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Suggestions on a timber finish?

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Forum topic by metroplexchl posted 01-21-2018 01:29 AM 330 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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metroplexchl

85 posts in 390 days


01-21-2018 01:29 AM

So I am building a post and beam workshop that will be 12’x20’ in my backyard. I have access to a lot of 6”x6”x8’ white oak beams for super cheap ($10 each!) and they are beautiful….or will be after I clean them up a hair.

I had planned on treating them against moisture and pests the old fashion way grandpappy used to with a mixture of used motor oil (strained with a tshirt to get all the crud out of there) and diesel or turpentine to help it penetrate. After letting it sit for several days, there is no smell and it is fire retardant, moisture resistant, and pest resistant. We’ve always used this for fence posts but never for posts or beams that a structure would be used for where people would be in in it.

Would you coat it with anything to make it fire/water/pest resistant? Leave it as is? If coat with something….what? I’d like to leave it as natural looking as possible.

-- What ever you do, be good at it. -Abe Lincoln


8 replies so far

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John Smith

1253 posts in 248 days


#1 posted 01-21-2018 02:14 AM

I guess the first question would be – how exactly how will you be using the beams ?

is that what you call an Oxymoron ??

dried wood + motor oil + diesel + turpentine = fire retardant ??

I would do a “test burn” first prior to building something that could possibly – - – -

BORG has all kinds of deck and fence stains that are clear or tinted – you might want to read up on those.

-- Graduated Valedictorian from the University of HardKnocks --

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metroplexchl

85 posts in 390 days


#2 posted 01-21-2018 03:14 AM

Yes sir, I have….mainly because I’m a natural skeptic like you! ;-) So did my dad and his dad. I’m sure you know that gasoline and/or diesel doesn’t burn. The FUMES from the fuel burn. When you spray this diesel/oil mixture on the wood, let it sit for several days to a week. This gives it time to release the fumes (the volatile component of the equation) and keep what’s left to preserve the wood. Gas is worse than diesel since it has a higher octane and is therefore more volatile. Diesel is much more stable as it burns at a lower octane (cetane) which is why i’ve used it as opposed to gas. So when the old timers would use fuel for this preservative, it was used as a penetrant that helped the oil get deeper into the wood.

I found this great youtube video that shows someone testing it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKXIM48IO5M

-- What ever you do, be good at it. -Abe Lincoln

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metroplexchl

85 posts in 390 days


#3 posted 01-21-2018 04:14 AM

So, I’ll have 8”x 8” beams at the corners. Then 6”x 6” support posts. On top of those will be 6”x 6” beams. Let me figure out how to add a couple of pictures

-- What ever you do, be good at it. -Abe Lincoln

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metroplexchl

85 posts in 390 days


#4 posted 01-21-2018 04:14 AM

-- What ever you do, be good at it. -Abe Lincoln

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metroplexchl

85 posts in 390 days


#5 posted 01-21-2018 04:17 AM

BTW, the foundation that I’ll be using is not pictured in this screen shot. I’m crap at sketchup, so i just winged it to get a general idea.

-- What ever you do, be good at it. -Abe Lincoln

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John Smith

1253 posts in 248 days


#6 posted 01-21-2018 01:26 PM

awesome – I hope you document your progress.
looks like a good candidate for some moderate Timber Framing techniques.

so I am guessing you will sheath the outside with something and the actual timbers
will be on the inside ? if so, then I would just leave the oak beams in their natural state for now.
after the construction is complete – then you can re-evaluate coating them with something.
for me personally, I would not want good looking white oak beams looking and smelling like railroad ties.

BTW: have you checked your local building codes and permit requirements?

.

good luck in your project !!

-- Graduated Valedictorian from the University of HardKnocks --

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OSU55

1790 posts in 2075 days


#7 posted 01-21-2018 01:56 PM

What you propose will work – 2 generations of your family did it, but I would not use it in an enclosed space. Your shop will smell like motor oil- diesel forever. Use an appropriate wood finishing oil with driers. Like stated before the box stores have all kinds of deck oils and stains, many transparent with some dye, that will tint whatever shade and provide protection.

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metroplexchl

85 posts in 390 days


#8 posted 01-21-2018 07:24 PM



awesome – I hope you document your progress.
looks like a good candidate for some moderate Timber Framing techniques.

so I am guessing you will sheath the outside with something and the actual timbers
will be on the inside ? if so, then I would just leave the oak beams in their natural state for now.
after the construction is complete – then you can re-evaluate coating them with something.
for me personally, I would not want good looking white oak beams looking and smelling like railroad ties.

BTW: have you checked your local building codes and permit requirements?

.

good luck in your project !!

- John Smith

Gracias sir! I’m looking forward to it. Great points you’ve made. I think I’ll leave them as is!

-- What ever you do, be good at it. -Abe Lincoln

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