A surprising find

I found some interesting woodworking last week in an unexpected place – an otherwise ordinary parking lot guardrail.

I visited my daughter in Connecticut last week, and since she and my son-in-law live near a large lake,  we thought an evening picnic down by the water would be a fine outing with my grandson. (And it was, by the way.) The picnic area was small, as was the accompanying sandy beach area, and to keep vehicles away from the sand there was a guardrail made from what looked like telephone poles. That’s the ordinary part. The cool woodworking part was the joinery.

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I’ve seen a lot of guardrails over the years made from lots of things, but the last thing I’d call any of them would be “interesting,” and certainly not cool. This was both. And while the joinery is simple, there was something about this guardrail that I found not only cool and interesting, but also oddly attractive.

And that’s pretty much it this time around. Just thought I’d share.



  • Stan, P.E. says:

    I wonder how old is this guardrail. I would venture to say it is from a time, when more care and thought was put into such things by the tradesman or public works person. Maybe the municipal, county, or state engineer called for this as a standard. It presents a reflection of post and beam construction. Not only has each piece been notched and the joint allowed to float for expansion, but the curvature of the poles is maintained vertically and did not require much relieving sharp edges.

  • Jim Dillon says:

    If memory serves, the metal strap is also from old telephone poles. When I was a kid my dad helped salvage some old poles – – – he was told he could have the poles as long as he took everything else (wire, glass insulators, crossbars, braces . . . ). The crossbars, which held eight insulators each as I recall, were braced by 1″ wide by about 24″ x 1/8″ galvanized steel straps running diagonally. And they looked JUST like the strap wrapped around the top of that “joint.”

  • Bob Boshears says:

    I have also seen some interesting projects made from wooden electric poles. As electric companies replace the older poles (for safety reasons) a large number become available. It is great to see some practical uses like you photos.

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