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Author Topic: Solubor and glycol  (Read 20378 times)

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Offline brdmkr

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Solubor and glycol
« on: May 04, 2007, 10:59:11 PM »
Has anyone mixed solubor with antifreeze instead of water for treating wood?  I found a recipe that uses borax, boric acid, and antifreeze.  When I price out the boric acid, it actually gets pretty expensive relative to the solubor.  There has been some discussion of the solubor with water, but I have not seen any discussion of using antifreeze with solubor. 

I understand that the antifreeze, borax, boric acid mix works better with dry wood, but if the antifreeze somehow alters the chemical composition of the borate, I don't want to destroy the solubor.

The recipe that I have seen  uses 1 gallon antifreeze, 4.5 lb borax and 3.5 lb boric acid.  This is heated to 260 to drive off water.  The resulting mix is then diluted 1:1 with water before application.

I don't have any idea how much soubor to mix with a gallon of antifreeze.  Any suggestions?

Would there still be a need to heat to drive off water?
Lucas 618  Mahindra 4110, FEL and pallet forks, some cant hooks, and a dose of want-to

Offline DanG

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Re: Solubor and glycol
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2007, 11:06:34 PM »
I kinda sorta don't see the point in "driving off" the water if yer gonna turn around and mix it with water. ???  Did the recipe give any reason for doing that?
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Offline brdmkr

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Re: Solubor and glycol
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2007, 11:40:52 PM »
It says

"This removes most of the water of crystalization in the borax".

I suppose if I was starting with a borate, the heat may not be required.

 ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???
Lucas 618  Mahindra 4110, FEL and pallet forks, some cant hooks, and a dose of want-to

Online Don P

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Re: Solubor and glycol
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2007, 08:19:00 AM »
I flunked chemistry ... repeatedly  :D I think the heat is breaking the bond that holds the borax and boric acid in a crystilline form and lets them get together. Solubor is a wettable powder, I use hot tap water but don't heat the mix.

I use solubor, water and antifreeze mostly when I borate wood. I'm normally dealing with dry or fairly dry wood and the glycol keeps it wet longer. I mix about 1-1.5 lbs of solubor/gallon of water and use between a quart and half gallon of glycol per 5 gal batch.

One thing I've been seeing some confusion on, borates are not poisons or fungicides they are "biostats", below a certain level they are a soil nutrient and necessary for life, we are basically OD'ing the bugs or fungi on them. That slows or interrupts their life processes.

Antifreeze is a poison, treat it and your bucket as such, I try to use the entire batch at once.
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Offline brdmkr

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Re: Solubor and glycol
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2007, 08:50:11 AM »
Thanks Don.  That is perzactly what I was looking for.  I was reading in another thread that you ha have to treat every year!!!  Do you have any experience with that?  If I do have to treat annually, it will not be a big deal, financially, with the formulation you have given.

One other thing, do you think the ethylene glycol contributes to ppb control becuase it is a poison?  The reason I ask is I was planning on using propylene glycol which supposedly provides the same wetting features, but is less toxic. 
Lucas 618  Mahindra 4110, FEL and pallet forks, some cant hooks, and a dose of want-to

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Re: Solubor and glycol
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2007, 10:12:49 AM »
One reason I've used ethylene glycol is I think its poisonous to the critters so gives a quick kill, that is totally between my ears.

I saw Reid's comment and have not had to retreat annually, would like to hear more. I did read where one company does heat buildings hot enough, whew!

One old cabin we borated with solubor was severely infested, treated several times while we worked, seemed to knock them way back, I think we saw 2 or 3 active holes the next season and I've not seen more active holes, thats been over a decade I think. If it doesn't leach out its still there and "active". The beetles become involved with the borate when exiting and entering. One we did 3 years ago had 2 active holes that we could find last year, it had a whole lot when we started, the ants, termites and silverfish have not returned, we did have termidor soil applied also. We've always dried the buildings up also, many variables are changed simultaneously, not real scientific, we're trying to stomp the critters  ;D.

I do need to recoat the splash zone on that latest cabin, we had discussed that originally with the owners, they wanted no finish so I told them we would build a slight white coat of crystals and recoat when we saw it wearing, lost gutters in a tree fall and got some splash for awhile.

