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sealing pine log for use as a pole

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Forum topic by AnthonyR95 posted 04-12-2018 01:11 PM 480 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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AnthonyR95

4 posts in 464 days


04-12-2018 01:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question pine

hello new to the forum

i am a park manager and re doing all the signs in the park on my spare time.
we have cut down some pine trees about 6months to a year ago and i am wanting to use them as poles for my signs

i have debarked it the other day there is some sap still coming out of it i keep shaving the log to take it off “dont know if its necessary” , but is it too soon to seal then to use them for poles ?

and what is the best way to seal them from the weather and have them rot?
and how would you treat the 2ft or so that i am going to put in the ground i was thinking of using black tar??? is there a better way of doing it?

any help would be appreciated Thank you!!!!!


8 replies so far

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

1396 posts in 1235 days


#1 posted 04-12-2018 04:28 PM

If the poles aren’t pressure treated, they will be a maintenance nightmare. There is no finish or coating that will hold up for years with nothing but a surface treatment. Poles buried in the ground will rot in months – not years.

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Tennessee

2901 posts in 2933 days


#2 posted 04-12-2018 04:38 PM

+1 for Art’s comments on pine in the ground.
Even with tar coating, (something I did back in the 80’s for a deck – save I used aged cedar powerline poles), your pine will rot out in quick order. It will go fastest where it meets the earth.

If you are just not full of money right now and need to use these, at least put caps on top made of simple aluminum flashing cut so you can form a bottle top shaped cap with sides that you nail into the pole sides, coat the bottoms with a lot of tar, put flat rocks in the bottom of the hole so the pole sits on stone, not earth, and bring the tar up about a foot above the dirt line. You might also want to jam rocks down the sides of the holes to assist the water that will collect in the hole to drain away a bit.
And think about replacing them within a few years with underground rated pressure treated poles.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1879 posts in 581 days


#3 posted 04-12-2018 08:49 PM

back in the ‘70s, my father built a big gazebo using Florida Cypress that
had been cut, debarked and stored in a barn for two years.
he soaked the bottoms in a 5 gallon bucket of creosote and diesel fuel.
5 years later, they all had to be replaced due to rot at the ground level.
as said above – for long term in ground use, commercially treated posts is most advisable.

Tractor Supply has two products that state for above and below grade fence posts.
you could read up on the specs and see if that will work for your project.

.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View AnthonyR95's profile

AnthonyR95

4 posts in 464 days


#4 posted 04-12-2018 11:01 PM

ok lets say i drill the bottom on the pole out put a metal stake in there that will go in the ground instead of the pole and keep it off the ground by 3inch put rocks around it how long do you think the pole it self would last if treated with a product like Thompson wood water sealer,, just trying to go for a rustic look in the camp ground

thank you guys with the reply’s!!

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AnthonyR95

4 posts in 464 days


#5 posted 04-12-2018 11:11 PM

the camp ground we have 20 year old nasty green and white signs now would like to just make it look better
if you guys have some ideas i would gladly listen to what you have to say for what i should use for the pole that would give a ””rustic” type of look

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AnthonyR95

4 posts in 464 days


#6 posted 04-12-2018 11:14 PM

nvm read again you guys have said it would be a wast of time and energy basically
thanks for the help again

View Richard Lee's profile

Richard Lee

244 posts in 1194 days


#7 posted 04-13-2018 12:27 AM

Metal posts, wooden signs.

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1879 posts in 581 days


#8 posted 04-13-2018 01:12 PM

Anthony – let’s shift gears here for a moment and discuss the signs that
you have posted photos of. what are they made of and how are they finished ??
and – just how will you be mounting these signs to your posts ?
also, you have not said just how big the pine trees are that you are wanting to use.
and – what part of the country you are located in.

your efforts are commended to improve the look of your campground.
but, if you are using the wrong materials for outdoor use, you will just be
compounding the problem of future “less than attractive” directional signage.
if the sign panels are not fabricated correctly – the pine posts will outlast the signs.
I am getting the idea that you are doing this project out of your own pocket on a low budget.
with more information, I am sure we can find a solution to your issues.

.

.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

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