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treating fence posts

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kleinchris
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 269 Westminster, Texas
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2009-01-14          159462


anybody have any success (lets say longer than 10 years)of dipping fence posts into used motor oil to protect from soil contact? I would be interested in heating the oil vs not, time requirements, other processes. And before we get to far into the ethical concernes, yes I know this wouldnt be advised by the EPA.

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treating fence posts

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2009-01-14          159463


For decades I've painted creosote on. But I understand there's a movement to restrict its availability. ....

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treating fence posts

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2009-01-14          159465


Kline, hopefully you're what the US EPA considers "commercial use" as they say, in part "...there is no registered residential use."--that cut from their webpage below.

Auer: Also on that webpage it details Health Canada is/was working together with the US EPA to study and come up with guidelines. etc. for creosote. ....


Link:   US EPA webpage about Creosote

 
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treating fence posts

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kleinchris
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 269 Westminster, Texas
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2009-01-15          159472


I will ask the EPA the next time I talk to them. Like most of you guys out there, I talk to the EPA about 3 time a week as they inspect my property for little violations like fence posts soaked in oil. ....

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treating fence posts

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2009-01-15          159474


My bad. :( ....

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treating fence posts

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yooperpete
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1413 Northern Michigan
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2009-01-15          159477


Don't cedar fenceposts last longer than 10 years without EPA concerns? ....

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treating fence posts

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7147 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2009-01-15          159479


Our family do a lot of work with the utility companies, both telephone and electric.

If anyone knows how to make a piece of wood stuck in the ground last it's them!

I started using their method years ago, fence posts I put in 20+ years ago that way are still doing fine.

The trick is the dirt, or rather the lack of it. Don't back fill the posts with earth, use "pea stone", a very small round stone, about the size and shape of a pea, thus the name. If you put a layer of it on the bottom of the hole, then drop the post in, and then fill the hole the wood is not touched by wet soil anywhere, and can't absorb any moisture.

I've been out with them replacing poles (that got broken in a storm or such) that were placed long before I was born and that are still just fine when we remove the stub to replace it.

Best of luck. ....

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treating fence posts

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-01-15          159486


The green treated posts and poles are a joke, they rot off at ground level in ten years. I thought I had hit the jackpot when I found new creosote treated railroad ties at a lumberyard a few years ago. I bought a bunch of them to build a cattle yard fence, hired a fellow with a bobcat with a post pounder attachment to set them. After he left I used a chainsaw to level the tops up, after I trimmed them the creosote was maybe a half inch in the ties. If I remember right the genuine railroad ties were soaked to the center. It turned out OK tho the fence was still standing when we sold the farm in 07.

Murf, I've watched them set light poles a time or two when the replaced them past the farm, but I don't recall any pea gravel being used. They do however come past every few years and dig down a couple feet around the poles then wrap a tar paper looking fabric around the pole extending a foot or so above the ground. They used to give the farmers who's land the poles went past the used ones. The tops where the cross arms were attached were usually rotted, but the part that was in the ground was usually like new. I've still got a few around they gave me, but they don't do that anymore, probably some liability issue. Enjoy the winter, only 24 below here this morning. Frank. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7147 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2009-01-15          159488


Quote:
Originally Posted by hardwood | view 159486
Enjoy the winter, only 24 below here this morning. Frank.


Well way up here in Cannuckistan we're not quite that cold, it was only -20 F (-30 C) this morning.

Poor ole Deputy Dog stuck his nose out the door and stopped dead in his tracks! I guess he decided if it was that cold out he wasn't going to stick anything else out the door either! He high-tailed it back to the fireplace instead. Crazy dog held his water till nearly 11am when the little lady went out to the garage for more firewood. He went out about 3 steps from the back door, lifted his leg and raced back inside.

He even stayed home and missed 'coffee break' with the boys. It's pretty bad when he'll pass up a visit! ;)

Best of luck. ....

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kleinchris
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 269 Westminster, Texas
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2009-01-15          159492


I guess that is a no? No experience with dipping fence posts in oil? ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7147 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2009-01-15          159493


Quote:
Originally Posted by kleinchris | view 159492
I guess that is a no? No experience with dipping fence posts in oil?


I suspect some people have experience at it, but are unwilling to talk about doing something ILLEGAL on an open forum.

I suspect the reg's are the same pretty much everywhere these days, EPA standard stuff, ZERO petroleum products in the ground or water, especially used stuff, lots of chemical nasties in there.

Best of luck. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2009-01-15          159496


Klein, just run it past your EPA guy one of the three times next week.

Murf in the case of a high water table (18" below ground) and clay soil, wouldn't the hole fill up with water especially with pea gravel in it? My neighbor only got 20 years out of his 8x8 treated pole barn posts before he had sister them. They were in concrete too--which is also debatable if that is wise to to do.

