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I need to make a new storm door since the previous one rotted. It was made of pine and developed decay quite quickly in the dado slots holding floating panels.

I am thinking about using cedar because of its higher resistance to decay, but I'm concerned about its strength and movement due to moisture changes. Is this a reasonable choice? (I live in the northern United States in an area where rain and snow are concerns.)

The previous door was painted and I plan to paint this one.

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    Whatever you end up using, ensure the entire thing is sealed before painting. It will resist the decay you talk about much better. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 May 7 '15 at 21:23
  • I know it's not the same, but you may consider some of the plastic woods commonly sold for decking. It's not real, but it's incredibly rot-resistant! It would probably be good practice for a variety of skills, since you'd probably have to rip 2x4 stock down to screen-door size pieces. – FreeMan May 8 '15 at 14:20
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If it's sealed well, any wood should really be sufficient. Cedar has a little more natural rot repellent, and so does Tamerack, though I haven't seen much Tamerack actually for sale.

Pine, Basswood are both a little more susceptible to sitting moisture so I would likely avoid them. Oak, maple and most decent hard woods would be fine, though a little heavy and expensive.

  • Ironwood would be overkill... – keshlam May 8 '15 at 0:25
  • @keshlam This is true but it would be the best storm door ever. – Matt May 8 '15 at 0:47
  • And the heaviest... – keshlam May 8 '15 at 1:12
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    @bowlturner: I'd add black locust (Robinia Pseudoacacia) to the list. It's a dense hardwood with extremely good rot and insect resistance, paralleled only by exotic woods. It's also native to North America, but from what I've heard, lumber is quite hard to come by. Ironically, it's available in abudance in my country Central-Eastern Europe, where it is considered an invasive species, introduced in the 1600s from North America. Anyway, it's our go-to wood for any outdoor project and it easily lasts 80-100 years without any finishing. – PeterK May 8 '15 at 4:56
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    @ASTPace: I only worked with kiln-dried wood and found it to be quite a lot harder than oak. Hand sawing was no problem with some patience, but my chisels were almost of no use in end grain. Never tried planing. I'd say power tools are a good idea for any joinery with black locust. As for availability, decent sized dimensioned lumber is hard to come by even here, I am not sure why -- could be plantations cutting down trees young, uneven growth, stability, I really don't know. – PeterK May 9 '15 at 5:50

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