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Forum topic by spunwood posted 07-05-2011 03:14 PM 1066 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 2862 days

07-05-2011 03:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: rot finish wood identify question

About a year ago, Stephanie cut down a small tree with somekind of vine wrapped around it. The plan was to make it into a cat tree, but I ended up using it to make business card holders and wine balancers…and I may use a longer piece to do repairs to the front porch (more about in a moment). My question for yall is:

1.What kind of wood is this? poplar?
2.What kind of vine? grape?
3. What kind of finish? Shelac? leave the bark on with no sanding?

Here are pictures of rot on the front porch. I saw soft spots on the painted wood that you could just push a finger into. How did this happen? It was built before we owned the house. Should I replace the rotty one’s or the whole thing?

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

5 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3100 days

#1 posted 07-05-2011 03:22 PM

I looks like poplar to me. Poplar is quite light so that would be a good clue if it is relatively light. Aspen would also be a good guess if it grows in your area (probably not).

I’ve done some work with exposed bark that I left on. I finished it with a spray on Shellac, primarily because that was the only spray on finish I had in the shop at the time. Shellac is fine but it is not very water or heat resistant and there are other sprays available. If protecting the wood is important, I would probably opt for spray on poly.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3263 days

#2 posted 07-05-2011 04:20 PM

From the limited picture, my guess is hackberry???

-- Hal, Tennessee

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2997 days

#3 posted 07-05-2011 04:24 PM

For Tennessee I’d say hackberry as well. The vine could be anything but honeysuckle would probably be most likely if the vine has a smooth outer skin. Can’t really tell from the picture. Grape vine has a rough bark texture.
I have lots of trees with honeysuckle embedded in them like that and honeysuckle vine does wrap around a sappling like that. If the vine has little fine hair like tendriles clinging to the tree you would be itching by now and would know it was ivy, sumac, or poison oak.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18290 posts in 3702 days

#4 posted 07-05-2011 10:15 PM

If you can’t find any reinforced paint the Will bridge the rot, it will have to be replaced. When I found rot in the deck the builder built, I replaced a few boards, but in a couple more years I ended up replacing the whole thing. I should have looked closer. It was built with hem-fir studs, then painted. The worst wood for a deck with eeh worst kind of treatment; paint ;-(( Never use paint on outdoor wood, never! Unless, it is the reinforced bridge-rot type.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View WhiskeyWaters's profile


213 posts in 3831 days

#5 posted 07-06-2011 01:10 AM

On the deck, that water damage looks design based as well as poor choice in materials/paint. The lumber doesn’t look treated and the banisters look like they collect water, which seeps under the paint and eventually rots the wood. If you are able to get the bottom rail to shed water instead of collect it, you should have a longer life span of the porch fence.

-- make it safe & keep the rubber side down.

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