Quote from sciencemadness.org: I have been told that linseed oil soaking helps make rods last longer. Frogfot said that treating gouging rods with 15% linseed oil / 85% mineral spirit under vacuum, then curing, is the best way. He also said that some people use the same mix but without vacuum, but that it doesn't work as well. Does anyone know the best way to treat rods with linseed oil (or linseed oil/solvent mix)? I treat my gouging rods with about 10 - 15% by volume boiled linseed oil in "AQUELLUX S". "Aquellux S" is a cement and concrete water proofing material (paint and spray on type) comprising silane and siloxane mixed with white spirits. It has amazing penetrating properties. When the rods are dropped in the solution they actually fizz as the air is forced out. I then pump them down under a light vacuum (old refrigerator compressor). The "vacuum" chamber is just some PVC drain pipe with end caps. But leaving them for a few days without vacuum should be OK. I've always thought that the linseed oil procedure was a bit "old fashioned" and that there should be better modern materials available, hence the silane/siloxane. It seems like a good topic for the amateur. Battery carbons appear to have a waxy substance impregnating them. I did a few experiments dissolving various waxes in various solvents but never carried it further. I believe "Aquellux S" is available all over the world, even upstate New York! In any event, I just mentioned that as an example, check out concrete and cement treatments in hardware stores,etc. There should be something similar. These silicone based treatments aren't pore filling they just line the pores. You need the addition of a thicker substance like the linseed oil to actually fill up the pores. I think I've mentioned it at least twice in other threads, to get a good connection to a gouging rod, leave about 2-3 cm of the copper on the end of the rod that you are going to make the electrical connection. You can then solder your wires onto the copper, or make small stainless steel clips to clamp onto the copper.
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