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  #1  
Old 12/17/10, 05:25 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
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homemade wood preservative

DH bought enough 2" x 8" x 8' boards to contain 3 raised beds in our 12' x 24' hoop house. We considered concrete blocks but at 8" wide x 4 rows for the 3 beds = 32" of the 4 yd. width so opted for the wood. Everything commercial that I've seen isn't safe for use around food producing plants.

I found this recipe in Edward C. Smith's THE VEGETABLE GARDENER'S BIBLE on page 77--sidebar on left side of the page.

"...you can make home-brew a batch: Melt 1 ounce (30 g) of paraffin in a double boiler. Remove from heat. Stir the melted paraffin into 3 1/2 quarts (3.3 L) of turpentine. Stir 1/2 cup (120 ml) of linseed oil into the paraffin-turpentine mixture."

There are no instructions for application. Do you use a paintbrush to apply it or soak only the ends of a stake (the author was using 2" x 2" x 6 1/2' lumber for a trellis stakes) that will be pounded into the ground?

Has anybody used anything like this and if so how did you apply it? How effective was it? I remember my father using a mix of boiled linseed oil and turpentine to make a beautiful finish on indoor wood projects but nothing outdoors that I can remember.

Sure do appreciate any input.

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  #2  
Old 12/18/10, 08:37 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 1,653

I dont see anything in the ingredient list you wrote that would stop wood rot from occuring- might slow down the absorption of water, but eventually the wood will wick water and rot or termites will get a foothold.

Youd be better off if for long term using one of the new plastic " woods"

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  #3  
Old 12/18/10, 08:51 AM
 
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Neither did I which is why my question. The thing is DH already bought the lumber for it and the new plastic woods are not immediately available and they are costly.

I missed this site in my original on line searches and since one of the hardware chains that is supposed to carry it has a local store, I'll be making calls to see if I can get it to try. I can also order it from the website. From the website, it looks pretty promising and enough to make one gallon is cheaper than the current price of a gallon of turpentine or at least in my area.

www.valhalco.com

Thanks for your input, Randy.

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Old 12/18/10, 09:39 AM
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: NY
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I would just use untreated fir and replace every 8 to ten years if not more. I have some spf boxes that still work and they are 5 years old. I have made some from red cedar and they are ten years old and probably have 15 to 20 more years of use.

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Old 12/18/10, 09:46 AM
 
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The ingredients listed are just about the same as those in oil-based paint, minus the coloring agent, so I guess you'll get as much protection as you would get from a coat of oil based paint. The parrifin is a petroleum ingredient, but benign in the solid state(as in jelly jar sealing wax).

geo

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Old 12/19/10, 09:24 AM
Ray Ray is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: MO
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hi

live and learn, i've herd it all my life and it seems true, my dad always said why can't one man learn from another mans mistakes? I don't know but it seems the natural way of man, after saying that, I will say, treated lumber is not as good today as 40 years ago, because of restrictions.
you can get books like Henley's Formulas, Dick's encyclopedia, Cooley's encyclopedia of practical receipts, and many others that have the earlier 1700's 1800's recipes to preserve wood and other applications that can be easy and hard and dangerous, too.
I expect the easiest for me was to grab a chainsaw go and cut ceder trees, make a raised bed and it's there for 20 years, or 40. but i have trees and chainsaw and trailer, etc, so it was easy for me. lots of folks would let you cut ceder trees for a raised bed I'd think. best wishes, ray

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  #7  
Old 12/19/10, 09:46 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mossywyatt View Post
I would just use untreated fir and replace every 8 to ten years if not more. I have some spf boxes that still work and they are 5 years old. I have made some from red cedar and they are ten years old and probably have 15 to 20 more years of use.
around here untreated anything would last approximately 1 year.
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  #8  
Old 01/01/11, 01:55 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Southern Maine
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Hi MOgal, the tincture you describe is exactly what I make and use to treat the wooden handles of my shovels, rakes and hand tools etc... Not sure it would work for treating the wood you want to use for your raised beds...

JB

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  #9  
Old 01/01/11, 02:05 PM
 
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Yes, jbmaine, I remember my father using it for the same purpose. I've talked to a friend who has used it on her outbuildings and said she had to repeat the applications every 2-3 years so I've scratched using it on wood in contact with the soil.

I have cedar trees but wanted something not so wide as to take up the limited space in my hoop house, Ray. I have done it in the outdoor beds.

Mossywyatt, DH has already purchased the southern yellow pine for this project. I don't know about fir but dimension cut cedar in this part of the world is far too expensive.

Thanks for all comments and replies.

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  #10  
Old 01/01/11, 02:29 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: northcentral MN
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I thought the new preservatives were copper based?

If that's the case you could soak the boards in some water with copper sulfate dissolved into it.

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  #11  
Old 01/01/11, 04:33 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central Oregon
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I used cedar, but it was expensive.

I'd think that just a coat of exterior paint might give you an additional year. Or some paint on moisture seal.

On the farm, we used to use old motor oil and set the ends of posts into a barrel of it and let 'em soak for a couple of weeks. But since that is really polluting for the ground and maybe carcogenic, I'd say it's better to let the practice stay in the past.

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