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I would like to replace my porch post as it is falling apart. I understand how to do it with a bracket in the cement etc. I would like to use a pressure treated 6x6. There is no one in my area that sells KDAT lumber. Would a regular pressure treated piece work? I am worried about it warping.

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    how long is it ?
    – Traveler
    Commented Oct 6, 2023 at 23:05
  • Can you use anything but a pressure treated 6x6? Chicago code lists the axial capacity of 4x4s, 4x6s, and 6x6s for posts and columns. This is a column (6x6 minimum). I don't see anywhere where it says you can laminate your own column. "The use of [Glulams, that you bought at the store?] may be suitable for deck and porch construction but are not specifically referenced in these Guidelines."
    – Mazura
    Commented Oct 7, 2023 at 14:55

2 Answers 2

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Avoid the pith (center of the growth rings) and look for straight grained pieces. Paint the ends, let it dry out of direct sun, and keep it elevated off the ground for air circulation. Let it dry out for about a month in that condition before using it, and you should be fine.

Alternatively, buy kiln dried lumber without pressure treatment. It sounds like you've already figured out the details to avoid this one rotting away. Just be sure to paint it and maintain the paint.

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  • I live in a pretty cold and wet area so drying it out at this point in the season might get complicated… do you think using a stain/sealer instead of paint on the kiln dried would be good too? i’m going for the natural wood look Commented Oct 7, 2023 at 0:07
  • @Kristian Matesic, if you've got a conditioned space that's okay with a little stinkiness, then that's an option. If you're going kiln dried without pressure treatment, though, you could "stain" it with ACQ yourself. Depending on the tightness of the grain, that might still look natural. If you go that route, then definitely avoid anything rough cut. Otherwise I would find a stain or sealer with good UV protection properties.
    – popham
    Commented Oct 7, 2023 at 0:36
  • awesome, thanks a lot i really appreciate it! Commented Oct 7, 2023 at 1:10
  • When I go to the yard, which one do I pull that's not going to warp? avoid center cuts +1. Don't take what they hand you, or do have it delivered and ordered by your fake company so they don't put the crappy ones on the truck that they know you'll return anyway. If you're picking, throw all the crappy ones on the ground until you get to where the last guy was picking before they threw them all back on the stack. - If you watched them just cut the bands off the stack; you'd better take it home and wait at least a week.
    – Mazura
    Commented Oct 7, 2023 at 14:31
  • Do you have any room in your design for a thin (like, 1/2”) cladding? This would go a long way toward making a mild warp disappear and would help a lot with the finishing. Commented Oct 8, 2023 at 14:24
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To avoid warping and bending, construct the coulomb.

Using 2x6 (actual 1.5x5.5) and glue/nail them together.

Observe the grain patterns and set it up in opposite direction. Here is a cross section example

cross section

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  • Does Simpson or somebody else manufacture post brackets for built up 2x4s and shapes like this? Or do you repurpose something? Often these posts end directly on top of a slab and require anchorage so that, say, some guy with a wheel barrow doesn't plow into it and collapse an eyebrow.
    – popham
    Commented Oct 7, 2023 at 15:43
  • DV: built up members are not a 1:1 replacement for a solid column unless they have an engineer’s stamp. Commented Oct 8, 2023 at 14:13

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