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New fence posts warping befor they're in the ground!

New fence posts warping befor they're in the ground!

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  #1  
Old 08-09-08, 12:09 PM
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New fence posts warping before they're in the ground!

I'm building a fence using 4x4x8 wood posts purchased at Home Depot. Every time I buy these, they are wet straight from the floor of Home Depot. Yes, wet, as in water wet. I guess it's the chemical process they go through at the the place where the wood is cut. Of course, after I get home, I lay them out to dry.

Unfortunately, two out of three always seem to warp and/or crack before I can even get them in the ground. At that point, I have to take them back to Home Depot and exchange them for a few more, and the whole cycle starts over again.

The guy at Home Depot told me in order to avoid the warping, I need to get them in the ground the minute I buy them, then get the cross members attached to them ASAP. I don't think I should have to do that. I want straight, un-cracked, dry wood before I put it in the ground. Surely there's a way to dry these posts out without warping them and/or cracking them. Is there?

Any help from you wood experts out there would be appreciated.
 

Last edited by Lambert John; 08-09-08 at 01:54 PM. Reason: Typo
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  #2  
Old 08-09-08, 05:22 PM
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It takes a LONG time for them PT's to dry out, not just a couple days, more like 6-12 months.

You may want to try a lumbar yard or invest in some cedar posts. Cedar will not warp.
 
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Old 08-09-08, 10:33 PM
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Lambert John,

I have found that Home Depot pressure treated wood must be sought through in order to find the best of , or should I say the "Cream of the crop".
The best way to take the more dryer lengths of wood is to take from the outside of the bundle, working your way into the center of the bundle.
The center of the bundle are bound to be still wet from the proceedure of soaking the wood with chemical.
I have found that if you stick to the outside pieces verses the inside pieces, generally you would find the cream of the crop.

As for that line that the sales person gave you about the post needing to be installed so that it does not warp.... In my opinion , that is just a line a bull. What portion of the post is in the ground will not warp as it is being protected from being dried out by being engulfed in mass... where as the post from the ground up is a different story. If it is to warp it will. regardless of installing it or not.
What may slow down , or curb the warping is what you attach to the post.If you nail, or screw sections of fencing into the post, the sections of fencing may curb the post from twisting or bowing .... If you lay the post down and use it as a landscape timber, the weight of the post laying on top of it may slow, curb or even eliminate the post below from warping at all... It is all about the conditions being applied to the material.. Not the speed upon which you install it.

I hope this helps.

Greg~
 
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Old 08-10-08, 10:34 AM
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Thanks all. I'm going to hunt around Dallas for a good lumber yard and see if I can pick up some better quality wood. As one poster mentioned, you've got to really pick and choose at Home Depot to get it right. And even then, you still may hit some snags. The two posts I bought yesterday at HD are perfect - straight, no cracks, solid and heavy. Yet today, small cracks are starting to form in both of them. Plus, they're starting to wobble when I lay them on a flat surface. Bummer. Thanks again everyone.
 
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Old 08-10-08, 02:11 PM
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New fence posts warping befor they're in the ground!

What do you expect?

The posts are just new growth wood that was treated. - It is a cheap commodity no matter where you buy it.

Wood will continue to change with the weather and conditions.

If you go out and look at it in another year, it will not look like or measure the same after drying, curing, shrinking and checking. It is organic and not permanent - It is just wood and some people love the "character".

Dick
 
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Old 08-10-08, 04:23 PM
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If you think these simple posts are bad, you should see the 2x4 studs. I just had to reframe my bathroom, and it was a task just to find some 2x4's that were true with no bowing or warpage.
 
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