Saltwater vs oil-based capacitors

From: 	Engle, Daniel (NJAOST)[SMTP:DEngle-at-NJAOST.ML-dot-com]
Sent: 	Thursday, June 19, 1997 10:33 AM
To: 	'tesla-at-pupman-dot-com'
Subject: 	Saltwater vs oil-based capacitors

I was looking through http://www.eskimo-dot-com/~billb/tesla/tesla.html and
saw several plans for "Homebrew Capacitors".  Under D. Lima's capacitors
was a file on building a relatively simple and seemingly easy saltwater
capacitor.  The question is what is the difference between the typical
oil/plate capacitors and saltwater?  The text said the the capacitance
was relatively close between the two types.  Here's an exerpt:

The 'six pack' capacitor is finished and is very satisfactory. I took   
some readings of my various capacitors and got unexpected results. My
capacitor is 4.8 nF according to the meter. The 'sixpack' is 4.3 nF. The

closeness is amazing considering the advantages of the sixpack over the

bulky oily mess with 9 1/4" plates of glass and 4 qts. of motor oil....

each individual bottle in the sixpack read very close to .74 nF which   
suprised me....I wasn't expecting anything so uniform.

Is there some drawback to the saltwater caps that isn't listed on the

Dan Engle