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ropensaddle
ropensaddle's picture
Treating wood

Ok I don't have my mill yet but am already thinking ahead of my shop and plan to build a post and beam home or possibly pole home. I have tried searching for info on wood preservation treatment at home with no avail.
I know linseed oil can be used but the process is ? I know creosote would be great but the epa has %%%&&&& its use. I know they built homes before commercial wood treatment plants and am yearning to know those home spun effective and eco friendly practices.

Eivind from Norway
Eivind from Norway's picture

I personally would not use creosote in a building I am to work, it gives of very unhealthy fumes...

Instead use pine tar (heat and mix with terpentine to allow good penetration) or use naturally rot resistant wood.

Good luck.

The problem becomes the solution. -Bill Mollison

Robert in W. Mi.
Robert in W. Mi.'s picture

ropensaddle wrote:
Ok I don't have my mill yet but am already thinking ahead of my shop and plan to build a post and beam home or possibly pole home. I have tried searching for info on wood preservation treatment at home with no avail.
I know linseed oil can be used but the process is ? I know creosote would be great but the epa has %%%&&&& its use. I know they built homes before commercial wood treatment plants and am yearning to know those home spun effective and eco friendly practices.

Where i live, NOTHING homespun will keep wood from rotting at ground level. We use pressure treated wood .60 or better for ground contact, and paint everything else. Also as sideing, make the eves big enough to keep the water off the wood.

Robert

LM2000 with bed extensions, Vanguard 23, optional log post, log turner, hydraulic toe boards, cam dogs, stainless bunk covers, JPT setworks

ropensaddle
ropensaddle's picture

Robert in W. Mi. wrote:
ropensaddle wrote:
Ok I don't have my mill yet but am already thinking ahead of my shop and plan to build a post and beam home or possibly pole home. I have tried searching for info on wood preservation treatment at home with no avail.
I know linseed oil can be used but the process is ? I know creosote would be great but the epa has %%%&&&& its use. I know they built homes before commercial wood treatment plants and am yearning to know those home spun effective and eco friendly practices.

Where i live, NOTHING homespun will keep wood from rotting at ground level. We use pressure treated wood .60 or better for ground contact, and paint everything else. Also as sideing, make the eves big enough to keep the water off the wood.

Robert

So then what did they do before pressure treating became a commodity? I mean I see barns older than the process of treating that are still tight and together. Do you carry your own wood in to get treated? I have not been able to find a pressure treating service for ruff sawn timber yet. I finally found a product called lifetime but don't know if it will work but it is eco friendly and reasonable and in my case of post and beam I would have a fortune in treated wood canceling the advantage of sawing my own. I may be able to find some cyprus to cut for the timbers but want to find a way of treating wood like the old school must have done!
PWS
PWS's picture

I believe that I once read that one fifth of the trees in the eastern US were American Chestnuts, a fairly rot resistant wood. Then the Chestnut Blight wiped them out. There are lots of barns around that have been standing for hundreds of years, but you would probably find that many of them have rotten sills or post ends. When a timber framed barn has all mortise and tenon joints with lots of corner braces, it's a pretty strong structure that can withstand quite a bit of movement from frost heaves, rotting sills, etc.

This is my first posting. I hope that this link works:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=11379&id=1144211552&l=2a0703cef4

You can see from the photos that I chose to raise my barn sills about 15\" off the ground on top of concrete Sonotubes. I put a layer of bitchathane between the concrete and the sills. I also cut a slope on the concrete where it sticks out beyond the sill so that the water would run off, not wick under the sill. I am filling in the space between the ground and sills with stone and mortar, which is fairly time consuming. Before filling the void with stone and mortar I coated the underside of the sill with foundation tar.

I would have preferred to pour a full frost wall for the barn that rises about 18\" above grade everywhere except for the door openings. Then just put a layer of rolled foam sill sealer between the concrete and the sill. We just didn't have the money to pour a frost wall, so I opted to the much cheaper Sonotubes.

Some people asked me why I didn't go with a reinforced edge slab on grade. Unless you have a very well drained, well compacted subsoil, you will get heaving from the frost here in NH. The other problem with the slab on grade for me was that with the timber frame you have large point loads where the posts fall instead of the more distributed loads of conventional stick framing.

