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Thread: Wood and finish for outdoor bench

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott lipscomb View Post
    I suggest Ipe, no finish, or apply finish when you build it, and let the finish go. I like to apply finish to slow down the drying of the surface and minimize checking, then let the finish go and the ipe turns silvery grey. One of the most, if not the most, durable woods I know of.
    Thanks Scott for the idea. IPE is available locally as deck boards, which I could probably rip down to the slat sizes I need, a tad over 2" wide. I'd have to build the bench in place, the cast sides and back are already about 100 lbs.
    Mark McFarlane

  2. #17
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    Mark, what wood is commonly used for decks in your area? That should be the cheapest durable wood available to you.

  3. #18
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    IPE is a good choice, but so is the white oak. Teak is also traditional for this kind of thing.

    As to finish...if you put a film finish on the piece, you're going to be stripping it and refinishing with some relative frequency...it's far easier to use a penetrating oil product that's easy to reapply. The wood is going to grey as all wood does in weather and sun.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Calow View Post
    Mark, what wood is commonly used for decks in your area? That should be the cheapest durable wood available to you.
    Pressure treated pine. Most people build with 2*4 decking which seems to be less expensive than milled 1*4. I don't want to go that cheap .
    Mark McFarlane

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    IPE is a good choice, but so is the white oak. Teak is also traditional for this kind of thing.

    As to finish...if you put a film finish on the piece, you're going to be stripping it and refinishing with some relative frequency...it's far easier to use a penetrating oil product that's easy to reapply. The wood is going to grey as all wood does in weather and sun.
    Thanks Jim. Teak around here is ~$30 per bf. I'd rather use my QS white oak, which I paid $6-8 per bf, depending on where I bought it.

    I too was thinking penetrating oil. I can get transparent Behr at H-D for about $35 / gallon, which would let me get a few years of reapplication before the can went bad. Maybe some Bloxygen to lengthen can time and/or transfer into quart cans, I think I have one or two empty quart cans..
    Mark McFarlane

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark mcfarlane View Post
    Thanks Scott for the idea. IPE is available locally as deck boards, which I could probably rip down to the slat sizes I need, a tad over 2" wide. I'd have to build the bench in place, the cast sides and back are already about 100 lbs.
    I built an Ipe deck. It requires yearly maintenance, just like any other wood you leave outdoors. If you let it go with no finish, it is an ugly gray, just like any other rot resistant wood left outdoors. Ipe is not like plastic decking; it needs maintenance to look decent.

    All said and done, I'd use whatever is cheap or you already have and put a penetrating oil finish like Cetol on it, knowing that you are going to have to do maintenance anyway and as Jim said, it's a lot easier maintaining an oil finish.

    John

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    I built an Ipe deck. It requires yearly maintenance, just like any other wood you leave outdoors. If you let it go with no finish, it is an ugly gray, just like any other rot resistant wood left outdoors. Ipe is not like plastic decking; it needs maintenance to look decent.

    All said and done, I'd use whatever is cheap or you already have and put a penetrating oil finish like Cetol on it, knowing that you are going to have to do maintenance anyway and as Jim said, it's a lot easier maintaining an oil finish.

    John
    Thanks everyone for the help. I've decided to use my white oak and have ordered a quart of Sikkens Cetol Marine from Wholesale Marine. They had a reasonable price and shipping which should take about a week to be delivered. The first place I tried (Jamestown Distributers) had an additional $6 hazardous material fee and $16.00 for shipping getting the price over $60 for a quart.

    Now the planning is done and I need to mill the wood and de-rust and paint the iron works. I'm trying an interesting 3-step anti-rust product called POR15:
    Mark McFarlane

  8. #23
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    Good choices...especially the Sikkens over that light-weight stuff at the 'borg.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark mcfarlane View Post
    Thanks everyone for the help. I've decided to use my white oak and have ordered a quart of Sikkens Cetol Marine from Wholesale Marine. They had a reasonable price and shipping which should take about a week to be delivered. The first place I tried (Jamestown Distributers) had an additional $6 hazardous material fee and $16.00 for shipping getting the price over $60 for a quart.

    Now the planning is done and I need to mill the wood and de-rust and paint the iron works. I'm trying an interesting 3-step anti-rust product called POR15:
    Mark:

    Please check back in a couple of years to let us know how the Sikkens Cetol Marine holds up. I face a similar relentless sun issue in Florida, and am always looking for a durable outdoor finish (no easy task).

    You know, put a calendar reminder in your phone for 2 years from now.
    You're like the door closing button on an elevator. Comforting but not necessarily effective.

    After cancellations this year, I have enough frequent flyer miles to orbit the sun.

  10. #25
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    Dec 2019
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    New Brunswick, Canada
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    I’ve been using Cetol and varnish on boats for years. They both can do a good job if they are applied and maintained properly. I use Cetol Light as it doesn’t have the orange tone issues that the original had. I recoat it every year with Cetol Gloss to maintain the film integrity. White oak, on a boat at least, will turn black if the finish fails.
    I prefer varnish in a lot of ways. It looks better to me. On the teak on our boat, I give a light sanding and fresh coat of varnish every fall and spring and have gone 10 years or more with out the need to strip it and start over.
    We don’t get the hot sun like further south but we do get winter which can also be hard on finishes. I would think that furniture would be easier to keep up, particularly if it gets some shade protection.
    Good luck!

  11. #26
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    David, I wish I had known how orange it was on white oak. I can handle looking at one coat but am concerned it will approach caution orange after I add two more coats The finish is also much thicker than what I usually use for furniture. Kind of a pain to brush on.

  12. #27
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    Dec 2019
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    You can topcoat Cetol with Cetol Gloss which has very little if any orange tone to build up film thickness. I’ve never used Cetol on light wood like oak so can’t offer real experience. I only use Cetol in a couple areas where varnish isn’t practical and the difference in appearance to varnish isn’t so obvious.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Publicover View Post
    You can topcoat Cetol with Cetol Gloss which has very little if any orange tone to build up film thickness. I’ve never used Cetol on light wood like oak so can’t offer real experience. I only use Cetol in a couple areas where varnish isn’t practical and the difference in appearance to varnish isn’t so obvious.
    I'll try the gloss in a few years when I run out of the normal Cetol. I've already put about the same amount of money into this bench rebuild as the cost of a new bench. At least I saved the landfill and it looks nicer than when new. I did a 3-step rust abatement process followed by Rust-Oleum Universal Forged Hammered Burnished Amber Spray Paint and Primer. I gotta say the Rust-oleum paint in its 'interesting can' sprayed nicer than any other rattle can I have ever used.
    Mark McFarlane

  14. #29
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    Dec 2019
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    Hi Mark,
    That sounds like a good plan. It’ll give you time to evaluate how you like the Cetol before investing more effort and dollars. I’ve used similar hammered finish paints but will look for the Rust-Oleum brand to try. Thanks for the tip!

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