Treated landscaping timbers...

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by seedspreader, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Okay, they are on sale at the feedstore. 8 footers for 2.29.

    They are shaped like this: (sorta)
    ... _____
    / ......... \
    |........... |
    \ ______/

    Anyone ever use them for fence posts? A treated round fence post is 7.00 plus. Any advice for those who have used them?
     
  2. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In my experience they are made from junkier or softer wood, and only surface treated (soaked to refusal), not pressure treated to .4 or better. So, they do not last long at all for a post.

    IMHO

    --->Paul
     

  3. Pigeon Lady

    Pigeon Lady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We've used them extensively at our old homestead in NC and they lasted pretty well. We usually set them in concrete or put crushed rock in the hole first and then tamped more rock around the post. They are a heck of a lot cheaper than regular fence posts!

    Termites are bad down there and we found that even treated wood, if not set in concrete and isolated fron the soil would get eaten up within about 5 years. Build up a little concrete shoulder around the bottom with a downward slope if you know what I mean, so water will run away from the post.

    P.
     
  4. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

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    I used some of them in a landscaping project, because they were so cheap. I don't expect they would last as long as a good pressure treated post. The ones I used, I noticed that some of them were lighter than I would have expected and some were rather heavy. I assume the heavy ones will last longer than the lighter ones.
     
  5. plowhand

    plowhand Well-Known Member

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    I've never used landscape timbefor fenceposts. They are not treated to withstand actual insertion in the ground, at least not in coastal NC. Treated posts and lumber are treated to different level. There are some suitable for ground contact , a prime example being a landscape timber. There are also different levels for lumber. I have recycled some floating docks that have such strong treatment as to last in salt water. I wouldn't know this but for my brother working in a lumberyard that done a heavy trade in treated lumber. I have used landscaping timbers for bean poles. They work and last pretty good, but I also take them up at the end of every season and let them dry out. I try to pick out the real heavy ones when I have to buy. You can find a few that are cut from longleaf and have traces of heartpine in them. They seem to last longer. There may be a difference in you area, but post are bad to rot off at ground level here. There is alot of difference in wood posts now. Beware of cheap wood fence post, for they are often not soaked or treated enough. We put up a fence in 1986 using 2" diameter posts. They are still standing strong. I bought two pickup loads of 4' to 5" posts from the same company siz years ago and just give about 100 away. After about a year in the ground you could walk up and slap one hard and watch it fall over. Imagine what a cow or hog could do with that. I've learned since to look at the end of the posts and see how tight the grain is. The tighter the better. I also just buy a few posts when I try some from some where new. I take them home and saw about a foot off the end. If the treament is only a inch or so deep on the post I don't buy any more, because they won't hold up. The best place I've found to buy posts here is at the local Tractor Supply Store. I've used also 4"x4" treated lumber. Sometimes you can buy them at a good price, especially if they are a little crooked. It not as neat, but I ain't never heard a cow complain. Sometimes we can get old light poles here to osed for fenceposts. The old creasoted ones last along time.
     
  6. highlands

    highlands Well-Known Member

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    I would avoid any treated wood products. Don't cut it or drill it - the dust is bad for you and your kids. Don't use it near gardens - it is bad for your plantings, animals, soil life, you and your kids. Don't play on it for the same reasons. Sure, they have new "safe" treatments but remember the one they just banned was supposed to be okay... I use stone for posts when I can since we're in granite country. Or live trees with eye bolts. Or cedar posts - something we have on our land but are cheap to buy. It isn't worth risking the chemical poisons.
     
  7. plowhand

    plowhand Well-Known Member

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    Down here we don't have a lot of choice when it come to needing a wood post but to buy a treated one. I use steel posts for line posts but still have to have wood posts for my corners and braces. All the suitable trees that used to be used for posts have long been gone. A white oak post won't last but a year or so before the bugs or bacteria get them. I cant afford $75 a section for cement fencing, not to fence in whole fields. If you can then more power to you.
     
  8. highlands

    highlands Well-Known Member

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    I once toyed with the idea of making cement fence posts. What I came up with was:
    1) take a PVC or Septic drain pipe 4" in diameter and cut to 5' (comes in 10' lengths = 2 posts).
    2) If you have any old barbed wire then put that into the pipe lengthwise. Rebar will do if you have that or money. Dollar bills won't work.
    3) fill with concrete with lots of rocks to save money on cement. Use neat cement on the last few inches of each end.
    4) Let cure for a week.
    Presto, instant heavy posts.

    I never ended up doing this since I can get granite for nothing.
     
  9. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    If you fill it with lots of rocks your wasting your time no lateral strength in rocks. Post will break off the first time you stress it. We call that farmer concrete.

    mikell
     
  10. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    I have some landscape timbers that I bought that were labelled ''pressure treated'' that I used to build two cross fences and I used about twenty of them. They are corners braces and h's in the middle. When I sold that place they had been in ground with concrete around them for ten years and still looked good. I bought them on sale at a wal mart for 1.29 each back then. I have also been known to take landscape timbers and rip them in half lenght wise and use to put on the fron of a building. I built the boys a 20x20 clubhouse out them that way. Looked like a log cabin with the rounded sides facing out etc. Anither friend actually stacks them etc and makes lil mini cabins for outbuildings.
     
  11. Melissa

    Melissa member

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    Cale picked up a bunch of those landscape timbers for $1 each. We don't use them in the ground, but as the rails of the fence. They work good for that purpose. We have had a lot of success with using electric poles for fencing. Around here when they change them out they are given away. We were also able to get about 300 guard rail posts when they changed them out recently. They are all over 8 feet. You might check locally and see if any are being replaced. The workers bring them back to their work yard and give them away on a first come basis.
     
  12. greenacresusa

    greenacresusa Well-Known Member

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    I used pressure treated for all of my fence posts. I have some that are still in the ground after 21 years and still intact. I had used locust before that time but unless I get lucky and get cheap/free locust posts I buy the pressure treated at Home Depot/Lowes when they are on sale. Matter of fact bought another 40 two weeks ago, they took so long getting them out of the back with a forklift that they gave me another 10% off of the sale price :)
     
  13. shelljo

    shelljo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The folks we bought our place used landscape timbers for fence posts behind the house. They wanted a taller fence to keep their stallion contained. They are still there after 10 years. Are now a little wobbly, and we will replace them with regular posts sometime (Hopefully soon.)

    I think the best fence posts are those old hedge posts. I think many were osage orange. As a kid, one of my jobs was to walk around the pasture and re-staple the barbed wire. I hated those posts. All were older than I (and probably older than my father) and all were like stapling into cement. Those same posts are still standing 25 years later.
     
  14. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    The landscape timbers you describe are useable for cross braces but I wouldn't put them in the ground. My neighbors have built fence with them in the ground and they'll last 3-5 yrs. at the most before rot starts and the snap off easily. I used a couple for a grape arbor and they're pencil thin at the bottm and need to be replaced.
     
  15. highlands

    highlands Well-Known Member

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    Small rocks, ~1/3rd the diameter of the form, do not decrease the strength. There is a lot of lateral strength in rocks and properly done concrete contains rock. Otherwise it is called cement which is much more expensive and not stronger.

    Besides, you should not be relying on concrete for huge tensile forces. Concrete is strongest in compression. That is why you add reinforcing. There is a whole science to it if you really want to get into this. Snide remarks were not necessary.
     
  16. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    I bought a house 24 years ago and used those landscape timbers for posts on a privacy fence. That fence is still standing. I owned the house up until 6 years ago, and up until that time had only replaced 1 post. BUT... the chemicals used to treat those timbers was different than what is being used today. Don't know if the new stuff is as reliable.
     
  17. rustyshacklefor

    rustyshacklefor Well-Known Member

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    we have tried them and they will warp after a short time.
     
  18. WindowOrMirror

    WindowOrMirror ..where do YOU look? Supporter

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    ...the issue is that many of these timbers are not cut from the heartwood, but from the outside of the tree. Fenceposts have the center (Year 0) of the tree in them, making them much stronger.

    If you were to build a fence that was NOT under tension, and seated the posts in concrete, lime, or gravel/lime... you might get away with it.

    R
     
  19. skruzich

    skruzich Well-Known Member

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    THey last about 7 years with ground contact. I used them to hold the walkway together since it was on a slope. Built a wall and backfilled. They are rotting through now.
     
  20. backachersfarm

    backachersfarm Well-Known Member

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    We used some to put a pen up around the chicken house. We used them because they were cheap and I wanted the height. We did that 11 yrs ago. Our ground has a tendency to stay wet a lot longer then most. Each post is as strong and straight as the day we put them in. Someone who lives close to here used some for fence posts and I noticed a couple of them warped. So I guess it's a crap shoot. Some will do well and others won't.

    Sharon