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Wood

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by schmee, Mar 7, 2021.

  1. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    ..... man, anyone priced common lumber lately? I have a Deck I built from Western red Cedar 20 years ago. I spent a lot of time and it's a bit a craft project. I hand selected each 2 x 4 for grain and few if any knots. The deck support beams are some 6 x 16" Fir salvage beams I bought.

    At this point a rebuild is necessary for some parts. The but ends of the Cedar 2 x 4's are starting to rot on some where the deck screws went in. I have decorative posts supporting the railing which are about 8" diameter logs I cut myself. A few of these untreated posts are getting rotten. The steps on both ends are 6" x 12" Fir beams.

    I was pricing some replacement wood the other and . WTF? No wonder houses are so expensive now days.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2021
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  2. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    When were houses cheap?
     
  3. Deeve

    Deeve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Same story here - I've gotten about 25 years out of my deck and the repair/rebuild/replace process is utterly paralyzing, due to updated permitting processes (environmental critical area - steep slope), contradictory "next steps" and contractors who are just busy enough to not want to bother with a "challenging" project.
    Copper Arsinate can only do so much to keep the wood from returning to the good earth.
    If this ever gets going pics will follow.
    Peace - Deeve
     
  4. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Afflicted

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    From maintaining a house of mostly cedar siding and keeping an old big wooden boat 'alive' for quite a while.. here are a couple of suggestions:

    1. Later this spring, when weather permits (eg; warmer and dryer around our corner of the country) give it a good (but gentle!) pressure wash. Use mildew / fungus killer to stop the rot that develops on the exterior (usually the black gunk, but moss will sometimes mix in too).

    2. Later, say, mid-summer or so, when all the boards have dried fully, hit the rotted boards with penetrating epoxy. I have used this stuff on boats and other wood things in/around the house with good results. Follow the instructions closely for best results. It may not solve the problem but will definitely buy some time in the meanwhile.

    (It is cheaper and easier than replacing boards!)
     
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  5. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    I pressure wash nearly every year. It's a big deck ... maybe 25 feet by 12-14 ft. I looked at going to faux/plastic decking. man, that appears to be more than $3000! It's a mess right now as the wind is blowing hard and rain all winter. Most of the cedar is pretty good. I've replaced a few here and there over the years.

    One of the big problems is I didn't space the boards with enough gap. I thought the wood would shrink making the gap wider. Fir needles and moss grow between them. I'm going to take off, flip over the upper small deck boards this year I hope, and space them maybe 3/8" apart this time. It's back breaking work at my age now.

    I originally tried oil transparent stain for a few years, but in the PNW it rains a lot and flat surfaces lose the finish very fast. Rain is very abrasive. So eventually I just went to opaque latex stain.
    Vertical surfaces are fine, the shingles on my work shop have only been sprayed twice in 20 years with transparent oil stain and look new.
     
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  6. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Afflicted

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    I have had to hit exterior wood fairly 'hard' chemically to keep the gunk from building up. It can be tricky to do, especially if run-off will end up on nearby vegetation (especially important plants, or big trees for example). You can use the TSP-based stuff, or mix up 50/50 bleach and water. Those are pretty good at killing the organic build up. Cedar is great though, once you beat back the goo, it just keeps going and going if maintained periodically.

    If you experiment with the penetrating epoxy..
    The penetrating epoxy is applied as: you drill small holes into the wood and follow that by 'injecting' (the applicator resembles a cheap syringe minus the needle) the 2-part epoxy mix. It's
    important to apply it while freshly mixed and to account for capillary action. When physically possible, it will flow ALL OVER once inside the wood (capillary action) to fill the voids and gaps that develop. It's great. I love the stuff. The one scenario where it gets trickiest in your case, are any wood posts and the like that are subsurface and can't fully dry out before applying the stuff. My brother has used the stuff and said he has used it on a 'wet' piece of wood with good results (it *may* displace the water, but I don't know that for a fact). Anyhoo, it's an option that might be worth using in the case(s) where having to swap boards out is a real pain.
     
