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10 votes

Choosing wood and finish for outdoor furniture

The main concern for outdoor use is usually exposure to moisture and subsequent rot. Woods that are used outside should either have high decay resistance or be well protected from the elements by ...
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9 votes

How is playground wood treated?

The equipment in your picture may be coated with a couple coats of an oil-based, penetrating stain. Or it may be just bare wood. Cedar and redwood, for example, stand up to weather very well on their ...
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9 votes
Accepted

What caused these screws to loosen so much (and how to prevent it)?

The fact that the table was made from untreated, big box store 2X stock pretty much answers your question. That wood is almost certainly what is known in the trade as SPF (meaning, spruce, pine or ...
  • 1,363
8 votes

How is playground wood treated?

Much construction of playground equipment uses pressure-treated softwood (wood from conifer trees). Current treatment of choice is ACQ (alkaline copper quaternary) but there is also CA (copper azole), ...
  • 2,109
7 votes

When building an outdoor structure, should I use pressure-treated lumber or something like cedar?

If it's in contact with or partly buried in soil, and isn't adjacent to food plants, go with PT; it'll probaly last several times as long. If it's above grade and will dry out berween rainstorms, ...
  • 9,111
7 votes

Shellac over paint, outdoors

Shellac doesn't do well with water, that's your starting point here. It's also relatively brittle and with the expected movement in the wood you're likely to see problems with cracking. Bonding to ...
  • 60.4k
7 votes

Used motor oil on treated pine

but rather whether this is inferior treatment to another treatment option that is still affordable and won't require more maintenance over the coming years. It's certainly something that people do -- ...
  • 8,500
6 votes
Accepted

Shellac over paint, outdoors

My question is, how should I expect a fairly thick shellac finish (over paint) to behave outdoors over time? It will be exposed to sunlight, a wide range of temperatures, and plenty of rain, snow, and ...
  • 12.1k
6 votes
Accepted

Best wood species for direct soil contact?

What is the best wood species for direct soil contact? The Forrest Products Laboratory has a lot of information on wood durability. Here is a chart from one of their reports titled "Above and in-...
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5 votes
Accepted

How can I turn a couple of logs into stubby legs for a outdoor tree round table?

Hrmm, my first thought would be to drill a couple of 2" holes in the 'legs' and the underside of the 'top' and make some 2" dowels to connect the two, but I'd wonder if as these things dry whether or ...
  • 4,382
5 votes

Why keep gaps in siding of outdoor furniture project?

Can anyone tell if eliminating the gaps between the boards on the siding might somehow hurt the integrity of this patio prep cart? Yes there could be a pronounced effect without specific steps being ...
  • 60.4k
5 votes

Why keep gaps in siding of outdoor furniture project?

What I would like to do is implement some Tudor house design features since he just bought a Tudor home to start his family in. For those unfamiliar with the Tudor style of house (as I was), here's ...
  • 12.1k
5 votes
Accepted

How can I prevent outdoor cedar projects from losing their color?

Short answer, there is no product you can apply that will preserve the color of cedar for the long term. There are some products you can apply to slow the aging process of the cedar or just cover it ...
  • 12.1k
4 votes

How should I secure my treehouse to the tree?

The design you are working on will work. Remember trees grow, no matter what. Screws would work too. One thing I would point out the cross pieces you have connecting the two boards against the ...
  • 15.3k
4 votes
Accepted

How to can I repair/mitigate rot in the center of a Western Cedar tree round?

As a corollary to my answer on your other Question: Removing the rot will not only help keep the rest of the log rotting along with it in time, but it will also help with cracking in that you won't ...
  • 12.1k
4 votes
Accepted

Is the mineral oil sold for constipation the same type of mineral oil used for cutting boards?

Are they the same thing? Check the label. You're asking about two unspecified products, so it's hard to say definitively whether they're both exactly the same thing or not. Mineral oil sold for ...
  • 8,500
3 votes

Longterm protection for outdoor painted bird feeder (bird safe & environmentally friendly)?

The paint you're planning on using is already rated for exterior use. I can't speak to its quality but if used as per the manufacturer's guidelines you should get their expected service life which is ...
  • 60.4k
3 votes

Waterproofing Wood With Left Over Polyurethane (Aesthetics irrelevant to project)

Interior varnish used outdoors will certainly work to protect wood in the short term, but I don't think it's the right way to go here. One reason is that a film finish like varnish will tend to ...
  • 60.4k
3 votes

Lumber Dimensions for Brachiation Ladder (Monkey Bars)

First, my flat answer: For a 12' span backyard monkey bar set I'd use four clear (no knots) 2x8's - two each side. Use threaded pipe flanges screwed to the inner (hidden) face of the inner 2x8's (in ...
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3 votes
Accepted

What should be done to treat decorative wood for outdoor use?

Cherry is not a durable species* as I presume you know, so a protective finish becomes a must to ensure a long life if using it outdoors. Since you obviously don't have a problem with a fully ...
  • 60.4k
3 votes

How can I prevent outdoor cedar projects from losing their color?

Is there a top coat I can apply that will help the wood maintain its natural color, or at least slow the graying process? Boiled linseed oil, despite not providing much water-resistance to wood when ...
  • 60.4k
3 votes

Choosing wood and finish for outdoor furniture

Outdoor finishes have to be able to stand up to many adverse circumstances, including UV rays, moisture, and insects. If the finish absolutely has to be long-lasting, marine epoxy finish is the way ...
  • 12.1k
3 votes
Accepted

How should I secure my treehouse to the tree?

Your idea seems good at first, but I'm not sure it's the best idea long-term. For one, any movement caused by wind or by anyone moving around in the treehouse is going to cause the contact points from ...
  • 18.6k
3 votes

When building an outdoor structure, should I use pressure-treated lumber or something like cedar?

This is an excellent question (IMO). I've worked on a number of different projects like this. I think for things like a pergola, cedar would be a great choice. It is relatively light, is easily worked ...
  • 1,762
3 votes

Reuse planks of an old garden house

It's highly unlikely that the wood was pressure treated for a "dry" use like sheathing. And, it would be very unusual to use an after market preservative in that setting, beyond the ...
  • 1,363
2 votes

Shellac over paint, outdoors

I've wondered this and done some experimentation myself. Shellac is the most beautiful finish, IMO, and non-toxic, natural, has character, etc--so of course I would like to use it. The answer is not ...
2 votes

Shellac over paint, outdoors

Shellac is perhaps the worst choice for the outdoor use. If you ever set a wet glass on shellac finished furniture, you'll notice a white ring. Water softens shellac and overtime it will wear away ...
2 votes

How can I turn a couple of logs into stubby legs for a outdoor tree round table?

You could consider splitting the legs into small pieces. You an axe or a froe. These smaller pieces will dry faster than the bigger log. Since they are split they will hold a lot of strength. In a ...
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