Waterproofing Wooden Box

Hello, (1st post)
I'm looking for some advice on waterproofing a box of 3/4" red oak to 'permenantly' hold water. Doing some research (which eventually led me here) I've found that it maybe possible to use tar for the inside of this reservoir.
But tar is ugly.
So I'm thinking about covering the tar with some type of plastic sheets and (hopefully) somehow welding the plastic sheet joints. Added protection, I hope. I'm not concerned about the outside of this box as the entire structure will be kept indoors. Does this sound possible? And does anyone have any suggestions or concerns that I should look into first?
-bkennedy
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BKennedy wrote:

Something to consider... oak water and wine barrels don't have liners.
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"D.B." wrote:

They're white oak, not red.
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA
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No wood box will permanently hold water. Forever is a long time.
How long does it need to retain water without leaking? What is going to be in the box...is toxicity an issue? How deep is the box (static pressure)?
Too many unknowns.
Phil
BKennedy wrote:

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On Mon 08 Sep 2003 11:59:38a, b_t snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (BKennedy) wrote in

I watched an episode of the Woodwright's Shop when he had Frank Klausz as a guest. Frank built a water box for a sharpening stone, out of nothing but and nails. I can't remember for sure now if the the box was meant to always have water in it but I'd be willing to bet a sixpack that it was.
He used sliding dovetails to join the sides, and made a 'gasket' for the bottom by taking a thick piece of wire and a hammer and making an unbroken indendation all the way around underside of the side pieces. Then he put the bottom on and nailed it with a LOT of nails - looked like every one or two inches. That crushes the fibers and makes them swell more than the surrounding wood when they get wet. Made the whole thing on the show, no breaks. That guy is FAST. Held water immediately, didn't even leak before it swelled up.
Frank told Roy that while he was in wood school, he'd make a few bucks on the side by asking every pregnant woman he saw if she'd like to have a baby's bathtub handmade, cheap. Said he made them the same way he did the waterstone box.
It was a long time ago that I saw that show. Now that I think about it, seemed like he cut the pins for the sliding dovetail with a handsaw but had a special plane to cut the tailpiece.
Dan
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Somewere I've got this in a magazine I saved (from memory I think American Woodworker from about 5 years back).
After making the indentation with the wire, he would plane the edge down to the level of the indentation. That way, after nailing the bottom on, the compressed wood expanded more than the surrounding material creating a "gasket." I think he may also have used a tapered sliding dovetail to make a tighter joint.
-David
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You forgot a step. After putting the groove in, plane the rest down to the same level as the bottom of the groove. That way, it will swell more than the surrounding wood.

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I was going to say something when David pointed that out, but my daughter's wedding got in the way. :-) So now I will:
Now that you mention it, I think I do vaguely remember that. Guess it was longer ago than I thought. Still one of my favorite WS shows. Sure wish my local PBS would run 'em again.
Dan
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Perhaps some fiberglas cloth and resin would do the trick? I've used fiberglas with both polyester resin (considered the conventional method) and epoxy, and both held water for a long time without leaking. If it's a relatively small box, there won't be enough flex from the weight of the water to cause problems with the fiberglas.
I figured, it works for boats on the outside, and they sit in the water for years sometimes without leaks through the hull, so why not? It did work well, though if the fiberglas is exposed to UV (ultraviolet) you may want to make sure it is painted or otherwise protected from the UV. One box I had in the back yard in San Jose didn't do as well in direct sun, compared to one in the front yard under shade most of the time.
--Rick
BKennedy wrote:

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I'm a waterproofing contractor. When you mention waterproof, it has different meanings to different people. For what your talking about (constant submersion) your on the right track with plastic sheets, but what you actually want is shower pan liner. Its comes in sheets (probably available at Home Depot or the likes) and is made of PVC. The solvent to weld the seams is probably in the same isle.
To make it so it don't move around once installed, just staple the sheet and weld a patch over the staple.

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How about the stuff you dip tool handles in? It comes in red and yellow and maybe more colors. http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber&86
Art

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How about epoxy? Dries clear.

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Thanks everyone for the ideas! And I'm planning on using an epoxy but the tool handle dip is interesting.
There's really nothing more 'waterproof' than tar, is there? I believe I'll use that to adhere the plastic sheets to, as I found that by chemically bonding acrylic sheets together (hopefully 1/8") you can make fish tanks! That should be good for the tar-protected reservoir then.
heh, I had no idea that these newsgougs could be so helpful. :) (Forget the 'retail-based' web searches when I need info from now on.)
-Brad K
More questions later.
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Tue, Sep 9, 2003, 3:49pm (EDT-3) b_t snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (BKennedy) puts out: <snip> More questions later. Give more details later.
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What epoxy should I look for? What's the best choice?
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Here is one place. Much cheaper than buying a bunch of those little tubes at the borg.
http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/SiteSearch?storeId 001 &catalogId001&keyword=epoxy -- Jim in NC
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Two part, clear, bar top epoxy. Available at craft stores and the borgs.
(BKennedy) wrote:

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