telephone poles for raised beds & buildings?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by mrsugbstd, Aug 4, 2004.

  1. mrsugbstd

    mrsugbstd New Member

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    Hi Everyone!
    I'm So Excited To Finally Be Contacting Anything Involving Homesteading! Beleive It Or Not I Live About 4 Miles From Countrysides' Home Office. I Have Met,and Known People Who Work There For Quite Some Time. Because I Had No Idea What Homesteading Was, I Had No Way To Appreciate The Wealth Of Information I Had Literally Driven Right By Thousands Of Times!! A Friend Finally Gave Me A Copy And Within A Week I Stopped In The Office And Bought 28 Back Issues. (not To Mention Hollered A Little At The Person I Knew There For Never Giving Me A Copy!!!) How Refreshing To Know There Are So Many People Living The Way I've Always Wanted To Live, And Who Have Similar Belief Systems.
    Well, Enough Newcomer Bubbling Over And On To My Question...
    My Husband Has The Opportunity To Receive Approximately 4-5 Miles Worth Of Used Telephone Poles For Free. The Majority Of Them Are Treated With The "green Stuff." First Of All, Does Anyone Know What The "green Stuff" Is? Second, Is It Safe To Use For Raised Beds And Animal Buildings? If Not, Is There Anything We Could Treat Them With To Make Them Usable? I Am Envisioning Lumber For Raised Beds, Posts For Buildings, And Acres Of Fence Posts To Help Us Begin Our Homesteading Dreams. Any Replies Would Be Greatly Appreciated.
    Thanks In Advance!
    Mrsugbstd
     
  2. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    First of all, welcome to the forum! Glad you found us! :)

    We use telephone poles for pole barns, lean-to sheds and fence posts. We don't use them for raised beds though. I'm picky about any treated wood in the garden.
     

  3. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    Welcome!!! Glad you found us and my what a find in the poles. I am envious!! My gramps built a beautiful cabin with them years ago. I understand the "green stuff" is rather poisonous if taken internally and can leech into the soil, thus I wouldn't want it in my food supply. I don't think Gramps' logs had the green stuff. I wonder about using them for the primary dwelling?
     
  4. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hmmm...don't know what "the green stuff" is, but I do know they used to treat telephone poles with creosote and it is a dangerous carcinogen. My dad was a cable splicer with the phone company and exposure to creosote has resulted in his battle with lymphoma and now Stage 4 colon cancer.

    I would definitely not use treated lumber in my garden, but as fence poles it should be fine. Be sure to use gloves and wear long sleeves when handling the poles and it would be advisable to wear a mask over your nose and mouth.
     
  5. Stand_Watie

    Stand_Watie Well-Known Member

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    Those are worth good money. 25 or 30 bucks apiece starting price if they're in any decent shape.

    Whether you can use them or not, don't turn them down, if you don't want them you'll have neighbors who do.
     
  6. Just curious ... why do you capitalize every word in your posts? Not being critical ... just thought you'd like to know that it makes it really difficult to read.

    :)
     
  7. stonerebel

    stonerebel Well-Known Member

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    I work for a power company and those older green poles are treated with arsnic. It would be harmful if swallowed, but they were approved to be placed in the ground. You will not need to treat those bad boys, they will be here after we are long gone. You can use use them for what ever you want no harm in any of those ideas. Just one thing I will mention is if one catches on fire you will not put it out, I have see fire trucks dump a whole load on it just to have it flame back up.
     
  8. angus_guy

    angus_guy Well-Known Member

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    Arcenic ..........hummmm sounds like POISON to me could this leach into the soil and be absorbed into the veggies

    posts treated with arcenic(.4) are GCA (ground contact approved) and can be used as posts and they are rot resistant not rot proof also green wood is not treated with arcenic anymore government said this must stop as of 01/01/04

    just my .02
     
  9. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    some of taht geeen treat is copper naphate, a bi-product from the copper mines smelting out copper. mixed with petroleum [diesel] and either pressure treated or soak treated into posts and poles.

    Makes great fencing material, even makes good poles for barns and sheds, but i would not use them in the garden..... just regular old whitewood 1x6 will last a few years, and work its way back into the ground thru your compost bin eventually..... why use anything that might cause a problem with health down the path?

    just 'nother 'pinion

    William
     
  10. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Free is Free! Take advantage.

    Pentachloraphenyl is a green preservative used in newer posts.

    I wouldn't want to breathe it or eat it. So put a barrier between it and you or your food.

    Keep the toxins out with a layer of plastic. Line the inside surface of garden boxes and structures. The posts are not rot proof, and the plastic will extend their life. Make good joints.

    Why would you build a house with something you wouldn't use in the garden?
     
  11. mrsugbstd

    mrsugbstd New Member

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    just a quick thank you for the welcomes and the great info!!! Sorry about the all caps thing I usually type in caps lock and thats just how it posted... Told you I was new! Oh! and found another great bargain today... 4 used 4x8 solar panels at an auction for $10... I really think someone is trying to tell us something!!!!

    thanks again & I'm sure the new purchase will bring more questions from me,
    mrsugbstd
     
  12. Stand_Watie

    Stand_Watie Well-Known Member

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    Stonerebel, are you referring to creosote treated poles or pressure-treated (used to call them Wolmanized) poles? I knew they both were carcinogenic, but I didn't know the creosote had arsenic in it.