I'm no authority on it, just been doing what seems to work  ???.
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Offline DanG

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Re: Solubor and glycol
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2007, 11:03:24 AM »
Don, have you noticed any residual odor when using antifreeze?  I hate the smell of antifreeze!
"I don't feel like an old man.  I feel like a young man who has something wrong with him."  Dick Cavett
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Offline brdmkr

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Re: Solubor and glycol
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2007, 11:07:04 AM »
Thanks again,

I was thinking that the borate had a residual effect.  I am really not too concerned about the toxicity of antifreeze as I think it has to be ingested to be harmful.  I don't plan to eat my shop!  Your rationale that the ethylene glycol may cause some immediate control makes sense to me (that could be a bad thing!). 

I would be interested in the smell issue mentioned by DanG. 

I'll call my farm supply and order some solubor Monday.

Thanks again.

Mike
Lucas 618  Mahindra 4110, FEL and pallet forks, some cant hooks, and a dose of want-to

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Re: Solubor and glycol
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2007, 01:18:02 PM »
I've never smelled it after its dry or had anyone mention it, but I can smell some things well before others so it might be something you can notice. Maybe do a board, let it dry and put it in the  closet or something for a week with the door closed and check it.

My wife dragged, umm, suggested I accompany her to a wine tasting one time. It was kinda neat, the guy gave us all a pretty bland wine and bottles of concentrated things that can be in wine, tannic acid, sugar, charred oak, etc. I could pick up the oak before anyone else, burning sawblade  :D.

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Offline Warren

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Re: Solubor and glycol
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2007, 07:09:03 PM »
Hey guys.  When treating the exterior of a structure that is exposed to pets with a glycol solution, how do you keep pets from licking / lapping at the glycol on the surface, or drips below ?  My understanding is that Ethylene glycol and the like have a sweet flavor that animals tend to like which results in dead cats and dogs when the glycol turns to oxylate crystals and clogs their kidneys.

Not picking on anyone.  I'm just trying to understand how to effectively treat lumber and keep pets from getting hurt at the same time.

Warren
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Re: Solubor and glycol
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2007, 08:49:23 PM »
My pets have not shown interest in it.
With the borates it isn't sweet anymore. I have wondered about me inhaling mist, dunno, but something to think about.
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Re: Solubor and glycol
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2007, 08:56:58 PM »
OK,

 So, I am reading this and wondering about treating my stacks with this stuff to decrease the likelyhood of infestations. I would like to be less worried about it over time. I don't keep ash around because the bugs love it so much. I love ash but don't like the short shelf life when stored, the bugs find it quickly. All wood stored outside will eventually be discovered by the little critters. I have had some cherry and walnut around for 8-10 years with no trouble. I have a fairly bombproof storage system for palletized lumber stored outside, the only risk is bugs.  I would just like piece of mind for the really nice stuff I would like to keep in inventory for extended periods. Here are some pics of "keeper material" One more question, If I could find used fleet antifreeze do you think it would still work?

 
There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love to do, there is only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.- Wayne Dyer

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Re: Solubor and glycol
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2007, 11:09:38 PM »
Wow, I thought it was a small shelter till I saw your level  :o
 
I'm using this after using some chemicals that they now say were pretty nasty, so its looking pretty good. If you're coming from using nothing, well, that's a whole nuther perspective.
I pulled off 4 ticks yesterday, the stuff doesn't seem to be working  ;D.

I've wondered about using used antifreeze, rust/iron stains would be my only concern, don't know.

This is a product description and msds.
http://www.nisuscorp.com/pdfs/boracaremsds.pdf

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Re: Solubor and glycol
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2007, 01:17:32 PM »
Don and Reid,

The recipe in the very first post is "SUPPOSED to be" the same as boracare if you use propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol.  I don't have the web page available right now that makes this claim, but if you like I will try to send you the link.

Given that Solubore is about 20% active ingredient, mixing it dry with 1 gal of water and a qt of PG may be pretty close to the home made recipe.  At least that is what I am hoping as I can pick up 50 lbs of Solubore for $35.00, which should make 15 - 20 gallons of spray.  Total costs including antifreeze would be about $70.00.  I may opt for the PG instead of the EG as EG can be pretty nasty.  Don, I'm assuming the EG antifreeze is the nasty chemical you were referring to?
Lucas 618  Mahindra 4110, FEL and pallet forks, some cant hooks, and a dose of want-to

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Re: Solubor and glycol
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2007, 02:58:05 PM »
No, in my younger days we used, umm, never mind  ;)

Ethylene glycol is the glycol in boracare. Read the link above, its got some good info.

