LumberJocks

best wood for outdoor furniture?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by FredIV posted 813 days ago 16295 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View FredIV's profile

FredIV

115 posts in 993 days


813 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: cedar

Hey all,
My neighbor asked me to make her a buffet table/cabinet that will be used exclusively for outdoors. The location of this cabinet will be under a porch in the backyard, completely shaded by trees and the porch roof. The flooring is pavers and the unit will sit up against the back of the garage.

Now, I live about 5 miles from the ocean so we experience damp, hot, humid summers and cold winters. Basically, nothing lasts forever on long island.

My question is, what would be the best wood to use for this project considering our natural elements? I’ve considered using cedar as this is probably the least expensive. My other consideration is cypress, which is a little bit more expensive than cedar. Teak was another thought but that seems very expensive. Personally, I’m leaning towards cedar but thought I would get some expert advice.

The dimensions will be 6’ long x 22” deep x 32” high with an upper shelf built on top of the cabinet top. It’s not a small piece so I’m assuming that stabillity of the wood needs to be addressed as well.

Thanks so much!
Fred


21 replies so far

View BTimmons's profile

BTimmons

2078 posts in 1088 days


#1 posted 813 days ago

It sounds like you’ve already got it narrowed down pretty well. I was looking at making some outdoor furniture a while back, and like you, I discovered that teak is obscenely expensive. Cedar would definitely be my choice. If humidity is a concern, perhaps an outdoor marine varnish would be in order. The kind used on boats should do pretty well for just furniture.

-- Brian Timmons, Big T Woodworks - https://www.etsy.com/shop/BigTWW - http://vimeo.com/98821147

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2130 posts in 1712 days


#2 posted 813 days ago

Another option you might consider is White Oak. It can handle the outside elements fairly well and has a nice look to it. It is a bit more expensive than Cedar but much less expensive than Teak.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View KenBry's profile

KenBry

449 posts in 1050 days


#3 posted 813 days ago

Redwood if it’s near you.

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

1262 posts in 860 days


#4 posted 812 days ago

I second the white oak suggestion. It makes beautiful furniture, ala Stickley (although I might be prejudiced in that regard :D) and it is used to make Adirondack chairs so you know it is rot resistant.

-- Art

View canadianchips's profile

canadianchips

1831 posts in 1600 days


#5 posted 812 days ago

I would stick with cedar.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Loren's profile

Loren

7267 posts in 2251 days


#6 posted 812 days ago

Cedar would be good. I’d use spar varnish on it.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View reggiek's profile

reggiek

2240 posts in 1873 days


#7 posted 812 days ago

There are several hard woods that can be used in this situation. The biggest damage to outdoor funiture comes from UV rays. Once these rays remove your protective finish….the other elements – heat/cold, damp/dry….will finish the work that the UV started.

That said, I have used walnut, maple, mahogany….etc..etc…for outside items with the caveat that I refresh the finish every 6 months to a year. I use a good penetrating oil finish as this is easier to apply and does not require re-sanding to apply (you can apply spar varnish over an old coat of spar…but the level of the finish will be unequal – this is because most UV tolerant finishes are made to flake away with contiuous UV exposure…this is so that the entire finish does not curl and peal away as non formulated interior finishes would). It is usually a very good idea to sand old coats of spar before applying a new coat.

My favorite outdoor funiture woods though are Redwood (1) – great stuff but can be expensive depending on the distance you are from California and Oregon. White Oak and Cedar (2) tied – both are awesome woods and both have their pros and cons. Mahogany (3) great outside wood – alot of wood boats are made from this and with new plantation woods – it is getting a bit cheaper to use. There are many more…but listing them would make this way to lengthy. Typically though, most hardwoods will work outdoors if you are diligent about keeping them oiled or finished…

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View treerecycler's profile

treerecycler

6 posts in 813 days


#8 posted 812 days ago

White oak and cedar are good woods for this. For a finish I used a three part finish on my Potting Bench. It is made up of equal parts of tung oil, turpentine, and polyurethane. Keep it thin and let it soak in before wiping. Use as many coats as you like. It is very easy to touch up later.

-- Dave, Arkansas,retiree

View DamnYankee's profile

DamnYankee

3233 posts in 1165 days


#9 posted 812 days ago

painted.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View DamnYankee's profile

DamnYankee

3233 posts in 1165 days


#10 posted 812 days ago

Honestly, all the woods mentioned above are good, but in the end they all grey/rot/ etc faster when not painted. A really good outdoor finish is to use exterior paint base paint without the tint added. The paint base has all the protective properties except the tint (tint blocks UV), but the other properties of the base paint does a pretty good job. Base paint without tint will dry clear even though it goes on kinda milky.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View FredIV's profile

FredIV

115 posts in 993 days


#11 posted 811 days ago

Thanks for the replies and suggestions. Very insightful.

View patcollins's profile

patcollins

964 posts in 1468 days


#12 posted 811 days ago

Ipe, Black Locust, and Douglas fir are pretty good choices too.

View joebloe's profile

joebloe

157 posts in 897 days


#13 posted 811 days ago

I like cypress for outdoor projects.I’ve been getting rough cut cypress for $1.25 a board foot

View Bobmedic's profile

Bobmedic

302 posts in 1405 days


#14 posted 810 days ago

Ipe or teak but they are expensive. Redwood and cedar are naturally durable woods as well as white oak.

-- Save lives, ease suffering, reduce morbidity and mortality, stomp out pestilence and disease, postpone the inevitable, and fake compassion. The Paramedics Creed

View John's profile

John

181 posts in 2187 days


#15 posted 810 days ago

Meranti

-- John, Long Island, NY

showing 1 through 15 of 21 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase