Posted 03-05-2003 at 13:07:32
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I'm not a post expert, but know a little. Wood is an important point, and your cedar is a good choice...though I think if you've got any, locust is better.
Generally, round posts last longer than split of the same type of wood and treatment. I believe that's because the softer heartwood is exposed when you split it.
Charring was an old way to preserve posts, and is fairly effective. It basically builds up a surface layer of charcoal about 1/4 inch thick that not much grows in or eats, and protects the remaining wood that way...not sure there's much to be gained by then tarring over the char, and in fact it might just serve to hold in moisture and so hurt the effort.
Soaking in motor oil or (if you can find it) some creosote is another good way to preserve 'em.
Below the frost line, and provide for some drainage with gravel and rocks and your kids should have to worry about the next re-fencing 'cuz you won't!