Wood Question: Which is stronger, a round post or square post?

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The question has already been answered, thanks anyway.
--
McQualude

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said:

No shit. I've answered the thing about 5 times by now just by myself, not including the other answers. Of course, I don't know how one could give an accurate answer because based on the limited amount of information available, there's no way to be specific. I included the assumptions that I made in my examples.
todd
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On Fri, 14 Nov 2003 23:34:46 +0000, McQualude wrote:

Some people just can't see the forest for the trees... :) A 4" square post would be stronger than a 4" round post. The square post would be almost the equivilent of nailing a 2"x4" board of the same material to the round post. The only case I know of where a round post was stronger than a square post is the corner post my Father set when I was a teenager. It was about 8" diameter and about 9' long, fresh cut from a hedge tree and set in the spring of the year. Being fresh cut, it took root and grew, now is about a 16" diameter tree over 25 feet tall. It is still round though. It never did grow square.
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Yes, that would be true, but that wasn't the question. Thanks, but the question has already been answered.
--
McQualude

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said:

The integrity of the tree you are tying to maintain in this situation is the grain that runs from end to end in the tree. A tree trunk the size of a post would have all of the grain intact. A tree four times the size of the post split into four pieces would have the same unbroken grain end to end, like a handfull of straws. The cross section of the post is a secondary. So if you have two pieces of wood from the same tree with no grain runout,one round and one square in section and you assume that being the same size refers to cross sectional area, I would think they would be the same strength. From this point someone with a better knowledge of physics would have to take over. I just know wood.
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wrote:

Wow, what a huge thread !
There's no way I'm wading through all the replies, as dinner is waiting and I've got to fly.
If the "post" is a fence post and loaded on side
I was taught that the grain line-up, that would decide
As to whether or not it would resist the cow
(Our fence posts were square, and not round but it's "how"
the grain was a'running and not 'bout it's section
t'would resist our big bull with a full-blow erection
and, if our bull wanted to get out, when hot
a square or a circle, it didn't mean snot)
But, if you are saying a post is a column
And holds up big buildings and things that are solemn
Like kitchens and children and Grandfather's rocker
I'll spin you a truth that's not much of a shocker
A square that is six inch on each of it's sides
Has an area greater than circles that wide
The area's key, it's the thing that must rule
And he who says dif'rent is not but a fool.
Regards, Tom Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania http://users.snip.net/~tjwatson
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