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View newwoodbutcher's profile

Will this work outdoors DF?

by newwoodbutcher
posted 830 days ago


19 replies so far

View fussy's profile

fussy

980 posts in 1646 days


#1 posted 830 days ago

Ken,

While doug fir is strong and moderately hard, it is not durable outside. It is not reccomended for use where conditions promote decay. If you do use it, consider a good untinted exterior base. It’s just outdoor base paint with no tint. It’s about the best kept secret in finishing. It’s loaded with UV inhibitors, compounded to live outdoors and protects whatever it’s applied to. It looks milky but dries perfectly clear. Use at leasr 3 coats. Six would be better, and this is one time when spending more gets you more.

Steve

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1664 days


#2 posted 829 days ago

Doug Fir can last for years outdoors as long as it isn’t in direct contact with the ground or in a high moisture environment. Exposure to direct sunlight will eventually turn it to a dark gray, but that can be delayed by maintaining a finish with high UV resistance.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1446 days


#3 posted 829 days ago

I am eager to try Steve’s finish recommendation.

However, I disagree with him about fir outside. As Oregon goes, ours is a dry climate, though we have rain and snow.

I have a fir deck which is over 30 years old. Never treated with any coating (that just generates constant work). I blow the leaves out of the cracks in the fall to keep moisture from getting trapped.

It is precisely the gray that Sawkerf describes.

To answer your question better Ken, what do you intend to use the beams for?

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View newwoodbutcher's profile

newwoodbutcher

332 posts in 1446 days


#4 posted 829 days ago

Lee,
My intention is to build a sort of patio cover/entrance for the front of my home, I’m thinking a Greene and Green type of scarf and joinery sort of like the Gamble House. There are already 4×4 redwood posts which have been there for many years and are painted. I’m planning to cover them with 2x material to expand their size and match the new beams. I live in San Diego County, we don’t get much rain here.

-- Ken

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1446 days


#5 posted 829 days ago

Fir would be fine, Ken. It’s all that we use in these parts for that kind of structure. Sounds nifty and challenging. I hope you post pix as you go.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View newwoodbutcher's profile

newwoodbutcher

332 posts in 1446 days


#6 posted 829 days ago

Will do Lee. Thank you for your advice

-- Ken

View newwoodbutcher's profile

newwoodbutcher

332 posts in 1446 days


#7 posted 829 days ago

Fussy,
I’ve never heard of that finishing material. Do you have a brand name you can recomend?

-- Ken

View newwoodbutcher's profile

newwoodbutcher

332 posts in 1446 days


#8 posted 829 days ago

Does $100.00 a stick sound like a good price?

-- Ken

View fussy's profile

fussy

980 posts in 1646 days


#9 posted 829 days ago

Ken,

Any good paint that is custom colored uses a clear base to which tints are added to get the color you need. This is true for exterior as well as interior paints, but the exterior bases are where the uv inhibitors are. The base is clear. Oil base or latex, the base is clear. It looks murky when first opened and stirred, like water-based clear, but dries perfectly clear.

Here I use either Porter or Sherwin Williams. I think oil base holds up better, but friends say latex works just as well. At our age, I doubt we will ever be sure which is better. The trick is to get the best paint you can get. Untinted base. Some paint stores are reluctant to sell the base, usually because the salesman is unfamiliar with his product.

I first learned of this in 1971 when I was an assistant Division manager in paint at Sears. On old dude (about my age now—ouch) insisted he wanted untinted exterior base for a lake cabin he’d built. Wanted it to look natural. He invited me up to Jimmerson Lake, close to Goshen, Ind. to see. Looked good. Try it. Untinted exterior base. The higher priced the better.

Lee, I based my assesment of doug fir on what I had read on woodfinder and other such sites. I erred on the side of caution and still wouldn’t use it in ground contact. However, I bow ro your experience and knowledge of the conditioins there.

