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Country Discussion Topics
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A Good Treament for Fence Posts and Poles?
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Lynch in E.TX    Posted 01-10-2003 at 15:52:01       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Short of buying pressure treated posts and poles, what is a good way to keep the termites out and the post standing for 30 or 40 years? (longer would be nice) Soak in used motor oil? Spray or soak in insecticide? Char the posts? I have lots of good Pine poles that I would like to be able to use. Lynch

Spence    Posted 01-11-2003 at 15:42:09       [Reply]  [No Email]
just stay clear of the ready available so called pressure treated wood. Your posts would rot inside out. The pressure couldn't be higher than sea level pressure.

Don't believe me, cut one open yourself. You'd need an electron microscope to measure the depth
of penetration.

Years ago I recall buying it, and observed it was penetrated a good half inch. Not so now.

The advent of the PW foundations 20 years ago had everyone saving on inground foundations. They were guaranteed 60 years. Now all around these parts people are having the backhoes redig for poured concrete. Shows you how strong the construction industry has dugs it's claws into
municiple bylaws, screw up and get away with it.

For posts mix wood preservative 1 part to 5 parts light crankcase oil. If you can get creosote(outlawed mostly everywhere) use that.
The important thing is how long you soak and how dry the posts are.

sHan    Posted 01-11-2003 at 07:18:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
I cant beleve nobody sead hedge posts ive got some here that have been in the ground fer almost 100 yrs and are still in use now and are still solid as a rock tryed to pull 1 out a while ago it was about 6 in round it wouldent budge broke a 3/8 in log chain try so i burned it out it burned for almost 2 days before it was gone..just my 2 cents il go back under my rock now...

Sid    Posted 01-11-2003 at 07:56:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
I agree with you on that sHan. I also have some oak post that I remember Granddad put in and he has been gone almost forty years. They where not treated. I have torn out fence that had hedge post that the older folks said was sixty plus years old. These post where three to four inches in diamenter and I wondered why they used such small post when I started pulling them they where six inches or more in diamenter. I have found this in some oak fence post that I have taken out also. Apparently the wood last longer in the ground than exposed to to the elements. I wonder if that is something that happens just around here. Untreated pine will not last in the ground any time at all around here anyway. But pine does not grow here. Would that be why it does not last would it last longer in the area where it grows?

sHan    Posted 01-11-2003 at 08:12:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
not shure but i live in central IL and the ground here is prety sandy and even a treated pine post will rot off in about 2 years i put in about 40 of them for a yard fence and they all had to be replaced :(

Foz    Posted 01-10-2003 at 20:17:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
'round here it's cederpost and galvanized drive post, even along the bay! regular steel just don't hold up......foz

DeadCarp    Posted 01-10-2003 at 19:53:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yeah i think Les is right - plant a nice row of trees and staple the wire to them in a few years.
If the posts you have were cut full of pitch, they'll char good - otherwise if they're wintercut, they'll soak up leftover oil. Never had any last that long tho.

The problem is right around ground level, where bugs can find both oxygen and moisture IN the post. Prevent that and the post will last.

Jim in Michigan    Posted 01-10-2003 at 18:35:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
30 -40 years,,,no problem,,use steel posts lol,,Jim

Lynch in E.TX    Posted 01-11-2003 at 12:25:23       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have some wood posts in the ground now that have been here for over 30 years and are solid as a rock...but the guy that put them in is long dead. Lynch

Cur Mudgeon    Posted 01-10-2003 at 18:17:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
I dunno, but i been told.. Native Americans singed ground contact poles in fire. There are "traces" of such poles in structures that are up to 500 years old. Charcoal is about all that is left in a lot of digs. But if you are doing 5 miles of fence, uuh, probably not practical.

walt    Posted 01-10-2003 at 18:05:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
30/40? Your kidding...Pressure treated will...Oil soaked/pesticide? Hope your not on a well..Like most of the posts. Cedar is the best natural..

Lynch in E.TX    Posted 01-11-2003 at 12:28:38       [Reply]  [Send Email]
The posts that are here are solid as a rock and over 30 years old, but the guy that put them in is long dead...I use cedar for most, but even that alone doesn't hold up to our humid wet conditions. Lynch

Slo    Posted 01-10-2003 at 17:57:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
We dug some old cedar posts out here this year. FIL says that they are well over 50 years old.

Lynch in E.TX    Posted 01-11-2003 at 12:32:22       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I'm lucky the the old boy that put the posts in here that are over 30 years old left a pile of the same posts, but it's not enough to split my pastures like I want. Thought maybe there was a way to use some sappy pine. Lynch

Burrhead    Posted 01-10-2003 at 17:36:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
Lynch if ye soak them in a 50/50 mix of diesel and used motor oil the pine does good. It'll keep the termites and carpenter ants out good.

I never have got over about 15 years on any but thats about the same as #1 metal T post will do in my soil

Lynch in E.TX    Posted 01-11-2003 at 12:44:59       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Thanks Burr...That's about what I figured...I plan to use some t-posts too. Appreciate the help without the addition of "your kidding". Lynch ( I rarely kid and it's obvious when I do.)

Burrhead    Posted 01-12-2003 at 07:09:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
10-4. I figgered them danged fences aint nuthin to waste any motion with.

The best fence post I ever used are locust but they come from too far away and have gotten too expensive -- since all we got around here is pine we had to figger out how to use pine.

Red Dave    Posted 01-10-2003 at 16:50:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
Around here, locust is often used for posts, but I doubt anybody gets 30 or 40 years out of one.
30 or 40 years is about the life expectancy of pressure treated lumber in direct ground contact.
Before pressure treating, we used to use creosote on posts to make them last longer in the ground, but I don't think you can buy that anymore.

Lynch in E.TX    Posted 01-11-2003 at 12:47:21       [Reply]  [Send Email]
There was a huge historic mill around here that used creosote back in the teens and 20's, but it burnt 50 years ago...glad my property is a few miles away. Lynch

BOSS    Posted 01-10-2003 at 16:48:10       [Reply]  [No Email]
Build a nice little log cabin. Nice summer project for you and family.

Lynch in E.TX    Posted 01-11-2003 at 12:49:29       [Reply]  [Send Email]
In a perfect world...(It's just me and my wife) and I am becoming disabled fast. Lynch

Les...fortunate    Posted 01-10-2003 at 16:37:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
30 or 40 years??? You'd have to be dreaming to think you could get even half that around here. And we don't have termites.
We used red oak for fenceposts more than anything else. Plenty of it around and it was easy to split and lasted longer than 'most everything else that grows around here. Sometimes a hemlock post would be used as a large corner post. Both hemlock and oak have tannin in them which helps to preserve.
Cedar posts all sharpened are available around here for anywhere from $1 to $2 apiece. They will last longer than anything else without being treated. There isn't much cedar around here but Vermont and Maine are full of it.
Prolly not much help to you but just had to chime in. Actually what we did whenever possible was to attach the fence to live trees.

Lynch    Posted 01-11-2003 at 12:55:02       [Reply]  [Send Email]
From the over 30 year old posts that are still rock solid and that I'm going to reuse...I would say that it's not that far fetched. I think I'll get another 20 out of the posts that are here, but the old boy that put em in is dead and I wish I knew his secret. I guess it's probably outlawed by now anyway. He did leave about 30 in a pile that are still good but I need twice that many. I never kid about this kind of stuff...I have some cedar but not enough. Trying to save money. In my chicken area I have trees holding a third of the fence. Lynch

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