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Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

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Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

Post by ferret on Fri May 03, 2013 9:24 pm

Is it possible to clad an exterior wood beam in a brown aluminum?
The house we are renting has a portion of a wood beam that extends to the outside. It is riddled with holes from the big bumble driller bees. We've had it sprayed a number of times and have made it less palatable to them but would like to further protect it from the elements and, hopefully extend its life. It will be a really nasty fix for the owners when they have to replace it.
Any and all suggestions appreciated.
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Re: Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

Post by Pedro on Fri May 03, 2013 10:10 pm

don't ever clad wood with metal
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Re: Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

Post by ferret on Fri May 03, 2013 10:43 pm

OK...could you please tell me why?
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Re: Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

Post by borderreiver on Sat May 04, 2013 4:23 am

OMG. U are the perfect tenant. Rent must be really cheap for U to give a rat"s ass about stuff that is the "landlord's" responsibility . Pedro nailed it.

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Re: Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

Post by ferret on Sat May 04, 2013 6:34 am

OK, so Pedro nailed it...and forgot to put sealer on the nail holes and moisture got in and further rotted the beam.
I got a problem here and would like some outside the box thinking to help me solve it. And I would like to know WHY I can't clad it.
We have superb Landlords who reimburse us for costs that are their responsibility. However, they travel a lot and we're happy to solve problems for them.
Any other ideas?
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Re: Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

Post by Pedro on Sat May 04, 2013 8:22 am

let's see a picture.there is no outside the box thinking with wood. the rot will lead to termite infestation to the good parts of the beam
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Re: Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

Post by CHILLIN on Sat May 04, 2013 8:56 am

In Puerto Vallarta this is an ongoing, annual problem. They use the injected pesticides and "bondo" hole fillers, but there is a traditional black tar type coating which is now very hard to get. It is considered a carcinogen to people, like the applicators, who are constantly exposed to it. I bet you could find it, or something as effective, at the 100 year old hardware in Chapala, near the plaza
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Re: Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

Post by sparks on Sat May 04, 2013 9:19 am

My palm wood palapa was treated with preservative and diesel and once or twice a year I paint it with diesel
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Re: Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

Post by ferret on Sat May 04, 2013 9:57 am

Thank you. I know about the preservatives/fumigation methods that should have been used and that we are now using. There is a fume free environmentally safe wood product that is available at Comex.
Bondo...is that a wood filler or does it have other redeeming qualities?

There are aluminum clad wood windows and doors...WHY can't I clad this beam to preserve it as it now is...bug free and dry.
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Re: Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

Post by CanuckBob on Sat May 04, 2013 10:31 am

Bondo is an auto body filler. I suppose it could be used to fill holes in wood.
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Re: Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

Post by sparks on Sat May 04, 2013 11:05 am

The windows covered with aluminum are factory done and probably air tight. Can't imagine a home made job being very snug and maybe trapping moisture.
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Re: Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

Post by ferret on Sat May 04, 2013 11:18 am

I found this link to Bondo while I was waiting. Any of the Bondo products can be used on wood...now I just gotta find it here. Any hints?
http://solutions.3mcanada.ca/wps/portal/3M/en_CA/Bondo/Home/Applications/Wood/

If nothing else this thread should serve as a reminder to never ignore your wood beams.


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Re: Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

Post by viajero on Sat May 04, 2013 11:21 am

Auto parts stores should have it,dont mix up too much at one time,it hardens very fast.

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Re: Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

Post by ferret on Sat May 04, 2013 11:36 am

viajero wrote:Auto parts stores should have it,dont mix up too much at one time,it hardens very fast.

I don't normally shop for auto parts...any directions locally?
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Re: Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

Post by sparks on Sat May 04, 2013 11:50 am

Probably hardware stores too. Ours sell the liquid for fiberglass and the catalyst
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Re: Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

Post by DonPito on Sat May 04, 2013 12:07 pm

If there is any dry rot in or around the holes in the beam, scrape it out or get rid of it. Then take a 15% borax solution (15% borax mixed with water) and paint it on all of the wood, making sure you get it down into the holes too. Let it dry for 4-6 hours and repeat. Let it dry overnight.

