Using Pressure Treated for a bench

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Forum topic by DustyPiper posted 04-30-2009 06:24 PM 5105 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 2754 days

04-30-2009 06:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: workbench

Hello everyone, I have a significant amount of PT left over from a deck project I did a year ago. I was considering ripping it down to width, face glue together and squaring it to use as a new bench (top and bottom).

My question is: The chemicals that are in the wood, if I seal it with a BLO or poly will it mar the wood placed on top or any adverse effects of it being treated in this use? I am also considering an MDF top over the PT.

Thanks, look forward to your comments!

6 replies so far

View Sam Yerardi's profile

Sam Yerardi

244 posts in 3315 days

#1 posted 04-30-2009 08:19 PM

Outside shouldn’t be a problem (except for the MDF). Inside, I would be more concerned about the effects to humans with the pressure-treatment chemicals rather than any adverse effects to the finish. Personally, I would not use ANY pressure treated material inside, but that’s just me.

-- Sam

View PurpLev's profile


8523 posts in 3069 days

#2 posted 04-30-2009 08:25 PM

I would not use any PT material for anything that I come in contact with on a regular basis. nor anything indoor.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View DustyPiper's profile


2 posts in 2754 days

#3 posted 04-30-2009 09:37 PM

Thanks, I did some research on the “fumes” part for having it inside and the majority of what I have read and found states that it is commonly used throughout most new construction were wood comes in contact with concrete, including heated spaces. My shop is in my garage and the bench will be sitting on the conrete so I was definitely going to use it for the base structure. As for the “fumes,” what I have found is that unless you burn it or put something hot on it that will produce smoke there is minimal to no adverse “fumes.” The stuff I have has been sitting outside for a year and is definitely dried and “aired” out. I do however agree with you PurpLev about touching it and that is why I was going to put a finish on it. The thought behind the BLO is that it hardens within the wood, and is not just a topical like a poly, and that it would provide a barrier from direct contact.

Thanks again!

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 3334 days

#4 posted 04-30-2009 09:40 PM

I agree with Purplev – don’t use it for anything indoors or for anything you come into daily contact with. If you can, avoid ripping this kind of wood unless you take precautions about breathing the dust ie: wear a mask and dispose of the sawdust in the garbage, not your compost.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2506 posts in 2858 days

#5 posted 04-30-2009 09:47 PM

Hmm.. here in the north country it’s all we’ve got for outside stuff. Every house has a pressure treated deck. Any naturally weather good wood is special order. No redwood here and cedar pretty much for shingles. The dangerous arsenic stuff was discontinued in 2003 per FDA order. It was called (CCA-chromated copper arsenate) the newer stuff, ACQ it is an advanced copper preservative system and is arsenic and chromium free. I contains no EPA listed hazardous chemicals.
Pressure treated lumber got a bad and deserved rap in it’s old version. Some people still think it’s bad for you but the newer stuff (for several years now) is harmless.

An interesting side note: deck boards used to be full of knots. Since they started producing the new composite materials for decks the pressure treated folks are shipping some pretty clear lumber now to compete. But, here in the north it’s made with southern yellow pine and shipped to us. It’s ok for decks but it splinters and splits easily.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2754 days

#6 posted 05-14-2009 11:31 PM

I don’t know much about pressure treated wood in the U.S., But I do know that here in Norway PT wood is poorer quality. I have been told that this is because it is more porous and therefore lends itself better to pressure treatment.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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