My buddy and I went and picked up 18 telephone poles yesterday for some
projects. I have heard that these are tough on chain saws. They do have
some of the ground wires on them, which I will remove and sell for the
copper scrap. Other than that, has anyone had any experience with these?
They are older and pretty dried out.
How old? In the 70s we removed all the poles from a town as we
buried all their telephone lines. *Untreated* cedar and locust
poles, 30-40 years old. That was my firewood for years.
The poles I've noticed in my part of the world seem to be southern
yellow pine-- that stuff is hard on a chain all by itself, let alone
with whatever staples or whatnot it might be hiding.
Depending on how much cutting you'll need to do, you might think about
having a carbide toothed chain made up.
WAG- as a former telco lineman who *hated* climbing locust poles.
Maybe the ones labeled Yellow Pine are harder? I've never seen a
label, but notice some of the older, larger [50-60 footers] are some
other kind of soft pine.
When the new poles come in some are so dark you couldn't tell by
looking at them what kind of wood they are-- A couple steps up the
side ought to clue you in-- but who knows- unions are powerful
influences. [maybe the yellow pine poles are knottier as you go up?]
Well, SYP isn't nearly as hard as locust, certainly, and only moderately
harder than other pines...it's similar to Doug fir the other common
(formerly, anyway) species used around here that I've seen.
I've no clue; never seen any such tags out here...(W KS)
As for the other guess re: pine bark beetles--they're gone after the
tree is harvested as they feed under the bark in phloem layer, they
don't bore into the wood. It's that damage and a fungus they introduce
(blue stain) that's the real killer for SYP.
There are various other bark beetles as well that have their own
particular modes but they all basically work just under the bark. The
black turpentine beetle doesn't carry the BS fungus but may completely
girdle a tree the killing it that way.
Western pine beetle is yet another but isn't prevalent (at least yet) in
the SYP forest areas...
On 7/14/2012 1:29 PM, email@example.com wrote:
A small story to tell:
Where I grew up in Eastern Ontario, many road's poles were owned by Bell
Canada (the rural phone company) and Ontario Hydro (the rural electrical
utility) rented space on them for their lines. Indeed Bell Canada used
to own a pole company or two.
When the ice Storm hit thousands of poles had to be replaced and Bell
Canada washed themselves of the problem. They simply couldn't afford to
buy or make the higher rated ice load poles as cheap as Ontario Hydro
(or whatever OPG is now).
Bell had different standards as to the amount of ice and snow old poles
could take and Hydro had higher standards and Bell, the phone company,
got blamed by Hydro the electrical utility for allowing so many poles to
come into disrepair. When the ice came, Hydro's warning came true but
they went to work quickly.
CN and CP, Train companies for those who don't know, used to own their
poles too and some of them had to be replaced, and they were, by
underground fibre optics :) I don't have a cite for this but I remember
the stakes going into the ground saying underground cables, running
alongside the tracks.
In my personal experience pine trees either processed into poles or green
have a tendency to come unglued from the climbing spikes.
Nothing like burning a pine polls. Hint: it takes days to dig the splinters
Use salvaged 'phone and power poles regularly. If they're 20+ yr old as
most are, I wouldn't worry a bit about the amount of creosote that's left...
I've not had any particular problems w/ any -- everything I've had in
the last 50 yr has been SYP; some that are 60-70+ are Doug fir. This is
I don't worry about the small stuff--anything less than a 16d spike will
not even be noticed by my saw other than a quick spark (and the ash in
the yard trees that I trim has enough silicate in it and is so much
harder when dead and dried that the poles are like marshmallows... :) )
So you sharpen a blade a time or two, maybe...that's just part of using
a chainsaw imo.
Depending on the size, the biggest concern is I'd caution is simply one
of being sure you have 'em where they're not going to roll and/or fall
and crush you/your buddy. The bigger ones are enough to break
something--and it won't be them, first if your leg/ankle/arm is the stop...
On Thursday, July 12, 2012 10:51:42 AM UTC-5, Steve B wrote:
I have cut some poles with a chainsaw and, other than some creosote mess, they
cut fine. You do have to pay attention to some of the things others have noted
such as utility hardware, nails, etc.; but most of this if fairly apparent.
You might be thinking of the problems that cutting railroad ties can cause. In
addition to creosote and hardware they can also contain imbedded gravel, sand
and even broken spike fragments. These will dull or trash a chain.
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