AR15.Com Archives
 Build a cabin out of used electric poles???
LgAnimalVet  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 3:30:52 PM
Has anyone ever done this? I don't think it would be too bad and have been having the urge to do it lately. Any tips on log cabin building? Pics?
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NoVaGator  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 3:33:14 PM
how do you like the smell of creosote?

RED_5  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 3:33:24 PM
are you sure that would be a good idea considering they're coated with some funky chemicals?
TexasRooter  [Member]
11/12/2008 3:33:33 PM
No way, if they are creosote they stink too bad and its a carcinogen. The other treatments have arsenic and other bad shit. You can use them as pillars for a beach house but you wouldnt want to build a log cabin out of them.
Agilt  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 3:34:49 PM
Yeah, creosote isn't something you want to be near, let alone living in.
DangerJ  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 3:35:54 PM
Bad idea. Bad, bad idea.
eswanson  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 3:36:41 PM
I have rarely seen such consensus on anything on this board.
GarandM1  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 3:37:07 PM
Well, look the bright side: You'll never have to worry about termites.
RED_5  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 3:37:49 PM
Originally Posted By eswanson:
I have rarely seen such consensus on anything on this board.



shit, hold on a sec while I go edit my post

Partisan  [Member]
11/12/2008 3:37:57 PM
When I was working in Japan we went on a trip and stopped at a roadside noodle place. The entire building was made out of railroad ties –– with heavy creosote. Stunk like a son of a gun. Beautiful building but the smell was just too much. Even without the health issues the smell was just too much.
heron163  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 3:38:04 PM
My Dad (RIP, dad) was a frugal man who worked for the telephone company... yes, he built a cabin partially from recycled phone poles. 30 years later, the stink of asphalt and creasote is still pretty powerful. No termite has ever had the balls to come near the foundation
dedfella  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 3:38:15 PM
hell on a chainsaw I will tell you that
Q3131A  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 3:38:23 PM
Go for it. Let us know how it works. Well, if you can still type after living in a toxic house.
emgr3  [Member]
11/12/2008 3:39:01 PM
So what if you sprayed the walls with a rubberized coating or something and sealed the creosote in?
ftwm  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 3:39:08 PM
Wouldn't you get shocked by the wires???
goldpan-gus  [Member]
11/12/2008 3:39:57 PM
They are ok for a pole barn but not for a log cabin.
TheNamelessOne  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 3:41:17 PM
maybe if you built the outer walls out of them then coated the inside with something then hung drywall. not sure if it would kill the smell or not.

but then again I donno.
heron163  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 3:41:54 PM
Originally Posted By heron163:
My Dad (RIP, dad) was a frugal man who worked for the telephone company... yes, he built a cabin partially from recycled phone poles. 30 years later, the stink of asphalt and creasote is still pretty powerful. No termite has ever had the balls to come near the foundation



they used to have an outdoor pool filled with creasote - that was how they treated the poles years later, they abandoned it.. it made a great swimming hole

there were 10+ superfund sights within a 10 mile radius...
mattsd  [Member]
11/12/2008 3:42:37 PM
do it

creosote = win
SUPERSPORT  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 3:44:01 PM
Originally Posted By heron163:
My Dad (RIP, dad) was a frugal man who worked for the telephone company... yes, he built a cabin partially from recycled phone poles. 30 years later, the stink of asphalt and creasote is still pretty powerful. No termite has ever had the balls to come near the foundation



We need pictures.
OpusXKC  [Member]
11/12/2008 3:46:06 PM
Originally Posted By mattsd:
do it

creosote = win



30Caliber  [Member]
11/12/2008 3:47:58 PM
A buddy of mine used them to make fence boards.
Max_Mike  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 3:50:01 PM
Next idea

Dig a hole at a toxic dump and sleep in that.
cbrooks  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 3:51:01 PM
Originally Posted By NoVaGator:
how do you like the smell of creosote?



This!


I use some to build a sheed and it sucked for the first few weeks.

BBossman  [Member]
11/12/2008 3:52:06 PM
Originally Posted By 30Caliber:
A buddy of mine used them to make fence boards.


Ronald Reagan built the fence on his ranch from recycled telephone poles.
Brians_45  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 3:54:31 PM
Sure. Creosote is great for protecting against rotting. I mean, what could possibly go wrong with living in a creosote cabin?

Hawkeye15  [Member]
11/12/2008 3:56:59 PM
You CAN get no treated poles... Used ones, don't use them for living quarters..
theBUBBAMANcan  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 3:59:14 PM
Originally Posted By TheNamelessOne:
maybe if you built the outer walls out of them then coated the inside with something then hung drywall. not sure if it would kill the smell or not.

but then again I donno.



This is what I was thinking. There's probably something that could be used as a sealant to hold the fumes in...then finish the interior with drywall.

If the poles could be sealed, a house built with railroad ties or utility poles would be built like a tank!
LgAnimalVet  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 4:04:05 PM
Originally Posted By eswanson:
I have rarely seen such consensus on anything on this board.


Me either, guess I will go on to plan B, whatever that happens to be.
GOBLIN1  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 4:04:41 PM
Those things are all tapered. That would look funky, having to alternate them to com out level.
50-140  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 4:09:31 PM

I've seen a cabin out in the toolies where someone did just that.

