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oak or cedar for outdoor furniture

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Forum topic by inchanga posted 624 days ago 3824 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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inchanga

117 posts in 749 days


624 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: furniture outdoor durability weather oak cedar

I live in a part of the world that gets more than its fair share of rain and am wondering what the best timber to use for outdoor furniture i.e. benches ,chairs, tables etc is I like white oak and know it is durable but notice that a lot of commercial makers use cedar. Ignoring cost factors does anyone have any feedback they can let me have.

-- chris, north wales http://salemchapelfurniture.co.uk/


9 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112028 posts in 2214 days


#1 posted 624 days ago

They both hold up to weather well just don’t use red oak.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Kreegan's profile

Kreegan

1452 posts in 783 days


#2 posted 624 days ago

I’ve used Western Red Cedar for some planters. It holds up pretty well, but I don’t like the way the color is changing as it ages. It almost looks like bone. Can’t say I’d recommend it for anything you want to look good with time.

Rich;)

View madts's profile

madts

1251 posts in 976 days


#3 posted 624 days ago

I like to use cypress. It does not rot but can get heavy as it soaks up water.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View MonteCristo's profile

MonteCristo

2095 posts in 825 days


#4 posted 624 days ago

Oak is a lot harder and will take knocks better. As a1Jim says, don’t use red oak, use white oak. Western Red Cedar is light and very rot resistant but it crushes easily. Also, its dust is fairly toxic.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

910 posts in 662 days


#5 posted 624 days ago

Red cedar heartwood is fairly rot resistant, but not the sapwood. Also, most cedar available nowadays is second growth, not old growth, and does not have the same durability. The old stuff is almost gone, but it is beautiful wood when you can find it. And I live in a part of the world (Pac N. W.) where it used to be abundant.
Oak, on the other hand, has a tendency to turn black with exposure to water. You’ll have to decide whether you prefer the gray of weathered cedar, or the black of oak. Teak is another worthy wood for outdoor furniture, though mighty expensive, and then there’s black locust, which is one of the most decay resistant woods of all.

View inchanga's profile

inchanga

117 posts in 749 days


#6 posted 624 days ago

Thanks guys. On balance it looks like oak is the best choice

-- chris, north wales http://salemchapelfurniture.co.uk/

View annaseth's profile

annaseth

4 posts in 681 days


#7 posted 620 days ago

If budget is not really a concern, I would have to choose Teak. It is resistant to extreme weather conditions and is very much durable. You can be sure that the furniture you will build now will last until the next generation.

If it will just be between the two options above, I would go for Oak especially white oak. Cedar is soft and requires yearly maintenance. It’s cheaper but if you would consider the cost you will be doing each year, it’s actually not cheaper. ;) – Anna

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile

TCCcabinetmaker

925 posts in 991 days


#8 posted 620 days ago

I would be more inclined to recomend something along the lines of spanish cedar. Mostly because of climate differences and oak’s sensitivity to water, and I mean water not humidity. Iffen I’m right, it rains a good bit in wales, and well like here the rain wears down on the oak, not to mention bugs like oak.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View joseph000's profile

joseph000

346 posts in 663 days


#9 posted 585 days ago

Oak is a widely used timber which is considered one of the best choices of wood for outdoor furniture. It is a hardwood that can better stand outdoor weather conditions.The life of your outdoor furniture all depends on your ability to maintain it.

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