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Storing Pressure treated Post

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RRagent
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 56 North carolina
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2006-06-02          130272


I just purchased 100 Pressure treated post 4x4x8, Hopefully will start Board fence this fall, How is best way to store them, I have them out in Woods stacked 5 deep with Black plastic over them, will this be sufficient?
Thanks in advance

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7155 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2006-06-02          130274


Generally you store PT the same as regular wood.

First and foremost, get it well up off the ground to prevent rot and insect problems.

Horizontal is better, but well supported so as not to bow.

Put spacers, square sticks, in the industry called "stickers" between every second or third row to allow air to flow through the pile.

If the wood is covered with plastic or something like it be sure to use lots of blocks or soemmthing to keep it well away from the wood itself, again to allow lots of air flow.

If the stack is somewhere the hot sun can get to it be absolutley sure that the wood is allowed lots of air and keep it as absolutely dry as possible, heat and huimidity will warp & twist even the best wood given a bit of time.

Best of luck. ....

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DenisS
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 367 NJ
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2006-06-02          130284


Congratulations on your new fence.

Get them off the ground, like Murf said.

See if you can make a makeshift plastic tent over the pile instead of just covering the pile. I always keep my wood under a roof. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5223 South Carolina
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2006-06-02          130303


If treated Southern yellow pine..enjoy those twisted and bowed post this fall. You will fine they are harded then also. But the good news is much lighter as they will be dry. ....

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AnnBrush
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 462 Troy OH
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2006-06-02          130310


If they are CCA or ACQ treated you dont need to worry about rot or insects (you said treated wood right?), you need to worry about them warping (and badly so). They need to be stacked neatly together and tie wrapped tightly with steel straps to as prevent too much deflection as they dry out, as they dry keep tightening the straps, they will shrink a lot, there is at least 0.4lb of treatment chemical per cubic foot that will have it's solvent (water) dissapear. ....

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DenisS
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 367 NJ
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2006-06-02          130312


Seems like you're better off putting up that fence right away, before your posts get to be good for nothing. ....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2652 NorthWest NJ
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2006-06-02          130316


I think you need to put bands on it in addition to slats to keep it straight. Once the bands are cut on any lumber I have seen, the top rows with no weight to keep them straight get twisted as they dry out.

I always buy the wood just in time to use it so at least it is straight in the lumber yard and when I build something with it. When you buy it well in advance of youir build need you take on the risk that the lumber yard takes if the wood twists before it is sold (ie. it becomes unwanted junk). ....

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brokenarrow
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1288 Wisconsin
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2006-06-02          130333


Ann And Dennis (IMO) hit the safe way to keep your lumber as straight as possible. Band the in piles 4'x4'x8' put up and off the ground a bit.
My buddy thats a logger dried his Ash that he had rough cut up. He done it the way that was described with the slats.
It worked great but was alot of work AND was NOT treated lumber (It was ASH) big difference! Treated lumber will bend a perfect circle more times than not if you dont take care of it LOL
Good luck
....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2006-06-03          130351


I agree with DenisS--it's wood. It's gonna check and crack, and warp regardless of banding, storing or covering. The wood used for these 4x4's is not the best since they're used primarily for fence posts and deck posts. I remove wooden fence posts for a friend's fence business with my TC33D and a box blade. Every post is different---I've sheared some off clean at the grade, some pop right out with no problem, some splinter below ground.

IMHO, you'd be better served preserving/maintaining the posts/fence AFTER it's installed. That's where you will see added life.

To me it doesn't make sense expending a lot of energy caring for something that grew in the ground and is going right back into it only to be resubjected to the elements. Kidding now---it's like protecting a pile of mulch from the rain. ....

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Paladin
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 79 Eastern Pennsylvania
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2006-06-05          130443


I took a different approach when I fenced in a half acre for the dogs. We dug the holes first with a Kubota and PHD, then went to the lumber yard and picked up treated 4X4X8's. These came from outside storage and were wet and still straight. We put them in immediately with two bags of Sack-Crete for each one, then put on galvanized brachets and treated 2X4's for cross ties. We just worked straight through until all the cross ties were in. We eliminated most of the tendancy to warp. I am putting the slats up now.

If you are storing them keep them wet and out of the sun. The tarp is a good idea. As they dry out they usually will warp in the direction of the side that dries out first (but they can warp any old way).

