I am probably daft for even considering it, but I am thinking of
building a wooden bird bath to stand permanently in my garden. Can
anyone tell me if there is a glue out there that will stand being
constantly immersed in water and is there a finish that will waterproof
and preserve the timber without poisoning the birds or tainting the water?
While I have your attention any suggestions as to the timber?
Resorcinol glue is generally preferred for bonds that will be immersed
in water. WEST epoxy, System 3, or any other good epoxy should also
work. As for a finish that's non-toxic and good for continuous
immersion, you're better off with a plastic liner.
There aren't any really good choices for lumber--the woods that stand
up well when continuously wet are difficult to bond.
Epoxies and Polyurethanes are supposed to be waterproof.
For the bowl itself, however, you might want to consider designing in
the manner of redwood water tanks that are held together mechanically
and rely on the swelling of the wood for seal. Can you get redwood or
something similar in the UK?
That sounds like a fine idea. You are right that constant immersion requires
a special glue, more than just weatherproof and as others have said you need
to worry about UV light. You _can_ do the job by using boat building
timbers, adhesives and finishes but if it was me I would want to put it in
the garden and leave it to weather so use a timber suitable for outside use
like a good dense oak or a cedar, line the bowl with a bit of roofing lead
beaten into shape with a rubber mallet, sit the foot on a piece of stone to
keep it off the wet ground, design and join in such a way that it will be
resistant to seasonal soaking, freezing, baking and drying and it sounds
like a really cool project. Good luck.
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