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Author Topic: Treating wood that won't see a kiln  (Read 780 times)

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Offline ljohnsaw

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Treating wood that won't see a kiln
« on: February 18, 2013, 01:05:43 AM »
Down the road, I will be harvesting wood to build my cabin.  It will be all softwoods (Pine, Cedar and Aspen) - do I need to treat (spray) the timbers with anything to inhibit or kill existing pests?  I have seen mention of using Borax - good/bad?  How much to use (concentration)?  I'm assuming I don't need to treat the lumber (1x and 2x) wood.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Treating wood that won't see a kiln
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2013, 01:42:35 AM »
Like many questions... It depends.

Pine may be attacked by bugs when it's green. Dry pine tends to be OK. Any bugs in the green wood will die off as it dries.

Cedar is pretty much bug resistant. The natural oils in it are like an insecticide. Once dry bugs wont even look at it. No need to treat that.

Aspen is actually a hardwood.  Again pretty resistant to bugs once dry.

But getting a bag of soluble borate powder and a garden sprayer will discourage most bugs, and is pretty much harmless to humans

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Offline m wood

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Re: Treating wood that won't see a kiln
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2013, 05:27:45 AM »
local building code enforcement officers are sure to have an opinion on this as well.  If your going that route, and if it is to be a residence.  Bug resistant is only one of many hurdles.  Others will possibly elaborate more than I am able.  Best wishes.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Treating wood that won't see a kiln
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2013, 06:21:40 AM »
A local builder was using pine cabin logs that had no heat treat.  To make sure there were no bugs, they tented the lumber, then had Terminex or some other critter killer come in and gas it.  The tent was made from plastic. 
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline justallan1

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Re: Treating wood that won't see a kiln
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2013, 09:18:32 AM »
Ljohnsaw, I was born and raised about 50 miles from where you are and so long as it doesn't sit on the ground long you should be okay. If you are going to saw a bunch and store it before building I would set it on railroad ties or metal bunks so as not to invite problems.
If you haven't already looked into it, I would make darn sure that you get it graded or certified before building a residential building with it. There are just to many busy bodies out there trying to wreck someones day.

Offline Jay C. White Cloud

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Re: Treating wood that won't see a kiln
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2013, 09:30:04 AM »
Hi John,

From another section of my wheel house and skill set, pest control.  As Ian said, it all depends.  Check with the state in your region, DO NOT CALL A PEST CONTROL COMPANY, nine times out of 10 you just get a sales guy that is really good at scaring the hell out of you.  From what I know you are pretty safe in North Cali for buggies. 

I would head Justallan1's advice and get all your code requirements lined up.  It not always, do I have to follow something, (you can get "variances,") its more about knowing the requirements and there parameters.  Stamping may be one.

If you get more specific bug info for your area, come back and I'll tell you what I can for that species.  Yes borates are the base line that most of us use.  It is the "generic" treatment, that can do much for you if you use it.  Again, as Ian said, probably not necessary if you get your would off the ground and well stacked.


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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Treating wood that won't see a kiln
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2013, 07:04:37 PM »
Oftentimes the bottom log is treated as it has the highest risk of being wet, which decay and insects require.  Do not use aspen for this log.  Then keep the logs dry using a water repellant finish, large roof overhang, and no bushes close to the walls that would inhibit drying.  If dry, the risk of insects is minimal.  Note that borates will leach out, so they would not work well for the exterior where rain may hit the log.  We would not want treated wood on the inside where one might brush against it or breath vapors, etc.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

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