Pete Schiller

MX34 with 23 HP B&S, three track extensions, leveling feet, two extra log post/log dog receivers, Norwood carriage cover, Tiny Tach RPM/hour meter and a JD 4500 tractor.

Robert in W. Mi.
Robert in W. Mi.'s picture

ropensaddle wrote:
Robert in W. Mi. wrote:
ropensaddle wrote:
Ok I don't have my mill yet but am already thinking ahead of my shop and plan to build a post and beam home or possibly pole home. I have tried searching for info on wood preservation treatment at home with no avail.
I know linseed oil can be used but the process is ? I know creosote would be great but the epa has %%%&&&& its use. I know they built homes before commercial wood treatment plants and am yearning to know those home spun effective and eco friendly practices.

Where i live, NOTHING homespun will keep wood from rotting at ground level. We use pressure treated wood .60 or better for ground contact, and paint everything else. Also as sideing, make the eves big enough to keep the water off the wood.

Robert

So then what did they do before pressure treating became a commodity? I mean I see barns older than the process of treating that are still tight and together. Do you carry your own wood in to get treated? I have not been able to find a pressure treating service for ruff sawn timber yet. I finally found a product called lifetime but don't know if it will work but it is eco friendly and reasonable and in my case of post and beam I would have a fortune in treated wood canceling the advantage of sawing my own. I may be able to find some cyprus to cut for the timbers but want to find a way of treating wood like the old school must have done!

What they did was to use 2 and 3 hundred year old timbers that had time for the "natural" bug fighting chemicals to concentrate in them. They also set the timber on rock foundations, and they had crews of old timers who would go around and repair the bad parts of barns and houses... I remember when i was a kid, there was two old sweedes that went around here, repairing the rot in the oldest barnes.

There are places that will PT your wood, but you need a huge quanity to make much of a money saver out of using them...

You only need PT where the wood is in ground contact, then use your own lumber after that...

Robert

LM2000 with bed extensions, Vanguard 23, optional log post, log turner, hydraulic toe boards, cam dogs, stainless bunk covers, JPT setworks

grantg
grantg's picture

Pete

Great pictures of your TF barn, thanks.

Did you join or tie the sills to the concrete pillars?

Thanks
Grant

Shole
Shole's picture

Like Robert says, there were both methods of building to reduce moisture contact and the forethought to build so repairs could (and were) made).

My shop is a restored timberfrme barn (ca 1890) from Southern Ontario, covered in my home-sawn jack pine board and batton. the foundation is concrete pads on gravel. The floor is home-sawn 6x6 and 2x6 with plywood (I know - not \"pure\" but strong). To keep the home sawn lumber from rotting I put preasure treated boards between the concrete pads and the floor - these are essentially sacrificial as they can be removed easily. The rest of the structure was hit with a uv protectant water repellent (Thompsons or the like).

I have a deck on my sauna that I built 15 years ago out of home sawn jack pine. I sprayed it once with Thompsons. I have lost one board to rot in that time. I honestly believe that if I had been diligent and actually maintained the coating it would be just as good today as it was. The rest of the building is also home-sawn wood. It is near perfect - I built it on concrete piers so it is almost two feet off the ground and the eaves are quite wide - any water that gets near or under the building can't stay because of the air-flow.

Hope this helps

Scotty

PWS
PWS's picture

Here's a link to some more barn photos:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=11276&id=1144211552&l=da91fe2043

All of the outer Sonotubes that were to have timber sills over them have 16\" anchor bolts in them which then bolted down the sills. In the second photo (of the above linked album) you can see the Sonotube that will receive the middle front post. I had one of these welded Ts left over from building my house. I cut a mortise in the bottom of the post that would slide over the T and then drilled holes through the sides of the post so that I could run bolts through the post and the two holes in the top of the steel T.

The bottoms of the other outer posts have tenons on the ends that fit into mortises in the sills. The posts are further held down to the sills with 3' Simpson straps that are nailed across the sill/post junctions. That was just to prevent some Wizard of Oz barn in flight kind of thing from happening. The three inner middle posts are just resting on top of the Sonotubes.

