Outdoor "Coffee" Table #1: Just an idea

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Blog entry by Dorje posted 07-11-2007 10:38 AM 1488 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Outdoor "Coffee" Table series Part 2: Next (baby) steps »

We need a low outdoor table for drinks and food, etc., Something that would tie into the design of the chairs that we already have. My first inclination is to do this table in Western Red cedar (it’s sort of the default everything-outdoor-wood around here), but I keep thinking it would nice to try something else.

Again, this is another project that I intend to do this summer, but I do have to side the house, and seal and paint it if I’m lucky (before the rains come again and the moisture content sky rockets!)

I’d like to take the time to learn sketch-up, but I’ll probably just draw something up in the next week or so…

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

14 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4183 days

#1 posted 07-11-2007 12:07 PM

sounds like fun
I’d love to see a video of the surroundings that it will be going in

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4002 days

#2 posted 07-11-2007 03:15 PM

Hi Dorje,

I can’t imagine the reason for the default wood being western red cedar. LOL

Some options are Teak or Ipe, or even Mahogany. All of which are quite resistant to moisture.

I used cedar siding on my house, the result was carpenter bees drilling holes all over the place.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4058 days

#3 posted 07-11-2007 08:21 PM

What about cyprus?

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4019 days

#4 posted 07-11-2007 11:56 PM

How spendy is cypress? I like the idea as an alternative to cedar – does it hold up well outdoors?

Also, is it any denser than cedar?

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4119 days

#5 posted 07-12-2007 02:51 AM

Rockler was selling some for $4 per board ft a while back. It is a very good outdoor wood. I belive it is denser than cedar.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4108 days

#6 posted 07-12-2007 03:02 AM

Any dealers in Lyptus out there? The frame of these gates is Lyptus. Very nice wood, denser than oak. A little on the pricey side though, also around $4/bf. The raw wood in the gate is cedar but eastern red cedar not western. I use a lot of it in my outdoor projects (mostly in the raw form) it last for years even in the ground. I have fence posts I put in 10 years ago that are still solid.

-- Bob

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 4116 days

#7 posted 07-12-2007 06:49 AM


I bought some of the Cypress Wayne mentioned for some Adirondack chairs. I read an article where Norm endorsed it as a great option for outdoor furniture.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4183 days

#8 posted 07-12-2007 06:34 PM

A teak table would be great, if not too pricey. Is the table going to be stored under a porch, or out in the open? That might make a difference on the wood selection and finish to be used.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4019 days

#9 posted 07-13-2007 10:56 AM

This table will be out in the open, and I’ll probably let it grey…

I appreciate everybody’s input. I will take a look at cypress (if I can find it here – I think I’ve seen it at one of the local hardwood lumber outfits) and lyptus (which we do have here). I like the idea of working with something denser than cedar (I’ve been siding the house with it and have had almost all I can take at the moment!)

I think teak is a bit spendy for this particular project. But, I do like the idea!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14173 posts in 4005 days

#10 posted 07-14-2007 06:58 AM

white oak would weather really nice too !! like old wagon wheels …

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View woodspar's profile


710 posts in 4122 days

#11 posted 07-14-2007 07:12 AM

I think that the teak would be tough to work; from what I have read in a Krenov book it is very dusty, no shavings.

-- John

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4019 days

#12 posted 07-14-2007 08:22 AM

Dan – Thanks for the suggestion -it’s intriguing! White oak can stand up to the weather? I don’t know much about the various uses of white oak (other than indoor furniture)...I guess I’ve heard of oak shingles – do you think they were white oak?

John – interesting what you read about teak – I have no experience with the stuff…

Bottom line is that teak is just too spendy for this project! Can’t do it!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 4116 days

#13 posted 07-16-2007 07:48 PM

Dorje, one of my books about the durability of wood species states that White Oak is “impervious to water”. I agree that white oak would be cool to use. I’m wishing I had a little more than what I have on hand to use on one of my chairs as a trial. It could get pricey though I suppose.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4019 days

#14 posted 07-17-2007 06:26 AM

Jeff – thanks for looking into that…oh yeah, that’s why they use white oak for barrel staves in the wine and booze biz…so I guess it’d work well for shingles…or outdoor furniture!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

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