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Thread: wood protection

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    Default wood protection

    i'm wondering what you can do to the wood to make him last longer as possible..
    if you'll make a permanent shelter made from wood you defenetly need to give him some protection. i'm wondering if the birch bark oil would work.. but i'm not sure about this.

    i also heard about birch bark bowls. do they need protection too?

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    It's a good question and hopefully some of the natural shelter guys will chime in. I am thinking wood selection in the first place is the most important part. Our Cedars and Cypress are very resistant to both rot and bugs and I see cutdown pieces on the ground that seemed to have lasted for years and years through rain and everything else. But our cherry seems to rot within a month or so if the bark is left on. If you are talking about oiling it, of course that would be good just like in woodworking or the kitchen table.
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    Here it come down to wood selection as much as anything else I know of. Black Locust trees have been used for fence posts since this area was settled. I know of posts over 70 years old still standing strong. Eastern red cedar has long been utilized for poles in shed construction. Once they are shielded by the outer walls they last a few decades. Even when the white portion rots away the red heart wood remains. Cedar has been valued as wood shingles through out history also.

    If looking for a semi permanent shelter material, look to thatch roofing techniques.

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    The old way was indeed to choose the right wood for the task. In my area, cedar was common enough that cedar fence posts were the standard, and there are ranch fences standing now with posts over 50 years old, to my memory. Some I suspect are much older. Cedar is very rot resistant. As Cellis mentioned, cypress is also very rot resistant, and grew to such size it made excellent building material. Much of the early city of Dallas was built with cypress planking from the East Texas bottom lands.

    Walnut makes excellent wood for furniture because it is durable, and fine grained, finishing beautifully. Mesquite wood, here in Texas, is seldom large enough to make planks or such, but it serves well for carving and for uses where it is protected from weather. It burns well also, though with a lot of sparks.

    Osage Orange or Bois D' Arc is another very rot resistant wood, was used for fence posts all over the country, and many of those fresh cut posts rooted and grew into trees.

    Hackberry on the other hand, is a soft wood, and cracks easily-even live. It grows rapidly though, and was planted widely in the last century to provide wind break hedge rows for farm fields and for houses.

    In short, you need to learn the characteristics of the woods available to you, and then pick the ones with the best characteristics for the use you have in mind.
    Last edited by GreyOne; 01-02-2013 at 02:49 PM.
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    i didn't knew about the proprieties of those mentionated kind of woods, that's good info.
    i only knew about oak, but when i was little, i remember that my father was making our home, and for the floor he used oak wood, and we have oiled first. i don't know if we have done this for protection or for making to last longer.
    i don't know for sure, but i think that those trees that you have told me about can be found in more dried out areas. i lived in a pretty wet enviroment, and rainy also, and the four seasons were very tough, summer hots untill 40C, and winters bellow -30C, springs and autumns very rainyes. most of the trees that were falled down in the woods, including some that you have mentionated, like the walnut, was pretty deteriorated after some years. mostly by mushrooms, algeas and bugs.
    does a hard essence wood can survive in this conditions?

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    In Scandinavia pine tar is used as a wood preservative and can be used in combination with linseed oil. One of my favorite natural wood preservatives which originated for maritime use is a 50/50 mix of pine tar and boiled linseed oil which is thinned about 10 to 15% with gum turpentine. My dad called the mix "deck oil" and put on almost everything wood that wasn't going to be painted. I use it on wood trim on my boats and on wood tool handles. It would take quite a bit to do a structure or whole boat hull.

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    Whatever method you use just by removing the bark, you will greatly extend the life expectancy in most cases.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreyOne View Post
    The old way was indeed to choose the right wood for the task. In my area, cedar was common enough that cedar fence posts were the standard, and there are ranch fences standing now with posts over 50 years old, to my memory. Some I suspect are much older. Cedar is very rot resistant. As Cellis mentioned, cypress is also very rot resistant, and grew to such size it made excellent building material. Much of the early city of Dallas was built with cypress planking from the East Texas bottom lands.

    Walnut makes excellent wood for furniture because it is durable, and fine grained, finishing beautifully. Mesquite wood, here in Texas, is seldom large enough to make planks or such, but it serves well for carving and for uses where it is protected from weather. It burns well also, though with a lot of sparks.

    Osage Orange or Bois D' Arc is another very rot resistant wood, was used for fence posts all over the country, and many of those fresh cut posts rooted and grew into trees.

    Hackberry on the other hand, is a soft wood, and cracks easily-even live. It grows rapidly though, and was planted widely in the last century to provide wind break hedge rows for farm fields and for houses.

    In short, you need to learn the characteristics of the woods available to you, and then pick the ones with the best characteristics for the use you have in mind.
    thats is some excellent information,
    another good rot resistant wood is black locust it was highly sought after for the bottom run or sill in log cabins. also if you peel the bark of any of the woods used it will help cut back on bugs and help season the wood

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