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Question

Can untreated pine be used as structural timber in a house e.g. for ceiling battens or does it have to be treated these days?

Woodsolutions Answer +

The National Construction Code (NCC 2019) requires a "termite management system" where a primary building element of a Class 1 or 10 building is considered susceptible to termite attack. There is a potential risk of termite attack in all parts of Australia except Tasmania, and a lesser risk in parts of Victoria. Treating pine framing (eg. 'Blue Pine') is considered to be an appropriate way of managing termite attack. However we consider a better strategy is to keep termites out of the building altogether. Where an approved barrier system is in place pine framing is not required to be treated, although the use of a product such as Blue Pine is still good practice since treated framing forms a second line of defence if termites breach the barrier. Ceiling battens are not "primary building elements" as defined in NCC 2019 and it is unlikely termites would reach the ceiling without being detected if there is a termite barrier in place and/or treated framing such as Blue Pine is used.

Termite protection

Answered on 20-10-2020
Please note that our answer is based on the best advice available at the time. If the National Construction Code, Australian Standards or local requirements have been subsequently amended, our answer may no longer be correct in all details. For more information, please read our disclaimer.

Question

I am working on a new child care project in Rosebery, NSW and we are currently in the process of switching our internal doors/ windows from Accoya to Vic ash.
Could you please provide some advice on a suitable finish for this timber door/ window joinery, with particular consideration toward durability (minimum ongoing maintenance ), ability to touch up if needed (eg if doors were dented + require sanding + re-sealing) & easy cleaning (wipe down.)
We would be interested in clear finish only.

Woodsolutions Answer +

Gloss polyurethanes provide the hardest wearing clear finish, and the easiest to wipe down. Oils and waxes have an attractive natural look, and are fine for more delicate items, but do not have the same resistance to liquids or the same easy cleaning qualities. If you are particularly concerned about wear you could consider a flooring grade polyurethane, but generally the usual interior gloss finishes should be adequate. 

Clear finish

Answered on 12-10-2020
Please note that our answer is based on the best advice available at the time. If the National Construction Code, Australian Standards or local requirements have been subsequently amended, our answer may no longer be correct in all details. For more information, please read our disclaimer.

Question

We have been advised that our American Oak table has a 'gomma' finish but I can't find details of that anywhere. Could you advise what that might be or how I can find further information on updating our table?

Woodsolutions Answer +

We are not familiar with a 'gomma' finish for timber. It sounds like some sort of rubberised coating, although that seems unlikely for a timber table. We suggest you ask the person who gave you this information. Generally we advise a lacquer-type finish for tables used indoors, such as polyurethane. Oils and waxes don't resist food and liquid spillage or provide an easily cleaned surface. 

Finish for table

Answered on 24-09-2020
Please note that our answer is based on the best advice available at the time. If the National Construction Code, Australian Standards or local requirements have been subsequently amended, our answer may no longer be correct in all details. For more information, please read our disclaimer.

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