Which wood for garden furniture?

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pe2dave

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I've been asked to make a tree seat, about 2m max ext diameter.

Initial choice was white oak, available in the sizes I want, reasonable
price and durability?

I'm now concerned about durability/finish?

http://www.rustins.eu/web/images/infosheet_ProblemsExteriorOak.pdf have a piece up on their info side which speaks against it.

Being an old b... I'm reluctant to put a hard finish on anything outside, yet
thats the advice Rustins seem to give?
Rustin's Flexterior and Rustin's Exterior Varnish is the suggestion,
speaking against Danish oil as being a once yearly treatment?

Suggestions for a sustainable and durable wood wanted please.
Max width 200mm, some ~60mm square.

Ideally with a supplier in the E midlands.

TIA, Dave
 
English oak or sweet chestnut are the two that are renowned for being self preserving due to high tannin content. Don't know how white oak compares, just that it's better for whiskey casks. (more complex vanillins)
For other external wood I like to use raw linseed - be a while before you could safely sit on it though, it takes a lot longer to go off than boiled linseed.
 
Richard T":2yaftvxn said:
English oak or sweet chestnut are the two that are renowned for being self preserving due to high tannin content. Don't know how white oak compares, just that it's better for whiskey casks. (more complex vanillins)
For other external wood I like to use raw linseed - be a while before you could safely sit on it though, it takes a lot longer to go off than boiled linseed.

Hi Richard.

The cost of English oak makes me wary, as well as availability.

I've heard of many variants of linseed, supposedly the variety used as cattle feed supplements
is a good one for wood, but sitting in sticky oil? Yes, I guess that might be offputting!

Dave
 
I used iroko to make a garden swing seat and just treat it once a year with linseed oil.

It shows no sign of deterioration and is left uncovered in all weather.
 
myturn":21bu1pbp said:
I used iroko to make a garden swing seat and just treat it once a year with linseed oil.

It shows no sign of deterioration and is left uncovered in all weather.

+1
 
i would use iroko purely for durability, but Oak treated right would be ok. I have recentley been using an Osmo finish, I forget the name of it now but it is very waxy and flexibile. You dont want a finish that will crack or blister and allow water under, otherwise the oak starts to get black stains and streaks appearing.
 
Cedar could be another option - soft, works like pine, but naturally durable with no finish at all.
 
AndyT":2wu0aak3 said:
Cedar could be another option - soft, works like pine, but naturally durable with no finish at all.

Thanks Andy.
Right characteristics, and sustainable.
Western Red Cedar is OK... but it's a bit soft over time when screwed?
Or so I'm led to believe?

Dave
 
Dave,

We've got one - which I think was Canadian White Cedar - which must be about 12 - 15 years old now - pictures here. Yes, the wood is soft, but I dismantled it to use as a pattern and put it back together with the same screws in the same holes.
 
AndyT":2mivbmq1 said:
Dave,

We've got one - which I think was Canadian White Cedar - which must be about 12 - 15 years old now - pictures here. Yes, the wood is soft, but I dismantled it to use as a pattern and put it back together with the same screws in the same holes.

Western Red, Canadian White.... I'm in the UK :)
"West Midlands Pink" anyone?

Point taken about the re-use Andy!
I read it one the web and accepted it as right.

I know I can get Western Red Cedar in Oxford, http://www.timbmet.com/,
so perhaps that comes higher up the list (and it is cheaper than white Oak :)

Thanks Andy
 
pe2dave":21kquusj said:
The cost of English oak makes me wary, as well as availability.

Try not to confuse English oak with European - although, some yards now seem to make that very difficult for us, labelling European stocks as if it were locally-grown... :p Most native species' have maintained the same prices for the past three-years. However, all imported timbers (including European oak) have rocketed up in price with inflation, the global Recession, etc. You'd possibly be looking at over £50ft³ for a "small" quantity of Euro oak. Where as, back in 2007-08, you might have been able to find it for less than £40/ft³, which is on a par with the current going rate for English oak (as low as £34ft³, in some areas).

Another vote for Osmo's UV oil, here. :)
 
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