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eastern hemlock fence posts5/11
Greeting from eastern Canada!
I have about 60 6x6x8 eastern hemlock posts that I want to build a fence with on my farm. I was told to simply bury them and leave them in the ground. Being concerned as a woodworker I started looking into wood preservatives.
In the old days they used to either charr or coat the wood with used motor oil.
Has anyone used hemlock for wood posts?
90% of all turn of the century barns in my area were built of hemlock and they're still standing to this day.
I've used pressure treated in the past....not interested in using it anymore.
Any tips on preserving it wood be appreciated. Unless burying it in the ground directly is good.....I'm very skeptical of the latter.
I don't want cement posts, metal posts, or pressure treated wood and I'm choosing hemlock for its strength and apperance as it ages.
Thanks in advance for your input🍻
In the past, here in Sweden, they had a method to improve the resistance to go bad, for that part of posts as are in the ground. They burned the post end, in an open fire untill it was charcoal over the surface. There are entuhusiasts as still are using the method. It says it is effective and burned wood, in good condition, can be find in the ground after many many years. (I am sorry for my poor English but I hope you can understand.)
Preserving wood is pretty fundamental - keep it dry or else use a naturally durable (heartwood only) species or commercially pressure treated timber. Barns built with hemlock last because the wood either stays dry, or dries fast enough after wetting that decay does not develop. So I would not use untreated hemlock in the ground.
Eastern hemlock is so impervious that we cannot get a good amount of preservative into the wood. Commercial installations use incising...deep cuts and lots of them.
I agree that finding another use for your posts and get PT wood is probably best, especially if a failure of the fence in five years would be expensive...if expensive horses for example got onto the highway.