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Timber suggestions, please

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Argus

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I’m contemplating making a series of solid hard wood outside furniture. Benches, tables etc.
Sustainability and ethical sourcing is a consideration with me, I seldom use tropical timbers, so any suggestions for materials to use, please? Sources of supply would also be helpful.

Many thanks.
 

Chris Knight

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You can't be sure of sourcing whatever anyone says. The best you can do is to use a European timber that in all liklihood is from a managed source.

For outside use, given that consideration I prefer oak. Cedar is also very durable and sweet chestnut at a pinch.

There is of course a host of softwoods stuffed with preservatives.
 

Argus

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I agree Oak is a favourite of mine, but there’s the cost to consider when the bench ends will come from 3” stuff.

I was considering Iroko and some of the Teak look-alikes, but again, I've not used this wood before..

I’ve not used chestnut either. Can you be more specific? Who sells the stuff in nominal 30mm and 75mm sawn boards?
 

Chris Knight

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I use Iroko a fair bit for garden furniture but you mentioned principles.....

I have lived in Africa and Asia for many years and am quite familiar with the way timber is supposedly managed which is why I said "whatever anyone says.."

Iroko is cheap and therefore presumably plentiful at the moment - but it ain't managed in a sustainable way.

Chestnut (Castanea sativa - Pale brown to biscuit in colour, very similar to Oak, without the silver grain figure of Oak due to finer rays. Has an acidic character and tends to corrode metal when in contact in damp conditions. Can have blue-black staining after contact with iron/steel in moist conditions. Sapwood is liable to beetle attack, but heartwood is durable. Used for furniture turnery, cleft fencing, stakes and many other uses.)

Not a usual garden furniture wood but seems to survive wet conditions outside very well (Chestnut palings have supported the banks of a small stream in my garden for at least 8 years). I think you will have to phone around for it in sizes other than coppiced wood. Give Wests a call (http://www.wlwest.co.uk/home/index.asp)
 
A

Anonymous

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I have to go with the others really

I would go for Iroko for outside furniture. It is very hard on the chest when sanding etc so make sure a good mask is worn.

Coggy
 
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