What is? Thermally treated wood.
I was at a yard buying lumber earlier today and they had some thermally
treated ash. Dark brown, through and through.
He had a small piece he had finished and it was drop dead gorgeous...black
in the "grain area", deep brown elsewhere.
I did a bit of Googling and it seems the treatment carmalizes the sugars in
the wood resulting in much increase stability, much more water resistance
and an outdoor life of 25 years without chemicals.
I used bamboo plywood to build some cabinetry in our bathroom(s) remodel
at the old place. It was darkened throughout with a patented process I
suspect is similar to what referenced.
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
In a previous house, we put down "caramelized" bamboo flooring. It
too was darkened all the way through. That was some nice stuff. In
our last place, the contractor put in a lighter bamboo and it didn't
hold up nearly as well. Not sure if the caramelization made it harder
but it sure made it better looking.
They have been doing it in Europe for a while now. I have
seen pictures of a quite large wood truss bridge in (I think)
the Netherlands built with it, with no chemical preservatives
used at all.
That said, I think the jury is still out on how well it
compares with pressure-treated wood.
(it occurs to me that fire-hardening wood for spears was
known to our cave-man ancestors, so I guess nothing is
It is a relatively new process for changing the chemical make up of
wood. I ran across it at Lowes 5~6 years ago when looking for a
replacement door jam for an exterior door. The door jam is resistant to
rot and bugs.
A little more recently I have seen it at Rockler in 4~5 color
variations. Blue, green, yellowish, brown, black. IIRC
It is a pretty cool process that seems environmentally safe compared to
traditional PT wood for out door applications.
Cool! Looks like the drawbacks are that it splits easier and galvanized
fasteners aren't recommended (that might make a difference if screwing
heat treated wood into pressure treated wood like on a deck--but
stainless steel fasteners aren't too expensive in quantity.) Other than
that, it looks like a pretty good upgrade... especially for exterior use.
I'll have to do some looking to see how it compares in price to pressure
treated wood. I've got a deck railing that's annoying me because the
soaking wet pressure treated does all kinds of things when drying out.
If you are going to buy full box qty (100 pcs) of S/S fastners,
Jamestown Distributors will probably have the best assortment as well
as price, especially 316.
304 (18-8) is also stocked.
+1 on Jamestown Distributors. I haven't found any place that's
consistantly cheaper, and Jamestown has always been prompt and
They're also the best place for silicon bronze, if you happen
to have a need for that.
The operative words are STAIN LESS and that includes 316.
My first choice for an outdoors application using treated lumber
would be silicon bronze.
It has been quite a while since I saw a reference to price but PT was
still considerably less expensive, IIRC 1/4 the price of the heat
treated was. But that said Ipe is used extensively for decking and
almost as hard as a rock. I have read that its life expectancy is
between 30~50 years unprotected.
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