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Elm for garden furniture?

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MixedHerbs

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I want to make some Adirondack chairs. My local wood place has a load of 1 inch elm that looks rather good.

Is elm suitable for garden furniture?

And what finish would be best to show-off the wood?

Regards, Peter.
 

Steve Maskery

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HI Peter
Elm can be a pain to work, but can also look wonderful when finished.
I probably would leave it unfinished and let it weather to grey.

The romans used to use hollow elm logs for water pipes.

Cheers
Steve
 

Midnight

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Elm has terrible rot resistance unless its in an oxygen free environment... logs that've been pile driven have been dated back 2500 years, boards left to weather will be mush inside 3...
 

luthier49

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Elm is a good choice for garden funiture. It has a natural resistance to rot, but a couple of coats of a stained Cuprinol preserver won`t go amiss.
 

jasonB

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Elm is clasified as a non-durable hardwood (one up the scale from perishable) so at best you may get 5 years out of it, a bit more if you bring it inside for the winter. You would be better off with oak or chestnut.

Jason
 

Steve Maskery

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Whey-hey!
A bit of controverysy here then, eh, chaps?
It's the absence of oxygen that makes the difference is it? I didn't know that.
You learn something new every day.

Thanks for that, it's interesting.

Cheers
Steve
 

engineer one

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elm does not seem to be too long lasting in all circumstances, i think the water pipe usage had an advantage in that the water was always there.

my local friendly wood yard has some african woods which they recommend since they are resistance to ants so maybe they should be resistant to water too, since they are bloody hard.

paul :wink:
 
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