Upcoming projects and designs. #7: Thoughts on scrap wood. The Hurricane Ike damaged fence saga continues...

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Blog entry by dbhost posted 06-18-2010 05:28 PM 1330 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Working on a cedar planter box... Part 7 of Upcoming projects and designs. series Part 8: Another project in progress... »

Well, the few remaining rot free 2×4s from my old fence that blew down in hurricane Ike have finally been stripped clean and stacked neatly. But what to do with 26 year old sun bleached pressure treated 2×4s? There’s not a straight stick to be found here, and who knows WHAT they used in PT back in the mid 1980s. I HATE to just throw out usable wood, but I also hate the idea of holding on to potentially dangerous junk.

So for now, it sits. Most likely to be taken to the curb for the next heavy trash day.

The pull out concrete anchor from the sole replacement fence post sits there as well. Still. It appears even though heavy trash day has come and gone, this thing is just TOO heavy for our well qualified sanitation engineers to remove. So that begs the question. HOW do I get this thing off my lawn, and into the back of their truck? I thought about breaking it up with a sledge, no joy. The hammer head just bounces off of it. I guess I COULD get after it with a rented jack hammer… Just seems excessive, and this thing is now out of the ground and it MOVES…

Maybe my air hammer. But how effective can that be? Oh well…

Anyway, I digress into hunks of concrete… I am seriously thinking about that old 2×4 lumber. I can double then triple check for metal, pressure wash it, dry it up, then run it through the jointer to clean it up, and do a nice big gluelam top for a potting bench for LOML. I am already planning on re-purposing the existing base of my workbench, which is Cedar, and too light for a workbench, but it will be ideal for a potting bench. I figure the cedar base, and PT top and that thing should last for years. Maybe enclose the base with marine grade PT plywood sides and doors to give her some lockable, dry storage for her rose fertilizer, spades and such…

Oh well, just thinking out loud I guess… If you guys had a stack of old PT 2×4s what would you do with them?

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9 comments so far

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4173 posts in 3159 days

#1 posted 06-18-2010 05:52 PM

Since I have already pioneered this arena ( my planter stand ) I would suggest making planter stands….........(-:

If you have the same amount of warp I did, I would cut out the straightest parts, and build rough and ready stuff for outdoors that can be made from small pieces. Seems to me that it is too much work to joint and plane it for what you’ll get out of it. The amount of sweat, dulled blades, and general wear on the machines would make it expensive wood, I think.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View dbhost's profile


5708 posts in 3226 days

#2 posted 06-18-2010 06:01 PM

I don’t think it would be that big of a problem as long as I can make sure no metal or foreign debris is present…

I have some straight-ish boards, but nothing perfect… A planter stand isn’t a bad idea… And I know just the spot that could use one…

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View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2965 days

#3 posted 06-18-2010 08:34 PM

“and who knows WHAT they used in PT back in the mid 1980s”
Arsenic for one thing. Be sure to were lung protection when making dust and wash your hands after handling.

View dbhost's profile


5708 posts in 3226 days

#4 posted 06-18-2010 08:39 PM


That settles it up. Going to the curb for sure.

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View GregD's profile


788 posts in 3130 days

#5 posted 06-18-2010 10:01 PM

Hey David – in Sugar Land concrete is one item that the trash guys are not supposed to pick up. It could be the same in your neighborhood. On the other hand its not like they are going to go through your trash every pickup day looking for a few small pieces… In my experience you need an appropriate chisel between the hammer and concrete to get it to bust up – and a fair bit of stubbornness.

-- Greg D.

View Jim1963's profile


23 posts in 3021 days

#6 posted 06-19-2010 07:09 AM

If you have a Rotary Hammer (hammer drill) and a small diameter masonry bit or 2, try punching some holes in that concrete first. Don’t forget some goggles and or face sheild too , those flying broken chunks of concrete got some velocity, especially when whacked with a big hammer.

-- SW la.

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3030 days

#7 posted 06-19-2010 03:15 PM

I agree, planters. Maybe hexagonal ones. They’re selling well in England at the moment. For flowers, not vegetables, as you’re worried about PT poisoning.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View eccentrictinkerer's profile


38 posts in 3022 days

#8 posted 06-20-2010 03:04 AM

Re breaking up that concrete. When the crew left that cut the hole for my egress window, I realized it was my job to get the concrete bits into the dumpster. The smallest piece was as big as my head, but most were bigger, about 60 lbs to 100 lbs. or more.

I got my old Skil saw with a masonry blade and cut as deep a slot as I could in each piece. Then I used a small sledge hammer to drive a brick chisel into the slot and ‘Bob’s your uncle’, I was done. A wedge is a good simple machine to have a around. Remember the safety glasses!

Good luck!

View dbhost's profile


5708 posts in 3226 days

#9 posted 06-20-2010 07:41 AM

You know, funny you should mention it. I need a masonry blade for the miter saw anyway. (Hardie Trim), and masonry blades, at least the abrasive blades are cheap and plentiful… A splendid idea. If I can bust this up into about 4 pieces, I can put a piece at a time in the trash can with no fuss from the waste management engineers….

Oh, FWIW, against my better judgement, I made a bench top out of the PT lumber. A real basic cleat and screw construction, no glue at all.

As soon as the fence is up I will probably build that new base for the workbench, and swap the cedar base under this thing… Actually as heavy as this is… I might just make myself an untreated SYP 2×4 based benchtop. I REALLY want more mass to my workbench…

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