View Full Version : southern pine wood preservative

lucky jack
12-22-2004, 05:42 PM

In talking about oak planking on another topic, I'm broadening my scope of interest to southern yellow pine. The above website is really informative about yellow pine (which can apparently be any of 4 species of pine) and the approved preservative seems to be CCA. Is CCA available to the average Joe (or Jane) Blow?

Thanks much.

Old Bingey
12-22-2004, 08:00 PM
CCA treated southern yellow pine is only good if pressure treated and then it still ain't much. The pressure treatment only works well if the lumber is porous enough to accept the poison and that means big annual rings. Wood like that tends to warp and check. I would not use any southern yellow pine except for old growth longleaf in any boat.

12-22-2004, 08:50 PM
Here you go. Search the Forum for copper napthenate. Some folks use a borate product aimed at insect control. Search borate too.

Cuprinol & pine (http://media5.hypernet.com/cgi-bin/UBB/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=010061&p=)

While we're talking about southern pines...or better still, pines which may grow in the south...I can understand a blanket condemnation of Big Box Store SYP. We have a ramp at work made out of 2x6's that could not have been more than a few years old. Every one has pith running end to end. Even I know lumber like that has no business in a boat.

But. Lucky Jack says he has a huge old pine. He didn't say exactly what variety it is. Did you? Anyway, if it's big, old and straight, why wouldn't it be suitable for a boat? Loblolly pine has properties similar to douglas fir. If well protected, it should be just about as durable as douglas fir in the south. FYI-Douglas fir is not classified as durable in the south according to a map I've seen from the Forest Service. So, for those of us who may have access to large, mature pines growing in the south, we know which variety it is and we can have it milled for our needs, why not use it? I can personally select the tree and have it milled for $0.75/BD FT or $35.00/hour for the whole log. That seems viable to me.

Lucky Jack, I think whittling a spar from that whole tree would be a waste and probably a bad spar to boot. The pine could serve you well for deck and cabin framing, decking (maybe) and interior joinery. Use the money you save to buy some nice douglas fir or better, Sitka spruce, and glue up a nice hollow stick or two. Don't take my word for it. Search the Forum for tree to spar or tree to mast. It has come up recently.

I'm going back under my rock before the anti-pine folks get me.

In the Swamp. :D

[ 12-22-2004, 08:54 PM: Message edited by: Venchka ]

12-22-2004, 09:36 PM
My dad used to run a wood treating plant and they keep pretty tight locks on the CCA preservative. There are strict regulations on storing it, draining off the excess, and even how dry the wood must be before it is shipped. I've got to believe that it's pretty much unavailable to the average Joe. In addition to that, I Believe that the preservative is being phased out rather quickly as they are finding evidence that the arsenic leeches out more than they thought. Lastly, it is only effective if it is applied through the intended process where the wood is first placed under high heat and vacuum in order to extract the moisture and break open the cell structure. The the chemical is forced into the wood at somewhere around 180 psi in order to fully infuse it into the cell structure of the wood.

It's the open cell structure mentioned above that makes SYP so appealing to wood treating companies. But it really does a number on the wood. If you have a minute, take a look at a stack of treated plywood. It's pretty safe to assume that those sheets were flat before they went into the plant.

All that being said, I have often wondered whether treated pine would be suitable for strip planking if you intended to glass and epoxy both sides. Essentially, you could create a core material that would be fairly rot resistant. But given what was said above, I doubt that you could get it to form around any sort of hard curves.


[ 12-22-2004, 09:38 PM: Message edited by: Beowolf ]

12-23-2004, 09:05 AM
CCA treatment of lumber is now illegal as far as I know except for a few types of lumber used as pilings and the the like. Most of the yellow pine which is treated is now treated with a high copper salt solution. I would like to know how it compares decay wise to the cca stuff.

12-23-2004, 01:26 PM
Originally posted by Nicholas Carey:
Painting everything with red lead primer, expecially faying surfaces—surfaces that will be bedded against other surfaces—prior to assembly is rather traditional. Works well, too, from what I've been able to see.

George Kirby, Jr. makes a good red lead primer.

Copper Napthenate (ake "Green Death") works well, too. Here's a USDA Forest Service's Forest Products Laboratory paper on the topic —your tax dollars at work :D —entitled Fungal degradation of wood treated with metal-based preservatives: 1. Fungal tolerance (http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/pdf1996/illma96a.pdf), by Barbara L. Illman and Terry L. Highley.

