Is this reclaimed wood pressure treated, pine, cedar?

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Old 01-19-14, 08:07 AM
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Is this reclaimed wood pressure treated, pine, cedar?

I'm afraid I'm a complete novice when it comes to wood, so please forgive my ignorance.

My neighbor was getting a new fence, so I took his old fence posts and panels so I can have a LOT of wood to use to make things. (for use inside my house/garage)

I was told to 'check that it's not pressure treated' as it could contain arsenic and other harmful chemicals.

I would like to know if it's possible to identify whether or not the wood has been pressure treated. There's so much of it that I was planning on making all sorts of boxes and desks, cabinets... anything really, but I was told that it could have been pressure treated and if it has been, then I could be in serious trouble if I start to work with it, or take it indoors, or make a vegetable garden out of it...

I'm in Kissimmee, Florida and the fence was installed 22 years ago. I've attached two close ups of the wood, I can provide more photos of a cross section etc. if needed.

Can anyone help me to identify what wood this is?

Thank you in advance.

Chris

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Old 01-19-14, 08:41 AM
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It's hard to say for sure...but from the color where hinges were attached...and the overall look...I'm inclined to say it may be cypress. Likely not cedar...I don't think that's a common wood in your area. The grain on the 4x4s looks too big for pine...although the 2x4 parts may be.
 
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Old 01-19-14, 12:21 PM
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I'm inclined to say PT pine. It's not likely anyone would discard old cypress. The bottom pic sure looks like pine.

btw - welcome to the forums Chris!


The more I think about, I believe there was a fence company or two in central fla that sold cypress fencing back when I lived there ['78-'91] Seems like only the pickets were cypress, everything else was PT pine. The majority of fences were either PT pine of cedar, 4x4 posts were almost always PT.
 

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Old 01-19-14, 12:59 PM
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Thanks for the fast responses! There go my dreams of a never ending supply of usable wood then

I was considering buying a few different test kits to determine whether or not it was PT, but would I just be wasting my money?

So, am I correct that I can only use this wood outdoors, where I won't be in contact with it - like repairing my own fence...?

And I cannot use it to make anything else, like wooden boxes, shelves etc, for in my garage? It seems such a shame to dispose of all that wood.... What if I were to apply many coats of lacquer to the wood, would that seal it enough to be able to have it indoors? Or should I just dismiss the idea of indoor use totally?

My other question would be, can I use the wood to make a vegetable garden if I line the garden with plastic sheeting? I read that the chemicals can seep through the soil into the vegetables... But if the wooden frame was plastic lined, would that be ok?

Thanks so much guys
 
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Old 01-20-14, 03:31 AM
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I wouldn't be scared to use old PT lumber in a garage. It's probably ok used in the house too since you'd likely paint/poly it. I would think that most of the chemicals would have dissipated over 20 yrs.

Your plan for a vegetable bed sound good to me although I don't know much about raised beds
 
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Old 01-27-14, 06:20 PM
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reclaimed wood

It is more than likely plantation grown southern yellow pine. It certainly has the right grain and knot characteristics. It is not cypress. I'm not sure why you would want to use any of this for anything more than the most rudimentary, utilitarian items. The garden plot may be fine but if you want to be sure it won't leach you could also use scrap rubber roofing to line the box. I'm sure you could get some from any commercial roofing contractor.
 
 

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