alternative wood protectors


i'm building a garden wall that runs around my backyard. it's about 3' tall. i'm not sure what kind of lumber it is (a friend gave me a bunch of old posts after he remodeled his garage). i'm planning on sanding down and staining the outside portion of the wall with a proper stain, but what about the inside where the earth will go? i hardly need to pay for premium stain here. i just want to try to keep the wood intact for as long as i can. i remember my grade 8 shop teacher told me i could use vegetable oil as a cheap wood stain. is there something like this i could use for my garden wall?
tks
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April 2005 03:27 pm:

protected from, how concerned you are about appearance, what you are willing to pay and how 'environmentally conscious' you are.
There are tradeoffs. There is no single correct answer.
If appearance doesn't matter and you don't have an environmental conscience, try creosote or used motor oil. You get about a gallon at every oil change, eh? Kills a lot of stuff, eaten by a select few critters, soaks deep into the wood (esp. if applied in the heat of the day)
I use raw (not boiled) linseed oil on my garden structures. I just soak the wood really good and pile the dirt in. Seems to work pretty well so far. I had to take apart one planter after a little over 3 years to move it. The tubafours (end grain exposed) hadn't handled things too well, but the rest of the lumber was a whole lot better than I expected.
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Bill, just curious, but why do you use raw linseed oil? Is it better than boiled for protecting?
I've always used boiled linseed oil mixed 1:1 with turpentine & a dash of Japan drier to coat tool handles. Makes a much better coating than poly, IMO. I like the feel of it better. I was taught to use boiled because it dried better. I've never used raw, though, so I don't know. I think it would be pretty expensive to coat a fence in, at least the way I soak it into the tool handles.
I've used old motor oil on stuff before & it's a really good protector. Made a rabbit cage stand that sat in dirt out of cheap, SPF 1x3's & coated it liberally with the stuff. It was about 10 or 12 years in service before we moved & tossed it. Even where the boards dug into the ground with a good seasoning of rabbit manure, were still in pretty good condition. It's kind of messy though. Lean against the fence & you'd stain clothes for quite a long time.
For a fence, to really protect it, you need to get the preservative in where the rot sets in. That's the couple of inches either side of the ground line & where the boards attach to the post. Those are the bug infested, moisture retaining areas. I've never cared for face boards or caps because they just promote rot, IMO.
If it were me, I'd probably go with something like Olympic or Cuprinol stains. They're pretty good & come in lots of colors. They also dry thoroughly, which motor oil doesn't. I think motor oil would be better at protecting at the ground line, though.
Jim
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I used Henry Asphalt Emulsion to coat the inside of some Redwood planters up to the soil level.
wrote:

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Try wood preservative. Just put some in a bucket and soak the ends of the posts in it. Then you might try some form of tar or oil.
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