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Forum topic by Homers posted 03-23-2009 05:29 PM 31906 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Homers

42 posts in 2097 days


03-23-2009 05:29 PM

What’s the best and most economical wood protection for exposed wood?

I’m building some cinder block garden boxes for the Mrs that will have a wood cap on them. The cap will be out of 2×12 material and I’m looking to proect them the best I can. The wood will not be in direct contact with the soil. The Mrs is a big “do it natural and don’t use chemicals” fan and she insists that I don’t use anything that could leach into the soil. I’m leaning toward just sopping on some boiled linseed oil and calling it done.

What do you think?

-- Homers / Murphy, TX


11 replies so far

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

936 posts in 2081 days


#1 posted 03-23-2009 05:43 PM

You said it, Boiled Linsed Oil…....I have heard some people heat it, so will be absorbed deeper in the wood….Thos Moser Cabinetmakers do that.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View hObOmOnk's profile

hObOmOnk

1381 posts in 2816 days


#2 posted 03-23-2009 06:07 PM

Heat, sun and moisture are going to make the BLO turn ugly.
Try using Spar Varnish.

-- 温故知新

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2510 days


#3 posted 03-24-2009 12:08 AM

Or as an alternative why not use a rot resistant wood such as teak, cypress, cedar, white oak or even ipe and don’t apply anything to the wood. The wood will turn a natural gray.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View woodist's profile

woodist

3 posts in 2052 days


#4 posted 03-24-2009 02:35 AM

I’ve been building boats for 35 years and by far the best outdoor finish I’ve ever used and continue to use is Waterlox marine finish. It’s an oil/varnish that’s applied first with their sealer than with a high UV finish that has a gloss sheam to it. If you follow directions and put on two coats of sealer followed by two coats of finish and another coat every year, it will last a long time. Spar varnish after five years starts to yellow at the surface of the wood on the first coat of varnish and all layers have to be removed to get that clear original look. That takes work. This product doesn’t seem to do that and is far easier to maintain. It wears out from the top down instead of the bottom up.

I like the idea of using the right outdoor woods like teak and such. Waterlox will help them too.

-- Bruce from Baltimore

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woodist

3 posts in 2052 days


#5 posted 03-24-2009 02:37 AM

Oh yeah. Don’t go the linseed oil route. In there madness lies.

-- Bruce from Baltimore

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

936 posts in 2081 days


#6 posted 03-24-2009 03:10 AM

In Historic Building Restoration, Boiled Linseed oil is a common finish used for wood windows and other surfaces with full expousure against elements.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View LesB's profile

LesB

1069 posts in 2131 days


#7 posted 03-24-2009 05:55 AM

Assuming you can’t afford Teak (and who can) I would try to get western red cedar or redwood for the wood cap. They will weather to a nice grey color with out any treatment but can be oiled if you prefer.
If you use anything else you will definitely need an sealer. Preferably oil based. The least expensive is boiled linseed oil thinned with mineral spirits by at least 1/3 to 1/2. Having used wood preservers and sealers for years on decks and fences the best commercial product I have found is Behr’s deck sealer. It comes clear or can be tinted. If the Mrs. likes color I would try Olympic acrylic stain which is less expensive. I use it on my barns and it doesn’t crack or peel and is easy to reapply. I just power wash my barns and use an airless spray gun to put on a new coat.
Bad news is that none of them will last longer than 3 years on a horizontal surface and with luck 5 on a horizontal surface. In the Texas sun I would only give it 2 years. The Olympic acrylic stain may last a little longer but will fade some.
If you use a Marine finish as suggested above you will eventually have to scrape or strip it off and reapply which is a lot more work than just cleaning the wood and reapplying a sealer.
Have you considered using some of those synthetic decking boards. They are not as thick and are somewhat flexible but should last a long time with little care.

-- Les B, Oregon

View gerrym526's profile

gerrym526

265 posts in 2496 days


#8 posted 03-27-2009 02:55 AM

I took a finishing course from Bob Flexner a few years back, and consider him the expert on the topic. When asked about finishes for wood outdoors he explained how UV was the enemy of the cellulose in wood. The only way to ensure the wood fibers didn’t break down was to make sure UV rays didn’t get to them. His recommendation was a “solid body” stain-probably like that recommended by LesB. The pigment in the stain effectively blocks the UV, and if you can block the UV the wood won’t fall apart over time.

-- Gerry

View Eduardo Rodriguez's profile

Eduardo Rodriguez

37 posts in 2059 days


#9 posted 03-27-2009 10:28 PM

So, if you protect the wood with an UV blocking pigment, you can use pine for an outdoor project??

-- Tempus fugit...better work wood!!!

View gerrym526's profile

gerrym526

265 posts in 2496 days


#10 posted 03-31-2009 11:45 PM

Yes-pine can be used for an outdoor project. If you look at old houses, in many cases trimwork for soffits and facia was pine-at least it is in the Midwest. Once painted (ie. pigment blocking the UV) it lasted a long time.

-- Gerry

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2396 posts in 2126 days


#11 posted 03-31-2009 11:54 PM

If you live in the northeast you can’t get away from pine. All outside trim is pine if it is made of wood. It has to be finished though with paint or stain.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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