Friday, April 9, 2021

Sansin Boracol: Diffusable, long-term decay, insect and mold protection

By Sjoerd Bos, Managing Director at Sansin

Wood is an incredibly strong building material, but it must be protected properly to stand the test of time, and that means protecting it against wood-destroying fungi, insects and mold. Sansin Boracol 20-2 is designed to do just that - fight fungi and insect infestation. It is recommended for use on roof, floor or structural timbers, joinery, joist ends, and door and window framing. Boracol 20-2 penetrates wood exceptionally well – even heartwood, up to 3-5mm deep. It establishes a reserve from where further penetration takes place (up to 40 mm over two years in dry wood).

Because Boracol diffuses with moisture, it migrates into areas with higher moisture content. Boracol can also be used to eradicate wood rot in existing structures, and it can also be used to protect new and existing logs and timbers against fungi and wood-boring insect. In addition to organic surfaces such as wood, Boracol works to prevent mold on inorganic materials like stone or concrete. Sansin Boracol contains boron, which is far less hazardous than traditional treatments and will give your project the lasting protection it needs – with low toxicity.

 The Science Behind Boracol

 Premature decay of untreated wood that was periodically or permanently exposed to increased moisture content (over 25%) reached serious proportions in North America in the mid-2000s. As a result, requirements for reliable treatments were introduced. Boron-based wood preservatives were found to be the most acceptable pre- and remedial treatment for rot and insect attack.

In addition to their proven efficiency, the borate formulations are widely accepted as environmentally safe wood preservatives, having very low toxicity. Boracol wood preservatives are based on inorganic Boron (disodium octaborate tetrahydrate), which not only has the ability to diffuse in moist wood but also contains a very low vapor pressure and has the ability to progressively penetrate the wood even several years after application. Over this time, because of the boron concentration in the wood, the degrading organisms have no chance to survive and cause damage.

The only condition for proper performance is that the treated wood should not be exposed to direct contact with water (i.e. wood-in-ground contact or occasional heavy rain over construction wood). If the wood is exposed to water in this way, it is possible the Boron will “travel the opposite way” by a leaching process. To keep this from happening, a post-treatment application of the wood surfaces is recommended by applying a proven wood protection system like Sansin SDF, DEC or Classic 1-2-3. 

How to Apply Boracol 

Boracol can be applied by brushing, dipping or spraying. Within the first 24 to 48 hours, the product will penetrate 3-5 mm deep into the wood and will establish a reserve of over-concentrated Boron from which further penetration and diffusion will take place depending on the wood’s moisture content.

Brush Application: This method requires some shear force to be applied in order to evenly spread the product over a range of different surface profiles. The brushing method yields best results if applied before wood components are assembled. 

Dipping: This method requires a non-corrosive dipping tank and an additional support surface inclined at an angle to allow excess product to drain off into the tank. The advantage of this method is that all the surfaces – including splits and cracks – are fully treated.

Spraying: Different spray applicators can be used, and the viscosity of the product can be adapted by adding up to 5% water. 

Injection Method: This method is used to increase the quantity of Boron in wood locations where condensed water may be trapped for a longer period. A syringe-type injector can be used to fill cracks and gaps or pre-drilled holes.

It is advised to clean the wood before treatment. Vacuum cleaning, power washing or compressed air are good ways to remove dirt. Boracol forms a wet-appearing film on wood surfaces as soon as the product is applied. The film will stay on wood for a period necessary for the solvent to penetrate the wood surface, bringing the Boron compound deeper in the wood. During this time, the treated wood surfaces should be protected from contact with water.

If the treated wood is intended for subsequent paint or stain application, allow at least seven days for Boracol to completely penetrate and disappear from the surface. If a slight film or crystal-like particles are visible, the surface should be wiped off with a damp cloth. Light sanding can be very helpful to remove boron crystals and improve adhesion of the coating. Subsequent coating is particularly important when wood is exposed to contact with rain or con-densed water that stays trapped in the wood for a longer period of time (e.g. balconies). To learn more about Sansin Boracol 20-2, click here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Indelible Ink Pencil

 The Sanford NOBLOT Ink Pencils have been discontinued but have been now replaced with this indelible successor. The lead writes as if it were ordinary smooth dark grey graphite lead, but it is indelible. In fact, it is a seductively smooth-writing "graphite" pencil, and you must be careful to separate it from regular graphite pencils. If you write very lightly and erase very carefully with a vinyl eraser in a dry environment, the markings will erase. The indelibility is due to the dyeing of the surface written upon, which is "fixed" by writing firmly, by the rubbing action of mechanical erasure, and further intensified by dampening or exposure to humid environments (your "hot, foggy" breath close to the markings will do). To assist you in keeping this lead away from anything you do not want permanently marked, we supply a point protector with each pencil.

