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Burning mystery wood possibly pressure treated?
#1
Does anyone know if there's a surefire way to tell if wood is pressure treated? I've got ahold of some old split rail fence and posts and I want to burn, it's well over 20 years old, but the person I got it from doesn't know if its pressure treated or not and the surface is so weathered you can't see any green cast to it. When I cut it there is no tint to the freshly sawn surface. Anyone know a surefire way to tell. I hear burning pressure treated can release the arsenic and all kinds of bad shit in the air in my house. Does the pressure treatment actually penetrate real deep into the wood or is it possible for the treatment to weather off? Thanks!
The forum poster formerly known as Emoticon...
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#2
Pressure treated wood hasn't contained arsenic for decades. Don't know what else is in it though.
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#3
Sorry I was wrong arsenic was removed in 2003. However it was falling out of favor since the mid 80s. I wouldn't burn it.
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#4
From what I've read this afternoon people who have burned it by accident say it gives off blue-green flames from copper in the treatment compound when burnt. I think I'm going to burn a single rail outside and see if it gives off funky smoke or flame colors. It's still loaded on my truck, but I'll take some photos of what I've got when I get it unloaded off my truck so you guys can see it. I've also read where pressure treated can have holes in a pattern in it from the injection process. A couple of the posts were rotted off at the ground level so at this point I'm like 80% certain its not PT, but I'm going to burn a little bit outside first just to confirm. They also say it doesn't burn very well and takes a long time to catch.
The forum poster formerly known as Emoticon...
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#5
I was cutting it up today into logs and I orginally thought it was really dried out pine, but as soon as I cut into it with the saw I can tell by the smell that it's actually white cedar. Since cedar is pest repellent by its nature I'm seriously doubting it's PT.
The forum poster formerly known as Emoticon...
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#6
Feed it to some small children for a week or so. If they get sick don't burn it.
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#7
I don't know, burning kids just because they are sick seems extreme. But I guess better safe than sorry.
Dave, proudly annoying members of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#8
Tonight I burned a log from the cut and split fence rail rails outside once it got dark so I could see the flames real well. Didn't see anything funky with the flame color or smell anything odd. I also took one of my hand planes and removed some of the weathering so you can see how it looks to see if anyone see's anything I'm not. I'm very hesitant to just shit can the stuff since I've got about 3/4ths of a full cord of it stacked up and ready to use, plus its super dry and burns really nice. Anyways here's what it looks like. In the second image the dark splotchy area at the top of the second image is from weathering where it happened to split along a crack it already had and it weathered inside the crack with mildew and dirt. The bottom side of the second pic is how it looks in general where you don't see any kind of green layer or anything.

[Image: b4vzu0.jpg]

^ Left side with the weathering planed off to show what is right under the surface.

[Image: tak8hv.jpg]
The forum poster formerly known as Emoticon...
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#9
Looks like good wood to me. I think it's ok.
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