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Redwood or whitewood

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Bob1

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Might seem like a stupid question but I am an amateur and a newbie, but there seems to be different opinions as to which is the most durable for making outside furniture, redwood or whitewood?
Any opinions?

Also what type of wood is decking generally?, presumably it's supposed to last as seen as it's outside exposed to the elements!
 

YorkshireMartin

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Those are almost generic terms, it's more important to try and establish the species you're actually buying.

Redwood is a term used originally to describe a type of pine, usually scots pine. whitewood on the other hand, I *think*, can be and is used to describe anything from larch to spruce to pine and god knows what else. Like anything, your mileage may vary, same with decking. Decking can be £3/sqm or it can be £30+, the quality likely very different. Whitewood is rarely useful for much other than firewood. Redwood is usually much heavier to hold for a given length and has its uses.

For outside furniture, you can either go for pressure treated timber thats ready graded, say, C16, knowing that if you cut it you're going to have to re-treat it (not a great route as cutting has hazards and you sort of lose the effect of the pre-treatment), or, you can use something else and treat it yourself. There are a few hardwoods which are great for the outdoors, like oak or teak, but obviously the price rockets up compared to whitewood, as you'd expect.

There are tons of options, but generally speaking, the redwood and whitewood from B&Q and Wickes are absolutely awful, so your best bet would be to speak to your local timber merchants.

What do you have in mind to build? Knowing that will help people recommend a material.

It's not a stupid question at all, by the way.
 

Cordy

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Bob
I buy redwood at Wigan Timber near Wigan Pier; you could ask them

Last week in 8 x 1 par they only had the cheaper whitewood in that size; lower quality but I made it look OK with paint primer and decorators caulk :roll:

Only a novice myself, decking timber will be tanalised to last longer
 

Woody2Shoes

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Hi - I think that both redwood and whitewood are of (very) low durability - they're both softwoods, and for external use need to be (ideally pressure-treated) treated with preservative and then protected by some kind of paint system (which then needs refreshing every so often). If I were making outdoor furniture, I'd use Accoya or sweet chestnut, or iroko or maybe european oak (more expensive to buy, but you don't need to spend money on fierce chemicals, or put them into the environment later).

A useful link:

http://www.woodworkersuk.co.uk/timber-durability.htm

Cheers, W2S

PS a grading like C16 or C24 on (usually pressure-treated softwood) structural timber relates to its structural strength, not its durability
 

RobinBHM

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Redwood refers to Scots pine

Whitewood refers to Spruce - think 4" × 2" studwork you may see cheap picnic benches, tables made from this stuff.

Both havr limited lifespan outside, although the spruce is often treated which will last quite a long time if kept in its bought section and cut ends are treated.

Pine will last many years outside if designed so water will run off. Water traps are what keeps things wet long enough for rot to start.

There are many very durable timbers, iroko, cedar, douglas fir, siberian larch, oak, accoya etc but all come at a price.....
 

Phil Pascoe

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As Robin said - Pine will last many years outside if designed so water will run off. Water traps are what keeps things wet long enough for rot to start.
People treat water as the enemy, water per se does little harm - trapped water does. Design your furniture so that it doesn't hold water anywhere, and make sure your screws go upwards from underneath and not down through the top.
 

thetyreman

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If you want something to last a long time, surely it's about the methods of construction more than the material used, for example proper joinery techniques vs nails or dowels.
 

BearTricks

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Cordy":iixns1j9 said:
Bob
I buy redwood at Wigan Timber near Wigan Pier; you could ask them

Last week in 8 x 1 par they only had the cheaper whitewood in that size; lower quality but I made it look OK with paint primer and decorators caulk :roll:

Only a novice myself, decking timber will be tanalised to last longer
Didn't realise there were any more Wiganers on here. Out of curiosity, where do you buy your hardwoods?
 

Cordy

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BT
Sometimes I have a ride to British Hardwood

They let me root through their off-cuts bin [mostly Oak and Walnut] and charge by weight
Not been for a while and can't remember how much per Kilo

In Wigan I haven't found a supplier of Birch plywood -- any ideas ?
 
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