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Author Topic: Log Cabin Restoration - Treating Logs  (Read 1021 times)

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Offline Suebrook Farm

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Log Cabin Restoration - Treating Logs
« on: September 22, 2017, 09:26:53 AM »
I am in the middle of a log cabin restoration and I want to treat the logs for preservation.  As far as I know they have never been treated. 

These cabins appear to be late 1800's.  I took them down, moved them to my farm and reassembled. 

Do you have suggestions as to product and how to do it?  All I know is Thompson's and that's just from TV commercials.

Thanks,
Steve Smith



Offline MbfVA

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Re: Log Cabin Restoration - Treating Logs
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2017, 01:54:41 PM »
Our restaurant is in a log cabin whose origin is about 1928; many additions since then, and we're on the national register of historic places.   Poplar logs, and we have used something called blacksote on them-- allegedly a water based version of creosote.

 I look forward to seeing the suggestions from others.

Offline Don P

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Re: Log Cabin Restoration - Treating Logs
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2017, 04:39:36 PM »
google bora-care... borate and glycol. it disrupts wood consuming insects and decay fungi. good stuff. I make my own using solubor or beau=ron from the ag supply, antifreeze and water, many threads on here about it. I've used it on multiple restorations.

interestingly I was reading the rr tie thread and links...way ot but yup, borates and creosote
http://www.rta.org/assets/docs/TieGuide/2016_tie%20guide%20for%20web.pdf

Offline MbfVA

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Re: Log Cabin Restoration - Treating Logs
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2017, 04:42:07 PM »
 does it matter which glycol, can we use the non-poisonous one?

Offline Don P

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Re: Log Cabin Restoration - Treating Logs
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2017, 05:27:28 PM »
doesn't matter, glycols simply wet out well and dry slowly. borate travels by diffusion in wood above the fiber saturation point. this is a good way to get decent penetration in dry wood. if you are treating green wood fresh from the saw glycol is not needed you are already fully wet and the borates will diffuse through the wood from areas of high borate concentration to areas of low concentration. a case can be made for them being smart in that regard, if the wood gets wet, borate can move if the concentration in that area drops. anyway the glycol is simply there to wet out the fibers to let the borates then travel. I've kept a pre civil war log home that was heavily infested wet for a month by using glycol... I wanted borate as deep as possible. it worked, a big bore vet needle finished up the few holes that were still active later.

this is also getting into why the comments that borates will wash off of wood in the rain are really incorrect. the wood needs to be above fsp to mobilize the borate then the needs to be a "sink" at lower concentration for the borate to diffuse towards. it will happen, slowly, it ain't washing off. a breathable water repellant exterior coating will protect the fibers from liquid water and lock the borate in... that is what the rr tie manufacturers are doing with creosote and borate. do not use real creosote in something habitable. to trot that horse back round the barn... thompsons would be one such coating... I do think you can find better though.

Offline bobborneman

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Re: Log Cabin Restoration - Treating Logs
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2018, 05:00:13 PM »
Has anyone used this product that I found at the Home depot website?   I want to build a pole barn, and make the poles myself.  Was thinking of sinking the poles directly in the ground after coating with a preservative like this.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Wolman-5-gal-CopperCoat-Green-Below-Ground-Wood-Preservative-1902A/204746309?MERCH=REC-_-PIPHorizontal3_rr-_-300502828-_-204746309-_-N

Bob

Offline Jack S

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Re: Log Cabin Restoration - Treating Logs
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2018, 07:31:31 PM »
 i used that same treatment on some 6x6x12 ft syp timbers 4 years ago  to build a wood floored shop on. Looks good so far. check back in 10-20 years

Offline btulloh

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Re: Log Cabin Restoration - Treating Logs
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2018, 09:06:10 PM »
It works as well as any surface treatment is going to work.  I wouldn't want to use it on poles going in the ground for a building.  It's a surface treatment, and it won't take long for water to penetrate past the protection.  

The pressure treatment they're using now doesn't really hold up long term either.  These days I'd go with concrete piers and set poles on top if I wanted it to last a decent time.  I've got some fence posts that are only 12 years old and failing already.  They were rated for that purpose, but that doesn't seem to matter.  

Just my opinion/experience.  

This topic usually generates a vigorous discussion, so we'll see what else comes along.  Hopefully it will lead to a successful pole barn at your place.  Good luck and be sure to put some pictures up when you get started.
HM126

Offline maple flats

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Re: Log Cabin Restoration - Treating Logs
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2018, 12:00:37 PM »
If you use PT posts, you need to read the label. What you buy at the big box stores say "not for ground contact". That said, PT posts rated for long life are available, but you need to order them from a real lumber yard, not a big box one. The difference as I understand it is the concentration of chem used and the pressure applied along with the length of time they are treated.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline IMERC

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Re: Log Cabin Restoration - Treating Logs
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2018, 06:01:18 AM »
If you use PT posts, you need to read the label.


perhaps this PDF will help...
seal the end grain... wax or the like..
bed the post on top of at least 6'' of fine grave..
set the post using pea gravel instead of concrete..
sealing limits water absorption...
using gravel lessens water issues/woes...
Who ever invented work didn't know how to fish.... Here fishy fishy....

Offline Don P

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Re: Log Cabin Restoration - Treating Logs
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2018, 08:58:35 AM »
Yup, when I looked at our local big box they had UC1 treated 6x6 posts, that is for interior dry applications, a basement post on a raised post base. A foundation post is a UC4B, this is where a grading restriction does kick in. Treating chemicals don't penetrate heartwood so the grading restriction there specifies "no heartwood".

That used to be a .60 CCA post but now with different chemicals it is easier to remember a UC number (which should also be on the tag somewhere) because the concentrations of the different chemicals varies for the same protection.

About post bottoms. I've never seen a rotten post bottom on a buried post, treated or untreated. The bottom of the post is protected from oxygen, it isn't in the rot zone. I do put a post on a pad of concrete in the bottom of the hole that is wide and thick enough to spread out the load of the post over sufficient ground area. From there up should be well compacted fill around the post, gravel is fine, think about that if you are counting on lateral stability from the post fill. Ground level area is where you lose a post to rot, moisture, temperature, food, oxygen, biologic activity, it has it all. With a surface treatment you are going to get in a little bit but not very deep in comparison to what this full time immersion environment is putting out at that ground level zone.


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