This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
Wooden objects remaining in the open air may be effectually protected against the inclemency of the weather by means of the following coating: Finely powdered zinc oxide is worked into a paste with water and serves for whitewashing walls, garden fences, benches, and other wooden objects. After drying, probably at the end of 2 or 3 hours, the objects must be whitewashed again with a very dilute solution of zinc chloride in glue or water. Zinc oxide and zinc chloride form a brilliant, solid compound, which resists the inclemency of the weather.
As a paint for boards, planks for covering greenhouses, garden-frames, etc., Inspector Lucas, of Reutlingen (Würtemberg), has recommended the following coating: Take fresh cement of the best quality, which has been kept in a cool place, work it up with milk on a stone until it is of the consistency of oil paint. The wood designed to receive it must not be smooth, but left rough after sawing. Two or 3 coats are also a protection from fire. Wood to be thus treated must be very dry.
Wood treated with creosote resists the attacks of marine animals, such as the teredo. Elm, beech, and fir absorb creosote very readily, provided the wood is sound and dry. Beechwood absorbs it the best. In fir the penetration is complete, when the wood is of a species of rapid growth, and of rather compact grain. Besides, with the aid of pressure it is always possible to force the creosote into the wood. Pieces of wood treated with creosote have resisted for 10 or 11 years under conditions in which oak wood not treated in this way would have been completely destroyed.
The prepared wood must remain in store at least 6 months before use. The creosote becomes denser during this time and causes a greater cohesion in the fibers. In certain woods, as pitch pine, the injection is impossible, even under pressure, on account of the presence of rosin in the capillary vessels.
M. Zironi advises heating the wood in vacuo. The sap is eliminated in this way. Then the receiver is filled with rosin in solution with a hydrocarbide. The saturation takes place in two hours, when the liquid is allowed to run off, and a jet of vapor is introduced, which carries off the solvent, whole the rosin remains in the pores of the wood, increasing its weight considerably.
Wood can be well preserved by impregnating it with a solution of tannate of ferric protoxide. This method is due to Hazfeld.
The Hasselmann process (xylolized wood), which consists in immersing the wood in a saline solution kept boiling under moderate pressure, the liquid containing copper and iron sulphates (20 per cent of the first and 80 per cent of the second), as well as aluminum and kainit, a substance until recently used only as a fertilizer, is now much employed on the railways in Germany.