Finish for birch - outdoor use?

Hi folks,
I'm making a luggage rack for a motorcycle trailer out of birch. I've done some experimenting with stains: the wood seems to absorb unevenly, despite using Minwax PreStain. Therefore, a clear finish seems appropriate.
Would prefer a finish not subject to peeling/blistering etc. (Oil?).
What type of outdoor finish would you recommned?
Gary
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Yes, an appropriate oil is the best bet for sun and water exposed materials. If you can find Penofin penetrating oil finish, sold for decks, fences, outdoor furniture you will be fine. Can get colors too. This is whatthe pro painters use for outdoor wood anything. You'll need to reapply on occasion but great protection and no peeling or heavy pre-work required for reapply.
If Birch is a must then I'm done. If wood choice is an option you should go with Teak or White Oak or maybe even clear heart Redwood if you really want something that can stand to be in the weather.

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Thanks for the info. May I ask what do you think of red oak? I have plenty of it.
Regards, Gary

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Red Oak is a poor out door wood. Use White Oak instead.
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On Tue, 15 Jul 2008 20:24:38 GMT, G Mulcaster

Red oak has NO weather resistance. It is very porous. White oak is used in shipbuilding and barrel building. Red oak is no good for either.
Birch isn't the best either.

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Unfortunately Red Oak is very porous and not very well suited for exterior use. Cut a piece a few inches long and you can use it like a strwa and often actually see light if you look through the end grain.
White Oak has been used for centuries as a boat building material of choice because the cellular makup of White Oak is closed and does not allow penetration of water.
Actually anything will work as long as you keep it well protected with a penetrating oil but imprevious woods are just a better approach and require so much less maintenance. There are a a few others like Cedar, Cyprus (sp?) that might be available locally to you but these are somewhat less resistant and not as suited structurally. You could possibly also try Ipe, a hardwood used for decks. It takes some special care of sealing the ends with wax to prevent cracking, etc. but it is also called iron wood and for good reason. Haven't tried shaping, gluing or otherwise building with it but it does seem pretty bullet proof to weather and fairly common in construction type lumber dealers.

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Again, thank you for the information. Gary

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I built an Ipe deck a couple of years ago. Contrary to what folklore might say, it's not that hard to work. It saws, drills, sands, and shapes - not easily, but not impossible either. The splinters that can occur on sawing are nasty, sharper than heck! It glues up fine with TB III and a naptha wipe before gluing. No separation after 2+ years in Dallas weather (hot and sometimes wet).
It does appear to be bullet proof once machined. It is, however, very heavy (~60 lb/ft^3), which might be a consideration on a cycle.
Regards.
Tom <<<<<<<<<<<< SNIP >>>>>>>>>>>>>> On Wed, 16 Jul 2008 11:11:25 -0700 (PDT), "SonomaProducts.com"

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birch isn't the best choice for 2 reasons. it's pretty heavy and it's not very stable. you'd be better off with redwood or cedar.
oil for the finish, maintained regularly.
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You ain't building the ark, spring for a wood with some degree of weather resistance like teak. I doubt you will use more than a few bd ft.
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G Mulcaster wrote:

Paint. If you're not going to be storing the rack indoors most of the time you're going to find that maintaining a clear finish is a pain in the ass.
Also, birch is not the best choice for anything that will be kept outdoors, as it rots easily. Cypress and white oak have good decay resistance, are readily available in the US, and relatively inexpensive. If you can find it sassafras is another good bet--it's about the same price as cypress around here.
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--John
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On Tue, 15 Jul 2008 15:46:13 GMT, G Mulcaster

Thanks to everone for your helpful responses. Regards, Gary
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