Onward Pegola

Phase I complete. Posts are in. Beds are made. Next step-timber frame joinery.

One point of interest. To use treated or untreated posts. I struggled somewhat with this decision. Common practice is to use pressure treated posts when going into ground. But there is the issue of chemicals to deal with, etc-plus these posts were salvaged and I would have had to apply an preservative myself. So after some lengthy research (see this study by the OSU Post Farm) I found that on average, an untreated 4×4 post of Easter Red Cedar, which is in fact a juniper, lasts 19-25 years in the ground. This also applied in another study done through the University of Missouri. I’m using 6×6 posts so I’m estimating we’ll get 20 years on the low end out of these timbers.

There’s a lot of different opinions out there that go both ways in terms of treated vs untreated. I’m going with the latter route and based on the studies I reviewed we should be  OK.

I’m really looking forward to the next phase of laying out all the joinery and learning a thing or two about timber framing.


2 thoughts on “Onward Pegola

  1. Good Day BRJ,

    Could not find you name anywhere on site so I used BRJ, hope that is ok with you. I am a Timber Framer with a unique niche. I specialize in Asian and Middle Eastern styles, which are the oldest and still in use today. There are not a lot of us in North America, which makes it kind of fun when people find us. I teach as much as I get to do work for clients, and while following your blog, I thought at this stage I should, perhaps lend a hand, if you would like.

    It is easier to work on a timber if it is not already stuck in the ground, which yours appears to be in the one photo? Are you using, “edge rule,” “scribe rule,” or the oldest method still in use, and the method I teach, “center line reference?” Did you know, that even today in Japan, Korea, and China, Wood structure that are built outside are set on “stone plinths.” This protects the wood from the elements and is much better than sticking it directly in the ground. If it is stuck in the ground for simple or common structures, (temporary shed, fence posts, etc.) they would “char” the portion that goes in the ground with fire, there by “carbonizing” it. Carbon is what diamonds are made of and this technique can extend wood, that is in direct contact with soil, life span to centuries and in some cases millenniums.

    I received my craft from the Amish starting at age 14. I have been lucky in getting to travel and meat some of the Eastern Masters of the craft, and cross-cultural experience has taught me much. I hope it can be of use to you. Good luck.


    • Good Morning Jay,

      It’s Bobby Fiedler-and until you brought it up, I hadn’t really considered that that whole name thing might be of importance:-)

      I really appreciate you taking the time to look at my project and to go so far as a quick lesson as well. At times, this process feels like pushing string so your input is welcome and helpful.

      You are correct, I’ve already put the posts in the ground and I did not char the bottoms. I actually did come across that technique briefly, but I was concerned that since I didn’t know how to do it, I might end up weakening the posts more than protecting them. The plinth method would likely have been my best bet and in some respects I regret not doing that in the first place. Post deterioration has continued to be a concern to me, and so this method of putting the posts in the ground as if they were fence posts is something of an on-going, uneducated experiment. My conservative estimate is that the posts will last for at least 20 years. I’m hoping for more like 35-40 but of course time will tell. Based on the brief research I have done it seems the two biggest culprits in post destruction are fungus & termites.

      I’d love to see photos of your work-I looked at the website and read a bit about what you do-where are your workshops offered?

      Thanks again for taking an interest in this little exploration of mine. This week I’m going to start laying out the joinery on the remaining pieces, which I’ll do on the ground before putting the rest of the structure up. (And I’m using Center Line Reference-insofar as I can teach myself how to do so)

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