Jump to content

Weatherproofing a wood stand?


Recommended Posts

I recently came into possession of a large section of oak trunk to use as an anvil stand. I'm not sure of the species but it's definitely not white oak, so it will most likely suck up water from my outdoor work area. What would be the best option to protect it from the elements? I'm debating between linseed oil, paint, and end grain sealer used for drying lumber (some people even seal end grain with wood glue).

The diameter of the trunk is 27" at the narrowest, so I'll have fresh dry wood once I trim it down a bit. I'm thinking 16-18" square for my 130lb Fisher.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you can find it, a product called Anchor Seal will allow it to dry without cracking.  However, I'm not positive it will protect it out of doors.    If I were leaving it out of doors, I'd thin down some Boiled Linseed Oil and apply it until it won't take any more. (the idea being to saturate it)  Then when it refuses to take any more, I'd apply a full-strength coat of the Boiled Linseed Oil.  Beyond that, I don't know what to tell you.  There's not really a product designed to make your stump "completely" waterproof in the elements.  Good luck though.  I'm partial to stump bases myself.

p3773150517-4.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 "There's not really a product designed to make your stump "completely" waterproof in the elements. "

Well nothing that is "nice" .  A solid soaking in a creosote will last 80+ years in ground contact out here according to the electrical coop, of course they would tar the lower sections of a pole as well.

I would suggest keeping it out of contact with the ground and keeping it dry:  one smith I know of has a doghouse on wheels that he covers his outdoor anvil with when he is not using it.  Says the implication that a large dog is about the place deters folks from pilfering stuff too.

I haven't tried it with stumps but I have treated tenons in hot wax---FIRE HAZARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!---to keep them from expanding in mortises for a portable post and beam frame exposed to the elements.  Let the endgrain replace any water in it with wax.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mr. Powers is correct in suggesting use of creosote.

I have a long soak in a water copper sulfate,  (CuSO4),   solution followed by a creosote application after the wood has dried. It works well but copper sulfate.

But copper sulfate is difficult to obtain. Because it is a poison*.  (I had to sign the poison control list when I bought it years ago) .

Additionally placing about five inches of builders sand at the bottom of the hole and them hammering the post into the hole,  keeps it dry. Bacteria and fungi require water to live.

Wood preservation is a large subject.

So I suggest reading the Wikipedia article on the subject.

Try,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood_preservation

SLAG.

* copper sulfate was used as a rat poison in Victorian days.

Murderers used it too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Something else I've seen is "shou sugi ban", scorching wood to prevent rotting and deter insects in Japanese timber framing and siding. I'm hoping that would help in addition to a sealant. I'll steer clear of anything too harsh because there's a fair amount of groundwater that flows through my area and I'd hate to leach into it.

 

I looked into the wood glue sealant a bit more and it seems pretty effective. It might be easier to seal over the large pores than to saturate everything with oil

It's sitting on a pretty hefty paving stone and I leave a tarp on the anvil so there isn't a ton at stake. The old stand made from 4x4s has held up decently over a year or two.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing I might add.....and it won't cost but a few bucks.  Pour yourself a small 6 or 8 inch thick concrete slab that raises your stump a couple of inches above ground level and that will help keep it from wicking water up from the bottom.  Besides, the the ground, unless packed really hard will have too much "give" to hold your stump.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chris' idea is a good one, re the concrete. Another thought in the same vein would  be to make a simple pad of pavers- flagstone, garden steppers or even bricks. Compact the soil and level them out on a sand base, then set your stump on top.Bob's yer uncle. And it is easy to reset if it settles. When I make Adirondak chairs for outdoor use , I always coat the bottom of the legs with a thin epoxy, allow it to wick in, and apply more till it won't absorb any more. You could also use  a medium or thick CA glue, or even polyurethane. That will keep water from wicking up. Then use ideas from above for treating the rest of the stump. Basically there are two kinds of wood in outdoor exposure- the ones that are rotting, and the ones that will rot. All you can do is slow the process.

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Put some really heavy construction Polyethylene down on top of a piece of smooth plywood laid on top of your stone.  Set your stump on a bunch of 1/4-20 nuts (or anything that will elevate it slightly) laid on top of the Poly and pull the sides of the Poly up and staple them to the side of your stump.  Leave room somewhere around the perimeter to pour your thinned BLO into the "sack" and wait for it to soak it up.............repeat.............repeat..................repeat until it won't take any more.  When you think it's taken all it'll take, turn it over and put an un-thinned coat of BLO on it.  That should protect it from any puddles on your flat stone as the weather comes through.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like that idea quite a bit. I was thinking a generally thin oil like mineral or regular linseed would soak up better, but it would probably drop out almost as fast as it soaked in. I think I'll go with a thinned BLO like you suggested, and maybe something thicker to seal the top. I also really like the nuts idea. I could probably use them after just to keep it out of any puddles too (or pea gravel or whatever) not as absorbent as sand, but small enough to help settle and even out unevenness between the stump and stone, and not too compressible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

BLO is a great and cheat wood conditioner.  I cut BLO with mineral spirts (50/50), otherwise BLO takes forever to dry.  If you cut it, you will need multiple coats, but dries rather quickly.  
 

