex Seal spray in that video

since it left pin holes and wouldn't bridge small gaps. It may be fine as a surface sealer however, and that's kinda what you were looking for. A good learning experience none the less.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #7 of 13 Old 09-18-2020, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
With wood movement nothing you paint on will work. It will eventually leak. I would recommend lining the inside with shower pan rubber. What would have been better is to find some square plastic containers and build the boxes to fit around them.
Great idea on using square plastic containers and building the boxes to fit them.

Perhaps you could find containers that are close and fill the gaps around them with sand or foam.
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post #8 of 13 Old 09-18-2020, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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@Steve and Quickstep - I thought about plastic boxes/storage totes, but I've not seen too many that are perfectly square. Most have a taper towards the bottom which would be an issue when trying to connect the 2 bottom bulkheads through both the wood and angled plastic. And the reason I was leaning toward a paint/roll on solution was because I need the flanges of the bulkheads on the outside, and the nut on the inside... so tightening the nut against any sort of rubber or plastic liner would likely rip it. If a material were used, it would need to be rigid as to not twist/break when tightening the nuts (like laminate or similar).



Also, as mentioned, I did plan on using a liberal amount of silicone in between all the boards as well as the corners, etc. which should provide some elasticity. That's why I was hoping a paint on type product would work.


@woodnthings - thanks for your feedback and suggestions. I agree the FlexSeal spray was prob a bad choice for that application. Bridging gaps that big would of prob worked fine with FlexSeal's paint on products though (basically same stuff I linked above, without the $90/gal price tag like FlexSeal). I'm headed out to the local box store to grab a bunch of silicone and going to browse around to see if anything jumps out at me. If not, I'll prob try the liquid rubber.



It's a bummer that the poly won't work though. I thought that's what wooden boat builders used on the hulls in conjunction with the wood expansion to fill the gaps between planks.

Last edited by MountainBound; 09-18-2020 at 11:46 AM.
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post #9 of 13 Old 09-18-2020, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Just got back from the box store. Found a couple interesting products...
https://www.homedepot.com/p/PLAS-TEX...8615/311314398
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Lanco-1-...05-4/202086638

The polywall seemed like it would do the trick, but wasn't sure about the toxicity of the material. Also would be a bit more labor intensive fitting pieces over the 2x3 braces in the corners. So I picked up a gallon of the siliconizer since it seemed to be similar to the stuff in the Amazon link. Will let you know how it turns out. I'll apply the coating, fill it and leave it on my back porch for a few days to see if it holds up.
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post #10 of 13 Old 09-18-2020, 02:04 PM
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Another option, you could fiberglass the inside of the boxes. You would have to use the fiberglass cloth or webbing to prevent the wood from breaking it at the joints.
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post #11 of 13 Old 09-22-2020, 10:05 PM
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I second the shower pan liner. It can be seamed with specific glue. Both products are readily available at any box store in usually the plumbing section.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Dave H
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post #12 of 13 Old 09-23-2020, 12:39 AM
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Could you build a plywood box a couple of inches smaller all the way around and fit it inside as a concrete form and simply line it with concrete/cement with some sort of mesh support? I've thought of doing this, but wasn't sure if it would work, so never quite got around to trying it.

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post #13 of 13 Old 09-23-2020, 06:48 AM
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Google “square polypropylene tanks”.

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