Building planter from scrap lumber

Hi,
I'm building a couple of wooden planters from scrap lumber. The lumber is pressure treated, but that's all I know about it. I will be growing vegetables in the planters, so I am wondering what I should do to treat the lumber. Should I do anything to the interior surfaces? I'm guessing that stain or paint is not a good idea if I'm going to eat the vegetables grown in the planter.
Thanks for the advice.
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On Tue, 29 Apr 2008 10:59:39 -0700, TimK wrote:

Pressure treated lumber made before 2003 has arsenic in it, the current stuff uses a copper based preservative. I wouldn't use either for a vegetable planter.
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In article

The short answer is that it is a VERY BAD idea, if you plan to eat the food. If the garden is strictly ornamental, you will only be poisoning the soil. Do not mention this to organic gardeners as they will throw a fit. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING???
The long answer, from those who sell wood and wood products, is: http://www.naturalhandyman.com/iip/infxtra/infpre.html
Until 2003, the preservative most commonly used in residential pressure-treated lumber was chromated copper arsenate (CCA), an extremely toxic chemical. Remember "Arsenic and Old Lace"? How about that old box of rat poison you have lurking in the garage? CCA is so toxic that the Environmental Protection Agency, over 20 years ago, imposed strict guidelines regarding the manufacturing practices of companies using CCA.
However, one must distinguish between the toxicity of the chemical and the toxicity of the wood product in everyday use. Extensive studies were done since the mid 1980's concerning the potential dangers of pressure-treated wood. And rightfully so! Large volumes of CCA were being used, and the treated wood products were beginning to be widely distributed, justifying the need for some hard research.
The research was mixed, but the typical hysteria ensued as attorneys and plaintiffs lined up to claim damages from exposure to CCA. In the end, the industry agreed to voluntarily eliminate use of CCA for residential use. Your local home store or lumberyard is now selling lumber treated with (HOPEFULLY) less toxic alternatives... amine copper quat (ACQ) and copper azone (CA)... though you may find other chemical combinations in specific areas.
# Do not use pressure-treated wood for making cutting boards, or for any food preparation surface. Picnic tables made of pressure-treated wood have become common, and are fine to use for the purpose they were intended... to serve food on (or play cards on), not to prepare food on! They should be coated as needed with an oil-based wood preservative to seal in the chemical preservative.
--

Billy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KVTfcAyYGg&ref=patrick.net

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Yikes! Thanks so much for the info. You stopped me from making a big mistake.
I'm continually shocked by the dangerous chemicals that we are exposed to every day, just living the American lifestyle.
Can someone suggest a safe wood for planters to grow edible plants? I see that a lot of planters are made from cedar. Would that be safe?
Thanks again, Tim

Billy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KVTfcAyYGg&ref=patrick.nethttp://au.youtube.com/watch?v=7WBB0svwMdY&feature=related

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On Wed, 30 Apr 2008 06:02:30 -0700, TimK wrote:

au.youtube.com/watch?v=7WBB0svwMdY&feature=related
Cedar would be safe, so would redwood.
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Along the same lines as the OP mentions, was wondering about utility poles for an above ground garden border. They've been exposed to the elements for at least 15 years. Not greasy, but dusty surface. Creosote, I believe. Intend to wrap them with heavy plastic with excess draped length to the inside of the garden.
--
Dave

"TimK" < snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com> wrote in message
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On Thu, 01 May 2008 06:36:24 -0500, Dioclese wrote:

The EPA is in the process of reevaluating the safety of creosote. I wouldn't worry about the use of creosote treated wood for landscaping but I wouldn't use it in my vegetable garden.
http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/factsheets/chemicals/creosote_prelim_risk_assess.htm
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http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/factsheets/chemicals/creosote_prelim_risk_assess.htm
Read the link. The sublink for disposal left me at loss. I have a dozen utility poles that have laid on my property since I bought it many years ago. I was in the military when I made the contract to buy the land, and did see same at time of purchase. But, was unaware of likelihood of who owned same originally (utility poles). Apparently, PEC left them there, local electric cooperative as best I can tell. The poles vary between 16' and 19' in length. Not exactly something I can set out by the street for pickup. I can drag them with much effort. The riding mower, I've found more effective for moving same.
--
Dave



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<NONE> says...> Read the link. The sublink for disposal left me at loss. I have a dozen

Are you sure they are creosote treated?
How old are they?
Have you cut through any and smelled creosote? (We have ancient railway ties that were shoring up part of a hill and in spite of being thoroughly rotted, any sound wood still smells of creosote when cut,)
I ask because the city here occasionally takes down "old" cedar telephone poles. Then they mill the wood and send it to a local social agency for recycling into garden furniture and the like.
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"Dioclese"

Poles have a black/brown appearance. To my knowledge, they were laying on the ground for at least 15 years. Now, when I touch them, they leave a dirty black dusty material with a touch of greasy feel to it. Washes off with soap and water. No, its not dirt.
--
Dave

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<NONE> says...> Poles have a black/brown appearance. To my knowledge, they were laying on

That sounds conclusive.
If I had them and they weren't fit for anything, I'd probably use them as edges for a wood chip path somewhere,
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I have some railroad ties every bit as old. I used them on the edges of my driveway. Stuff like that (poles and ties) are excellent to use as retaining walls to shore up embankments since it will take a zillion years to rot. Mom and dad used poles when I was a kid to build a lovely retaining wall at one side of the house since we lived on a sloped hill.
--
--

Peace! Om

"My mother never saw the irony in calling me a Son of a Bitch."
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"Dioclese"

Dumb me. I went all over on my land to collect correct size rocks for a retaining wall. My front lawn runs downhill pretty radical. Now, its not radical at all. Should have use those utility poles instead.
Would have be easier to trim grass as well with a continuous run using a utility pole, instead of rocks with intermittent openings. Spank me.
--
Dave

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"Dioclese" <NONE> wrote:

You will remember next time. :-) Mom also did build one retaining wall with rocks when she ran out of poles. She built a sloped in "Irish" wall (or so she called it) without using any mortar. Sloped back slightly, the dirt holds it in place.
--
--

Peace! Om

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