The worst thing is laying them on the ground flat on damp soil with the sun beating down on them. This guarantees that the dry side will warp toward the sun. ....

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DenisS
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 367 NJ
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2006-06-05          130449


Paladin, what are you gonna do in 15 years when your posts have rotted at the ground level? That concrete you poured into the ground is gonna be a real pain in the butt to deal with. When I started putting up fencing for my horses a few years back, I cemented every 4th post with concrete like you did only to find out that the posts will rot in time anyway and instead of simply being able to pull them out of the ground, I'd have to deal with 100lb of concrete in the ground. Not my problem now, since I'm selling the farm :) ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5223 South Carolina
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2006-06-05          130467


DenisS,

A lot of people were not aware there is different grades of treatment. Not sure about now but a few years ago there was treated lumber for above grade or ground use and then treated lumber that cost more for in ground use. At least in my part of the world we had both. Put the above ground in wet ground and it did just like you said.

....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7155 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2006-06-05          130470


We put up a LOT of wood every year, fences, decks, washroom buildings, etc., some treated, some rot resistant, some just plain old white wood.

We have noticed over the years that much of the hype about treated wood is just that, hype. We've had treated wood, nearly side by side with untreated wood, and they both rotted just as fast.

The problem seems to be two-fold, first is the wood itself and the treatment process, since the wood to be treated is usually very fresh stuff, it is still relatively very wet, so it absorbs very little preservative. Secondly, the treatment itself is only as good as how well the integrity of the barrier is maintained. Cut it, drill it, stick a nail or screw into it and you have an opening.

The last little while we have been using plain kiln-dried SPF lumber, and rough-sawn ungraded lumber, and then spraying them with a variety of products on-site. The first projects we tried this with are now about 10 years old and still show no signs of deterioration.

Best of luck. ....

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DenisS
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 367 NJ
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2006-06-05          130473


KT and Murf you're both right: some treatments help better than others, although most wood will rot away sooner or later (probably sooner). EXCEPT good ol' creosote treated telephone poles or old railroad tracks that have soaked up all that grease leaking from the trains. Those stay in the ground 30 years +. What I don't know, is how good is it to have this stuff around your livestock. ....

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AnnBrush
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 462 Troy OH
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2006-06-05          130475


So the question is: When installing a outside structure do you now just go ahead and use untreated wood (assuming you were going to use SYP). I dont think I could bring myself to use untreated wood on a new deck for example. ....

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Storing Pressure treated Post

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DenisS
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 367 NJ
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2006-06-05          130479


Excellent question Ann! Most of the rot occurs when the wood is in contace with the moisture. So for a deck, you would want to pour your footings so they stick out of the ground at least a foot, then mount the frame on the footings - this way you avoid most of the damage. Then it's an easy job to apply water repellent / UV-blocker to your wood (wether treater or untreated) every couple of years - which is what I do. Having an actual roof over your porch or deck helps, too. That's why so many of those covered bridges in New England lasted so long. ....

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Paladin
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 79 Eastern Pennsylvania
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2006-06-05          130481


Denis: Easy answer - not gonna be here in 10 years. By then I will be retired to the farm where the Kubota lives and the dogs will run free. This house will be somebody else's worry. By then, the galvanized brackets on the fence will have rotted out, too.

Currently every body is going enviro-friendly with their fencing and here are my thoughts:

1. Untreated pine is a non-starter. Around here it picks up carpenter ants within 2-3 years. We have wet, heavy clay soil which they love. They eat pine in wet soil like Doritos with beer.

2. I could go with locust or cedar and depending on the natural rot resistance of the wood this is the most "eco" way to go. I had a cedar fence and I got about 12-15 years out of it.

3. I went with treated, which is going to be maybe a little bit better than cedar.

4. Creosote is the perfect material but is on a lot of enviro-freak hit lists. I know something about creosote because I worked on a railroad track gang summers during college. Railroads figure on a 35 year life, minimum, for ties. However, we pulled out ties that had lasted 75+ years judging from the markings. You can't buy creosote treated 4X4's at Home Depot because the stuff is considered carcinogenic.

5. Within a couple of years you are going to see 4X4's made from recycled plastic. When in upstate NY near the border I picked up a brochure from a Canadian company in Toronto selling black 4X4 fence posts from waste plastic. If this fence was going to be "forever" I probably would have tried to find a distributor here in PA.

