Instructables

preserving wood outside?

I just scrounged a big round slab of a tree from a firewood seller. It is still green and about 32" across and 8" thick. My question is, how can I make it last a long time out in the weather all the time. I am using it as a knife and axe throwing target. I don't really want to spend a lot of money putting expensive varnish or wood preservatives on it! Any cheap recipes out there? Thanks, Triumphman.

Picture of preserving wood outside?
Re-design2 years ago
Since you're going to use it as a target just saturate it with used motor oil. It'lll keep the wood from absorbing water and keep your knifes from rusting. I know it's not a "green" suggestion but it's cheap and works.
Burf2 years ago
Saturate it with a light weight mineral oil, not vegetable oil. Carefully heat the oil to near the boiling point and brush it on with an old or cheap paint brush. You will likely have to apply the oil several times before it is completely saturated. You can add more oil as the piece becomes scarred.You don't want anymore untreated wood exposed to the elements than is possible.
Don't use varnishes, resins or paints as these will harden and the wood will become less able to be penetrated by your weapon.
Burf Burf2 years ago
By the way, what kind of wood is that? I love the pattern on the cross-cut section, I would consider cutting off a piece about 2" thick and using it for some decorative purpose; a table top or something of that sort.
frollard Burf2 years ago
+1 remember, mineral oil has a boiling point above 350 celcius. That temperature will destroy a lot of stuff :D
Vyger2 years ago
Boiled Linseed Oil would work pretty good for this.
gmoon Vyger2 years ago
+1.

Recoat it with oil every 4-6 months. It will get dark and "tarry" over time, but that's the nature of it.
canucksgirl2 years ago
You could build a roof over where it gets mounted to try and minimize the exposure to precipitation. (Or make an enclosure for it with doors). Beyond that, if you don't want to use a varnish, there aren't too many methods to preserve the wood.