LumberJocks

Finish for Sassafras & Walnut Outdoors

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by Keith Kelly posted 04-25-2014 12:58 PM 1354 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Keith Kelly's profile

Keith Kelly

223 posts in 1125 days


04-25-2014 12:58 PM

I’m building a deck box to house some gardening tools, fuel, weed trimmer, etc. It’s 90% Sassafras, and 10% Walnut (legs & trim). Apparently Sassafras is great for outdoor use. The walnut legs will touch the ground (rock/concrete), but not the earth (dirt)

I’m nearing completion of the build. What should I use to seal the wood? I read somewhere that Dewaxed Shellac is decent for Sassafras outdoors, but the can says indoor so I’m second guessing myself.

-- Keith - Bolivar, Missouri, http://www.SquareOneWoodworks.com


6 replies so far

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7910 posts in 1842 days


#1 posted 04-28-2014 04:54 PM

Walnut is very rot resistant too, just keep out the bugs. I love shellac but a marine varnish or even paint would be a better choice.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Keith Kelly's profile

Keith Kelly

223 posts in 1125 days


#2 posted 04-28-2014 05:08 PM

Thanks for the tip. I’m only using the walnut heartwood, no sapwood, so maybe that will help prevent bugs. I’d rather this thing rot in 5 years, than paint it. At this point, I’m a sucker for the sassafras and walnut combination. (of course I’d rather maintain it so it doesn’t rot at all)

So unless somebody tells me not to, I’m planning on going with the shellac route, along with a metal roof with a decent overhang to help keep out the weather. I’m under the impression that if I go Shellac, then I still have several options in the future for further protection.

Here it is in progress:

I’m using white oak for the interior structural pieces for strength, and I’ve been attaching everything using nice rust-free coated decking screws (hiding them) and TBIII glue.

-- Keith - Bolivar, Missouri, http://www.SquareOneWoodworks.com

View Fred Hargis's profile (online now)

Fred Hargis

3932 posts in 1955 days


#3 posted 04-28-2014 05:22 PM

Shellac isn’t the best (or even very good) for outdoor use. It will allow you to use whatever you want over the top of it, but it’s best used on indoor stuff. Having some shelter over it will help, but you would well to consider a true marine spar varnish (that means NOTHING from the box store) or possibly untinted exterior oil based paint. It looks very much like varnish, has UV inhibitors, and is quite durable…also cheaper than the marine spar.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7910 posts in 1842 days


#4 posted 04-28-2014 05:47 PM

Sorry, I wasn’t clear with my point. Shellac is a very poor choice as an outdoor finish. UV radiation from the sun will cause it to break down and crack allowing moisture to penetrate the wood but not easily evaporate which will speed up decay. It pains me to say it because I am a shellac fanboy but I believe you would be better off using nothing than using shellac.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Keith Kelly's profile

Keith Kelly

223 posts in 1125 days


#5 posted 05-06-2014 12:00 PM

Thanks for the advice. I went to the paint stores in town, and they rightfully acted like I didn’t know what I was talking about when I asked for untinted paint base 4, 5, or neutral paint. One started pointing me to the “pickling stain” and I realized I must not have communicated my point very well. Nobody in town had the Olympic #5, so I went to Westlake and got a cheap $7 quart of Royal Porch & Floor gloss interior/exterior neutral base alkyd enamel “must be tinted” paint. I skipped the paint counter and checked out with it.

I’m not sure about how long it will last of course, but I have been very impressed so far. In the can it’s a milky tan. But brushed on, it’s clear. Maybe a bit amberish, but it brought quite a bit of life to the wood. I’ll take pictures and post them later.

But thanks for pointing me towards untinted paint. This will be a good experiment at the least.

-- Keith - Bolivar, Missouri, http://www.SquareOneWoodworks.com

View OldWrangler's profile

OldWrangler

731 posts in 1056 days


#6 posted 05-06-2014 12:17 PM

I think Shellac for outside sucks. It will not take the sun or the elements. I wouldn’t even use it as a sealer coat. You might think about coating it with Thompson’s Water Seal. If it will protect a deck, it should protect your box. It soaks in fresh wood so maybe 3 coats will work best.

I am mostly interested where you get Sassafras lumber. All our Sassafras trees seem to be slender things never much more than3-4” diameter. I love the wood but it just isn’t available locally.

-- I am going to go stand outside so if anyone asks about me, tell them I'M OUTSTANDING!

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