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Thread: Turd in the punch bowl

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    95

    Turd in the punch bowl

    To make a long story short, I've got to make two Adirondack chairs out of Red Oak and have them ready, painted and presented by Christmas. I've been told by soo many people how bad Red Oak would be for soaking up water and that they'd have to be repainted almost every year, but I have no time to get a more proper species so I'll have to go with what I've got.

    I'm writing to ask what I can do to make these chairs weather a little better. I've been told to coat the bottom of the legs with epoxy and that would help stave off water absorption. Does anyone have specific advice on how to do this? I've worked with two part epoxies plenty before now so this isn't totally unfamiliar territory. I'm assuming thinner epoxy would be better. The chairs will be sitting on concrete so maybe that'll help.

    I've also been told to paint all the parts separately before putting them together, and that this would help with not absorbing water as well.


    Any other advice on what I can do to help these chairs weather better?

    Thanks
    Last edited by brad hays; 12-06-2023 at 11:12 PM.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    New Westminster BC
    Posts
    2,924
    Best way to prevent legs on a chair or table outside from absorbing water is to prevent the bottom of the leg from touching the ground. Saturating the end of the leg, typically end grain, with epoxy can help but a better way is to add a "foot" made of plastic so the wood never touches the ground. Pick up a 1/2" thick plastic cutting board, cut it to the same shape as the bottom of the foot but slightly smaller and attach it to the bottom of the legs with ss countersunk screws.

  3. #3
    I use rubber blocks on the bottom of outdoor legs.

    Pieces of bungie cord, fastened with bronze boat nails, work quite well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    4,555
    A local professor did a long-term study on best exterior painting practices. His best result, by far, was: sand off any wood that had been exposed to air for more than a few days, saturate with a clear sealer, prime with a quality exterior acrylic primer, then two coats of a quality acrylic exterior paint. No oil-based anything—those all failed relatively quickly.
    Jason

    "Don't get stuck on stupid." --Lt. Gen. Russel Honore


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    65,504
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Garson View Post
    Best way to prevent legs on a chair or table outside from absorbing water is to prevent the bottom of the leg from touching the ground. Saturating the end of the leg, typically end grain, with epoxy can help but a better way is to add a "foot" made of plastic so the wood never touches the ground. Pick up a 1/2" thick plastic cutting board, cut it to the same shape as the bottom of the foot but slightly smaller and attach it to the bottom of the legs with ss countersunk screws.
    ^^ This....for sure.
    --

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Doylestown, PA
    Posts
    7,524
    I had some leftover Corian scrap that I used. Epoxy on the bottom of the leg, sand any gloss off the Corian that will face with the leg and screwed in place with countersunk Stainless Steel screws. Yes hardware store epoxy seems to bond Corian just fine. So far so good after about 10 years.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    9,557
    I saturated the bottom of the legs with epoxy on a bench I made AND added rubber feet to them. Belts and suspenders, but it has worked for many years. For longest durability use an epoxy sealer on everything before priming. Here are two that work well:

    http://www.smithandcompany.org/

    https://www.totalboat.com/products/p...g-epoxy-sealer

    Any wood will last a long time with a durable finish and proper maintenance. I built some shed doors from ash (a poor choice for exterior use) a few years ago because it's what I had and wanted to see how well they would hold up. They are primed and painted with acrylic paint products. About 5 years and they look new. Do a good job and those chairs will last a long time.

    John

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    2,235
    I had an arbor where I coated the bottom ends in roofing cement before mounting. Helped a lot (other parts of the piece rotted out before those post bottoms did)

    Same theme as a plastic cap - whatever you can do to prevent moisture from wicking into it.

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