Painters use, or did use, EG to help paint flow out better.
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Re: Solubor and glycol
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2007, 01:44:44 PM »
How about Tim-bor? http://www.pestcontrolamerica.com/servlet/the-38/wood-preservative%2Cborate-powder%2Ctreatment-for/Detail

 Let me know sources for these products as well. Solubor, and Timbor.

 Dateline:... Just got off the phone with Agway, they'll have the Solubor tomorrow, NAPA has EG, do I need the Boric acid??? 


                               Thanks Reid
There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love to do, there is only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.- Wayne Dyer

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Re: Solubor and glycol
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2007, 02:42:23 PM »
I have used Timbor and still have some. Don't expect it to work quick if at all. The bugs will jump in it and take a nice relaxing swim, dry off, and saunter away for tea and crumpets.

I treated two, what I will call, "medium infested" Loblolly beams what, 6 - 8 weeks ago something like that. I looked at 'em the other day and they still have those same little critters running around on all sides in in the tiny holes. Not nealry as many so I don't know if these are "transient"  visitors just passing through and becoming infected to later die or if they are some of the natives left over that survived the Timbor treatment.
For my money i want something stronger for Loblolly.
I ended up using 2 10" x 11" x 9 foot Osage beams for posts to hold up the clear span beam. that clear span beam is also Loblolly but I had put it to the saw right after I felled it and didn't allow it to osit around for a year in the log yard like I had the others. i treated the clearspan beam with Timbor anyway and thus far still no critters. Maybe it work for preventive.
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Re: Solubor and glycol
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2007, 08:35:34 PM »
Reid, the Solubor is chemically identical to Timbor so no borax needed in the mix, use it just like timbor or mix with a glcol and call it Boracare. Mixed with polyethylene glycol (PEG) you have Shellgard. The difference in labelling between Solubor and Timbor is EPA registration not chemical composition. Timbor has to jump through more hoops to be listed as a pesticide/fungicide, Solubor is a soil ammendment.

Kevjay this means you can "soup up" your timbor for your own use by adding a glycol. Going back to the fiber saturation point and free vs bound water, the borates diffuse in on the free water that is in the cell lumen. Moving through the cell walls from areas of high concentration to areas of low concentration. That's why you want to use Timbor on as green a wood as possible, they reccomend a dip and dead stack wrapped in plastic for several days off the saw if you can, then sticker and dry as normal.

What I try to do is build up a "bank" of borate withing the wood. A casual surface spray is what I suspect most of the time, this isn't french perfume, soak it good. The borate is then fixed within the wood until the moisture content rises above the fiber saturation point, only then can leaching begin, the borates moving out of the bank, from the wood's high concentration into whatever the low concentration "sink" is, that can be the ground, or damp masonry or enough flowing water to saturate the wood and carry it off. Casual wetting does little to leach it.

My situation is usually dry wood so I add the glycol and apply multiple wet on wet coats. In the old infested cabins I try to sink a bag or more in them, that's ~ 50 gallons of mix. Most folks have used about half that on new construction.

The bug has to ingest it to be killed by it. Carpenter bees could care less, my building inspector claims that by fixing the roof I'm eliminating the carpenter ants, but he does agree it works on the ppb's and termites.
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Re: Solubor and glycol
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2007, 09:14:33 PM »
Don P.

 Any thoughts on how, what this stuff will effect/ do to me when later working the wood? 

                      Reid
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Re: Solubor and glycol
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2007, 11:23:56 PM »
No

In Afghanistan, I think, they have high concentration in the water and it has impaired the male population in umm, the pusuit of happiness. IIRC it was not a permanent condition if the borate was removed. The EG could use more research. I have been in log home facilities that treat the cants (Timbor), dry, and then mill. I've treated and osborne brushed one cabin (the critter poop concerned me more) and recently treated then lightly sanded a new oak timberframe that had a hatch. Various smaller jobs like siding and trim.

If you google US Borax or Rio Tinto there is contact info. I know, asking the company that makes it questions about its safety. But then a carpenter on the internet probably isn't the whole deal on chemical safety either  ;).
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