Need to make pine posts decay resistant

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Randy Rooster, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. Randy Rooster

    Randy Rooster Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have some yellow pine posts I need to use. I know the rot and termites will get them at and below ground level within a couple years unless I treat them somehow. Does anyone have some suggestions?
     
  2. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    I think many of the cures are worse than the disease. The nice thing about plain old wood is that it is cheap and non-toxic and when it does rot you just compost it. I suppose there might be an argument that you don't want termites around. Anyhow, besides the option of doing nothing I would suggest a wrap of chickenwire and cement, perhaps with some wood ash or something like that mixed in with the cement, to cut your costs if nothing else. I would also slap some epoxy on the end grain and anywhere that you drill a hole into the wood, simply because it rots faster up the grain than across it. Ferrocement could also be used with smaller diameter poles, or hollow. If you don't want to go to the extreme of ferrocement you could try something like wood ash mixed with some linseed oil and turpentine and you might still be able to compost it once it does rot, as long as you don't use too much. Again if you pay a little extra attention to end grain you might get twice as many years. Experiment.
     

  3. just_sawing

    just_sawing Haney Family Sawmill

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    Yes you can.
    There are two methods. one enviromentaly safe and the other is not.
    If you will chaaar the wood the is with in 1 foot of the ground. Our ancestrys did this with good results. Take your stack of wood cord it up with the ends nice nad even lite a fire and burn the ends Put them out and then put the charded ends in the ground. THe Idea it to heat the wood abouve 150 degrees farenheit to kill the bateria that eats the wood and seal it.
    The other way is place the post in a fifty five gallon drum and then change the oil in your car and pour the drum 2 ' high adn let set in the dry for 6 weeks remove and use.
     
  4. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    I never thought of charring the wood. Good idea. That might also be a good think to do before sealing the wood with epoxy or ferrocement since it would help dry the wood out some as well as preseverve it.
     
  5. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    You can also paint the ends going in the ground with kopertox.
     
  6. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    If you do something like this be sure and seal the top of the post too. If you don't then rain will fall on the top of the post and travel down the cells of the wood. It then ends up being trapped in the post by the sealer at the bottom of the post.
     
  7. Randy Rooster

    Randy Rooster Well-Known Member Supporter

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  8. FreightTrain

    FreightTrain Well-Known Member

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    for the wooden ties on our hand-laid live steam railroad, we paint them with used motor oil.. all sides including bottom. extends the life of ties from a few years to 15- 20.

    we dont soak em, we just paint them with the oil
     
  9. Tabitha

    Tabitha greenheart

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    I would recommend charring, too. However, it is not so important to get the bottom charred. Notice that a post will rot around the line where it is in contact with the topsoil. Those few inches are crucial. It is important that that area is not just heated to kill bakteria, new ones are plenty, but make sure it is really charred, looking like coal, which will not rot. we have had posts break off that were good on top and you could pull the stump out and it was still good , too. it rots and breaks off at soil level. These were spruce and they had lasted 10 years without anything. Don't ask me how they lasted that long. especially considering the rainy climate we lived in.
     
  10. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

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    It's not enviormentally friendly, but used motor oil is the way to go. And don't paint 'em, soak 'em.

    An untreated pine post in the ground down here wouldn't last 12 months...
     
  11. Jim-mi

    Jim-mi Well-Known Member

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    FreightTrain, Do you know what kind of wood your using for the ties ... ?
    Theres a huge difference between red / yellow pine and oak (re; ground contact)
     
  12. Mr. Magoo

    Mr. Magoo Member

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    An effective way to ensure post life & be certain chemical treatment cannot leach into ground water & soil. Post Protector. www.postprotector.com
     
  13. Tegerian

    Tegerian Teg

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  14. EX-BRAVE

    EX-BRAVE Member

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    When I was young me and my brothers use to cut trees for fence post and installed miles of fencing. We as stated earlier poured burn't motor oil on them( every so often as its not a one time thing ) and also would nail a tin can on top to keep rain from entering the top of the post. We had post on our farm and still do thats probably 90-100 yrs old installed the same way. I'll tell you now its not a fun job at all, especially with hand held diggers !!!
     
  15. o&itw

    o&itw aka avdpas77 Supporter

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    Short of pressure treating, I don't think there is much of anything that will keep a pine post from rotting (in the ground) quickly.....almost any other wood would be better. No RedCedar around?
     
  16. KMA1

    KMA1 Well-Known Member

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    Randy,

    Charring the ends up at least a foot above the ground level will work as good as anything, and better that a lot of things, oil soak included, but it will never match good heart cedar, black locust or used power poles by a factor of al least 2 to 4 times, probably more.
     
  17. PhilJohnson

    PhilJohnson Cactus Farmer/Cat Rancher

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    This thread was started three years ago. Must have some stayin' power.....
     
  18. chrisc

    chrisc Member

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    Buy a 5 gallon bucket of asphalt driveway sealant and paint the bottom and 1 foot above the gound line. My grand father has loblolly post that are 40 yrs old and no rot at the bottom, tops are starting to fall apart.