Seam sealing

Discussion in 'Shelters & Accessories' started by Tartanferret, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. Tartanferret

    Tartanferret Section Hiker

    It looks like i'm finally going to get the chance to seam seal my Trailstar today,

    Remind me of the mix ratio please guys. I've done bits of seam sealing on superfly tarps etc but not a whole trailstar. I dont want to run out of the sealant.

    Cheers

    Jon
  2. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    I did 2:1 white spirits/Silnet

    Mix it in small quantities as it goes off really quickly, especially on a day like today. You can mask it off if you want but I just used a small brush and did it freehand
  3. Jacko1066

    Jacko1066 Ultralighter

    I have read quite a bit about seam sealing but seem (no pun intended) to see different views on how it should be applied.

    Some say inside, some say outside, some even say a bit of both, what do you do?
  4. happycamper

    happycamper Trail Blazer

    I did mine on the outside. I used a brush from a kids art kit and mixed at 2:1 like Shewie said.
  5. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    I did mine on the outside and I've not had a drop come through in three years since I did it.

    I forgot to do around the MLD logo at the door so that has a drip sometimes.
  6. Tartanferret

    Tartanferret Section Hiker

    All sorted now, cheers !

    Only took me 8 months to get around to doing it lol
    Chiseller and Jacko1066 like this.
  7. theoctagon

    theoctagon Thru Hiker

    Tut tut ;)
    Chiseller likes this.
  8. ivorname

    ivorname Backpacker

    Good job we had such a dry winter isn't it :D :p
  9. ADz

    ADz Thru Hiker


    That is because it all depends on the shelter in question and what type of seams it has.

    It was a lot easier then I thought it was and didnt use any types of measurements etc. I just chucked a bit of sealant into enamel cup, dropped some turps in and mixed it until it was a runny consistency and then brushed over seams. I could have been a bit neater but trying to get it sorted as soon as poss while weather was nice.
    Jacko1066 likes this.
  10. Jacko1066

    Jacko1066 Ultralighter

    Cool, that sound pretty much how I would do it lol!!

    Did you have to try and pull the seams apart a bit more to get it right in it?
  11. ADz

    ADz Thru Hiker

    Nah, I just pitched the Trailstar, mixed the crap and slapped it on with brush/finger ;)

    I also decided to do the stitching at bottoms on pullouts to give reinforcement.
    Jacko1066 likes this.
  12. halfshark

    halfshark Hiker

  13. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah it'll be fine, I've done the same with cheapo no name stuff
    Mole likes this.
  14. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    It'll work if 100% silicone.Very expensive for what you are doing. Like buying anadin instead of generic paracetamol.

    I use £2 Everbuild clear silicone sealant or Silnett or whatever's in the cupboard at the time.

    Mix with white spirit to olive oil consistency.

    I apply with a poster paint type brush with half the bristles cut off to make it stubby. Helps work the silicone solution into the stitch holes.


    Half the sealed shelters I see have, IMO, had the sealant applied undiluted/not diluted enough. Takes ages to dry, adds weight and if not sound, peels off much easier. And if needed to be resealed, often need to remove old sealant prior re sealing.

    These disadvantages are avoided if diluted enough.
    People say they can't tell my shelters have been seam sealed. But they don't leak.
    tom, Chiseller and cathyjc like this.
  15. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    Poetry
    Mole likes this.
  16. halfshark

    halfshark Hiker

    Thanks all of you for your help. Much appreciated!
  17. Ben

    Ben Summit Camper

    Do people bother to seal the perimeter stitching around the bottom of a trailstar or just the 5 main seams and around the top?
  18. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    I didn’t bother, it doesn’t really matter if that edge drips a bit
  19. Ben

    Ben Summit Camper

    I didn't think so. I've done all my seams now. Hopefully I've done it right. Is there a way to test I've sealed it all or is it just a case of noticing over time? (Ha that sounds a silly question now I've reread it but any advice would be helpful)
  20. dovidola

    dovidola Section Hiker

    I've sealed none of my seams, and three years (plus several rainy nights) later, I'm still waiting to see if I've done it right.
    WilliamC and Ben like this.
  21. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    Think you use a Hexpeak?

    I depends on seam construction I guess, but the Hexpeak main seams look to me, due to construction, (no external stitch holes) inherently more drip proof than the felled seams used by MLD, or Tarptent.
    My Oware pyramid uses a similar un-felled seam which is also more weatherproof.

    MLD and Tarptents shelters definitely need seam sealing, as advised by the manufacturer. Otherwise, you are asking for drips.
    dovidola likes this.
  22. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    Seam sealing doesn't only stop dripping, but reinforces the stitching too.

    The hem of a shelter is an area where the stitching protrudes and can rub against the floor/rocks/roots etc. Catch a loop of stitch on a peg and it can easily snap. A windy night can abrade fabric if it's touching something. Lots of commercial shelters only have one line of stitching, and if this fails, the hem or even seam can come apart in use.
    I've had all of these happen in the past. Once a Ti peg packing away, once a boot eyelet, twice a rock.
    I now use shelters I make myself, and at least double sew the hems to stop this happening

    A good seam sealer like Seamgrip, or a hard setting silicone sealer like a flowable windshield silicone avoids this ever happening for a few grams and a few min's of sealing.
    Meadows and dovidola like this.
  23. dovidola

    dovidola Section Hiker

    I wasn't aware of that - explains a lot. Yes, I'm still in the throes of my love affair with my Hexpeak (note changed photo from my 'retired' Voyager). Occasionally my eye wanders as far as a Strat 1, and I'll bear in mind what you say about the difference in seam structure should I get one. You may have saved me an uncomfortable night (or several)!
  24. benp1

    benp1 Summit Camper

    I sealed the seams on my trailstar clone using a cut of piece of sponge (kitchen scourer in fact), found it neater

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