Lee, as a side note, I need to replace a small retaining wall that had rotted out (landscape timbers) but didn’t want to use treated wood as we grow a fewq vegatables there and I don’t want the stuff leaching into the soil. I was fortunate to find a source of black locust 4×4s reasonably priced and will use that. It’s good in ground contact for 80 years or so. plus it’s stable and beautiful. Do you have any black locust where you live?

Steve

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View newwoodbutcher's profile

newwoodbutcher

332 posts in 1446 days


#10 posted 829 days ago

Steve,
Thank you I will definatly take your advice. We have lots of supplier choices here.

-- Ken

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1664 days


#11 posted 829 days ago

Ken -
Before you get too deeply into your project, check the condition of those redwood posts. Redwood is often in great shape above grade, but is pretty rotten underground. If your house has an irrigation system that sprays on the posts, they may be rotted pretty badly.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View newwoodbutcher's profile

newwoodbutcher

332 posts in 1446 days


#12 posted 829 days ago

Thanks Sawkerf, good advice

-- Ken

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2173 days


#13 posted 829 days ago

Ken
I’m contractor of 25 years and have found fir will hold up well if it is keep painted a 4×8x 20ft green doug fir in my area sells for around $35-40. If the fir your talking about is Kiln dried then it would cost considerably more but I still feel $100 is excessive. Even though Lee has had good success with his untreated fir deck my experience has been that I’ve replaced decks that were 6 years old made from untreated fir do to rot and insect infestations . If it were anyone other than Lee I would have guessed they were mistaken about what wood their deck was made from. If you have any ground contact I would not use fir for that portion of your project.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View newwoodbutcher's profile

newwoodbutcher

332 posts in 1446 days


#14 posted 829 days ago

Jim, these are kiln dried 4×8x20 finish grade beams. You can get them in Oregon for #45 each?

-- Ken

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2173 days


#15 posted 829 days ago

Ken I said I could get Green doug fir for $45 not kiln dried. Up here I would guess #1 kiln dried 4×8 20ft would go for $70 a stick. Where I live is where they mill Doug fir is milled so it might be less up here. One thing you you might think about is even Kiln dried would 4×4 or thicker will tend to develop cracks over time.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View peterlonz's profile

peterlonz

7 posts in 829 days


#16 posted 829 days ago

Douglas fir stands up better than many untreated timbers when exposed.
Never allow any timber that is not suitably treated to come into contact with the ground or any other damp/moisture conducting material.
Typical “rot start points” are overlapped joints (as in joist over bearer).
Any paint, tinted or not (3 coats min) will assist retention of colour & reduce UV damage.
You need to consider possible insect attack & be very careful to avoid moisture trapping in the design of your construction.
I’d advise examining what works in your area; is untreated timber used often, & does it survive.
Is DF seen in your area.
Finally you can provide limited treatment against both insects & moisture by applying one of several commercial products formulated for that purpose you will need to research what is available in your area.

View newwoodbutcher's profile

newwoodbutcher

332 posts in 1446 days


#17 posted 828 days ago

Well, now I’m on the horns of a delima. Think I’ll check local suppliers pricing and go from there

-- Ken

View newwoodbutcher's profile

newwoodbutcher

332 posts in 1446 days


#18 posted 828 days ago

I see that the beams on the Gamble house were Doug Fir. True they did eventually rot out (after 60 years) but they did hold up for a good while. I’m thinking as long as I treat them with some good stuff and keep everything off the ground, I will be dead before they need any major attention (I’m 67). Are they a good price is my only question at this point

-- Ken

View Loren's profile

Loren

7223 posts in 2244 days


#19 posted 828 days ago

Call Home Depot and ask what their price on that dimension is.
I think they keep it in stock. I bought a few maybe 5 years
ago and I do not think I spent anywhere near $100 apiece.
I doubt they were kiln dried but they were well milled and
straight enough for building decks and pergolas.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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