My neighbor is replacing his deck top with composite, and just
finished removing all the lumber from the prior deck top. He's got no
plans for it, and, actually, doesn't know how to dispose of it. Seems
to me, it'd serve well for some outdoor furniture. It's about 10 years
old, but he took good care of it, so it's already pretty flat and
straight. It's got a red stain on the top side I'm not fond of, but I
figure I need to mill it square and flat anyway.
Any special considerations?
What about edge gluing pressure treated lumber? I've got plans for a
chaise lounge that requires a couple 7 1/2 boards, but I don't think
he's got any that wide. I could glue them up, but worry about
longevity of such a joint outside.
What about finishing? I'd like to put a long lasting finish on it. I'm
thinking spar varnish, but am anxious to hear other's opinion.s
TIA, as always.
email@example.com ( firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote in
Ten years ago, pressure treated lumber generally meant some sort of arsenic
treatment. Before I used it for furniture, or ran it through my surfacing
and cutting tools, I'd at least do a little research.
That's not sawdust & chips I'd throw into the compost pile, at the very
least. You may decide differently.
When I put in raised vegetable gardening beds five or six years ago, I paid
extra, a lot extra, for good grade redwood (we're in Northern California),
so that we wouldn't have the PT leaching problems to deal with. The world
offers enough to worry about, without buying more.
Considering the (relatively) low cost of the new PT that comes without
arsenic, I would take a pass on the wood altogether. Milling the old
stock will make a hell of a lot of dust containing arsenic. Just not
worth it, but I'm sure others will disagree.... Mark L.
I'll disagree...inasmuch as the "old" treated lumber was used for years
without any adverse health effects that I have ever seen documented, it only
lost favor because of our EPA stepping in with their typical
"chicken-little" thing...check with the southern yellow-pine association
web-site if you want more info on the debate...
...mill it as you please but wash your hands a lot...and just a good rule,
apply a good coating of something on any surface that could possibly come
into contact with body parts, food or drink.
Moved into a house with a deck that had 20' 2x6 deck boards that were not
properly maintained. Not rotten, but "punky" at the top 1/8" or so and the
thought of sinking all the nails and sanding down to good wood was not
appealing. I tore it off (and replaced with CCA decking boards!!!...I like
the look and feel of that 5/4 rounded edge stuff).
Hating to see the old stuff hauled to the landfill, I milled some to make
garden benches...planed, jointed and edge glue-up (with biscuits) using
Elmer's interior/exterior, followed by a nice round-over with the router.
Nothing that produced "fine" dust, rather all rather big chips/shavings.
They came out very nice but were allowed to dry in the shop for a few days
when the humidity was low and then got a coat of good quality latex house
paint before they were moved outside. No sign of checking/warping after two
years now and the edge glue is holding up perfectly.
Contrast that success to the same wood used for a mission style cocktail
table, same construction for the top with biscuits etc. but moved into the
elements immediately after it was done with no paint or protection. A few
days (and I mean days, not weeks or months) in the rain and sun will make
you sea-sick looking at the top. Guess there was still enough moisture in
there after 15 years that only became a factor after milling and not being
fastened 16" OC to 2x8 joists. Lucky for me I oversized the top and can
make it work.
Maybe you need to look harder. The Washington Post cited a study in which
children who frequently played on PT decks, etc, had a many times higher
incidence of childhood leukemia and other types of cancers.
You'll also find the the EPA under Bush has played quite a few games with
the wording of regulations, and have eviscerated a lot of the teeth in regs.
you also have to remember that washington post, in a related article,
claimed that PloyVinylCloride shouldn't be used to make children's toys for
the same reason. there reason was a study done by the I think it was
"voices of responsible science", the same people who went after Lay for
there WOW chips, it's all pure FUD,
breathing arsenic isn't good for you, and you really shouldn't eat the
sawdust either, on the same note you should work with pine a small
unventilated room(turpentine isn't good you you either), the big question
is if your using PT why are you milling it? if you mill it your taking way
the protectant and your left with pine, just use pine or red wood
...I milled mine to take off a thin layer of "punk" material caused by poor
maintenance and create a smooth surface for its new intended use. As for
removing the protectant, "pressure treated" means the "juice" is applied
under pressure to permeate the entire board. That's why you can cut it, rip
it, etc. without worrying.
The quality of the PT that you use muse be a lot better than that around
here. When I cut a 2x4, you can see where it only penetrated about a
...might be that you have the "new" stuff or old HD/Menards stuff...CCA
stuff I'm using I think is at least 15 years old (have to guess because we
bought the house in 2001 but think the deck was original to the house based
on a number of factors). 20' 2x6 boards still straight as an arrow, just
"punky" on the top. Is all still "wet" with treatment when I
cut/plane/shape into it.
Have worked with both HD/Menards treated boards in the past and maybe you're
right...both tend to buy the heartwood pine which probably doesn't take the
"juice" as well even though the "pressure" is the same.
...guess both sides (EPA, Washington Post, S Yellow Pine Assn, Philip
Morris.com) all come down to the same thing...in the order of truthfulness,
most true is the lie, lesser true is the damn lie, bottom of the cesspool is
the statistic. You can make them read to support whatever your end goal is.
I did a research paper on P.T. and after 10 years, a lot of the arsenic
(but not all) would have leached out into the ground. - However, I would
still not want to deal with the contaminated dust, and would just buy some
of the new type of P.T.
I have built all sorts of outdoor furniture using both CCA and the newer
I was advised to use the new decking screws with the ACQ because of the
possibility of chemical reactions with older steel screws with the ultra
high copper content. Other than that, simple common sense prevails.
Don't cut the stuff indoors, (if at all possible)
Use a dusk mask. (Ever cut cottonwood? Now that stuff WILL choke you to
Clean up debris and sawdust, immediately. (Do not track it in the house,
Don't eat it. (This isn't as silly as it sounds. Young teething children
will chew on the damnest things. Exercise appropriate caution)
Don't burn it. CCA smoke IS toxic.
Don't try to compost the stuff. To start with, the "wood" was designed NOT
to break down. And it won't.
NOTE: Will hundreds of millions of people, some are bound to have
allergic-type reactions to just about everything but water (maybe).
ACQ wood, according to my source, is rated at 40 or 60 years, full ground
contact. Depends on the level of copper. (My source is a salesman, so I
wouldn't put a whole lot of stock in him <Grin>)
I have personally pulled out CCA landscaping ties that were totally buried
in the ground for 30 years. In some instances, the steel spikes that were
used to nail the ties together, had totally rusted away, but in most
instances, the wood was still good and solid.
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