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post #1 of 11 Old 09-29-2016, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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This is my first post here. My name is Phil. I'm a mechanical engineer, and a small hobby farmer on the side.

I had to cut down 4 Shagbark Hickory trees last spring to make room for other project. I cut the tree trunks to 8'-9' lengths and stacked them up. How long would these last as fence posts? Should I debark the logs before setting them as posts? Would it be better to cement the posts in the holes? Should I paint the posts? I live in north of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

I'm building a cattle fence so they need to have some strength to them. I'd hate to waste this wood so hopefully it'll work as posts.

Thank you in advance.
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post #2 of 11 Old 09-29-2016, 10:32 PM
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I think you are wasting your time. I don't know your area but in mine bugs would eat the posts off at the ground level within a year. You would be better off with pressure treated pine.
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post #3 of 11 Old 09-30-2016, 03:32 AM
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Steve is right I feel.

If you don't want to waste it you can always send them my way
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post #4 of 11 Old 09-30-2016, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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That is unfortunate. So what could this hickory wood be used for? Or how much is it worth to sell?
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post #5 of 11 Old 09-30-2016, 09:20 AM
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Welcome here Phil, to this friendly WW forum, where there is always room for one more. Also agree that pressure treated posts will be better for your "fence post" project! Consider contacting a local lumber yard that may give you prices/worth of your hickory, which IMO would make some great furniture pieces. Be safe.
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post #6 of 11 Old 09-30-2016, 12:03 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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how large are they?

You didn't state the diameter, only length as 8 to 9 ft.
Hickory is a great wood to make furniture with. Chests and cases etc also. BUT you will need to have it milled into 4/4 thick slabs. If the logs are 12" or large in MAY be worth getting them milled ... who knows, only a saw mill operator.

I would only use pressure treated 6 x 6 posts for your cattle fence, and depending on the run maybe some 4 x 4 's in between? Any posts I have ever put into contact with soil I painted them in used motor oil or sprayed them with automotive undercoat. The best soil is well drained sand and gravel. A highly organic black soil that retains water will be an issue.

So, there are some variables here, but using PT posts will solve most of them. I don't pour concrete around mine, but I do pack the soil in with a jack hammer or a 2 x 4 about every 4" down. This makes the post very rigid. For gate posts I use 6 x 8 x 8ft long and brace them diagonally when possible.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #7 of 11 Old 09-30-2016, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Some of the logs are >12" in diameter.

The soil is definitely not well drained. Part of the fence will be in a low wooded area.

I was planning on quickcreting the anchor posts in, and just using metal Tee posts in between. For the price of treated posts I could use pipe posts with welded bracing for the anchor posts.

I am planning on building some cabinets over the winter as my first major wood working project. Maybe the hickory could be used for this?

Thanks for all the help guys.
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post #8 of 11 Old 09-30-2016, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pperlich View Post
That is unfortunate. So what could this hickory wood be used for? Or how much is it worth to sell?
A large portion of tool handles are hickory. People often use it for furniture as well. I've even seen hickory floor boards. Very versatile wood.

I'm sure you wouldn't have trouble selling it. Check around for local prices and maybe give craigslist a go?
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post #9 of 11 Old 09-30-2016, 05:01 PM
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The boards may be a bit too green to use this winter if air dried. May be good for next winter's project.


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post #10 of 11 Old 10-03-2016, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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I think I will try craigslist. What is a ballpark fair price for an 8'-9' stick 12" in diameter?

I fell the trees in April 2015, so I would think they would be dried out by now, but maybe not.
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post #11 of 11 Old 10-03-2016, 10:23 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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there's not much wood there

A 12" diameter log will not yield many board feet of usable lumber. Those logs would have to be purchased by someone who already has a wood mill OR you will have to take them to a mill yourself. A portable miller may be willing to come and mill them on your land, but that's not enough wood to make it worthwhile.

People in general think that standing trees or downed trees are more valuable than they really are. Walnut is a perfect example. Yard trees often do not have enough "prime" wood that's knot free to make them valuable. There is also the possibility that they contain nails which will ruin a saw blade, another "liability" inherent in yard tress.

Personally, I have had saw mills come to the property and mill large logs from trees I felled to clear the land.
It's a lot of fun, but a lot of work and takes some heavy equipment to load them on the mill. I have also ripped a log down the length with a chainsaw to get "quarter sawn" piece I then ripped on my 18" bandsaw. These logs were only 4 ft log and still plenty heavy.

I don't think what you have is worth the trouble, but that's a decision only you can make. :frown2:

Check this out:
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f26/m...rt-logs-13126/

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 10-03-2016 at 10:27 AM.
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