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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    1

    Default Where can I aquire used (recycled) telephone poles close to Cape Cod,Ma.?

    Does anyone know how I can get my hands on recycled utility poles(telephone poles)I am building a much needed retaining wall for my parents and recycled utility poles seem like a great way...(read inexpensive materials,free labor)Thanks very much!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,941

    Default Re: Where can I aquire used (recycled) telephone poles close to Cape Cod,Ma.?

    I would not recommend using telephone poles or RR ties, as they are saturated with toxic chemicals. You are much better off purchasing currently available timbers that are treated with a much more environmentally friendly concoction. Check with your local landscape and building suppliers.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,520

    Default Re: Where can I aquire used (recycled) telephone poles close to Cape Cod,Ma.?

    Besides that telephone poles are ugly. Can't say it can't be done, but I don't see how the poles would be used to build a retaining wall.
    Ps. The creosote often used in older poles is nasty stuff to work with.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,321

    Default Re: Where can I aquire used (recycled) telephone poles close to Cape Cod,Ma.?

    You'll be much better off going the conventional route: masonry/concrete retaining wall.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,918

    Default Re: Where can I aquire used (recycled) telephone poles close to Cape Cod,Ma.?

    Telephone poles are made from Tulip Poplar which is a very soft wood. Brand new they would make a lousy retaining wall. Aside from being hard to work with.

    RR ties are great as they are usually oak, and saturated with toxic chemicals. Even old ties are quite sturdy.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,565

    Default Re: Where can I aquire used (recycled) telephone poles close to Cape Cod,Ma.?

    The wood used in utility poles varies by region. In the Pacific Northwest, they are made of Douglas Fir. The treatment material also varies; it most likely is creosote or some copper compound. (Even though creosote isn't available for general commercial or homeowner use anymore due to health concerns, power companies are still allowed to use it for poles and railroads are still allowed to use it for ties. Shows you who really wields power.)

    The best place to start checking is with your local power utility, though many of them no longer distribute them due to liability reasons (Joe builds a barn with used utility poles, the barn falls down, Joe sues the utility). Another place to check is landscaping supply companies.

    I agree with ed in that utility poles are going to be ugly. Besides that, when the hot summer sun hits them, the creosote will liquefy and make a huge mess.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

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