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?
Tim Daneliuk firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Hey, is this a *woodworking* related post ;-)
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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