Oak cross

My dads put together an Oak cross for a grave marker.Thing is, we can't decide on what to coat it with. It wants to be low maintainance, as the person who its for (not the one thats been buried, before the pedantic types say anything :) ) won't want to be giving it a lick of varnish every year. Whenever I've tried anything recommended by local stores I've always been disappointed. Some varnishes have had a tint to them, and spoilt the look of the wood, others started to peel after year or so.
Would linseed oil be any good? I've used it on an oak door many moons ago, but that wasn't in direct sunlight and fairly sheltered.
TIA
-- scrum
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If it was me, I'd put several coats of clear outdoor polyurethane on it and call it good.

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"scrumble" wrote:
> My dads put together an Oak cross for a grave marker.Thing is, we can't > decide on what to coat it with. It wants to be low maintainance, as the > person who its for (not the one thats been buried, before the pedantic > types say anything :) ) won't want to be giving it a lick of varnish every > year.
<snip>
You can't get there from here.
If it's wood, it requires maintenance.
Even with good maintenance, it will steadily march toward compost.
Lew
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scrumble wrote:

The linseed oil (or any drying oil) would have to occasionally be reapplied. As would varnish, shellac or any tradional finish. If you want the longest space between origional application and reapplying, go with an exterior poly or an exterior (marine) epoxy.
ron
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Make sure you use white oak rather than red. It is much more weather resistant.
No finish will hold up. I would be inclined to leave it unfinished.
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Toller wrote:

White oak will weather to a nice, silver "driftwood" look that might be nice.
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I'd probably put copper or zinc sheathing caps over the end grain, and the post end of it would be slathered with epoxy (or hot bitumen). I presume the joinery is a half-lap, so you should make sure the end- grain of that joint is also well sealed. Good sharp cuts and well- pared end-grain helps too.
That, and making it out of chestnut rather than oak.
If you can keep oak dry, then it's good for a thousand years (literally - look at timber-framed buildings). Even if it gets wet, so long as it dries out afterwards you're OK. If you let moisture soak into the ennd grain and sit there, then 5 years tops.
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