Benefits of Wood Utility Poles

Photo courtesy – Dr. Todd Shupe Our society has become much more environmentally sensitive and responsible in recent years.  Recycling has increased, air and water standards are improved, smoking tobacco is generally prohibited inside most public buildings, etc.  However, a phobia exists regarding wooden poles.  There is nothing particularly aesthetically appealing about a creosote-treated pole that … [Read more…]

Naturally Durable Wood Species

Many people have the mistaken belief that naturally durable wood species will not rot.   There are a handful of domestic wood species that are classified as naturally durable.   Some of the more common in the US South are sassafras, live oak, Eastern red cedar, catalpa and black locust.   In the West, redwood and Western red … [Read more…]

Fastener Corrosion

Fasteners consist of nails, screws, bolts, staples, etc and are widely used in the construction industry to connect lumber, sheathing, shingles, and other wood-based products.  Nail guns allow for nails to inserted at a rapid fire pace.  Chromated copper arsenate (CCA) was the primary preservative used for residential uses.  CCA has been used for timber treatment since … [Read more…]

Wood Identification

The first step to properly utilize wood is to correctly identify the species.  Wood species have unique anatomical characteristics that allow a trained eye to identify the species.  These unique anatomical characteristics are also important in determining many of the properties of the species, such as strength, dimensional stability, acoustical, conductivity, ease of pulping for … [Read more…]

In Service Product Failure

One of the most common problems that I have addressed over the years is in service product failure.  The problems range from buckling/cracking of wood flooring to failure of utility poles, chairs, decks, fences, bleachers, roofs, deer stands, ladders, etc.   The first question we must determine is a big one.  Is this a manufacturing problem … [Read more…]

Why Did My Deer Stand Deteriorate So Quickly?

Deer stands should be made with treated lumber and plywood or OSB. I love to deer hunt and have many friends that do also.  In the US South we are in the harshest decay zone due to our high temperatures and humidity.   Therefore, any wood in contact with the ground must be naturally decay-resistant or … [Read more…]

Why Are My Nails So Rusty In Treated Wood?

Rusted fasteners have a thinner actual shaft diameter than a non-rusted fastener and are weaker as a result. Damp wood can cause metals to corrode.  This is partly because wood is slightly acidic.  When a metal fastener is embedded in wet wood, conditions are created that can accelerate the corrosion of the metal. The corrosion … [Read more…]

Treated Wood Facts

Treated poles coming out of the cylinder and ready for distribution and installation. This photo is courtesy of: Mike Freeman Want to know the secret for wood to last forever in an exterior application?   Many years ago, a colleague told me (tongue in cheek) that there are two ways to achieve this – (1) keep … [Read more…]

Solar Dry Kiln

A common question among folks that have small portable sawmills is – how can I dry small loads of lumber?   Kiln drying lumber is an excellent means to add value to the lumber and make a small sawmill more profitable.  Many people that are interested in lumber drying don’t want to buy and operate a … [Read more…]