  7. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    There are spacers made exactly for this . It has been a while , but if I remember correctly , WRC wants stainless fasteners .
    Not all stains provide protection from rot or degrade . WRC has natural oils that serve well under most circumstances .
    If you feel up to it , physically as well as financially , you may want to consider using Black Locust for deck boards .
     
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  8. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Patios are nice too...
     
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  9. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah, I've had to deal with the same problem basically. The EPA has really clamped down on the really good Alkyd Stains/Oils that used to be used for applications such as yours/mine. (Too much VOCs 'they' say..). Too bad, with those types of stains I could apply it once and have it last for 5-6 years and still look good, but, all the newer stains/coatings just don't wear and look as good. I have to reapply about every 2nd or 3rd year. It's a money pit for the consumer really.

    You can mix your own, incidentally. There are lots of good resources out there on the net to get some good baseline formulas. (I have done this for exterior boat hull lap/strake boards, to pretty good effect).
     
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  10. t-ray

    t-ray Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I am in process of building an addition to my house - bad timing. As I understand it, two things have added to the cost of lumber: transportation logistics because of COVID (although this apparently had been worked out by now) and demand. In my area, demand for builders for new construction and improvements is out of control.
     
  11. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Afflicted

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    Hey Schmee,

    I just had our 20 x 32 deck demo'ed (1" PT) it last 25 years in Florida without any treatment. We never used it as much as I thought we would. The bottom surface of the boards look pretty good but I had nailed it down with hot dipped spiral shank nails. No way to get the boards up without destroying them.

    Since you decked with 2 x 4s, you should be able to flip them, provided you can get the screws out. Maybe have to cut off some bad ends and use shorter pieces.

    Do have any dependable local teenagers you could hire to help you with the grunt work? Otherwise, figure weekly message and chiropractor visits into your budget.
     
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  12. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Afflicted

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    Weren't the fence posts the Abe Lincoln split in his younger days Black Locust? I thought I heard that somewhere.

    I am a fan of the stuff. It's got so many advantages and grows so well and so naturally (around here, and I imagine many other places). I wish it were more readily available (and cheap!)
     
  13. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yeah, I think turning over the boards and the TEENAGERS are the answer! I usually pay $20 an hour for yard work and still having trouble finding anyone really...... I hate trying random people so I attempt to get someone word of mouth... Heck a lot can be done in 4-5 hours for $100 so I'm OK paying it...
     
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  14. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yes....they don't give it away, that's for sure.

    I was given some Honduras mahogany from my wife's father a couple years ago. Most of it came from a crate that B.C Hydro used to drop gear and supplies by helicopter into remote locations for workers in the '50's and '60's. They, and no doubt many other companies, used mahogany in this fashion...as a cheap and plentiful utility wood. Times change.
     
  15. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    Don't know about the Abe thing .
    Black Locust was the industry standard in split rail posts until recently . Today , more money can be made providing Black Locust for pellets to feed pellet stoves and Black Locust fence posts must be searched out .
    The stuff is tougher than nails and actually gets harder as it dries . There are still a few mills that cater to usage other than pellets . Since I am in the east , I have no knowledge of where to find those mills out west .
    Cheap , no longer applies . Not even inexpensive . The upside is that it is typically a once in a lifetime expense .
    It also makes for wonderful acoustic guitars , fretboards and bridges .
    Osage Orange is another one like this , but it doesn't grow very straight or wide .
    Both species do very well with ground contact . The saying goes that a Locust post will last for 65 years .
     
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  16. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Maybe time to go to Trex decking.
     
  17. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yeah, looks like $3000+ !
     
  18. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    But no more annual maintenance other than washing off the dirt.
     
  19. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    .

    I have a deck of plastic boards and they tend to curl after time, so not a perfect solution.

    The idea about removing the boards and cutting them shorter with replacing sections is probably the best practical solution for now.

    Or just wait. Prices will come down. Home building momentum will continue for a bit but it looks like sticker shock is stopping the weekend warrior projects. Information from a lumber store desk clerk keeping his eyes on the whole market.

     
  20. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Afflicted

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    In Schmee's climate mildew may be a continuous battle with synthetic, it gets in the faux grain.
     
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