This lead does not break as easily as our Veritas indelible pencil leads, but a little more easily than the Sanford Noblot pencil did. The aniline dye component weakens the lead slightly as compared with usual clay/graphite leads. The Select™ Indelible pencil writes more darkly and with a slightly broader line than the Noblot did. We suggest sharpening it to a short point, rather than a long one. The body is round, which assists you in continuously turning the pencil during use to keep the lead pointed. Sold individually.

Made in the USA.

Monday, January 4, 2021

LogSeal Foam Tape

LogSeal Foam Tape is the original and still largest brand of Foam Gaskets to the Log Building Industry. More than 36 years of experience has gone into providing the best gaskets available. LogSeal foam tape is manufactured using closed cell materials, which prevent virtually all moisture absorption and air infiltration.

LogSeal closed cell gasket has the following features: 

1. Excellent seal against water, cold, heat, light, and noise.

2. Excellent recovery characteristics. 

3. Perpetual seal during drying, settling, and continued log movement.

4. Excellent resistance to ultraviolet light. 

5. Adhesive on one side, with an easy-release protective liner. 

6. Easy application with a wide variety of log joint designs, including tongue and groove, splined and gasket, and saddle notch. 

Physical Properties: 

Color - Brown 

Gauge - 1/4" x 1/2", 3/8" x 1/2






Friday, October 23, 2020

Wood Finish & Treatment Decisions For Lasting Log Home Protection

 By Sjoerd Bos, Managing Director at Sansin  

Whether you currently own a log home or are purchasing or building one, you no doubt appreciate the enduring beauty of wood and the log home aesthetic. To protect your investment and ensure your home stands the test of time, you will want to protect it from dirt, moisture, UV exposure and other handling damage. This means wood treatment and finishing are critical decisions. Rather than choosing a coating that creates a non-breathable, waxy film on top of the wood, there are water-borne finish options that deeply penetrate into the logs, allowing water to evaporate and preventing moisture from getting trapped and rotting the logs from within. 

For more than 30 years, the Sansin Corporation has been exclusively dedicated to the development of enviro-friendly, water-borne wood finish technologies that make wood beautiful, durable and easy-to- maintain. Sansin’s wood coatings utilize a unique water-borne alkyd formula that combines the benefits of both oil- and water-based coatings but in a formula with much lower VOC (volatile organic compounds) levels. Additionally, rather than using toxic dyes in the colorant system, Sansin utilizes nano technology to create pure pigments ground so fine that they deliver remarkably vibrant, uniform and long-lasting color. Because the finishes don’t form a film on top of the wood, the coatings won’t crack, chip or peel. Water-borne finishes also dry faster, allowing additional coats to be applied in one day rather than waiting a day or two between coats. When properly applied, the coatings offer superior UV protection and lasting durability that enables log home owners to extend the time between maintenance coats.

Sansin SDF is the company’s most versatile exterior finish and, in addition to log home restoration projects, works well on decks, docks, siding and fences. SDF’s specially-formulated oils and resins penetrate into the wood, creating a monolithic bond for outstanding weather and UV protection that won’t crack, peel or blister. SDF can be used on horizontal and vertical wood surfaces and is available in a wide range of natural, semi-transparent and even solid colors. Because SDF is designed to be highly water-repellent, it’s a natural choice for log homes in moisture-rich environments. SDF Topcoat offers additional durability and superior water repellency using a semi-film forming finish. SDF Topcoat is great for surfaces where water splash-back causes discoloration due to moisture intrusion or frequent wetting.When it comes to protecting wood during construction, Sansin Foundation, a nearly invisible penetrating base coat, is simply the best way to protect logs from damage during construction. Just give the wood a light cleaning, and then you can also use it as a base coat for Classic or SDF, creating those lighter, more natural tones but with built-in UV protection. Foundation penetrates into the wood, creating dimensional stability while reducing checks and wood movement. It is available in three tones that complement the wood species of fir, cedar and lightwood.

