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Forum topic by Skiedra posted 04-03-2012 11:05 AM 1289 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Skiedra

259 posts in 1756 days


04-03-2012 11:05 AM

Topic tags/keywords: lumberjocks wood dimensions question

I am a very novice woodworker. Just recently found this treasure of a site via Mere Mortal Steve.

Most of my DIY time I use Instructables. After Instructables, I find most of LJ projects to be more of a portfolio showcase and less of projects. Most of the projects do not include any info on lumber or project dimensions or any DIY info.

So my main problem is: what size lumber (pine) should be used for outdoor projects? Like planters, raised beds, benches/chairs? I can buy 2×4’s at the local lumberyard. Is 1 inch planks sturdy enough over time for bench/chair tops and backrests?

Also, is there a less painfull way to cut a curve in a 2 inches pine with a jigsaw? The blade tends to bend after some time. I do not have a bandsaw atm.


8 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

15671 posts in 2470 days


#1 posted 04-03-2012 01:01 PM

Skiedra, first off welcome to the gang. For most projects outdoors id say 3/4” pine will be adequate unless it will be structural in nature, such a chair / table legs, at that point something 2” would be a better idea.

For the most part if you are interested in replicating a project shown here on LJ’s a quick message to the original poster is a good idea just to make sure you’re not taking food off anyones table ya know. There are some aroudn here that do make a living off the items the produce but, mostly we are all hobbyists.

If youre looking for specific dimensions on projects id suggest just asking the owner of the project most around here will have no problem giving you the sizes, materials, joinery, etc….

As for the jig saw try putting some relief cuts in the peice and take it a little at a time, a 2×4 with a jig saw will cause the blade to bend and deform. Some files, rasps, and sandpaper will help clean up the sloppy cut.

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

View SnowyRiver's profile

SnowyRiver

51452 posts in 2945 days


#2 posted 04-03-2012 01:13 PM

I typically dont use pine for outdoor projects. I find that even though its painted, it still tends to warp and swell/contract over time and the nails/screws/glue tends to get loose. A better wood would be cedar, redwood, or teak. I try to use something that resists the weather. I dont use treated pine for anything you would eat off of or sit in. I also dont like to use treated lumber for outdoor play areas for children. I just dont like them touching the chemicals in the wood. You can get sizes and ideas for outdoor furniture from stores that sell outdoor furniture. Take a walk through these stores and check out the sizes, ideas, etc to give you an idea of what can be done.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

997 posts in 2637 days


#3 posted 04-03-2012 01:36 PM

@SnowyRiver- Hey I agree with you about eating off treated wood, but what about the touching? I know touching chemicals isn’t the best thing for kids (I have 3 so I’m not knocking the safety your thinking of), but is it really that harmful after all the rain and uv rays hit it? I was just thinking that most of the playground are made from treated lumber, or at least the ones around here in North Carolina. I would definetly get a playset out of cedar if it were cheaper.

@Skeidra- If you aren’t putting food on it I think 5/4 decking planks from your local big box store would work for the thing you mention. I have used them for adirondack chairs and planters. I’ve had 1 chair for just over 2 years now and haven’t seen any warpage or loose screws, but that could also be due to our weather. And like Chrisstef said, making relief cut is the best thing to due when making curves with a jig saw. It helps keep the heat down (i believe) on the blade so it doesn’t warp as easy. Good luck and have fun.

-- Follow me on YouTube- http://YouTube.com/user/asliceofwoodworkshop

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Skiedra

259 posts in 1756 days


#4 posted 04-03-2012 01:39 PM

Thanks for replies!

Chris, I am from a small country in eastern Europe, so I will not be killing anyone’s business any time soon :)

As for the wood, the best I can get here is pine, ash and oak. As a starting woodworker I am reluctant to use the last two, as I will most likely ruin good stock.

As for pine, I buy raw untreated pine in 2×4s at a local lumberyard and paint it with some wood paint (Sadolin, Pinotex, VivaColor, JohnStone’s) . Build kid’s play fort, it has some basic roof, painted it twice. After 3-4 years pine shows no sign of rot / decay. Screw points did become weaker though.

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SnowyRiver

51452 posts in 2945 days


#5 posted 04-03-2012 01:51 PM

Tim, on the chemical thing with treated wood. Around here they dont use treated wood for anything that the kids touch. At least the school doesnt. You might find some private parties that have. My attitude is if the chemicals were gone after lots of time in the sun and rain, the wood would start to decay. It doesnt, so the chemicals must still be there. I have also noted that even over time you can still smell the treatment chemicals in the wood. I built a playhouse for my kids years ago and used treated flooring, but then screwed regular plywood over it so they wouldnt come in contact with the treated wood when crawling around on it. I just figure it isnt worth the safety of my kids or others taking a chance.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5179 posts in 2659 days


#6 posted 04-03-2012 02:00 PM

Skiedra:

When I build a project I always include type of wood used, diminisions, pictures, etc…...All the information vidal to the project…..If someone wants to build something I’ve made, then they have all the information right there…..I too do not build projects out of pine…just don’t like it….I mainly work with hardwoods, but I can understand your situation…..IF I have to use pine, I generally wind up painting it…(yuck painting….I hate it..lol). A lot of the LJs on here do the same as far as information, but a whole lot more don’t…..Just find the projects you like and put them in your “favorites” .......just remember to give credit to the original builder…..it’s only polite and courteous…... If you take a look at any of my projects or blogs that I’ve done, you’ll see what I mean…....

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

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Skiedra

259 posts in 1756 days


#7 posted 04-03-2012 02:15 PM

Forgot to mention I do not think some of my tools will be able to handle hardwoods well. I.e. Woodstar st 10e table saw.

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

15671 posts in 2470 days


#8 posted 04-03-2012 06:39 PM

I think that most of us have started with softer woods like pine in fear of making costly mistake. Build what you enjoy, and enjoy what you build. Ive got a set of adirondack chairs made from pine that have lasted 3 years in the new england climate (cold snowy winters, warm humid summers)... dont get me wrong their a little worse for wear but theyre still standin!

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

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