Utility Poles for work table


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Can I use large square utility poles as a table top and legs for a work bench?  I wouldn’t use a saw on them but I would need to bolt them together They are large and heavy and would make a good strong base.  Could I put plywood on top of them to keep me and whoever uses it safe?  Or is there something else you suggest?

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Do you know what they've been treated with? That would be my first concern. Structurally they should be fine, but at some point you will end up breathing in part of your bench, so be sure you're not making it any worse than sawdust normally is.

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the chemical historically used to treat utility poles is pentachlorophenol.  This is NOT the creosote that is made while smoking meat.  This link provides more information on PCP.  Pentachlorophenol | US EPA

I have performed a number of remediations on sites contaminated with PCP and it's pretty nasty stuff.  If I was anything but a lineman, I would stay far away from old poles.   

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14 hours ago, Eric Anderson said:

the chemical historically used to treat utility poles is pentachlorophenol.  This is NOT the creosote that is made while smoking meat.  This link provides more information on PCP.  Pentachlorophenol | US EPA

I have performed a number of remediations on sites contaminated with PCP and it's pretty nasty stuff.  If I was anything but a lineman, I would stay far away from old poles.   

There have actually been 6 different chemicals that are historically used to treat utility poles. Often the treatment varies by region. Either it's coal-tar creosote, PCP, CCA, or others it's best to avoid all use of the wood for any object that will have regular human contact.

If you are referencing my post above, I was attempting to make it clear that there is a significant difference between Creosote generated from the combustion of coal, and the creosote that is generated from the combustion of wood. I was just trying to highlight that some terms can be misleading, like saying chemicals are harmful.

The proper disposal for anything that has been treated with coal-tar creosote is a landfill certified for it's disposal. I would advise against using it in your yard for any reason, I wouldn't allow it into any dwelling I own (garage, shed or lean-to). I definitely wouldn't burn it.

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15 hours ago, Eric Anderson said:

the chemical historically used to treat utility poles is pentachlorophenol.  This is NOT the creosote that is made while smoking meat.  This link provides more information on PCP.  Pentachlorophenol | US EPA

I have performed a number of remediations on sites contaminated with PCP and it's pretty nasty stuff.  If I was anything but a lineman, I would stay far away from old poles.   

When I was an apprentice electrician, an old instructor we had used to work in a transformer shop. At the end of each day they would wash the filth off their hands in a big tub of PCP. That same polytechnic has welding shops with asbestos panels. I was talking to one of the guys that built it. He said they just cut the panels on a table saw and the dust was so thick you could hardly see across the room 

I'm sure glad we don't do things the way we used to.

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