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  • Cleaning timbers

    A client has asked me to clean some 8x8 timbers we used to build a studio, and a hard scrubbing with wire brushes did not get it clean enough for her. There is some oily residue on some of the timbers; any suggestions on how to clean these without sanding?

  • #2
    Re: Cleaning timbers

    Oily residue might prove to be extremely difficult to remove from timber, due to staining.

    First option, is sand blasting.

    Second option, would be pressure washing.

    If you don't have either equipment, I'm sure you'll find them at any tool & equipment rental store/center....

    Pressure washing will make the timber come out very rustic looking, sand blasting will smooth it out. Alway practice first somehow, before you actually begin your work and wear the right protection. The rental center will help you in that department of what you'll need to wear.

    Mask
    Leather Gloves
    Eye Protection
    and so on...... Good Luck on your task......
    Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

    http://www.contractorspub.com

    A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

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    • #3
      Re: Cleaning timbers

      I have a soda blaster and I bet it would work well for your application. The big problem is dust. The thing uses baking soda. Imagine what baking soda coming out of a nozzel under pressure will do to the surrounding area. But the thing does work extremely well and no chemical residual. I think minimum advertised requirements are 9 SCFM but I bet it will work with less. The blaster was $250. Acton is only a couple hours from Albany and you are welcome to come here and use mine. Just let me know in advance so I can buy a couple hundred pounds of baking soda to have on hand. If you have access to a large air compressor just drive over here and borrow it whenever you want. The thing is turkey proof - no prior knowledge required for successful use.

      To look at them go to Ace Soda Blaster. I have the small portable one. It looks like a ten pound fire extinguisher.

      Tom

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      • #4
        Re: Cleaning timbers

        I just love this site......

        Great people here, thats for sure........
        Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

        http://www.contractorspub.com

        A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Cleaning timbers

          Tom,
          Thanks for the offer, but the tool looks interesting enough to buy it outright. But where does one buy 'a couple hundred pounds of baking soda'?
          Valyn

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Cleaning timbers

            Buy the baking soda directly through Ace - delivered by UPS. I have forgotten the price but as I recall it was not expensive. The baking soda used for the blaster is different from that used in the home. Blaster baking soda is processed to have sharp edges as, I suppose, in opposition to smooth edges?

            One of my pals attempted to buy one and Ace told him they needed a business name or they couldn't/wouldn't sell it to him. No such questions were asked of me - credit card over the phone and arrived in a few days.

            If you do anything mechanical, where degreasing is necessary, it works beter than any parts cleaning tub.

            Tom

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            • #7
              Re: Cleaning timbers

              Originally posted by MAPost View Post
              But where does one buy 'a couple hundred pounds of baking soda'?
              Sounds like the type of purchase that will get Homeland Security knocking on your door.

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              • #8
                Re: Cleaning timbers

                Just tell them your kid is making a really big volcano for science class!

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                • #9
                  Re: Cleaning timbers

                  I would try the pressure washer, first,

                  I have used the pressure washer for washing building and "scraping paint off" for many years, you can do a good job on bare wood, if you get to close you can drill holes in the lumber. so you can get fairly aggressive if desired.

                  but if there treated timbers, they may not clean up, and depending on what their treated with you may not want in the "living space".

                  Any good feed store carries "baking soda", called ruminate buffer, used in feeding cattle rich rations of grains, I can get in 50 pound bags in town no questions asked. (no it is not stated for "sand blasting"). Sure works good if you have a battery explode and you need to clean up the acid.
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