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.
> My dads put together an Oak cross for a grave marker.Thing is, we
> decide on what to coat it with. It wants to be low maintainance, as
> 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
You can't get there from here.
If it's wood, it requires maintenance.
Even with good maintenance, it will steadily march toward compost.
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.
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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