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Question/ help!? Creosote ...DIY.

 
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I have collected a fair amount of creosote from cleaning my chimney. Does anyone know what the SOLVENT is ? What can I mix the creosote flakes with....to create a preservative? I have tried a number of things,but nothing so far dissolves the flakes. Note: the commercial creosote is a product of pine tar.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1524
Location: northern California
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I think that if you gently heat it, it will liquefy, and in that state it could be painted onto wood, or wood dipped into it, etc. I sometimes see inside a stovepipe where it has run down it. The challenge will be to not catch it on fire in doing so....
 
steward
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Welcome to permies Hart
Creosote is considered to be carcinogenic, and maybe various other bad things reputable link
I'd avoid using it.
*edited for terrible spelling*
 
gardener
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Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
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I've had some success dissolving pine pitch with alcohol (high percentages, like rubbing alcohol).
I think the heating method is more common, though.

Another traditional use for pine-soot and pine-binders is as the foundation for India ink and Chinese black paint. Also traditionally an alcohol solvent (like laquer) for permanent inks, but their actual process was pretty well a trade secret. The processed ink can be prepared as water soluble or permanent.

Creosote is definitely known to contain carcinogenic chemicals, but most of the other wood preservatives with similar effects are also toxic in one way or another.
If there is a way to do the job without toxic coatings, I'm all for it. (Masonry handles ground damp better, stone fence posts and pier blocks are very useful. Creosote postpones rot, but masonry just doesn't rot.)
If some kind of toxic coating is required, I think the ecosystem can handle creosote as well or better than most of the modern ones.
I would like to know more about what is in 'pressure treated' wood if that's the alternative on the table.

We are lucky enough to have relatively arid conditions here, where wood can last for years in contact with the ground, no coatings needed.

-Erica
 
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