Most 2x4s in this part of the country(N.E.) are spruce, not pine. Both pine
and spruce are poor choices for outdoor funiture. Varnishing them will help,
but will be a PIA to do it every year. The best, but most expensive choice is
teak. Mahogany is also very good. Cypress, cedar and white oak (not red oak)
are also good. I'd probably go with cedar and treat it with a water sealant.
one thing it doesn't prevent is me getting pissed off when I see how
quickly T.W. degrades. I learned that valuable lesson many years ago
when I foolishly thought it would protect a redwood deck. Ha! Water
beads up for a few months, and then poof! it's time to recoat.
It can be done, and it works, but you have to be *religious* about keeping
up with the varnish. *Multiple* coats *every* year, or the stuff will
start to crack, and the wood will weather in these cracks and start to look
a lot worse than if you had just let the damn thing weather naturally.
Possibly true, but pine isn't very strong, and would not fare well in a 5'
unsupported span. It will also flex a lot and I think that would
exacerbate any problems you have keeping the weather off of it. If the
design allows for such a thing, you might consider doing some glue-ups to
make T or I shaped members, which would improve the strength considerably.
(Or else just stack some cinderblocks in the middle of the thing for
Pine *can* be suitable for outdoor furniture. It wouldn't be my first
choice, but my grandfather has some pine swings that he built in the '50s.
They get a thick coating of green paint once every so often (I really have
no idea, but I don't think he paints them annually... maybe every five
years or so...) and have lasted forever. They're also built like tanks.
Thick boards, well-attached.
It would cost a lot more than 3X more here, since I can't buy cedar any way
except motor freight from some mail-order lumber dealer.
I think I can get hemlock. I'd probably use that. Anyway, if it were me,
being a lazy bastard, I'd just use whatever I could get that would be
reasonably weather-resistant, slap it on, and let it weather. Throw some
Thompson's on it when I could be bothered, but let it acquire the natual
patina that Nature intends wood to have when left out in the elements.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < email@example.com>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
I probably would not use treated pine for a picnic table. I built my
table/chairs from redwood. It's a bit expensive unless you are in the
western US. Cypress is ~ 1/3 the cost of redwood. White oak is
another good choice, although a bit heavy for a large piece of
furniture. Expect regular pine, even if painted, to rot in a few
On Tue, 2 Sep 2003 09:09:25 -0500, "Dave K."
I just added a built-in bench on my deck and rather than risk splinters
from cedar I used Trex for the seat and back rest, the remainder is VG
cedar. I finished it with Penofin's "Knot Wood" stain. A relatively
new product developed to finish synthetic decking and it worked well.
Good color match with the rest of the cedar.
It looks like this stain, applied to weathered and somewhat white Trex
will restore the color to it's previous appearance.
Dave K. wrote:
Given all of the health concerns with treated wood, I'd be weary of using
it for something that I'm sitting on. (At least find the safer stuff).
Really, I'd use a more appropriate wood. IPE and teak are amoung the best
choices. I know that IPE doesn't ever need to be sealed, though it will
turn silver if you don't. Teak is abviously a great choice since some of
the best outdoor furniture is made from it.
No advice on the type of wood, but on that 5' span, have you screwed in
from below a support block that ties the 2x4's together? There is probably
a special name for it. I still have one of the two bench/tables my Dad
bought 45 years ago. The benches are 8' long -- span maybe 6'. I think
the seat and back parts are made of 2 2x8s each. At mid span there is a
block under each and there has never been a sag -- and I come from a
BTW, my guess is that it is made of redwood -- matched the clapboard house.
Got restained every so many years -- yet, the one I have and which is still
sound (buried at the moment under the porch on a slab) has not been stained
in 20 years.
ACE brand deck and siding stain is, along with all other ACE products,
the BEST on the market. This includes ACE brand Marine Spar Varnish, the
longest-lasting and most beautiful coating I have ever used on mahogany
and teak (yes) on my boats, and also on pine such as on Atrium Door and
thousands of board-feet of knotty pine I installed in my former home. I
say this by comparison to other brands, not just convenience or brand
loyalty. ACE has ALWAYS out-performed any other coatings I have ever
used on anything, and I have used many, on any surface or substrate, BAR
NONE. Take it or leave it, those are the facts. I will not screw around
looking for anything else. Whatever ACE makes is the BEST PAINT and
A friend of mine recently made some outdoor furniture using ipe. Came
out very nice and is supposed to last up to 40 years outdoors,
untreated. He gave it a coat of oil and it looks great. Plus a 5
foot span should not be a problem with ipe - it's like steel. It's a
little pricy, but still should be cheaper than teak, and cheaper than
replacing untreated 2x4s every few years.
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