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  1. #1
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    Seam sealing help

    Hey all,

    I am going to be seam sealing a new silpoly tarp. I have seam sealed a tent before (messily) so I am familiar with the process. I want to do a cleaner, more effective job on my new tarp. I am planning on using my trusty blue painters tape to frame my sealing area and minimize mess. However, in doing my research I see some people sealing the top of their tarps (like in jellyfish's video) and some people sealing the underside of their tarps (the UGQ how-to video). Which is the better side to do? Or, should I go all-in and do both sides of the tarp because its more time I get to play with my new gear?

    Thanks folks!
    "Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." - Marthe Troly-Curtin

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I seal from the top with a few coats of nightly thinned silicone. Thinner than the maple syrup consistency they recommend. This allows you to do a neat job and really work the sealer into the seam.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Otter1's Avatar
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    Agree with Rex. Add mineral spirits little by little if you have to, and keep stirring. One time I had to throw the little batch out - it never mixed for some reason. I tell you this so if it happens to you you won't give up.

    Brush on w/a foam brush ~$1.00. If don'e right, when it dries you have no mess, but can tell it was sealed. Very nice! So easy. Just let it dry longer than you think you need and there's no need to add talc, etc like some recommend. Will not be tacky if allowed to completely dry.

  4. #4
    MAD777's Avatar
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    I like to get my mix pretty thin. Thick stuff takes too long to dry and makes sticky clumps. Foam brush to throw away. Stir the mineral spirits for a long time.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  5. #5
    gunner76's Avatar
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    Make sure you use 100% pure silicone. Dilute/Mix in mineral spirits ( I use an old glass jar ) to the point the silicone can not be seen. Use foam paint brush or small paint brush. Set up tarp low to ground so it will be easy to access seams and stake out tarp to keep it from blowing around. Brush on small amount on and into seam. Allow to dry over night. Conduct hose test to make sure the seams are sealed. I have done 5 DIY tarps this way.
    I am 18 with 48 years of experience ! ................ Hike the Neusiok Trail & check out the NTforum !

  6. #6
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    Like others have said but I use 4 parts Coleman fuel to 1 part clear silicone calk. I used the kind that requires a petroleum product to clean up. Some use water for cleanup. I think the smell goes away sooner with camp fuel than mineral spirits.

  7. #7
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    Thanks guys. I am waiting on an HG Journey and I know they include a tube of seem sealer with the purchase so I was planning on using that. I will thin it out with mineral spirits since I have that on-hand. I am planning on sealing the inside first with the tarp laid out flat. I have read a lot of post from folks saying it should be pitched taut before sealing but I might not have the space to do that in my basement hammock lab. I might be able to tension it on the floor though.
    "Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." - Marthe Troly-Curtin

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by robfishman View Post
    Thanks guys. I am waiting on an HG Journey and I know they include a tube of seem sealer with the purchase so I was planning on using that. I will thin it out with mineral spirits since I have that on-hand. I am planning on sealing the inside first with the tarp laid out flat. I have read a lot of post from folks saying it should be pitched taut before sealing but I might not have the space to do that in my basement hammock lab. I might be able to tension it on the floor though.
    Folks are going to plead and/or advise that you not do this job indoors! Let me be the first. If you don't have a garage, find a friend or neighbor or wait for a good forecast to do it outside.

    I do all my seam-sealing in the garage, with the tarp pulled taut.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunner76 View Post
    Make sure you use 100% pure silicone. Dilute/Mix in mineral spirits ( I use an old glass jar ) to the point the silicone can not be seen. Use foam paint brush or small paint brush. Set up tarp low to ground so it will be easy to access seams and stake out tarp to keep it from blowing around. Brush on small amount on and into seam. Allow to dry over night. Conduct hose test to make sure the seams are sealed. I have done 5 DIY tarps this way.
    All of this above. Exactly how I do it and it works!
    The deep mystery gives rise to the spirits -Charc

  10. #10
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    Make it thin. It should be like melted honey. My recommendation is to use a small kids water color brush. Take your time. If you have a second pair of hands, have them pull the 2 halves of fabric apart while you blot the fine brush in the stitches. Also, make sure to have a mineral spirits soaked paper towel nearby ALWAYS.

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