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Do-It-Yourself Treated Posts
Ralph Jennings had a need for pole shed posts and also had lots of cedar trees going to waste. Cedar trees don't get used as much as other wood for posts because the outside portion of the tree deteriorates faster than the red center. Jennings had an idea for treating his own posts with oil.
"I've only tried it on cedars, but it should work just as well on other types of wood," says Jennings. "I've been using the process for about three years, and they seem to be holding up fine."
Since he knew just dipping the trunks in oil for a few days wouldn't do the job, Jennings came up with a more involved, yet relatively simple, process. He created an oil reservoir around the post that protects it from ground rot and allows him to retreat as needed.
The first step is to pour a 4-in. concrete footing below the frost line and insert a plastic pipe a couple inches wider than the diameter of the post that will follow. Once it's dry, he sets the post inside the pipe.
"I debark the post at least to the top of the pipe," says Jennings. "I also bevel the bottom edges of the post so the oil has easy access."
With the post in place, he fills the pipe with pea or dime-sized gravel and then pours cement around the outside of the pipe up to ground level.
He leaves a few inches between the top of the pea gravel and the top of the pipe and then pours a concrete cap over the top with a filler cap inserted into it.
"I place thin boards over the top of the pipe to pour the concrete cover, " he explains. Every few months he pours oil in through the cap to soak the post.
"I can see on the sides of the posts how the oil is wicking up through it," he says. "It seems to be working fine."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ralph Jennings, 4033 South Homestead Rd., North Platte, Neb. 69101 (ph 308 532-3503).

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2009 - Volume #33, Issue #3