I wonder if sprayable asphaltic coating used for waterproofing basements could be used to dip the posts. After all isn't the ends of the post that are most susceptible to absorbing water?

As far as the tops of the posts go, managing water and snow is important too. Many years ago our state parks and road commissions cut post tops at an angle to shed water---that's when they used to paint them white and black for visbility. These days some road commissions angle-cut the square treated posts used on some, but not all, guard rail systems.

I have noticed that road commissions here also slather on a tar-like substance on square posts used mainly for roadside signage. ....

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kleinchris
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 269 Westminster, Texas
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2009-01-16          159501


Murf- your right, I imagine that if somebodies grandfather when he was a boy had taught him how to dip a log in oil, and then stick it in the ground- all in efforts to keep the small ranch in proper order... well you bet that the EPA would have nothing better to do than to send that poor fellow to prison.

Earthwerks- I might need some tax help and some advice about different types of cancer treatments- since you know about everything else, I will probably come knocking on your door.

Thanks guys, you're great. ....

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treating fence posts

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2009-01-16          159502


Klien, a simple "thanks" would have sufficed.

I don't get it; you ask for information. And just because it's not what you want to hear you get all pissy. What gives?

Here, take these tweezers and yank the wild hair in your ass. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7147 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2009-01-16          159509


Quote:
Originally Posted by kleinchris | view 159501
Murf- your right, I imagine that if somebodies grandfather when he was a boy had taught him how to dip a log in oil, and then stick it in the ground- all in efforts to keep the small ranch in proper order... well you bet that the EPA would have nothing better to do than to send that poor fellow to prison.


Klein, we work all over the US (and beyond), and routinely have inspections by the authorities, local, county, state and federal. About 3 or 4 years ago on a job in Georgia a Fed. inspector happened to be on the job site, he watched a mechanic scrub his hands with hand cleaner then rinse them off with a garden hose. The inspector asked the job foreman if that was usual practice. The foreman replied it was. The inspector then asked the owner's rep. if he new what they were doing. He said he was aware of it. The inspector then charged the mechanic, the company (not mine) he worked for and the owner with multiple violations each of the regulations and shut down the job for a full investigation. In the end it cost the owner about $250,000 in penalties (he had to pay the contractors for their lost time, etc.) and fines.

It's like speeding, lot's of people do it, but it's illegal and when you get caught it costs.

Something tells me the people behind your organization might be less than happy about being in hot water.

Jeff, up here if the water table is high (like in a bog) they use something they call a 'barrel butt planting'.

They put down a bed of ~1' deep pea stone, then a short 4' - 5' section of 6' - 8' diameter corrugated galv. culvert pipe standing on end, then stand the pole up in the center, then back-fill it with rip-rap (6" - 12" rough broken stone).

The sheer weight of all that captive stone holds the pole vertically no problem.

Best of luck. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2009-01-16          159510


Murf, the land is a former aux. NIKE airstrip but there's just a high table water below. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2009-01-16          159511


KC, have read and watch this discussion with interest. We have a high water level hear, many elevated septic tanks and sewer lines. Hardwood (Frank) telling how they treat the light poles there is what they do here also. DOT does not use wooden post any longer for any signage but some are used with guard rails. Those post cut at angle, will notice many rot in the center. Saw one last night at convenience store used for ash tray. :)

The black fence post about 3 inches in diameter here don't last any more than about that 8 years and do rot right off at ground level. A few years ago had a good friend who worked for a sign company and he said they painted the full post EXCEPT the bottom for the water had to have a way out for it was impossible to seal the post. Sort of makes sense and that might be the thought and reason behind the pea gravel Murf mentioned. No idea. It would seem if you took a dry piece of wood that would absorb oil into it, that would help.

Best suggestion I have as you don't seem a lot of wooden fence post used even on pastures here any longer, find old wooden fence post in your area as the moisture and wood would likly be what you will also experience and ask those who put those in what type of treatment they use or used.

Wonder how freezing affects post rotting? It has to cause the wood fibers to open up some but the time of the year a post is frozen, can it rot? It would seem not. So if a post were to remain frozen for 3 months a year, would that increase the years it took to rot? Have no idea.

In Texas, don't you use loctus wood for post for it last so long? ....

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treating fence posts

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2009-01-16          159544


Kenny IMHO it's not necessarily the presence of water; it's the water or moisture combined with bacteria, fungi and insects in the soil and wood itself breaking down the wood fibers into food (everyone needs their fiber). If you think about it (or aboot as Murf "wood" say), live trees withstand frozen conditions all the time in winter with no ill effects. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-01-17          159550


Something else I just remembered about the new light poles they set past the farm. They had either a copper plate or a coil of copper wire on the bottom end of the pole with a copper ground wire running from there up the side, I have no idea how moist soil has to be to have a good ground contact. Frank. ....

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