Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Timber Posts And Split-Pole Fence

Poles of all kinds are very much a part of contemporary existence that we tend not to give them a lot of thought. Poles are all around you. They carry phone lines and are an important component of fences that stops agricultural livestock from straying, for instance, and are most often created either from wood or metal.
Wooden poles are generally popular because, not only does wood lend a natural, traditional feel to a structure, it is also very attractive to look at. What's more, it's a great deal more eco-friendly than metal and plastic, so long as it has been cultivated in an environmentally friendly way, however. In the home environment, treated wood poles are typically used in the making of thatched roofing, lapas and climbing apparatus like 'jungle gyms' for children. Wooden garden fencing is usually constructed either from circular poles or from spilt poles and it's the latter that's going to be the primary focus of this short article.
'Split poles' is actually a phrase which refers to wooden poles which have been cut lengthways into individual planks. In many cases, these individual planks are referred to as being 'wet of saw' in that they haven't been smoothed using a wood planing instrument and are so named because they retain the rough surface produced by the saw that was employed to cut them. It is this lack of smoothness which gives split-pole fencing its characteristic 'rustic' look. That being said, split-pole fences should be treated just like any other type of exterior wooden construction to guard from undue weathering.
If the split poles used to make your wooden fence have come from a respected wooden pole manufacturer then it will in all probability be the case that they comply with the specifications of a regulating body like the SABS (South African Bureau of Standards). Before wood poles are cut longitudinally into planks they first need to be seasoned to achieve the correct moisture level and then cured with chemicals in a high pressure procedure. Chemical processing not only makes the timber more durable, it can also help to shield it from mold and wood-boring insects further down the road. In the interests of sustainability however, it is best to check to make certain that the lumber manufacturer you obtain the timber for your split-pole fence from employs environmentally friendly, and thus sustainable, methods of growing trees for timber. What is more, you'll need to maintain your split-pole fencing by coating it at regular intervals with a mixture like creosote, for example. Creosote is extracted distilled tar and is a cost-effective preservative make use of on wooden exterior structures such as fencing however it has a very strong odor when first applied that's offensive to some people.
Much like the tar it is derived from, creosote is a blackish compound that will naturally make the timber it is used on seem very dark. The benefit of utilizing creosote is that it's quick to work with and keeps fences in good shape for a long period. However, if you don't like the smell or appearance of creosote there are other sealants, varnishes and stains on the market that you could apply to achieve a lighter-colored fence. Do remember, though, that varnishes don't normally stay looking good outdoors for very long.

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