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Tipi Poles Question

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  • Tipi Poles Question

    Hi, all. Northeast newbie here, fumbling his way through tipi research and trying to set up a lodge of his own for the coming summer.

    Quick question: it seems like some people have problems with the butts of their poles rotting when in contact with the ground for long periods of time. I live in a humid area by the ocean with lots of rainfall, so this is of special interest to me.

    I have just acquired my poles and will begin preparing them in the next few days. Will a 50/50 mix of boiled linseed oil and turpentine (3-4 coats) do the trick? I have heard of railroad ties being covered in tar to prevent rotting, and from what I understand its very effective. I know it would be a little unsightly, but would dipping the butts in tar up to 6 inches or so help to preserve them and prevent butt-rot or would I be compromising the effectiveness of the linseed oil? Has anybody tried this before?

    Much thanks to any experienced lodge owners out there who can reply.

  • #2
    he said butt-rot. heh heh heh


    • #3
      he also said, "some people have problems with the butts."
      Wanjica Infinity No One


      • #4
        Gawd I hope my butt never rotts!

        "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Pablo Picasso

        "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift...that is why is it called the Present." Master Oogway - KungFu Panda

        My comments are based on what I have been taught and my experiences over the years I have been around the circle. They should in no way be taken as gospel truths and are merely my opinions or attempts at passing on what I have learned while still learning more.


        • #5
          I'd say the tar would only be slightly effective as it will slowly wear off when you transport it (if you do) and the weather, but with up-keep it would probably work well. Thompson's water sealant may work as well as it will help prevent mold and fungi from growing on it. Your options will vary with the type of wood and how many splits and crevaces there are on it as fungi love those features, lol.
          CERN may have discovered the Higgs Boson but...

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          • #6
            Then again if you use cedar or tamarac you won't have a rot problem for years,, they will outlast you and you can still pass them on.
            Listen to my heart, not just my mouth! The most powerfull thing we can do is,,,share,,, if we don't it dies with us.

            It is the year of the bear, I am sharpening my claws and will no longer tollerate harrassment.

            Born in Winnipeg raised in the Pikwakanagan, Deutschland was never home! Army brat that had no choice in a parents duties to home and country. I Too Serve our flag and work for the uniform.
            Stand behind our troops or stand IN FRONT of them.


            • #7
              But Cedar can be prone to splitting...

              Strip the bark (always) and water sealant will work. Its not permanent and has to be kept up. I have seen one guy with copper caps on the ground end (see I avoided the B word) of his poles. Seems like a lightning risk to me, but he's still above ground so who knows.

              The biggest threat to most poles I have seen is droppage, as in when your brother-in-law tries to help you unload and drops the poles straight off the trailer on to a rock, cracking half of them.


              • #8
                ...Are we a bit bitter about a personal experience there, Legal?
                Come together, right now....Over me.


                • #9
                  it weren't my brother-in-law, I just got to stand by and wait for the fireworks.

                  Myself, I like tipis, but geez they are a lotta work to put up for one or two nights.

                  We do okay with a tent or hotel rooms (cold climate, half the year you gotta worry about waking up to snow) but I know one guy that's got a good setup- a pyramid type tent that uses only one pole, takes all of 3 minutes to setup.


                  • #10

                    I do noe know about Tipi Poles , but I have used the linseed oil turpentine mix. I found that if you can soak a dry pole for several days then let stand for a day or two that it works very well . If used every two or three years they seem to last a few decades . These poles were used as trypod well drivers so they got a beating . They should be soaked to a point six to twelve in. above the ground.


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