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Country Discussion Topics
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On Posts!
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Mike D. honest country question-    Posted 03-05-2003 at 12:07:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
About to build another pole barn addition. This time I'll use red cedars cut off our farm, then sawn in half. There is a running debate between my neighbors concerning how to treat the posts. One says to stick the 1/2 post into the ground below frost heave. Set it on a rock for better drainage. Then backfill. The other neighbor says to char the post over a hot fire then put foundation coating on it to just above ground level. Then backfill.

We have a machine shed on the side of our tobacco barn that has full round cedar posts. They are set below the heave, and have never been treated. That was done 50 years ago. They are rotted at ground level now. That is a part of my 2nd. neighbors argument. I'm 50 now, so I suspect I won't want to fool with rotted posts 50 years from now.

tlak    Posted 03-05-2003 at 15:36:54       [Reply]  [Send Email]
If you use full round cedar post your using the the pulp wood or the white wood of the cedar and it wont last. I carried a cedar log to the mill after it sat on the ground for a year and lost half the log because of how fast the pulp goes. If you pull up a post from the machine shed you'll find out its the red core wood is whats left and check the above ground full post its pulp wood.

yep-    Posted 03-05-2003 at 15:44:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
you are right as rain. i like to cut cedars from shady bottom land. they are almost all heart wood.

M.D.    Posted 03-05-2003 at 13:23:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
Will post a picture of the hay shed I have been building. I started out just wanting to put up about 50 round bales. Now we can get 120 under roof, that is if we don't have drought years. But ya'll know what that means, right?

I used 6X6 pressure treated posts for it. Now I got more time than money so the cedar will be used for the posts on the tractor shed. I ache having equipment out in the weather.

bob ny    Posted 03-05-2003 at 13:09:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
in our town the building inspector made us dig below frost pour 8 in concrete in bottom of hole
then back fill

Tom A    Posted 03-05-2003 at 13:07:32       [Reply]  [No Email]

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!

good luck,

Gary, Mt. Hermon, La    Posted 03-05-2003 at 13:06:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
Oh! the joys of living where it dont get very cold.... Sorry,cant help. I do have a 54 ft square pole barn but dont ever worry bout frost heave, just dig a hole 30inches deep and pack the same dirt back in.

Salmoneye    Posted 03-05-2003 at 12:53:46       [Reply]  [Send Email]
The first way you describe...

Cedar is perfect for poles and posts here...

Ludwig    Posted 03-05-2003 at 12:52:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
Sometimes up here we'll set a post on crushed stone, fill halfway with regular fill and do the rest with crushed stone. I've also seen places that mix 50/50 crushed stone and dirt and use that for fill. I don't like plain crushed stone for fill but some people use it and it works out just fine.

For a cheap idea get a 50 gallon drum and fill it with used motor oil, soak your posts in that...

Still if you get 50 years out of a post in the ground I'd be real happy about it. Anything I put in the ground is going to be concrete and have a BUNCH of iron in it.

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