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Jere, Those poles look like they were soaked in Creosote. Creosote treated wood was banned after it was found that there could be a cancer risk. Long-term exposure, especially direct contact with skin during wood treatment or manufacture of coal tar creosote-treated products, to low levels of creosote has resulted in skin cancer and cancer of the scrotum. ... The EPA has also determined that coal tar creosote is a probable human carcinogen.
 

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Jere, Those poles look like they were soaked in Creosote. Creosote treated wood was banned after it was found that there could be a cancer risk. Long-term exposure, especially direct contact with skin during wood treatment or manufacture of coal tar creosote-treated products, to low levels of creosote has resulted in skin cancer and cancer of the scrotum. ... The EPA has also determined that coal tar creosote is a probable human carcinogen.
That is not all exactly true. Creosote manufacturing for residential use was banned, but commercial use is allowed still. The EU banned it, but the EPA set conditions on it. Reuse of older creosote treated wood products is allowed by the EPA for use in residential outdoor settings. But the second picture shows a more distinct greenish hue which would indicate a copper type of preservative.

https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/creosote

The long term exposure you mentioned is from the manufacture of the creosote products where one is constantly exposed to the sawdust from cutting and the vacuum treating processes. That was a dirty, messy process where one was covered in the stuff all day long. Avoiding contact with the treated wood by use of a mask & gloves is usually standard procedure for any treated wood.
 

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I was all set to build a pole building for a garage back in the 90's,a friend's brother worked for the phone company,driving & operating the auger truck to install telephone and power poles ,and he often got to keep poles they replaced after a car hit one,or were simply "old"--he had about 50 of them piled up in his back yard..

But when I was ready to start building,he told me the company changed policy--no one could posses old poles and any he removed now had to be cut into 3 foot pieces and disposed of in a special dumpster at the company's property..."hazardous waste"...they also made him dispose of all the poles he'd kept,but he gave most away before doing so..

I got only 2 poles ,ended up using them as landscape timbers,and then decided to buy a Steelmaster quonset building instead,and use a concrete foundation,which costed double what I could have built a pole barn for--I did price pressure treated poles and 6x6 timbers 20 feet long,and they were over $100 each back then..it was about the same cost to pour a concrete foundation as buying enough poles or timbers would have cost..

I like pole buildings,its easier to auger some holes than dig a foundation,and once the poles are installed,you can build the roof first,and have a dry place to work under and store materials..cheaper than a conventional building and stronger to boot..more backyard builder friendly too,than stick built ..
 
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Some electrical utility poles years ago had transformers mounted on them and lots of times the transformers had PCB's in the oil of the transformer leaking down the pole. EPA crack down on the use of PCB's years ago and a lot of poles got replaced. That oil soaked pole in the picture could be PCB contaminated pole or creosote treated pole. You wouldn't know unless you get a lab to test a piece of it.
 

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So he is using them to support the roof of a building and not to play on or sleep with. If this was a continuous contact situation it would be different.
 
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So he is using them to support the roof of a building and not to play on or sleep with. If this was a continuous contact situation it would be different.
Yeah but he used a chain saw on them and I've seen utility workers cover themselves in respirators and hazardous clothing to dispose of them like Tractor-Holic mentioned above. Placed them in hazardous drums.
 

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Yeah but he used a chain saw on them and I've seen utility workers cover themselves in respirators and hazardous clothing to dispose of them like Tractor-Holic mentioned above. Placed them in hazardous drums.
Yea and I suppose running around smelling cow farts can be hazardous also and we all love those gas cans that no longer allow us to smell the fumes. Is he going to cut them every day? no. So don't compare what one does for a living with something one would do maybe a few time in a life time. That's just stupid thinking.
 

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Robert, thanks for your backstory about what happens to old poles. That was the first thing that came to mind when I read Jere's first post. Around here, people knock poles down with their cars all the time, would seem to be a great way to find cheap poles for a barn!

Good luck with the project, Jere. Looking forward to the progress. I know exactly what you mean by taking your time, I have a few things like that here...

Mike
 

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Around here, people knock poles down with their cars all the time, would seem to be a great way to find cheap poles for a barn!
Mike
Do they hit them to check to see if they’re good for another year? Is it a random thing, or do you get assigned a specific pole?

Personally, I would just put up a CL or a FB ad looking for poles. I don’t have enough spare vehicles to hit that many poles.....
 

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Do they hit them to check to see if they’re good for another year? Is it a random thing, or do you get assigned a specific pole?

Personally, I would just put up a CL or a FB ad looking for poles. I don’t have enough spare vehicles to hit that many poles.....



:dunno:

Well, that's one way to interpret what I wrote...

Mike
 

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Man, this train ( thread ) has gotten way off track. Let's get back to Jere's original intent of building a shed or lean to.
 

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All our needs are different. For me it would have to be designed with room for expansion. Things just keep reproducing.
I have somewhat the opposite problem in that they are rather slow to reproduce, must be the feed or something! No my need is for somewhere to work on the ones I do have. Very unlike many of you, I don't even have a garage to work in or to put my truck in or even any hard paved areas. The truck is in a minimal carport which is just 4X4's and a roof and also houses my smoker that will be used in a couple of days.. The larger shed I do have (12X20) is slowly being taken up with tools and some wood storage.

Been thinking of attaching a lean to on the side of the shed, so that's why I'm here.
 

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I have somewhat the opposite problem in that they are rather slow to reproduce, must be the feed or something! No my need is for somewhere to work on the ones I do have. Very unlike many of you, I don't even have a garage to work in or to put my truck in or even any hard paved areas. The truck is in a minimal carport which is just 4X4's and a roof and also houses my smoker that will be used in a couple of days.. The larger shed I do have (12X20) is slowly being taken up with tools and some wood storage.

Been thinking of attaching a lean to on the side of the shed, so that's why I'm here.
If that's the case I would build for the biggest thing that would possibly need to go inside for what ever reason. That's the way things started here now the seven foot tall door needs to be a twelve foot door and the twenty four foot deep shop need to be 30 feet. In all reality 40x60 would be ok for awhile. Considering it needs to hold 2 truck, 3 cars, a motor home, 3 GTs and related equipment. That's how fast space fills up and would leave very little room for a work area.
 

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Thank you for the good chuckle, Ariens93GT20!
I however, understand my own reality is nothing like many here. I'm poor and on a fixed limited income. Lost everything in 2012 when I became homeless which continued until 2015 when I got this here for cheap. But I do own it free & clear, no mortgage.
The add on to the shed would be a simple roof over a work space and open on 3 sides. We don't get much of a winter here, though the 60 inches of rain a year is a factor. The long summer warmth is enjoyable in the shade so expensive cooling isn't required. Crime of most any sort is not a factor. It will likely take a year, or more, to afford the materials and do all the work. Just another project to keep me busy.
 
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There is a reclaimed or repurposed company that advertises on Craigslist that buys or is given leftover material from large projects and sells it. I thought I saw pressure treated used utility poles on their site but I can't find it. I know they have timbers and all kinds of wood products. Maybe call them and ask them they may know where to get them if they don't have them. I've seen people use them in gravel parking lots as a curb.

https://www.repurposedmaterialsinc.com/view-all-categories/
 

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Discussion Starter #39
Do they hit them to check to see if they’re good for another year? Is it a random thing, or do you get assigned a specific pole?

Personally, I would just put up a CL or a FB ad looking for poles. I don’t have enough spare vehicles to hit that many poles.....
Last summer a subcontractor roamed the roads (and in my case driveway) drilling holes around the bottom of poles to do whatever analysis they do. Then they drove plastic screw plugs into the holes they drilled for the poles that passed:

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