Homemade fence post treatment
Are there any recipes or recommendations for do-it-yourself fence posts? If a person has access to peeler cores or untreated wood posts, what is the best way to treat them for use as fence posts and about how long would those posts last?
Okanogan County Washington
We no longer recommend do-it-yourself preservative treatment of fence posts, because the surface-applied products or cold-soaking methods are the least effective at providing resistance to rot and insect damage. Expected life of these methods might extend the life of the wood from damage by 1-3 years. An explanation of these processes can be found at http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/landscaping/selecting-preservative-treated-wood/.
The type of wood and where it was cut from the tree is a better indicator of the expected life as a fence post. Peeler cores consist of mostly heartwood and thus are more resistance to acceptance of preservative treatments. Softwood lumber such as pine or fir will accept pressure treatment of preservatives better than hardwood lumber such as oak or hickory, and thus will last longer.
The life expectancy of treated and untreated wood fence posts is shown in Table 2 at http://theurbanrancher.tamu.edu/construction/fencesforthefarm.pdf.
The level of pressure treatment required will depends on the preservative used. See http://www.wwpinstitute.org/documents/RevisedSpecGuideJan2012_000.pdf for specifications.