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What to use for wood preservative

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  • What to use for wood preservative

    Got a Briggs body with some wood that needs to be fixed up. What are we using for new or existing wood to protect it?
    I've heard boiled linseed oil is good as well as Gilsonite, but I have no idea where to source Gilsonite?

  • #2
    With over 60 years of wood treatment experience in humid areas, on Briggs wood parts, I would use something similar to Woodlife Coppercoat 1904A, (underground wood treatment), for longevity against rot, mice and insects. It is sold at many hardware stores.

    Door wood on Briggs bodies was the first to rot when cars were parked out of doors. Rain slides down glass side windows, the bottom wood door drain holes eventually get plugged with dust and dirt, and wood door bottoms got waterlogged and rotted while sitting in water.

    If Ford would have had available and would have used a similar Copper wood preservative product, this wood preservative would have prevented the rotting of many Model A wood body blocks exposed to wet humid areas, many more wood top material pieces where Model A cloth tops were leaking, and many more entire Briggs Model A wood bodies parked out of doors.

    Ford's old thin, black asphalt coating products would never be specified and used today as a reliable wood preservative.

    Applying linseed oil on raw wood in humid areas where termites, carpenter bees and ants, mice, and/or other wood eating insects exist, is about as tempting to them as putting fresh butter on delicious hot pancakes.

    Hope this helps just in case you may want your Briggs wood to last several generations, especially if parked out of doors now and then.
    H. L. Chauvin
    Senior Member
    Last edited by H. L. Chauvin; 08-23-2018, 01:14 AM.


    • 28A
      28A commented
      Editing a comment
      Will look into it further, thanks

    • H. L. Chauvin
      H. L. Chauvin
      Senior Member
      H. L. Chauvin commented
      Editing a comment
      FWIW: About 30 years ago, I told an owner of his new three-quarter million dollar house to make sure he follows specifications and that he coats his treated, solid tongue & groove exterior front and side wood porches with stain rather than porch and deck oil based enamel.

      His painter told him paint was better so he decided to stain the front porch and paint the side porch.

      One year later he called to show me that all of the porch and deck enamel on the side porch was peeling and looked terrible; however, the stain looked new.

  • #3
    You may want to watch this before using Coppercoat


    • #4
      Just use a good black or dark oil base wood stain.
      '29 Martin Parry 500A
      Last edited by sunnyorm; 08-23-2018, 01:36 AM. Reason: sentence restructure


      • #5
        Hmmmmm ...... Most all of our U.S. houses built on damp ground contact concrete slabs have these same types of continuous 2 x 4 sills with this protective green pressure treated wood preservative injected into continuous sill plates and securely fastened to the floor slabs at bases of all interior walls and exterior walls.
        H. L. Chauvin
        Senior Member
        Last edited by H. L. Chauvin; 08-23-2018, 02:51 AM.


        • #6
          Not exactly sure what you are trying to accomplish.
          There were some areas of wood on my 180A that were going soft, and of course some areas particularly the bottom of the R door frame, that needed the wood replaced.
          I dug around and found a company that makes an epoxy based wood restorer made by Abatron

          It is a 2-part liquid, and soaked into the softer areas very nicely. I would personally use this stuff to coat your wood, since epoxy is basically forever. It is a slow cure so it has a chance to soak in deeply.

          The area where the door latches screwed on had holes that were way past worn out, but that wood was otherwise solid. I used the same product, but mixed it with oak sawdust, and filled the holes, then re-drilled. KInda of like a space age 'plastic wood'.
          No problems 30 yrs later


        • #7
          I use epoxy's all the time boat building. I have used the wood restorers mentioned and found that thin epoxy works great to soak into some soft areas. I am a firm believer in replacing, but there are times when you just need to soak a little punk. thin regular epoxy with alcohol and it will soak right in. I just replaced some wood in the back of my Briggs and soaked some that wasn't so bad. Turned out nice. I use pine tar, linseed oil, japan dryer, and some turps for a mixture to keep sailboat wood healthy for a while. Your car will smell like a salty sailboat though.


          • #8
            Epoxy has limitations also, it will not expand and contract with the wood. So don't blanket it with epoxy. Thick stuff I mean


            • #9
              One (1) sad experience.

              I saw a beautiful 1930 fully restored maroon Briggs Town Sedan parked on the side of a guy's mansion about 25 years ago. I later saw it again parked outside, and watched it for about 15 years or so. I saw the owner the last time on a Saturday afternoon with hood open ..... I stopped, and asked him what was going on. He said he was selling it because the wood in all 4 doors had rotted. Doors were loose and sagging and had no resistance to mild forces required to open and close same. He said the the former owner never warned him that this car had a wood body.

              I have witnessed enough rotten wood in our humid area that if I ever had to replace any Model A body wood, personally I would first coat it with wood preservative; however, in arid regions with little rain, wood preservative may never be useful.

              Sounds like a typical Model A owner's choice of what to do with what he has ..... if one is happy with a one's particular decision ..... in my opinion, it is most important to remain happy.


              • 28A
                28A commented
                Editing a comment
                Saw something similar with a 69 Mach 1 with all of the very desirable trimmings with it. Guy bought it new, wife didn’t like all the looks he was getting and didn’t want him to drive it. Sat for over four decades in one of their properties with actual weeds growing thru the seats. Pretty much a total loss and plenty of people wanted to buy it over the years, but he didn’t want to sell it.

            • #10
              Aired areas wood dries out and fasteners fall out, a new home( 2 yrs old) in Colorado had the doors coming off the hinges :-( I used plastic wall anchors and screwed the doors back on :-)


              • #11
                When taking my sons car apart we found between the wood pieces, a black coating with a waxy feel. This stuff when applied in two coats looks and feels the same.


              • #12
                FWIW: Wood for new Model A wood bodies can be very expensive and exceed $2,000.00. Relative humidity can greatly affect new Model A wood dimensions. Wood swelling and shrinking, (even Model A wood), has about an 18 to 1 ratio movement between length and width, e.g., the dimensions of a plank's width will swell and shrink 18 times more than the length of the same plank.

                Professional hardwood floor installers are aware that prior to installing a new basketball maple gym floor, it is always imperative to lay out all planks in the gym for two weeks prior to installing same ...... if the gym floor planks are not acclimated for their new environment, over the entire width of a gym, the widths of these T & G planks will either swell a lot or shrink a lot. At least a 3" space is always left open on adjacent side perimeter walls by professional installers to compensate for this plank width movement between different values of relative humidity throughout the year.

                Shrinking and swelling movement is not much different for Model A wood. If wood originated from a dry climate, (kiln dried or not), and is shipped to a humid climate, the wood will swell in the humid climate and vice-versa. Whether incorporated in Model A wood written in instructions or not, Model A hardwood should be allowed to get acclimated in a new heated or unheated garage setting prior to assembly. Once acclimated, wood movement greatly decreases.

                Wood can also loose strength after many years ..... like 80+ years for Model As and old vintage wood gun stocks. Dried out wood can regain strength by rubbing with linseed oil ...... apply first few coats cut with turpentine to soak in. Gun stocks have a shock effect in recoil when fired ..... vintage gunsmiths knew linseed oil could maintain gun stock wood strength on vintage long arm guns.

                Just a few things to maybe consider prior to tackling an expensive and tedious Model A wood replacement/repair project.


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