Cypress For Outdoor Furniture?

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Most outdoor/patio furniture I've seen is made from either pressure treated lumber or teak. The local fine lumber store suggested I try cypress for constructing end tables and such for the back yard. Opinions? Is it difficult to work? Do I need to mask up when milling/sanding cypress? Can it be painted/stained/oiled and, of so, what is best recommended?
TIA,
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Tim Daneliuk snipped-for-privacy@tundraware.com
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Why didn't you ask the same fellows at the fine lumber store?
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Doug Brown wrote:

Because it didn't occur to me at the time.
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It's similar to cedar and redwood in many ways. http://tinytimbers.com/cypress_info.htm
R
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Hi Tim,
I have used cypress outdoors here in central md with great success. I have finished it with several types of finishes(and no finish) all have stood up great. It is easy to work with(I have both hand and power equipment). I have milled and sanded it with no ill effects.
Leonard
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Len wrote:

Any recommendations on what a good outdoor finish might be? I'm inclined toward Tung Oil...
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the oil is only good for a very short time ,Fine woodworking(this months issue) tested a group of different outdoor finishes ,check it out.Oil finished last
Leonard
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If you want oil, use Penofin. I've had good luck with marine poly though. My bench still looks great after about 4 or 5 years, but it is under some cover, out of direct sun.
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Cypress works and finishes very much like pine, it has been my experience that a lot of the cypress available now is fast growth and it isn't as decay resistant as the denser wood, try to pick out pieces with a higher growth ring count.
basilisk
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basilisk wrote:

It's only been a year but I made some cypress Adirondack chairs and used Cabot Australian Timber Oil in "natural" and I'm quite pleased with the way they turned out. The stain is still looking like it just went on.
It's light, light colored not super strong but strong enough, and works very nicely. The pieces I worked with seemed to have a little bit of internal stress--but that might have just been the particular boards.
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My brother was riding his bike through MS or LA or something like that, and rode by a stretch of stumps - went on for a while. When he asked when all of the trees had been cut down the guy laughed and told him it had been decades before. Yep, cypress stumps.
R
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Tim Daneliuk wrote:

Actually, it was your helpful friend that suggested it...
Cypress is pretty soft, on par with mahogany. Other wood options are mahogany, ipe or even white oak. Check the prices. The latter will require a sealer.
Oil alone is not a long-term preservative for any outdoor project.
I've used Waterlox (http://www.waterlox.com /) to preserve my mahogany front door and it's held up well for 3 years now. Multiple coats applied. You probably want to use the sealer first and then a finish. You may be able to buy it at the lumber store or else directly from Waterlox.
Hey, is this a *woodworking* related post ;-)
~Mark.
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On 5/12/2009 9:30 AM Woody spake thus:

>

You're comparing cypress and *ipe*? Isn't that like comparing aluminum to hardened steel?
And I'd think that most mahogany is quite a bit harder than cypress.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

He's comparing woods that are resistant to rot and work well in an outdoor environment.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

Wasn't comparing cypress to ipe, was offering a set of wood types suitable for outdoor use.

They are, but still *much* softer than oaks, maples, etc.
~Mark.
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Woody wrote:

FWIW, black walnut is also supposed to have decent decay resistance for a US native species. Kind of a waste to use it on outdoor furniture, where it's going to just turn gray anyway though.
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Don't forget Spanish cedar too. I bought some a few y ears ago because crypress was in short supply and it is nice to work with.
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On Tue, 12 May 2009 22:19:05 -0400, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Seconded. A friend of mine made an Adirondack chair of spanish cedar on my suggestion and he's very happy with it.
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I've done a few small projects with cypress. I made some flowerboxes out of it, which I stained and varnished. The wood is as soft as pine, or maybe even a little softer if that's possible. It takes stain very readily. I used a light color stain on the flowerboxes, and they came out a nice golden brown. I think a dark stain would have turned very, very dark.
When selecting boards, watch out for any that seem to have "layers." That's not a good way to describe it, but think of a growth ring that seems to be peeling apart. (I'm sure there's a term for this ...?) I got one piece where some of the wood was sort of feathery, and not solid at all. One of the previous posters mentioned that you should look for pieces where the rings are closer together, and I'd agree completely with that.
The flowerboxes held up very well outdoors, and were never taken down, even in the New England winter. I gave them two coats of exterior marine varnish. After 5 years, they looked just as good as the day I first installed them. I'm sure if you protect your outdoor furniture during the off-season, it will last for many years.
We've since moved away from the house where I made the flowerboxes. I drove past once, and darned if the new owners didn't go and paint them black. Oh well.
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On 5/11/2009 8:06 PM Tim Daneliuk spake thus:

By the way, while not an answer to your question, cypress is the wood of choice for the tops of flamenco guitars (as opposed to spruce, the wood normally used for this purpose).
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