Tar and rags in timbers?

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Tar and rags in timbers?

Post by brummie49 » Wed 9th Jun, 2021 9:10 am

I've been doing repairs on timbers at my cottage and found that one of them appears to have been stuffed with rags dipped in tar. Has anyone come across this before? Scraping it off has been incredibly difficult and basically I've just ended up smearing it across the timbers as it's come away. Does it damage the wood? Any tips on what to do next would be appreciated!


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Re: Tar and rags in timbers?

Post by CliffordPope » Thu 10th Jun, 2021 11:56 am

I don't see how tar can do any physical harm. Old boats were commonly repaired by pouring hot tar into gaps in joints, splits, old holes etc. Combined with annual soaking in tar/creosote etc the timbers became so impregnated that they virtually lasted for ever.
Whether you want that appearance (and smell) in a house is another matter.

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Re: Tar and rags in timbers?

Post by Bogart » Thu 10th Jun, 2021 12:00 pm

Just look at some of the tar that comes out of old telegraph poles on a hot day. Will not harm the wood but as previously mentioned may smell especially in summer.

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