Just my thoughts. At age 59 the fence will probably outlive me anyway. ....

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AnnBrush
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 462 Troy OH
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2006-06-05          130482


Everyone has anecdotal evidence for all sorts of things, I prefer to use hard data. Here is a paper with data showing lifespans of timber treated with various preservatives, while the objective of the research was somewhat different to our discussion, the lifespans of untreated timber are obviously relevant. While individual experiences vary common sense suggests that treated timbers will generally outlast those untreated. ....


Link:   

Click Here


 
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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7155 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2006-06-05          130483


Ann, the simple answer is, we use regular old white pine, spruce or hemlock with no problems at all.

You DO however have to keep in mind, as Denis stated, that (any INMHO) wood in direct contact with earth is a no-no.

Further, as Paladin mentions, there is also the concern of insects, but again, IMHO the same applies to any wood.

My barn for instance, is clad in untreated white pine, it is now well over 100 years old and is not showing any signs of deterioration.

Unfortunately little we build is in a laboratory, in the real world we have to cut wood to size, and drill, nail & screw into it. Once you perforate the treated portion of the wood, it just plain old wood showing.

I know they sell end-cut preservative, but how exactly do you inject it into a nail or screw hole?

I have seen many, many preserved (with various things) wood structures rotted away to nothing in relatively short time spans.

Best of luck. ....

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AnnBrush
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Posts: 462 Troy OH
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2006-06-05          130486


Murf, would you use untreated wood to build an exterior deck or fence with timbers exposed to the ground / elements(this is a genuine uestion - I am not trying to be smart here)? ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
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2006-06-05          130489


Ann, I did take your question as sincere, and as Denis & I both stated earlier, ANY wood / earth contact is IMHO, a problem waiting to happen.

In our particular case, we always use raised footings of some form to create a physical barrier between the wood and the ground.

As for the wood exposed to the atmosphere, and again, IMHO, if the wood is vertical, or has little horizontal surface area, I would not hesitate to use untreated wood. Having said that, it is rare that, purely for aesthetic reasons, the wood is left untreated. It is usually stained as part of the overall process.

I did however build a pergola over my own rear patio from untreated hemlock timbers and beams, leaving it untreated to weather to that nice (IMHO) silver grey colour like barn board.

We built a privacy fence for a customer a number of years ago out of untreated wood. They had renovated the old barn on the property and used it as the groundskeeping dept.'s building, they wanted a fence to hide the equipment, we suggested doing the fence in plain wood and letting it age to match the barn. They liked the idea and it worked out very well. The fence is now 10+ years old and according to the owner is still holding up like new.

Best of luck. ....

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Paladin
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 79 Eastern Pennsylvania
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2006-06-05          130504


Ann: Actually, anecdotal evidence has its value. In this matter of materials selection you need to be especially attuned to the climate and soil conditions (and pests) in your area and their likely effect on the wood used in the project. Talk to local builders and homeowners who have attempted similar projects and form your own judgement.

No more anecdotal evidence - I promise. I will just say that my choice of materials might be very different for my primary home in a subdivision here in SE PA versus my summer home deep in the woods of NE PA. A distance of 100 miles, different soil conditions, about 8 deg F. average temperature difference and 1000 ft of additional elevation combine to make a world of difference in materials selection. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
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2006-06-06          130518


The plastic lumber is out and has been for at least two years that I know of. It is sold by plumbing supply compnay here. Not a lumber supplier.

Plastic fence post are very common here. Some just using PVC pipe.

We have high ground moisture in many areas but the treated syp for in ground use seems to hold up very well here. Most of our's is treated by a local company who does business in their home town. Well they were local, bought by a Canadain firm just a few months ago.

FYI, a local steel company tells people they don't sell enough metal to keep yellow pine from twisting or bowing. I believe they are correct.

GD, GB ....

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DenisS
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 367 NJ
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2006-06-06          130539


paladin quote:

"be retired to the farm where the Kubota lives and the dogs will run free..."

... brings a nice picture to my mind... :) ....

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ncrunch32
Join Date: Dec 2003
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2006-06-06          130541


Make sure you're retired to the farm and not the nursing home. On a similar note - make sure the only time you go into the hospital is when you know you're gonna come out. And your last image of the Kubota should be it piling dirt on top of you - on your own property of course! (Morbid advice based on recent stay in hospital - or should I say insane asylum.) ....

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