It's neat to see how the chemicals leach into the soil after about twenty years.

That idea is just full of fail.
doggscube  [Member]
11/12/2008 4:10:02 PM
Originally Posted By dedfella:
hell on a chainsaw I will tell you that


Even worse on a Dewalt sawzall. My brother-in-law borrowed mine and showed me how not to cut railroad ties.
ro23  [Member]
11/12/2008 4:16:38 PM
guy i know used railroad ties to build a small addition onto his house, creosote seeped out of it through the drywall. Very bad idea.
Pontius  [Member]
11/12/2008 4:18:24 PM
You'll have that quaint abandonded silver mine feel and aroma, how nice.

To put it politely, worst idea evAr.
jimguy100  [Member]
11/12/2008 4:22:36 PM
Wrap the poles in saran wrap, itll be fine, no smell, no chemicals. +1
BenDover  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 4:23:48 PM
DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT build a log cabin with telephone poles.

Longterm exposure is bad for your health.


Buy fire killed or beetle killed trees that are an average of 12" diameter with a 10% or less taper from base to top.

glazer1972  [Life Member]
11/12/2008 4:24:08 PM
Man this place stinks.
BenDover  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 4:25:37 PM
Originally Posted By GOBLIN1:
Those things are all tapered. That would look funky, having to alternate them to com out level.




That's pretty much how you build a cabin. The traditional method of cabin-building is butt-and-pass, where you alternate the taper to maintain the proper elevations.


http://www.loghomebuilders.org <––––- I'm a member & graduate
rmstrjim  [Member]
11/12/2008 4:28:35 PM
Originally Posted By jimguy100:
Wrap the poles in saran wrap, itll be fine, no smell, no chemicals. +1


Keith_J  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 4:32:11 PM
Originally Posted By emgr3:
So what if you sprayed the walls with a rubberized coating or something and sealed the creosote in?



Cresote seeps through most types of coatings. If you were to spray a 2-component urethane (airline respirator if it contains any isocyanate, think Bophal), then adhere a Viton membrane, it might work.


Infallible  [Member]
11/12/2008 4:32:53 PM
I think its a great idea. You could use the wood shaving and cut down logs as campfire material and cook your food over.
dedfella  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 4:32:55 PM
Originally Posted By Keith_J:
Originally Posted By emgr3:
So what if you sprayed the walls with a rubberized coating or something and sealed the creosote in?



Cresote seeps through most types of coatings. If you were to spray a 2-component urethane (airline respirator if it contains any isocyanate, think Bophal), then adhere a Viton membrane, it might work.




that will be very cost effective,yes?

callgood  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 4:37:18 PM
Originally Posted By heron163:
My Dad (RIP, dad) was a frugal man who worked for the telephone company... yes, he built a cabin partially from recycled phone poles. 30 years later, the stink of asphalt and creasote is still pretty powerful. No termite has ever had the balls to come near the foundation


Wait till the Korean termites arrive.

I was installing fencing at my duck club. I had gloves but a bug landed on my neck. I brushed it off and after awhile it felt like someone had passed a propane torch over my skin.

Bladeswitcher  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 4:48:55 PM
By the time a utility pole has been replaced, most of the chemicals have already leeched into the ground. BTW, a lot of them were CCA, so you've got arsonic instead of creosote . . .

BTW, where you going to get all these poles? They don't usually replace them unless they're broken or totally deteriorated.
TexasRooter  [Member]
11/12/2008 4:58:13 PM
you can't kill the creosote from seeping through. I have worked with the crap for 35 years. I have been burnt many a time. But there was one time when it really got me bad. It was like flames were licking off me. Even alcohol would not kill it that time.

Most times when you get old poles to build fence with they are gonna rot anyway if you use them over. If the top is cut on a treated pole the water will run into it and the bugs will come in from the top. By laying the poles sideways I would imagine the water would run in through the cracks and the gaff marks. So the whole idea is fucked. Best get some cypress logs to build the damn thing from.

In some parts of the country they used untreated fir post or even redwood post. Those would be worth trying.
hotbiggun42  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 4:59:23 PM
yep GTG
Backstop  [Life Member]
11/12/2008 5:06:18 PM
Holy shit.

A fellow ARFOM poster was just telling me about this yesterday on anther Board we're on - but using NEW poles.
rob78  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 5:10:38 PM
Originally Posted By Infallible:
I think its a great idea. You could use the wood shaving and cut down logs as campfire material and cook your food over.



slice 'em thin for plates and bowls.


I like this idea and approve of this thread.
terrance250  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 5:12:24 PM
I'm curious if you run them them through a porta saw mill if you can get past the creosote and still have a decent sized log?

BenDover  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 5:12:32 PM
Originally Posted By Backstop:
Holy shit.

A fellow ARFOM poster was just telling me about this yesterday on anther Board we're on - but using NEW poles.


It's really a very serious health risk.

Very bad.
scrum  [Team Member]
11/12/2008 5:16:34 PM
In the long run, the medical bills will outweigh the cheap wood. Creosote, tar, etc, just aren't good for you. Don't use old railway ties either.
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