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Thread: using old telephone logs to build a home?

  1. #1

    using old telephone logs to build a home?

    I have a friend who lives in Puerto Rico where he says termites are a big problem with standard stick homes. Doesn't have logs on his property but says they are changing all the telephone poles from treated wood ones to some type of concrete and you can get the old poles for a song! Anyone ever use these to build with? After 10-15 years as a utility pole would the chemicals they treated them with still be a problem? He is ok with the way they look.

  2. #2
    LHBA Member Shark's Avatar
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    I've heard of people

    I've heard of people building pole barns or camp roofs, but I'm not sure it'd be too healthy to live in a house made of them.

  3. #3
    LHBA Member
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    The telephone poles are soaked in creosote. Creosote is cancerous.

  4. #4
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    It will permeate the ground, ground water and the air inside the house.

  5. #5
    LHBA Member StressMan79's Avatar
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    you CAN get them untreated. don't use any that have been treated! I know of at least one member that did just that. However, they are more of a dowel, so you lose the protection of the outer layers of wood. Maybe not the best idea in South Georgia, but It'd prolly work just fine in Idaho. Course, you can get great logs in Idaho, so this wouldn't even be required...

  6. #6
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    I have built with new poles, as requested by the home owner and the only thing that came up was that everyone though it would have looked better with more knots and shape to the logs. A lot of people said it looked boring.
    It was sure quick and easy to build with them but not enough to out way the lack of character or the increase in cost, they were not cheap by any means.
    Once I had a fellow offer me a ton of old telepoles for what some might think was cheap but like the others here I don't want to be exposed to the chemicals in treated poles.

  7. #7
    LHBA Member jrdavis's Avatar
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    I recently got 3, 15 foot sections and will be using them to build a covering for my new sawmill from Harbour Freight.
    http://www.harborfreight.com/saw-mil...ine-67138.html
    I just need something to keep the rain from getting it wet.
    Iowa Log Building -- some day
    pics http://s1249.photobucket.com/albums/hh510/pltn1042/
    Member since Oct 1999

  8. #8
    Regular+ User Peach1956's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link JR... have you had a chance to use it yet? Let us know how it works out for you.
    Steve

  9. #9
    Regular+ User Peach1956's Avatar
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    Be cautious.

    Most folks know creosote has a very obnoxious odor. And that would be my 1st objection. The whole pole is usually not treated with creosote. However railroad ties are.

    A cancer agent?... so what isn't? All vaccines have cancer agents, aids/polio viruses too. Guess it depends on who you listen to.

    I'm going to use telephone poles for foundation posts in AK. May even wrap the feet with 30# tar paper and heavy duty landscaping plastic, so the shifting ground has nothing to grab hold of during freeze/thaw cycles. In my opinion, Renting a gas powered post hole augur is more cost efficient than buying a multitude of cement bags, rent or buy a mixer, and then still have to excavate for the footings or foundation..

    I realize some jurisdictions insist on concrete or blocks.

    The comments above are just my opinions.

  10. #10
    LHBA Member jrdavis's Avatar
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    Peach --
    Yes, i love the mill.
    I have dulled 2 blades now with it from cutting Elm, Cottonwood and Walnut.
    I have slabs 3-5 inches thick and 15 inches wide and 7-10 ft long.

    Lots of 6/4 walnut and 8/4 cottonwood.
    I'll try to get soem pics up soon.
    JD
    Iowa Log Building -- some day
    pics http://s1249.photobucket.com/albums/hh510/pltn1042/
    Member since Oct 1999

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