Pete

MX34 with 23 HP B&S, three track extensions, leveling feet, two extra log post/log dog receivers, Norwood carriage cover, Tiny Tach RPM/hour meter and a JD 4500 tractor.

Treebucker
Treebucker's picture

ropensaddle,

You didn't say where you were located. See if you can get your hands on some black locust so you won't have to worry about treatment.

There's some great advice in the previous postings. Techniques for keeping the wood away from water are the most important. Bigger overhangs are great but note to anchor the roof down extra well because bigger overhangs = bigger uplift in high winds. Gutters and good gutter drains are also very helpful.

I see a lot of people install their wood siding too close to the ground. The siding will rot up from the bottom. Splatter from rain coming off the roof (or, even with gutters, simply splattering off the ground) and moisture retention due to tall vegetation tend to keep the bottem 18\" - 2' too wet. If it's a barn you're building then a cheap solution is to simply install one piece of metal roofing horizontally at the bottom then lap your B&B over it 6\" or more. I've seen a few make the mistake of butting their siding against the foundation - it should lap over it.

It seems that I see a lot of pole barns being built without proper site prep. They build the barn then backfill. Every one of these either have water problems or expensive remedial modifications to correct the problems. Best to get your elevated platform prepped then set your poles/posts.

PWS - very good job - thanks for sharing.

God has shown me wonderful new things. Pray He allows them to be built soon.

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

I recently found a good resource on durability of posts set in the ground. I thought I would revive this thread to add this link.

 

Oregon State did a pretty good test to see how durable different woods posts were, when treated with a variety of different treatments.

Note Osage Orange; it seems to be a clear winner.

 

http://juniper.oregonstate.edu/post-farm.pdf

Bill
Bill's picture

I think it was U and cedar .

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

Under Osage Orange, I noticed:

 

Osage-orange   (misc. info)  15 split and 11 round          —* No to slight decay

* Dash indicates none have failed as yet.

eddiemac
eddiemac's picture

Osage Orange will beat almost everything, even when untreated. Four inch fenceposts last about a hundred years here in Missouri.  Good luck finding any logs able to provide straight poles, though.

RyanC
RyanC's picture

Is there any way to seal, coat, or treat ash to use as fence posts into the ground?

With our frost out here we need to bury 4ft down and if possible, i dont want to rot and have to remove frequently but I would like to make use of the abundant ash from the emerland ash borer for as many projects as possible.

 

Thanks

Bill
Bill's picture

Maybe a couple coats of driveway sealer or foundation coating will extented the life.

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

These tests show the wood buried in the ground. I would think you had better durability if you use concrete to set the posts, or maybe coat heavily with some kind of tar (road patch I use for sealing the end of logs would possibly work).

 

RyanC
RyanC's picture

Thanks for the suggestions, 

 

I was hoping to avoind concrete incase it does rot quickly to avoid digging it up. I will give the driveway sealer or tar a try and see how it works, worst case it gives me an excuse to cut more

 

 

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

I have a trick for getting concrete out of the ground.

Dig a bit of the top, wrap it with a chain or stout rope

Hook the chain over then end of a 4X6 or something

Put a log or jackstand (to use as a fulcrum) near the concrete (on a board, so it doesn't sink)

Get a heavy guy to stand on the other end of the 4X6. 

If you do it right, and the ground is soft enough (if not add water), you can pull the concrete out of the ground, leaving a perfect hole for the next pour.

If it takes more effort, I've even pulled a couple out with a log on one side, a shorter 4X6, and on the near side I had my floor jack on another board. Used the jack to lift the concrete up a bit, then revert to plan A to finish it.

RyanC
RyanC's picture

Perfect, ill keep that in mind i have a few posts to get up elsewhere that will work great 

Bill
Bill's picture

Or try this stuff.        http://www.valhalco.com/

RyanC
RyanC's picture

Looks promising Bill,

 

Ill check it out it. Once i finish up the inside of this cabin we are doing I need to do a large fence and might use it for the garden shed.

 

ill let you know how it works

Post Oakie
Post Oakie's picture

Old timers used to char fence posts over a fire.  This releases tars & creosote, and the charcoal acts like a natural barrier.

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