Treating wood

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by opus, Oct 5, 2004.

  1. opus

    opus Well-Known Member

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    Building a guest cabin and it will be sitting on 6x6's or so. Not really wanting to buy pressure treated seeing I mill my own. Any suggestions on treating the ones laying on the ground??

    Wood will probably be red fir or larch.
     
  2. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

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    Cut then larger than you would normally, and char the outer surface, charcoal dosen't rot.

    If I remember correctly, it needs about a 1/2 inch thick burned layer, and the burned portion doesn't count in the dimension measurements.
     

  3. opus

    opus Well-Known Member

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    Now thats interesting...whodda thunk it??
     
  4. jacksun

    jacksun Active Member

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    coat it with used motor oil blacker the better out of a diesel the best wont rot termites ants rodents wont touch it also good on fences to keep horses from cribbing had one horse was half beaver put commercial anti cribbing oil smelled like cinimon he thought it was extra spice used motor oil stopped hin though.
     
  5. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    stand the 6 x 6 posts in a barrel of used motor oil until you get good saturation on the ground contact ends.
     
  6. opus

    opus Well-Known Member

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    6x6's are going to be like skids, not posts in the ground, but I get the picture.
     
  7. Stush

    Stush Well-Known Member

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    Regardless of how you treat the skids, I would make sure they were resting on a good layer of gravel. Much better than dirt. The water will drain away and you should have less bugs. :)
     
  8. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As an exterminator, I can tell you the motor oil treatment is not the best. It will give protection for a while. You can buy a product called Bora-Care by Nisus but it is very pricy. It is boric acid dissolved in antifreeze. The antifreeze will be sucked up through the entire board and carry the boric acid throughout. This will protect the wood from just about anything for 40 years. Even creosoted timbers only last about 10 years and do not provide long enough protection for a foundation. I have heard of people making their own mixture of boric acid and antifreeze. You can buy a soluable boric acid called Timbor that is relatively cheap and should be available if you search.
     
  9. joan from zone six

    joan from zone six Well-Known Member

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    a bit off-topic but i've also heard anti-freeze alone works well to keep mildew, etc off of wood siding - can be applied with sprayer and used anti-freeze works just as well as new -
     
  10. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Lay the beams on concrete blocks so that they're off the ground.....they won't rot and you'll not have to treat them.
     
  11. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would agree cabinfever since you are in Montana provided you keep them above grade and dont cover them with backfill.
    Antifreeze does have antifungal properties. The mixture with boric acid will protect wood from all bugs and rots (dry rot, brown rot, white rot etc)
     
  12. joan from zone six

    joan from zone six Well-Known Member

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    gobug - do you know if it must be boric acid or can plain borax be substituted - and, does the antifreeze simply dissolve the powder or is there another step required?
     
  13. opus

    opus Well-Known Member

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    Concrete blocks....that would be too simple and too cost effective.....*sigh*.
     
  14. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Borax is slightly different than regular boric acid, I don't exactly remember the difference. There are several boric acid compounds. Some are very soluable and others not as much. The timbor product is totally soluable in water. I will do a little research and see if I can find the answer. I believe it has to do with the free boron, which is the ingredient that does the job. The key would be whether it dissolves. You want to saturate the the mix. I will also check on the percentage of boric acid in the ethylene glycol. I believe boraxo soap has lots of other stuff in it and may not be as good. It doesn't take a lot to preserve the wood. If you use the Bora-care product, it can be sprayed on the surface until it is wet, thats all.
     
  15. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    If you arent going to actually skid it around you can use a couple readily available items from your local auto parts store. You can cover the timbers with asphalt undercoating that comes in spray cans at about 4 dollars a can. A couple cans would probably do it. Or at Advance Auto Parts and Autozone you can get spray in bed liner. It is in the same size can as the undercoating and cost a bit more. Or if you have any of the roofing stuff they put on mobile homes it will do and you can get a bucket fairly cheap. Use the black asphalt kind and a mop and go to work. I bought a five gallon bucket of it unopened at a flea market for eight bucks once.