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Forum topic by ric53 posted 01-23-2016 04:22 PM 732 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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194 posts in 1754 days

01-23-2016 04:22 PM

Guys, I am wondering what your thoughts are on the best wood to use on a screen door in Wisconsin. I am aware of the problems with using woods outside and am leaning towards a vertical grain fir. But I am wondering what your opinions are. The door will be clear coated with a marine spar varnish and hung on an east facing opening getting full sunlight in the AM. Wisconsin has high humidity in the summer with temps that can reach the upper 90’s and in the winter temps can drop to -20 & -30. Your thoughts?

-- Ric, Mazomanie

9 replies so far

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1 post in 1141 days

#1 posted 01-23-2016 06:14 PM

It depends. How much weather do you think it would see?


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5574 posts in 3897 days

#2 posted 01-23-2016 06:55 PM

ric53—Cypress is rot resistant, but around here (Green Bay area) is hard to find. I think I would go with kiln-dried Douglas Fir and keep refreshing the spar varnish annually. Menards used to carry 2x Douglas Fir … not sure if they still do, but they can order it. I milled it to size and used it in quite a few shop furniture projects.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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1676 posts in 2997 days

#3 posted 01-23-2016 07:05 PM

If you are going to paint I would use poplar – straight grained, doesn’t twist or warp. Or, like Gerry says, use kiln dried Douglas fir. When “fishing” for lumber at the big box places, look at the end grain and get as close as possible to quarter sawn. It’s in there, you just have to look for it, and what is best is they don’t even know they have it! Best deal is – it cost the same as the other stuff.

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected ! RIP 09/08/2018

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320 posts in 2085 days

#4 posted 01-23-2016 07:55 PM

Regardless of the wood used, it’s the sun and ozone that kills our finishes more than the weather. You might want to epoxy coat and then overcoat the epoxy with at least 4 coats of spar varnish. Epoxy will protect the wood from moisture and maintain the natural color of the wood but it does nothing to protect for sun damage. I have found that on the outdoor wood projects I make that 4 base coats of varnish are best. Then you only have to renew the varnish every few years vs. a total strip and varnishave job.

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955 posts in 1386 days

#5 posted 01-23-2016 08:08 PM

ric53, Kettle Moraine Hardwoods one in Oak Creek and one in Slinger have Cypress. here is there site.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

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194 posts in 1754 days

#6 posted 01-23-2016 08:38 PM

I thought of using Cypress but wasn’t sure how it will react to the extreme temp changes we experience. As I said in my post I intend to clear coat not paint and I would never use poplar outside as it rots to easily. I will probably stick with vertical grain fir. I don’t trust Big Box store’s to properly kiln dry lumber. They generally dry it to fast. I prefer to buy through a lumber dealer who specializes in hardwood lumber. I get mine in the rough and let it sit in the shop for a while before I use it. If you buy at the big box it’s no telling how it will move. conifur, I’ve heard of Kettle Moraine Hardwoods but have never been there. What’s their selection and how do they compare in price. Thanks for the comments guys.

-- Ric, Mazomanie

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222 posts in 1321 days

#7 posted 01-23-2016 08:43 PM

What about white oak? That stuff is pretty resilient.

-- Jesse, West Lafayette, Indiana

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896 posts in 1453 days

#8 posted 01-23-2016 09:11 PM

if it was built out of poplar or cedar and the finish maintained over the years as should be the case for any exterior wood, it will last a very long time.
for finish look into general finishes 450 exterior varnish.

View conifur's profile


955 posts in 1386 days

#9 posted 01-23-2016 09:17 PM

Ric53, I dont know about the selection at the Oak Crk location, never been there, Slinger is great, price better then the BB. If you open that link they have there prices and species, posteds, cant be mush easier then that!!??

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

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