 Look no further than Sansin Timber-Tec for your in-yard protection. Timber-Tec is an industrial grade product that protects from UV degradation, blue stain and repels water (helping wood dry), and it also mitigates wood discoloration during the construction process. Timber-Tec can be applied to green or seasoned logs, improving dimensional stability and allowing wood to adjust gradually to moisture levels in the environment. It comes in in two formula options. M-30 provides the natural light color of fresh pine while C-20 is a clear concentrate that provides a light honey color to the wood after it dries.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Something to Blush About

Did your recently applied clear coat turn hazy white?

During the cooler shoulder seasons of spring and early fall, and even throughout the summer, we occasionally get concern. Water-based finishes can be sensitive to cool, wet weather. If dew or rain get onto a finish before it has fully dried or cured, there can be a startling effect called blushing. Blushing is a white appearance in the finish that happens when water reacts with an uncured finish. It will disappear and turn clear again when the finish dries and cures, but that could take a few warm, dry days. In some extreme situations it has taken several weeks for the blushing to clear up, or if it’s in the late fall it might take all winter when things warm up to cure in the spring.

Although clearing of the whiteness can be sped up through the use of a hair-dryer, it’s generally better to do nothing and let it cure out on its own. Blushing typically doesn’t affect the performance on the finish, but is merely a temporary cosmetic headache. Once the finish has cured and cleared, the blushing should not return.


Question about your log finish blushing? Contact us here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Why a Splitting Axe?


Gransfors Bruk Splitting AxeThere is satisfaction in processing your own firewood on a brisk autumn day. The smell of the wood, the physical exercise, and the activity outdoors make a fulfilling experience prepping fuel for your fire.

The process of splitting wood is essentially redirecting force. You convert the incredible downward inertia of the heavy steel head and translate that into the horizontal movement of the cloven pieces of wood. The heaver the head and the faster the swing, the more energy you have to work with. The shape of the head determines how much of that energy changes direction.

When it comes to processing firewood by hand, a splitting maul is the workhorse of the block. A thick heavy wedge on a long handle provides for plenty of leverage and heft. Such a tool can divide a large ash log like slicing butter. Although these mauls are excellent for splitting large pieces, they are also laborious to lug around.

Hults Bruk Sarek Splitting AxeIf you are planning on spending a day hiking or camping, and need to haul your tools around with you, a splittingAXE is your best friend. The shorter handle and smaller head make it a much more packable tool, while still giving you a thick wedge and a heavy enough head to split most campfire wood. These features make the splitting axe ideal for wood processing on-the-go.


See more about axes and mauls:


Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Using a Froe

By Paul VanKeuren, Customer Service 

Everybody knows what an axe is. Many people know what an adze is. Who knows what a froe is?

A froe is an ‘L’ shaped tool for splitting wood precisely, and the process of splitting wood this way is called riving. This tool is incredibly handy for splitting wood into kindling safely and quickly or even into boards. Boards and shakes created by riving are often stronger and more dimensionally stable than sawn boards. This is because almost all the wood fibers can run all the way from one end of the board to the other. It also is less wasteful, meaning you can get more roof shakes out of a single cedar log.

 To use a froe on short stock, place the tool on the end of the log as shown. Then with a wooden mallet or cudgel, strike the back of the froe to drive it into the log. Once it is well seated in the log, use the handle like a lever and pry the log apart. Never use an axe or metal hammer on a froe, doing so may damage your tools and the shrapnel could hurt someone.

 Straight grained GREEN wood is the best to use a froe on. Knots can make riving quite difficult, but proper placement of the froe and splitting where the wood is straight can help. I have had good results with green ash and some oak. Birch is also excellent, however you will want to cut the bark off or in vertical lines as it will hold the log together when you try to split it. Cedar is the traditional wood for roof shakes/shingles, and riving is also an efficient way to split basswood into smaller blocks for figure carving. It is good to experiment with the different woods you have available.

Sansin Boracol: Diffusable, long-term decay, insect and mold protection

By Sjoerd Bos, Managing Director at Sansin Wood is an incredibly strong building material, but it must be protected properly to stand the te...