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Country Discussion Topics
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Wood preservative, fence posts
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Michael M    Posted 02-20-2004 at 17:05:10       [Reply]  [No Email]
I am getting ready to clear a part of my property and put up a couple of out buildings, and a fence. I am going to use many of the small trees that I have to cut down for fence posts. They are a mix of hardwoods.
I am curious, what is a good preservative to use on these posts? I am mostly interested in something, maybe a creosote or tar product, for the part that goes in the ground.
I have seen a number of fences in this area made this way, though I am not sure if a preservative was used. I intend to go and ask my neighbors in the next couple of days.

Archie    Posted 02-21-2004 at 08:38:48       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hello Michael. I don't know where you are located. My dad use to do like toolman said. He would use cedar with a lot of red heart to it. We use hedge or osage orange here in southern missouri.for corner posts. It is so rocky here all i use line post is six foot steel. They are one dollar and seventy nine cents each. Archie

LesWV    Posted 02-21-2004 at 07:34:36       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Creosote is illegal to use in the US on anything that goes into the ground. If you notice all of the new power and telephone poles are now what we call "blonde". They are treated with the same stuff that treated lumber is, except the salt content is much higher. About the only that creosote is legal to use on are Railroad ties.

The best stuff that I have ever used at treating wood for wagon beds, bridges, post etc is used hydraulic oil. It will soak into the wood and stay their. Unlike used motor oil it does not just stay on the surface and make everything slick when it gets wet or run off causeing a huge black spot on the ground at the base of the post.

What ever you do use. Remember that the wood should be dry as possible.

Dieselrider    Posted 02-20-2004 at 17:44:41       [Reply]  [No Email]
If you can get your hands on some black locust, they make for long lasting fence posts.

Bill Martin    Posted 08-24-2008 at 09:23:43       [Reply]  [Send Email]
We have a 150 year old hay wagon. The wood is in real good condition and also very dry and we would like to preserve it, would that used hydraulic oil work for us and not ruin the wood??

Michael M    Posted 02-20-2004 at 17:59:43       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yep, a few of the trees coming down are locust, black and honey. I have a need for enough posts fast that I am not going ot be picky, I am going to use everything that I cut down. I might set 'em on the sawmill and cut them square first, might not. I will likely square two sides, as I plan on adding boards on the outside come spring,summer. I am only fencing in a couple of acres, only have one horse, until she drops her foal. LOL! THEN I will be here asking for advice, a lot. I don't know nothing about birthing no horses!

toolman    Posted 02-20-2004 at 17:12:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
you know for me it,s not worth my time to pound untreated posts in that aren,t gonna last, with hard wood you might be some better off, if its legal where your at ,you can get a 45gal drum cut the top off add some used motor oil and desiel and let them soak in that for a couple of weeks,i used the pressure treated ones when i did my place ,they don,t last forever either though, now when i refence ive been running down to montana and buying the steel T posts, easy to pound in and pretty cheap in mt.

Michael M    Posted 02-20-2004 at 17:53:03       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hey Toolman, Yeah, hardwood post can last a good long time. Locust, untreated here last forever. Here we dig the holes first.
I answered my own question with a trip to the shop and a read of the lable on a can of roofing tar. It can be thinned down with mineral spirits or fuel oil. I am going to cut my posts and thin down some tar, brush it on and hope for the best. If I get five to ten years out of them I will be happy.Old Jon says there are posts done that way on his family place that have been there for over fifty years.
Got to move our horse very soon, the neighbors barn thawed out and she is standing in too much mud. I bought her over the winter, and the ground just thawed out enough to do anything.So,I got to get to doing it.:)

Burrhead    Posted 02-20-2004 at 18:14:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
Michael if you heat the tar to thin it and dip the post tips they will do alot better than a thinned tar mixture does.

There are black locust post on my place that my Pappy in Law put in over 60 years ago and they are still on the job doing fine with no treatment.

Maybe them fellers from up the noreast coast will catch your question and answer up. They watch Martha Stewart everyday and always have more recent farm and livestock data than the ones of us who do it just simply for a living.

Them fellers may not can tell ye which post to use but they'll know if it goes better with white wine or grey poupon.

You can trust bob(ny) he aint from Conn or Nu Hamshuh

Michael M    Posted 02-20-2004 at 21:32:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hey Burrhead, What is a safe way to heat the tar? Can it be done using one of those big LP Turkey frier burners? Can the can of tar be put directly over heat, or do you have to use a secondary kettle of water?Is this one of those things that you kind got to watch the flash point of?
I don't know too much about the NE. I try not to travel East of the Indiana State line, the world starts geting strange over that a way.
Grey Poupon? Martha Stewart? Who are they?

Dieselrider    Posted 02-20-2004 at 18:34:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have a couple of them posts with white and black poop-on from the birds. Does that count? :)

Burrhead    Posted 02-20-2004 at 18:44:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
I think them post are used at holiday time. It would be better if they wuz red and white or orange and white so ye could just put some green around them for decorations..8^)

toolman    Posted 02-20-2004 at 18:09:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
we don,t have any good hard woods for posts here, they used to use cedar here for posts , get the big stuff and cut it to length and split it, when i bought this place there were some still standing must of been about 40 years old still in pretty good shape too, but all the big stuff is long gone now.That should work ok for you though , i hate digging them but i have to here sometimes too if i get in a rocky area, when you put that tar on bring it up above the ground level, i put in a couple of gate posts here about a foot around and painted tar on them dug them in and when they rotted they rotted right at ground level i was wishing i had painted them about another 8 inches higher, think they would have lasted longer.yes it nice to not have them horses standing in mud all day , can end up with foot problems down the road.good luck i won,t have to worry about fencing untill about the end of april anyways .lol

Michael M    Posted 02-20-2004 at 20:05:09       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks Toolman. Yeah, I knew to go above the ground line with the preservative. I have seen posts around here done this way, and you can see the black stuff above the ground on them. Thanks for the warning.};<)

Burrhead    Posted 02-20-2004 at 18:25:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
Somebody steals all the good cedar around here toolman.

I let a 10 acre patch go for 35 year since I bought that piece of land. I was saving the cedar to have siding cut for my retirement house.

I went and walked it over ever summer. The same year I was gonna cut it when I went to look it over all the log size cedar was gone.

If it was some kind of insect they leave a stump looks just like a chainsaw cut them.

Dieselrider    Posted 02-20-2004 at 18:39:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thats them Husqaurvarnu insectus and Stihlamus bugus bug that do that. they got a couple trees off me that way too.:^)

Michael M    Posted 02-20-2004 at 20:00:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
Ya know, it is sort of funny, but ever since I snuck up on them boys that were cutting on the state land that borders mine, and scared the bejeezus out of them, I haven't had none of those bugs come to within about 30 feet of my property. Haven't had to put down any deer that had those pesky .22 Hornet bites in the throat, out of season neither.
Funny how that works, ain't it?
You'd think those boys had never seen a guy checking his property lines before, nor a .270 Winchester, nor a .45 Colt neither.....

Burrhead    Posted 02-20-2004 at 18:46:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
I hear the mating call ever once in a while but they're too fast. I can't catchum.

toolman    Posted 02-20-2004 at 18:37:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
them same kinda insects must be all over same thing happenes way up here in british columbia.

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