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.
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.
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.
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
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!