Treated redwood

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Forum topic by Kennethjg posted 05-18-2016 01:38 AM 860 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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50 posts in 2387 days

05-18-2016 01:38 AM

Topic tags/keywords: redwood treated treated lumber

My dad gave me this redwood 4×6 that he “acquired” when he worked at one of the power plants in town. He was using it as a stop for a washout, so the dirt in his yard didn’t wash out when it rained. Like the lumber hoarder I am, I took it, even though I have no room for it.
Recently, I decided to do my first project with only hand tools, and I thought about using this redwood for drawer fronts or something. When I started to plane out the weathered exterior, it’s blacker than walnut.
When I asked him about it, my dad said it was probably chemically treated.
Do you guys think it would be OK to use? It’s gorgeous looking, but I’m not sure what it’s treated with, or if it will react to a finish, or even if it’s safe to be making dust with it, I have no experience with this kind of stuff. Just like the idea of upcycling it.

-- It ain't custom unless you fucked it up.

4 replies so far

View bold1's profile


371 posts in 3299 days

#1 posted 05-18-2016 11:13 PM

I used to work at a plant where we pressure treated RR ties with creosote. Since it came from a power plant and he had it for some time and it’s dark thruout. I’m going to say it’s prob. pressure treated with creosote. Most of the older light poles and crossbars were. Creosote is now listed as a toxic substance. When it was still readily used we were warned to use skin protection(gloves, long sleaves) and avoid breathing the fumes. Especially if we had to saw it. You might want to look it up on line rather than take my word for it, but I’d not want to use it for anything but a fence post.

View JollyGreen67's profile


1676 posts in 4215 days

#2 posted 05-19-2016 02:21 AM

Really cute moniker – grow up!

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected ! RIP 09/08/2018

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 2905 days

#3 posted 05-19-2016 03:09 AM

Treated redwood? Seriously? Redwood is 1000+ years old when it’s milled! You don’t have to treat redwood – the bugs don’t eat it!


-- Madmark - [email protected]

View Kelly's profile


3899 posts in 4396 days

#4 posted 05-19-2016 06:21 AM

Too funny. That’s kind of what a friend often told me. He owned five cedar mills. In truth, most the redwood is just mature trees (the younger ones are called second growth).

I kept telling him cedar was no different that other wood in that it would dry, causing it to shrink, then split. Of course, it rotted too and, for those reasons, he needed to oil it.

The [non-hardening] oil stopped the wood from drying. Thus, splitting. Of course, the rot potential was greatly reduced too. As well, adding oil swelled the wood and caused many of the splits and cracks to close.

One more advantage to oil laden cedar is, it’s resilient. You can walk on it in the dry of summer without breaking it.

Treated redwood? Seriously? Redwood is 1000+ years old when it s milled! You don t have to treat redwood – the bugs don t eat it!


- MadMark

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