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
Would prefer a finish not subject to peeling/blistering etc. (Oil?).
What type of outdoor finish would you recommned?
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.
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
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.
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On Wed, 16 Jul 2008 11:11:25 -0700 (PDT), "SonomaProducts.com"
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
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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