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Wood Protector in Costa Rica  RSS feed

 
Berni Cam
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Hello all!

Can anyone advise as to what kind of non-toxic wood protector there is available, and where to get it, in Costa Rica please. This would be a wonderful help to my wife and I as we have looked quite extensively and come up short. Importing it seems too expensive so it would really be great to be able purchase it in country.

Thanks!
 
Dave Burton
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Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
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Are you looking for a sealant or polish?

I do not know what materials you have available so I have compiled a short list of Do-It-Yourself wood-protectors:
Wood Seal with Canola Oil and Vinegar
Beeswax Wood Polish and Sealant
Olive Oil, Beeswax, and Coconut Polish and Sealant recipes
I also found a video about homemade waterproofing:

I do wonder, what would happen if the turpentine was removed from the formula?
 
Alex Trapp
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Location: Líbano, Tolima, Colombia - 1840msnm
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Hey Berni

What are you protecting it from? Burnt motor oil works great against termites here in Colombia. If your neighbors use guarañas or someone has a car you can get it for free and you are helping not dispose of it improperly!

I don't think that would be enough for outside wood, though.
 
Berni Cam
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Thanks for the links! Those look great for protecting against moisture, but I do need to protect the wood primarily against termites and wood boring insects which is a lot more difficult.

So far my idea is to cut the trees in the waning moon, dry the wood, soak it in salt, and then finish it with flax oil. I think that will give me a good start, but I was hoping that there would be something else I could do as well particularly for the termites.

Burnt motor oil is commonly used here, but it is highly toxic. I want to try and stay away from petroleum based products.
 
Alex Trapp
Posts: 15
Location: Líbano, Tolima, Colombia - 1840msnm
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Hey again Berni,

I have read in several places that in the tropics it is best to recognize the climate and to build light-weight structures and let them rot/fall apart. This does mean rebuilding every so often, and coming from the midwest like I do, this has bothered me and especially my carpenter father.

I did a little research on used motor oil, and it sure is toxic! According to another topic: The two biggest concerns in motor oil are benzene (un-burned gasoline blown around the piston rings; benzene can dissolve in the oil & not boil out too quickly) and heavy metals from the slippery alloys of the crankshaft etc
http://www.permies.com/t/4738/homestead/motor-oil-preserve-fence-posts

There appear to be ways to mitigate this toxicity risk, like a varnish over the top (maybe sodium silicate), but the best 'homemade' stuff I can find all involve petroleum products, and the least risky methods use NEW material, like crude oil. I am comfortable with petroleum only as a recycled material, not new.

So this might bring us full circle to building light and cheap, and rebuild in 3-8 years or so. Keep us posted!

 
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