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I may have drunk the Kool Aid

 
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I am sitting here with my AM coffee and realize I have 60 fence posts in my yard and none are commercially treated.  
 
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Boom! How are you going to protect them from rot?
 
John F Dean
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I am still working on that. There are a number of options mentioned on this site.  
 
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I always wondered which 'koolaide' that represents? I hear that phrase used often and can't tell if it's meant to refer to 'electric koolaide' that I have indeed sipped or the jim jones variety that doesn't sound very mind expanding?  

In any case, good for you...not buying those toxic things sold to us is the path to freedom, not to mention  just good stewardship.
 
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uh-oh, you're in for a serious ride now!
 
John F Dean
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Hi Judith,

I have long been suspicious of gurus.   I tend to run the opposite direction of the crowd.   This is not to say that gurus don’t have their place, it is just that I feel their methods and motives need to be carefully examined.   Good methods and motives will stand up to close examination.
 
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John,

Have you thought about Shou Shi Ban?  I might have misspelled that but basically you char the end of the post going into the ground.  I have not tried it but I hear it works well (and I like fire so it has that going for it!).

Eric
 
John F Dean
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This was at the top of my list.  I am looking for some additional approach. ....a coating of some kind.   Wax comes to mind (I have a couple of hives)..  I am a huge believer in redundancy.
 
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Definitely the Jim Jones variety, Judith. Drinking the Kool aid isn't a good thing... unless you're saying it jokingly. I clicked on this discussion expecting to hear about a disaster. Should have known better given the op😁
 
Judith Browning
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John F Dean wrote:I am sitting here with my AM coffee and realize I have 60 fence posts in my yard and none are commercially treated.  



I'm wondering what type of wood? Heart wood? Well cured? Oak? Locust?
Even the ones you did not get will rot with time.....
 
Eric Hanson
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John,

Glad you like the char idea.  I too like the idea of some type of sealant/wax.  I was think shellac (literally, Shell of Lac Bug, or more accurately, ground up Lac Bugs) or Lindseed oil.  I am pretty certain both of these fit the “organic or better” category.

Also,

Isn’t the Kool Aide phrase a reference to the Jim Jones Massacre in French Guyana?

Eric
 
Orin Raichart
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Eric Hanson wrote:
...
Isn’t the Kool Aide phrase a reference to the Jim Jones Massacre in French Guyana?

Eric



yep but there's another meaning it could have:

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test is a 1968 nonfiction book by Tom Wolfe.

you know, like definition 1. definition 2.  for a word when you look it up in the dictionary (or google it).

Either Kool Aid is going to have some serious rather short term consequences.
 
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Eric Hanson wrote: I was think shellac (literally, Shell of Lac Bug, or more accurately, ground up Lac Bugs) or Lindseed oil.  I am pretty certain both of these fit the “organic or better” category.



Furniture restorers sometimes get hold of old shellac 78s (the records) to melt down for authentic shellac to restore old pieces.  Interesting, I thought, but obviously not likely to be available in the quantities John would need to complete this size job.  

Linseed sounds good.  I've used both the raw and boiled to seal terracotta tiles.  Boiled was definitely better but I now know it is not really just "boiled" but has additives to make it dry faster. I guess raw would be the organic option.  
 
John F Dean
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Having lit this fire, I probably need to respond in some detail.  Short answers could create more confusion.  Yes the Kool Aid comment is a reference to Jim Jones, though I do appreciate Tom Wolf.  

More importantly, I was referring to following any person or practice without serious consideration of the methods and consequences.   In this case, I was also being more than a little facetious.  

The Kool Aid can also be seen as communion. More directly,  it marks a serious level of commitment. In my case,  60 untreated fence posts takes me from homesteading to permaculture.

 
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In any case, please document your results. I know for myself I'm considering some minor outdoor structures using non-treated wood, and have a hard time finding documented results. Lots of "I'm going to do this..." and then maybe enough time hasn't elapsed to post results, or perhaps they worked so perfectly they forgot to post about it.

Would also love to know what kind of soil you're going to put them in, how deep, in a gravel bed or pure dirt, how much rainfall you get, etc...

If you have the time and space of mind to post it all of course (I know I have a hard time with that level of documentation)

Cheers and good luck with your fencing!
 
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I dont understand the chatter, how did the posts get there?
Can they be swapped?
In my experience nothing other than steel posts seems to work better than commercially treated items.
 
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Eric Hanson wrote:Have you thought about Shou Shi Ban?  I might have misspelled that but basically you char the end of the post going into the ground.  I have not tried it but I hear it works well (and I like fire so it has that going for it!).

My neighbor makes a fire and lays the lower parts of the posts in the fire and rotates them like he's charring marshmallows. My understanding is that with some woods, this is actually bringing out the natural creosote that's in the wood. Adding extra creosote is a bad thing, as it's pretty toxic, but some woods are known for their natural levels.

John C Daley wrote:

In my experience nothing other than steel posts seems to work better than commercially treated items.

"Better" is relative -  cradle to grave commercially treated items may be leaving a horrendous toxic legacy where that "treatment" is made and applied, even if the amount in your soil is negligible. Treated phone poles have been shown to contaminate woodpeckers who are attracted to them when they start to deteriorate.

I looked into steel posts when we were discussing upgrading the fencing in our field. For some situations, they may be a good option, but in our wet, above freezing soil for large parts of the year, I'm thinking I'd rather try to grow a suitable coppicing tree and plan on replacing something that's biodegradable and has little embodied energy, than dealing with rusty posts. I can definitely see places for them, but I can grow wood fairly easily.
 
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John F Dean wrote:This was at the top of my list.  I am looking for some additional approach. ....a coating of some kind.   Wax comes to mind (I have a couple of hives)..  I am a huge believer in redundancy.


I just watched this video by Mr. Chickadee where he burns the wood and coats it in a mix of pine tar and linseed oil.
 
John C Daley
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Back to steel posts, I use Galvanised posts only.
Wet ground is hard to deal with, I have had timber poles come out of the ground over time, because of wet soil and wire tension.
 
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I think the general reference to "drunk the koolaid" is, yes, a reference to the Jim Jones situation, but broadly means "have bought into a cultlike fanaticism" over something. It's used jokingly here but in a more serious way would refer to people who have accepted a poorly supported set of information or worldview to be part of a group.
 
John C Daley
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Thanks Ana, I was wondering.
 
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Some years ago I read an article on cement post being best, because they would last well over a hundred years, there for saving tree & steel manufacturing.
The cost would be less, the labor would be less, but I have not needed to fence in anything so far.
 
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