This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
Take some fine iron borings or filings and mix with them sufficient vinegar to form a sort of paste, though the mixture is not adhesive. With this mixture fill up the cracks where the leakage is found, having previously dried the pipe. It must be kept dry until the paste as become quite hard. If an iron pipe should burst, or there should be a hole broken into it by accident, a piece of iron may be securely fastened over it, by bedding it on in paste made of the borings and vinegar as above, but the pipe should not be disturbed until it has become perfectly dry.
To Prevent Wooden Vessels from Leaking. (See also Casks.) — Wooden vessels, such as pails, barrels, etc., often become so dry that the joints do not meet, thus causing leakage. In order to obviate this evil stir together 60 parts hog's lard, 40 parts salt, and 33 parts wax, and allow the mixture to dissolve slowly over a fire. Then add 40 parts charcoal to the liquid mass. The leaks in the vessels are dried off well and filled up with putty while still warm. When the latter has become dry, the barrels, etc., will be perfectly tight. If any putty is left, keep in a dry place and eat it to be used again.