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10

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 chemical or physical means. I'll explain: Decay resistance: Cedar, redwood, white oak are a few woods with natural decay resistance that can be exposed to moisture ...


7

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 the paint shouldn't be an issue initially at least, the perceived wisdom is that "shellac sticks to everything and everything sticks to shellac" and while that's ...


6

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, cedar will probably do just fine. Note that these days there are other alternatives too -- some of the tropical hardwoods are moderately affordable and very ...


6

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 ice. I'm going to reference this thread at This Old House for some of these answers. Should I expect flaking? Yep. Shellac will trap moisture under the ...


6

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-Ground Performance of Naturally Durable Woods in Wisconsin" Based on this data Eastern Red Cedar is a winner. By way of comparison to treated lumber here is a ...


5

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 not that would crack. Another option would be to take a sheet of 3/4" exterior grade plywood, lay ot over the bottom of the table 'top', trace it, then grab a ...


5

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 taken to compensate. If you look at the orientation of the boards on the door and the visible side panel this places the longitudinal grain horizontal. The ...


5

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 an example: (source) One way I would do that is by painting the trim a traditional Tudor dark brown and paint the panels a more cream color. In order for that ...


5

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 up, as I have found with some internet research. Cabot, along with other finish makers, make decking stains and finishes that will generally protect and ...


4

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 limb, probably shouldn't be wood. I would go with steel bolts. I would be afraid most wood would 'rot' or weaken relatively quickly against the bark, and it ...


4

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 have the center pith. There are many ways you could deal with the rot. Your original question mentioned drilling out the rot, which will work fine. You can ...


4

[SE sites don't really like "any other suggestions?" questions, but we can probably discuss specific design aspects for this specific project in order to make "good" answers. If this gets voted closed, so be it.] This is definitely one of those designs where form follows function. If we want to consider this as serious fun, let's over-build a little library ...


3

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 often in the region of five to seven years, long enough I'd think for a bird feeder. Most painting guides suggest that to extend service life in exterior ...


3

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 transfer if pressed upon with significant force over an extended time. While that might be irrelevant to the wood being stacked it will peel varnish from the ...


3

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 a counterbore) to anchor pipe sections. Assemble inner 2x8s and pipe, then laminate the outer 2x8's onto the inner ones. Yes, that will be heavy, but not ...


3

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 varnished appearance that's good as this is the finishing option that will give you the best outdoor durability in an unpigmented finish. But you should use a ...


3

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 applied in the usual way associated with furniture, will do much to slow the weathering to that natural grey/silver colour if applied heavily and re-applied ...


3

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 to go. It is used by boat builders mostly and can be quite expensive. Cabot makes a product called Australian Timber Oil that I've found works pretty well ...


3

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 your brackets to rub against the bark. Over time, I could see this potentially damaging the tree more severely than bolts. Keep in mind that any part that's ...


3

When using pressure-treated wood for exterior construction treating any cut surfaces is considered good practice, but that's generally for nailed/screwed construction where even inside a joint water is assumed to be able to wick inside. When you're using glue however the joint faces will be sealed by the glue so this doesn't apply, and any preservative or ...


2

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 so simple. The clear sanding-sealer and "clear" slightly colored shellacs are not good for outdoors. I tried it on my deck and the sanding sealer clouded. ...


2

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 from the surface. When it softens with water, it has a tacky feel which is a magnet for dust. When it dries, any dust or dirt essentially glues to it. The lowest ...


2

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 while maybe a month - chop them down into tapered pieces with an axe. Drill a fairly large hole, something like an inch and half into the table and than ...


2

The weight of that top would certainly be a necessity for caution. Logs connected in a triangle If you were going to just use the logs more or less as is you could carve out large recesses for the logs that the table would then sit on. If you then also had spars or stretchers connected firmly to each of the legs (3 seems like a good number) that would ...


2

I would certainly drill holes into the 'legs' and into the underside of the table and use a dowel to keep them lined up. I would glue the dowel into the legs but not the top since if you want to move it you might want to take it apart. Another option would be to bolt L-brackets onto the bottom of the table and once again have holes in the legs and just '...


2

I think the answer is, "it's up to you" and "it depends". All materials will have pros and cons. PT lumber is cheaper than cedar, but cedar looks better (IMO) and smells nice. Cedar fades over time whereas composite materials might hold up better. PT lumber requires coated screws and composite materials sometimes require specialized screws. Other woods ...


2

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 and weathers beautifully. Pressure treated is great when it won't be visible. I find it does not stain or seal exceptionally well, however it is strong and ...


2

Usually this noise is created due to thermal expansion. The roofing screws for polycarbonate sheeting should have a big enough flexible washer so that you can pre drill a hole in the sheeting around twice the diameter of the screw to allow for movement. This should prevent much of the noise.


2

Second-hand pallet timber should not be used for anything except pallets or industrial use. The problem is two-fold: you don't know how the pallet was originally treated, nor what the pallet experienced during use. It could have been dragged through toxic chemicals or had contaminated contents placed on it for transport. If safety is really your concern ...


2

You could consider another option: don't refinish it at all. Depending on how damaged the existing finish it (you don't say or show) in most case light scuffs and dings are just part of the charm, and don't represent any problem with ability of the material to resist moisture. That veneer is very stable, with very good natural water resistance. On top of ...


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