Here's the paper's abstract: </font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Abstract
In recent years, concerns have arisen about the leaching of heavy metals from wood treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA), particularly because of the large amount of CCA-treated wood that will be discarded in the coming years. The long term objectives of this work are to determine the fate of copper, chromium and arsenic with the aging and potential decay of CCA-treated wood, and to develop strategies for recycling and remediation of disposed wood. In this study, we determined the ability of various decay fungi to decompose southern yellow pine wood treated with CCA or other metal-based preservatives. Isolates of Meruliporia incrassata and an isolate of Antrodia radiculosa caused the highest weight losses in CCA-treated southern yellow pine. One isolate of M. incrassata produced similar weight losses in CCA-treated and untreated southern pine after 10 weeks. Pine samples treated with very high levels of copper sulphate were decayed by M. incrassata,
but the fungus was unable to decay wood treated with copper napthenate or copper-8-quinolinolate.There's a number of different copper-napthenate-based products available, I believe.</font>[/QUOTE]Roll your own treated wood with copper napthenate.

In the Swamp. :D

lucky jack
12-23-2004, 05:46 PM
Originally posted by Venchka:

But. Lucky Jack says he has a huge old pine. He didn't say exactly what variety it is. Did you? Anyway, if it's big, old and straight, why wouldn't it be suitable for a boat?
In the Swamp. :D [/QB]It isn't huge - it's about 12 - 14" in diameter at the trunk but it absolutely straight and perfectly limbless for (as I calculate from the ground) about 45 feet, to where the first small limbs start. The diameter up top is about 9". It's a deep forest tree, in the middle of a bunch of oaks, and had to grow tall and straight to make its living.

I go by the bark, and it has the bark of what everyone here calls "real southern yellow pine", not white pine, and not virginia pine, which has a slang name I shall not utter here. It may be loblolly, but I don' think so. I took down its big sister, which was a real monster. Its growth rings were very tight - an old tree packed into a little space, fighting for what sunlight it could get. It just has "mast" written all over it, and I don't see why it wouldn't be suitable.

Thanks very much for all the help.

Andreas Jordahl Rhude
12-30-2004, 08:37 AM
CCA treatment has NOT been banned/outlawed. It is still readily available. It has been phased out for certain residential applications. It is still allowed for commercail applications as well as for permanent wood foundations in residentail and commercial construction.

Can you purchase a bucket of CCA to bring home and do whatever with it? Probably not. Besides, as someone above said, it is of very little effectiveness unless pressure preservative treated.

Old Bingey thinks CCA treated Southern Pine is junk. I beg to differ. Sure, you can easily find junk. But if you obtain a good grade of lumber that has been properly kiln-dried prior to treatement, properly treated, and re kiln-dried after treatment you will have an excellent product. Most joe blo lumber yards do not carry material that has been re-dried after treatment, so it has a very high moisture content and will, of course, shrink and possibly cup and twist and check... Good stuff can be found.

12-30-2004, 09:07 AM
I can't say for sure if it's SYP or not, but depending on the tree and what time of year it falls, it can be extremely rot resistant. The sap is used to make tar, and in some trees the heart and knots are effectively just packed with the stuff.

In rural eastern NC, pine stumps used to be used for house foundations. My great great grandfather hacked a hog trough from a log, used it for many years and now it sits in my fathers barn still quite sound.

However, the rot resistant wood is generally quite hard and brittle so it could be difficult to use in a boat, but I wouldn't hesitate to use a good piece in a keel in my boat.

It also burns like it has been soaked in... uh... turpentine.

Bob Smalser
12-30-2004, 12:00 PM
In rural eastern NC, pine stumps used to be used for house foundations. My great great grandfather hacked a hog trough from a log, used it for many years and now it sits in my fathers barn still quite sound. I live on the west coast but was formally trained in forestry in South Carolina.

Heartwood in general doesn't usually take pressurized wood preservatives....the more porous sapwood is generally used.

SYP is popular for pressure treated lumber because in plantation trees there is no heartwood....that species needs many, many decades to develop any heartwood at all.

There is little comparison between the tight, shadegrown, old growth SYP that lasted for centuries of use and modern, plantation-grown "Carolina Fungus", whether Loblolly, Slash or whatever.

Personally, I'd never use any flavor of sapwood in one of my boats....treated with poison or not.

[ 12-30-2004, 12:05 PM: Message edited by: Bob Smalser ]