Letter Re: Alternative to Creosote for Preserving Wood?

Hello Mr. Rawles,
Had a question that you might be able to answer. Looking to do some preserving of wood that will be stuck in the ground. I used to work for a telephone pole repair company. We used a very plastic Creosote and Tar paper ( keeps dirt from soaking up the creosote ). I have been trying to figure out a way to create an alternative to creosote. The best I can think of is used motor oil and soap ( gas and soap being napalm ) this seemed logical to me. Wondered if you had any thought. Also other uses for used oil might be a good topic. Thanks much, – E.B. in N. Idaho

JWR Replies: The best alternative to creosote that I have found is a product called asphalt emulsion. It goes on like thick paint. It is a bit messy, but works great.
If your local hardware store doesn’t have any in stock, they can order it for you. It usually comes in five gallon pails.