Building some outdoor chairs in Pennsylvania to be taken to Colorado

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Forum topic by Hopdevil posted 04-14-2014 01:06 PM 787 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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219 posts in 3085 days

04-14-2014 01:06 PM

Good morning my friends,

My son, who lives in the mountains near Nederland Colorado, is getting married this September. I live in South Central Pennsylvania. My wife and I want to make them a pair of the WoodWhisperer’s Adirondack chairs as a wedding gift. I made one previously with the guild build.

As I was riding into work this morning, it hit me what a (potential) disaster I could have on my hands. The humidity difference is quite severe, at least 20% less humidity on average than where I live. Usually a LOT drier than that. They will put these on their deck which faces the sun all afternoon and gets very hot (and dry).

So…. The last chair I made was of Sapele, and was planning on doing that again since I liked the results. I followed Marc’s advice and coated the chair with several coats of penetrating epoxy followed by marine varnish. I realize that I will be trapping the local moisture in there. What will happen to the wood and the finish when I drive it out there? Anything I can do to prevent any problems? Is this a bad idea to begin with? I know in a perfect world I could build it here – take it out there and let it adjust for a few weeks, then finish it, but that won’t happen. (although I plan to retire in Colorado in a few years!)

Any and all suggestions will be appreciated.


-- Buzz ---- Of all the things I have ever lost, I miss my mind the most.

4 replies so far

View bigblockyeti's profile


5120 posts in 1720 days

#1 posted 04-14-2014 04:20 PM

I’d wait till it finally gets hot here in the northeast and the A/C is cycling on with great frequency. Leave the wood inside the house for a month and do as much work as possible in the A/C where the humidity should be much lower. Only take what you need outside to the shop (if you’re isn’t attached or in the basement) and return it to the lower humidity ASAP.

View Danpaddles's profile


573 posts in 2311 days

#2 posted 04-14-2014 04:42 PM

Not sure about the stability of sapele, but I bet teak would not change much. No warp, anyway, and not much change in dimension at all. Think about using teak! or polywood, if you can find it.

I’d be just as worried about the road trip out there. Can you keep it inside your vehicle? (I have this picture of granny from the Beverly Hillbillies sitting in the chair, on your car top!).

I bet if your finish is well cured before you leave, you will have little trouble. Probably better going the direction you are- dampish to dryish- the other way I’d worry more.

-- Dan V. in Indy

View Hopdevil's profile


219 posts in 3085 days

#3 posted 04-15-2014 12:41 PM

Thanks folks!
Yetti, my shop is in an attached garage, but I open the door on nice days, so I think finding a place in the house to store it for a while is a good idea. hmmmmm…. dining room…. living room….. Watch out!

Dan, Sapele is in the mahogany family from what I understand, but your idea of teak is a good one. I’m not sure what polywood is, I guess I’ll have to look into that one too. I have a mini van with a hitch and while putting them on the roof is an interesting idea, I think going in a drive through could be an issue :-)

-- Buzz ---- Of all the things I have ever lost, I miss my mind the most.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5120 posts in 1720 days

#4 posted 04-15-2014 12:57 PM

I have a separated shop and with the recent addition of a used dehumidifier I hope to keep the humidity lower, especially with green wood drying. I have put some wood in the basement before and that was frowned upon. I think leaving it in the dining room wouldn’t serve me well at all!

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