cowpat in the punch bowl

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Established Member
26 Oct 2019
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Lexington, KY
To make a long story short, I've got to make two Adirondack chairs out of Red Oak and have them ready, painted and presented by Christmas. I've been told by soo many people how bad Red Oak would be for soaking up water and that they'd have to be repainted almost every year, but I have no time to get a more proper species so I'll have to go with what I've got.

I'm writing to ask what I can do to make these chairs weather a little better. I've been told to coat the bottom of the legs with epoxy and that would help stave off water absorption. Does anyone have specific advice on how to do this? I've worked with two part epoxies plenty before now so this isn't totally unfamiliar territory. I'm assuming thinner epoxy would be better. The chairs will be sitting on concrete so maybe that'll help.

I've also been told to paint all the parts separately before putting them together, and that this would help with not absorbing water as well.

Any other advice on what I can do to help these chairs weather better?

I have done this for the base of table legs that were going to be outside. No idea if it was needed, or worth the effort. Simply painted the bottom 10 cm with whatever 2 part epoxy I had to hand. One time it was a relatively thick surfacing epoxy, the other a thinner casting one. Did this before finishing the rest of the legs. If you say you are going to do this, people will start bleating that epoxy isn't UV stable...

Painted before assembling would be great if it isn't too much hassle. I wouldn't worry too much about the timber used. There may be a perfect timber for everything, but it is easy to get far too caught up on worrying and forget that best project is the one that is actually made. What is the worst that can happen? After giving 5 years of enjoyment to the recipient, they ask you for another pair? They are hardly going to be complaining that it should have been 10.