I've been commissioned to build and paint a fancy house sign (name,
house number) that will be about three-feet wide by two-feet tall. It
will be suspended between two posts by eye hooks. I'm undecided as to
what kind of wood to use.
The size of the sign rules out a single piece of wood. I'm looking for
recommendations on which kind of wood I should use, with rot-resistance
a big factor (though the sign will be well primed before decoration and
will never be in standing water.) Another concern is joinery and
warping. Will biscuits be reliable over the long term, or should I rout
tongues and grooves, or join in some other way? TIA!
Mahogany, white (not red) oak, ipe would be the best choices probably. I don't
know the paintability of ipe, it makes oak look light, but it's as weatherproof
as any wood out there.
I've never biscuited with Titebond II and don't know if that would make a
Redwood or Cypress if you are going to use a natural finish. Beech or
vertical grain fir or spruce if you plan on painting.
I would use a finger-joint and glue with TB3 or a waterproof poly, like
gorilla or similar glue.
You might find <http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/wdpick.htm to be helpful.
Doesn't list all species--Ipe for example is missing, but has enough to be
useful. For your criteria it comes up with some pretty exotic stuff, but
cypress is about halfway down the list of matches and mesquite is also
there--black mesquite might be a nice choice.
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
You might want to look into afrormosia if you are going to look at teak.
Afrormosia is an African wood that is an excellent teak substitute without
all the cost. Ipe would work very well outdoors but would require some
pretty strong glue to keep it together. I've seen Ipe 12" wide before. Be
sure to seal the ends of it so it doesn't check. You could go with African
mahogany, and I have seen pieces 25" wide, 16' long.
But lets face it, if you are going to prime the wood, does that mean it
will be painted so that the wood itself is hidden? If that is the case, the
type of paint you use is almost more important than the wood, and exterior
grade plywood would work, with a solid wood trim.
I second the motion. I was surprised when this wasn't mentioned sooner, it
was the last reply to show up for me. I have read, or heard, somewhere that
this is what some highway departments use for road signs. MDO gets my vote.
Of course of the OP is not painting the what all the other posters said.
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