Transparent boat?

Take 1mm-thick wood, apply H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide), expose to sun, and then apply epoxy. Your wood is now transparent, according to this:

I know the wood used in CLC kits is thicker than 1mm, but I wonder if this would work? Might make for a very interesting looking boat.

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RE: Transparent boat?

very cool. 

thought it was a joke at first.  but very interesting.

thanks for sharing.


RE: Transparent boat?


I'm sure 1mm was used for experimental purposes but how thick a piece can this be done with? I think 1mm might lack being workable for structural purposes. Maybe 2,3 or 4. Also there's such a thing as too light. You wouldn't want your boat to blow away.

Remmember the story of the Three Little Pigs, 

Be fun to experiment with this, I'm sure they're onto something with it though.


RE: Transparent boat?

They don't say what the hydrogen peroxide concentration is. The drugstore stuff is only 3% so it may not be strong enough.

The transparency seems to be exactly the same effect as wetting out glass. The treated white wood turns transparent when wet out with epoxy. Based on this, my guess is that it'll be similar to building a boat from glass cloth - once you get it thick enough to be a structural material, it'll be more translucent than transparent. Plus there's the matter of UV protection, so you'll have to have a layer of varnish on it.

Now for a truly transparent boat, I picked up some scrap polycarbonate sheet at CLC a while back. When I asked what is was from, they told me it was the off-cut from a kit they cut for an artist who was building a transparent Eastport Pram. That's all the details I know. I don't know who, if they ever finished, etc.


RE: Transparent boat?

If you just want to buy one -- not build one -- have a look at See Through Canoe . I saw one last week in Niceville, FL. It would be a lot of fun there!  Or any place with clear water and lots of fish.

RE: Transparent boat?

I haven't yet browsed that link but I somehow doubt the % of H2O2 used to be your common OTC 3% stuff.

15 - 30% and stronger is available to consumers but should be approached with caution. This stuff is a strong oxidizer, releasing copious oxygen upon contact with organic materials.

RE: Transparent boat?

Here's a link to the abstract of the procedure described in that earlier linked article.

Down the page a bit, under the heading Materials and Methods it mentions 30% H202 was used, 10 times the concentration of the stuff you can buy at your local pharmacy.

Here's a link to an MSDS for 30% H202.

Higher concentrations have been used for a variety of propulsion devices, notably rocket fuel oxidizer and military torpedoes.. in one instance resulting in the loss of the Soviet submarine Kursk when an accidental release of H202 reacted with a torpedo's fuel.

RE: Transparent boat?


So what you're saying is "don't try this at home " ?

Got that guys, put down that bottle of hydrogen peroxide,Let's not get anyone hurt.

Sounds like a lot of regulatory factors might stand in the way of practical production but isn't that always the case? Still very interesting.


RE: Transparent boat?

Welcome to try pretty much anything at home PdP, I'm all for stretching one's boundaries. Just helps to be aware of potential risks, better informed than surprised by injury.

Only real regulation applies once you opt for acquiring H202 in concentrations >/= 35% as DHS considers that as their invitation to get involved.

Chemistry's what makes life possible but it deserves respect.





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