You can then fill any holes with the Bondo and let that cure. Then coat the beam with either paint or something else to seal the wood. That will keep the borax in the beam, and the borax will stop the dry rot and the bugs. You'll be looking for boric acid, which is "acido borico " in Spanish.

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Re: Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

Post by ferret on Sat May 04, 2013 12:53 pm

Thank you DonPito! I love "how to's" with directions. Thanks Sparks, I will check out the Ferreteria's since I know where they all are. :)
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Re: Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

Post by slainte39 on Sat May 04, 2013 12:56 pm

Agree with everyone else...never, if possible, clad or cover wood with metal.
Even on creosote fence posts, the first place that will show deterioration, is where the barb wire or metal fencing is attached to the post.
Just for bugs, termites....Dragón is a very good product...sold at all ferreterías. I paint outside wood with used motor oil.
All my termites are "oiled". Very Happy

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Re: Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

Post by Pedro on Sat May 04, 2013 1:27 pm

i still need to see a pic. why did this happen in the first place. if it's a horizontal beam under a roof and it's protruding,it probably should be cut back. all the exposed wood in our house[and there is lots] is sealed with marine varnish under which is a stain. i repaired a termite eaten table with a plastic wood type product purchased at the harware store between my house and delicias on hidalgo and chapala. bondo won't take stain and i have never used it on wood, in any event. heresy!
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Re: Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

Post by seisdedos on Sat May 04, 2013 1:44 pm

Pedro wrote:i still need to see a pic. why did this happen in the first place. if it's a horizontal beam under a roof and it's protruding,it probably should be cut back. all the exposed wood in our house[and there is lots] is sealed with marine varnish under which is a stain. i repaired a termite eaten table with a plastic wood type product purchased at the harware store between my house and delicias on hidalgo and chapala. bondo won't take stain and i have never used it on wood, in any event. heresy!

Minwax started making a wood color bondo a number of years ago. Bondo can be tinted black and works fine on wood. Varnish and stain have no affect on wood boring pests.
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Re: Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

Post by ferret on Sat May 04, 2013 1:55 pm

My camera is not working. It happened (as stated in the OP) because of the large black and yellow bumble bees that drill into the wood. That exposed the stained wood to the elements and other bugs. No fumigation was done on any of the beams until we rented this house last year.
It is the last beam of an outside terrace that the owners enclosed with sliding glass doors. Half of that beam is now inside...and the bad half is outside.

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Re: Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

Post by CHILLIN on Sat May 04, 2013 3:16 pm

I wonder if is creosote that is that old tar? It is sure amazing stuff according to Wikipedia. I have seen very old wooden railway ties coated with creosote. Lime is another traditional wood preservative, but not too practical for you.

Professor Martin Weaver, from Brown University was the world expert in preserving wood. Sadly, he is gone. I used to phone him from time to time. He has many publications, but I am not interested enough to search them out.
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Re: Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

Post by Pedro on Sat May 04, 2013 4:08 pm

lo siento,i forgot about the minwax but have never used it. a foto would really help. are there just a few holes or is there a bunch? for the future-is there an opportunity to increase the overhang above the beam?
any new construction wood en mi casa has been treated then stained to match the old wood. then marine varnished. old wood sanded and re-varnished. touch wood[pun intended] we have had very little root and bug eating in this house which was built in the 40's with lots of wood. all the doors and windows are wood too,joined the old fashioned way with wood pegging.
if you can't keep the moisture off that beam the problem will recur until it's eaten and or rotted away.
i have made fillers using saw dust, animal glues and stains but that's just what i used on antiques and old floorboards, not for something like this, that is exposed to the elements.
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Re: Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

Post by ferret on Sat May 04, 2013 8:18 pm

I'm going to get my hubby to go out there with his iPad tomorrow and try and take a picture.
It's going to be a nasty future problem, for sure, since the concrete roof is only two inches past the beam. The full face of the beam faces east so it gets the summer rain pelting against it. The backside of the beam is protected.
After "fixing" the beam with the boric acid solution and bondo...how about adhering a copper sheet to just the outside facing edge? That way the beam could still breathe. I would extend the copper just past the bottom edge so that it could have a drip edge.
Just thoughts. Feedback appreciated.
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Re: Cladding a wood beam in aluminum?

Post by seisdedos on Sat May 04, 2013 8:20 pm

Does the concrete overhang have a drip ledge?
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