Cedar vs PT posts


The last times I have used PT 4x4 posts (fence posts, supports for an overhang, and a deck) they have warped and twisted when drying to the point where they look a mess and where structural integrity is compromised. It normally takes 6-12 months to dry out and twist. My question is, is cedar any better? I'm doing another deck and am willing to pay the extra if it will stay straight.
I often wonder whether there is a case to go back to the lumber retailer and seek compensation for the warpage. I'm sure the answer is no (or at best they might give you a replacement piece, which is nothing compared to the labor to fix it) but it isn't right.
Cub
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cubby wrote:

You can buy dry PT as well as the routine that is typical of the BORG. It will be much more stable.
I've not experienced such severe problems as you describe that it has any bearing on the structural integrity of a structure; in that case my first reaction is it wasn't sturdily enough designed/assembled with potential movement in mind to begin with...
Construction cedar will be dried to normal construction timber moisture levels (higher than hardwoods, not full of treatment as is "wet" PT) so doesn't have as much. But, while it is more resistant than some other woods, it doesn't have the resistance of PT (altho I think the new PT isn't near what the banned formulations used to be, either). Also, there is some difference in the eastern and western cedars; for ground contact I'd still recommend staying w/ PT but find dried material.
--
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Also, timbersil treated wood is sold dry, if it is available in your area. I couldn't find dry conventional PT locally, so I used timbersil for some short deck stair stringers and was happy with it.
Cheers, Wayne
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If you can't find "dry" pt, you need to shade it from direct sun until it IS dry. When it dries much faster on one side than the other it twists quite iolently.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I've already bought about twice as much PT as I needed and let it dry. I used the good stuff and returned the twisted stuff to Lows.
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Thanks for the input everyone. I'm going to go with cedar. Don't have time to dry the PT stuff out, and don't really want to buy a bunch more than I really need so that I can do the job the vendors should do and dry it out properly... Never seen the dry PT products round here.
Thanks all.
Cub
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*I have been using cedar for several years now for posts for mounting lights, outdoor services and such. I will be doing a solar panel installation soon and will use a cedar post for that. I have looked at the pressure treated wood and I do not find it attractive. The cedar that I have installed has not warped at all and continues to look good. Just this week I purchased some 2"x6"x4' cedar pieces to mount some outdoor receptacles on. The wood was just so nice looking compared to the PT and since it was going to be at on an big estate I went with the good looking stuff. I told the owner later how I was sealing the wood and she asked if I got cedar and not PT. She was very happy.
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I have a house that is sided and trimmed with cedar and then stained with opaque stain. It's 8 years old. We recently restained it. There were places where the cedar was not well covered by the stain and stayed wet a bit. Some of it rotted. That's in 8 years. Based on that I'd not put cedar any place that I think it will get and stay wet.
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On Fri, 28 May 2010 06:39:36 -0700 (PDT), jamesgangnc

Lots of good cedar posts have lasted over 30 years as fence posts - and over 50 as rails.
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<...snipped...>

Maybe in a desert somewhere but in a rainy humid climate like southeast USA it would be unusual to get 15 years out of a cedar post.
--
When the game is over, the pawn and the king are returned to the same box.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar.org
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On Sat, 29 May 2010 03:07:47 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@sdf.lNoOnSePsAtMar.org (Larry W) wrote:

unusual.
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On May 28, 12:17pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

How do you know when it's a piece of good cedar? haha
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On Fri, 28 May 2010 20:27:44 -0700 (PDT), jamesgangnc

There is cedar, and there is cedar. Western red, Eastern white, Atlantic cedar, Northern White, Port Oxford cedar, Southern Red, cedar, and Incence cedar.
Northern white, very light, is quite resistant to decay and insects. Incence cedar is VERY resistant to decay, even when wet - it is a west coast variety. Atlantic cedar is also very decay resistant.
Etc Etc.
The heartwood is better than sapwood for decay resistance in all types, and the more fragrant, generally, the more decay resistant.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

On a side note, I often check when Lows has a bunch of warped wood for sale. Some good, some bad. They start at $100 and go down until someone buys it. I got a batch where somehow they got some 2x4s' and 2x6's that were cedar. They were all straight, just not pine. I bought them for pennies on the dollar. It may be the northern white, it is very lightweight. It's been many years and I still haven't decided what to make with it?
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cubby wrote:

Use metal posts and face them with 1x4s of your choice. If they warp, it's an easy fix.
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