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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Default Outdoor Woods

I've built Adirondack style furniture for 25+ years and have used cypress almost exclusively. I enjoy working with cypress partly because it is one of the few remaining species that is relatively affordable, sustainable, and looks good outdoors. However, I generally do not add a sealer or stain finish to finished pieces and leave that task to the buyer. Therein lies my problem. Though cypress is an excellent wood for outdoor furniture and will last for years with minimal maintenance, it almost always turns black from mildew and mold within a few weeks outdoors particularly, here in the SE. Even though I warn the buyer to expect this process to occur, I would really like to find a way to stop the process or, find another species. I've considered cedar although cedar seems to be in short supply which is driving the price higher. I will not use pressure treated woods due to the product taking on an industrial appearance not to mention the potential for poisonous resins, perceived or not.

So therein lies my question: What would you recommend? Here in the SE redwood is non-existent. Teak and exotics are also out of the question. Your thoughts are appreciated.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 08:21 PM
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Not that I knew but when googled and a quick search the Native White Oak.

"Native White Oak
Its unique cell structure repels moisture, insects and rot. The famous American sailing ship, Old Iron Side, was built with white oak and could repel British cannon balls. Dense and straight-grained, white oak furniture has an oil finish and can be left to weather to a gray patina or cleaned and re-oiled annually." Plow & Hearth Neighborhood - Guides - Good, Better, and Best Woods for Outdoor Furniture

White oak has tyloses that give the wood a closed cellular structure, making it water- and rot-resistant. Because of this characteristic, white oak is used for barrels for wine and whiskey production since it resists leaking. It has also been used in construction, shipbuilding, cooperage, agricultural implements, and in the interior finishing of houses.[3]

It was a signature wood used in mission style oak furniture by Gustav Stickley in the Craftsman style of the Arts and Crafts movement.[citation needed]



"Woodworkers should be aware that ferrous metal hardware reacts with oak, causing corrosion and staining the wood. Brass or stainless steel fittings should be used instead." Quercus alba - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Can't remember the sight but they suggested that once the wood got its grey/silver patina that you can maintain it with just a light sanding .......not to take off the patina but to knock off the fuzz and anything that could cause a splinter

Glad you asked because now I know and am a little surprised

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