Cleaning up oily wood

Is there a good way to prep fuel soaked wood for iron-on covering?

OK, dump question, let's rephrase. Is there a _workable_ way to prep fuel soaked wood for iron-on covering?

I've got some repairs around a nose section that are almost done & ready to gussie up.

Reply to
Tim Wescott
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Tim, I've had good luck in the past using Shower to Shower brand powder and giving it overnight to absorb the really bad excess oils. After I lightly brush off the caked oil and powder, I sand it without using a tack cloth and give it a light coat of CA glue which I brush on with an old, disposable brush. After that, another sanding and you're ready to rock and roll. I leave as much of the powder and balsa dust in the area as I can without being gross about it.

Smells nice, too.

-- Ray

Reply to
Ray Haddad

I am so glad to answer a real modeling question again! It has been a long time since THIS subject has been talked about.

I usually use K2R and then my heat gun to 'boil' the oil to the surface. K2R is a stain remover that may not be available in all locations.

Others have talked of diacetomus earth (bad bad spelling) but the concept is to cause the oil to migrate to the surface of the wood and have something to soak it up. That funny sounding stuff is supposed to be available at swimming supply houses as (IIRC) it is used in pool filters. Ask for "Fullers Earth"?

Good luck.

Reply to

I seem to remember someone suggesting spraying the wood with starter fluid. Never tried it myself. Diatomaceous (had to look up the spelling) earth is the stuff for pool filters. Its basically microscopic sea shells from prehistoric plankton. Had a pool once. Think I might try the K2R myself if I can find it. Don't have a pool now.


"Six_O'Clock_High" > fuel soaked wood for iron-on covering?

Reply to
Fubar of the HillPeople

On Mon, 30 Mar 2009 21:02:45 -0700, Fubar of the HillPeople wrote: (top posting fixed)

Starter fluid would work -- it's ether, and should certainly dilute the oil and make it move easily in the wood. You'd still have to _remove_ the oil, by soaking up the starter fluid/oil mixture, or vacuuming it (with an explosive-proof vacuum, please), etc.

Hmm. Way explosive, intoxicating/toxic, expensive, might eat up the glue.

Maybe I'll try the talcum powder approach first.

Reply to
Tim Wescott

I have seen the results of the K2R process and it works pretty well. The guy that did it did not uase the heat gun, he just dosed the area up with K2R and left it overnight. I think he did a couple of iterations. The wood was dry enough to get a good glue bond and re-cover.

If you go to a pool supply place to get DE, be prepared to get 25 pounds

- that is how it is packaged. It is cheap though.

Good Luck, BobH

Reply to

I use Kr2 mk

Reply to

DE is ok but just dunk the nose in a bucket of kitty litter overnight. That's basically what the auto garage shops use to soak up oil on concrete- dried clay.

Reply to

Its been so long that I've encountered the problem now flying electrics, but I had good luck with KR2 also.

Reply to
Red Scholefield

Ted shuffled out of his cave and grunted these great (and sometimes not so great) words of knowledge:

Use K2R (if it is available in your area), then hit it with the heat gun to bring everything to the surface.

If you can not get K2R, use corn starch. Sprinkle on, rub in, then do the heat gun.

With either method you will most likely need to do this 4 or 5 times to get out most of the oil.

Once you have gotten out as much oil as possible, give the area a thin - medium coat of SIG "StixIt".

The StixIt works MUCH better than Balsarite.

On regular balsa, if you put a thin coat of STixIt on and then TRY to remove the covering, you WILL pull chunks of balsa off with the covering (if you can get the covering off). The ONLY way to remove covering put on over StixIT is to heat the covering while pulling on it.

Reply to
Ted Campanelli

K2R is essentially a talcum with a solvent propellant. It smells a bit like Carbon Tet which is pretty dangerous. I don't think you can get K2R in Calif. Seems the bunny huggers have shut out a lot of stuff from that state.

I would say get some talcum, some good old "Imperial Cleaning Fluid", mix up a paste and slather it on. The solvent will loosen and dilute the oil and the talcum with soak it up! Ether alone will just knock you on your ass. You can't wipe the oil away fast enough! Ether dries almost instantly!

Reply to

On Fri, 03 Apr 2009 17:55:00 +0000, Jim wrote: (top posting fixed)

--- snip ---

Tuesday I sprinkled it heavily with baby powder (AKA talc), and left for California on a business trip.

Today or tomorrow I'll see if it seems to have done anything...

Reply to
Tim Wescott

Baby powder is indeed talc but is too finely ground. I recommended Shower to Shower brand because the talc particles are bigger. Small particles will clog at the surface while the larger ones have air between them allowing capillary action to draw the oil to the next layer of talc. Depending on your density of oil impregnation, it might work ok but don't give up on the talc method if Baby Powder fails. Talc has two things going for it. Talc is a terrific and relentless grabber of oils and also makes a great filler later if the oil has degraded the wood left behind. When you finish the clean up stage, you can apply a dry dusting of talc, wipe it off and then brush a layer of CA over the area making it rock hard and tough again. I've seen even spongy balsa repaired this way in the field.

-- Ray

Reply to
Ray Haddad

Talc is the filler in sanding sealer, too, incidentally.

I used the baby powder because it's on hand (for bicycle tires); I'll maybe get some S2S if the baby powder doesn't work.

Reply to
Tim Wescott

Diatomaceous earth is basically crushed up shells of diatoms (microscopic aquatic organisms). Looks like chaulk but does not stick together like chaulk. See

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It is light weight but abrasive.

I use it in my swimming pool filter, it coats the cloth filter element completing the element to provide clear water. You can check with swimming pool supply places, but usually comes in a good sized bag and good cost, which is much more than for modeling needs. However, Walmart may have smaller quantities.

Never considered using it for de-oiling oily wood.

Reply to
High Plains Thumper

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