A word of caution when using BLO.  There is a real fire hazard if rags aren’t disposed of properly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Just on the chance that you have not completed it yet...

Ive used a few preservatives like wolmanizing solution (commonly called end cut solution) and other products over the years for rot repair jobs. Oak is a very hard wood so you have a good start there already. 

The ends are going to soak up the most moisture so i would focus on treating them - particularly the bottom. I like Coppercoat by Woodlife. Its a copper napthanate preservatve which is what most of them are now. It will turn your wood blue or green - thats ok. . Other products work too with similar amount of the chemical. If it were me, id let the bottom of your stand soak in the stuff overnight and then let it dry for a few days. Just about anything you put on it will have some degree of flammability so make sure what ever you put on gets its full cure time. 

The other thought is just to let it dry fully and go untreated. if your shop is dry then its likely your oak stump will last quite some time as is. 

if by chance it IS complete, how did it turn out?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In dry Colorado, maybe it is not a problem. But here in the humid southeast, any untreated log left sitting flat on interior concrete or similar sealed surface will start to rot, mildew and attract bugs in a matter of weeks, no matter how dry it started. On dirt or gravel, or with the bark on, even faster.

For the museums I volunteer at, and even the school's climate controlled welding labs and jewelry studio, we either have to use red cedar, surface treat heavily with chemicals, use treated wood feet to gain air space, or clad the bottom with sheet metal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How about drilling a couple few drain holes through the stone and making a bit of a dike around the block to prevent water flowing under it? Renting a hammer drill or even a diamond core drill isn't that expensive, provided you don't burn up the core barrel of course. Keep the water flowing and mind the return. 

It wouldn't take much of a dike, calking on the stone NOT the block, calking them together might be a mistake. All you want to do is divert water flowing on the rock. 

I'd certainly use a good deep soak of: BLO, polyester resin, thinned poly paint, etc. Before you start pouring the preservatives to it snip up some copper cable, an old extension cord is perfect and sprinkle the little bits of copper on the block and let the BLO or poly or whatever hold it in contact with the wood. The wood itself will cause a LITTLE oxidization of the copper which well then kill hungry organisms. Any that leaches into the environment will be unmeasurably small.

Frosty The Lucky. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Scorching the surface will not seal it. Charring the sides will give them some degree of resistance to weathering, but unless the endgrain is completely sealed,  water can still going to wick up inside and increase the risk of rot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How dry is it? If it's not completely dry sealing it will promote rot via anaerobic organisms. Placing it on a surface that allows air circulation will keep it sound longer. I don't know if it's still legal to use copper sulfate as a preservative but that works nicely.

A good log oil will keep it sound for years. It sets up pretty hard but not like a clear paint. A web search using "Log Oil" search terms will hit on several. Q-8 seems to be top of the hits list but I haven't oiled a log in decades and didn't buy the oil then. You won't need much but I don't know how small a can you can get.

One of the things log oil does is kill bacteria, molds, etc. that rot wood.

A word of warning though, I have zero idea what the smoke will be like when you drop something HOT on it.

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Use a good wood for your stump. Bugs, humidity, moisture a problem? Someone above said use cedar. Most cedars have a natural bug repellent oil and the same oil will protect from rot. Another choice for the above conditions, use oak. How about scrounging up an old wood telephone pole? The base is great for a stump.

Here's how I do it. I use a dirt floor and my peeled stumps/stands are all in the ground. No matter the wood, seal all underground surfaces with roofing tar. Don't forget the bottom. I bring this tar up an inch or so above grade. Put 4"-5" of clean 3/4" or so road base/gravel in the bottom. Now level your stump in this gravel and set your height. You do know how high above grade your stump needs to be, correct? Use this same roadbase/gravel as fill around the sides. Should be about 3" or so around the stump, and pack well with a tamper. If you do it this way, moisture will perk down into the gravel at the bottom, and should keep your stump pretty dry underground. As for the above grade part of the stump, I usually apply my hot oil finish on my anvil. This linseed, turps, and beeswax will, depending on how much work you do, keep your anvil rust free and will protect your stump above ground as well. It just kinda naturally happens. As for bugs,, I suspect most bugs don't like vibration heat, scale and noise, so if you actually use your anvil fairly often, you shouldn't have a bug problem.

This works if you set your stump into the ground. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We don't have any Osage orange in the high country of Colorado or where I am presently,, just east of the "Land of Enchantment", but I do understand it's available somewhere between Flag and Prescott.

The message here is, where ever you live, do a little research, and find the best material that keeps you working on top of your anvil Instead of what's holding it up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After 80+ years I wasn't worried about them starting to grow...

Anvils's suggestion of "find out what works locally over time" is spot on.  Why I suggest people find what the indigenous peoples used for bow woods locally when folks want to harvest their own handle materials.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

just noticed some these replies still learning. it is a piece of oak from my knowledge. I guess I chose wrong word when said seal just scorching help deter bugs. was thinking about BLO to seal base but for now having the timber is a step closer fine tune later just want to start. will use ground if needed. just finally got some rigidizer going to coat again and fire once high pressure hose is delivered. all been a process but learning every step of the way. hope hose arrives soon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...