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Thread: Building another 4 x 4 outdoor dining table

  1. #1
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    Building another 4 x 4 outdoor dining table

    I built one out of cypress years back and time to replace it. Teak is going for $75 bd ft locally, so that's a no go. What other wood would you consider for an outdoor table? Would mahogany hold up if left out in the elements over the winter?

    Thanks.

    Brian
    Brian

  2. #2
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    Thermally-modified wood.

  3. #3
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    Ipe works well outdoors as does white oak.

  4. #4
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    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Spanish cedar and most any mahogany are good choices, too, and best left unfinished unless you like maintenance or keep a cover over the table when not in use, as I do.

    John

  5. #5
    Plywood, covered with light canvas glued down with Titebond 2 or 3 . I prefer 2. Paint it , it will last . Nothing new, goes back to
    at least 1890 s . Was used on wooden ship hulls. Easy to look up lots of info.
    Last edited by Mel Fulks; 04-21-2024 at 11:32 PM. Reason: bad spelling

  6. #6
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    I am a fan of ipe. Built my deck and balcony out of it as well as two Adirondack chairs. With an oil ir looks great.

  7. #7
    Ipe is real good. I have an Ipe deck , donít remember when I made it. Probably at least 20 years ago. But I wouldnít put one deck over
    another one without the upper one sloped and covered with canvas to keep stuff from falling down on lower one Ö..unless lower deck
    is not used at same time , or has large umbrellas.

  8. #8
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    Is the ipe sold today still as rot resistant as years ago? Redwood today is not rot resistant. It is lucky to last 20 years in the ground now. I wonder if todays ipe is now second growth, fast rotting.
    Bill D

  9. #9
    Itís possible that it might have some sap edges. But I havenít heard or read about defects. Redwood is soft , Iíve seen it cursed and
    thrown out Ďcuz people didnít know it was so soft. ButÖ.when it is thrown out , itís quickly picked up by neighbors, so donít bother with
    paying someone to get rid of it !

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    Is the ipe sold today still as rot resistant as years ago? Redwood today is not rot resistant. It is lucky to last 20 years in the ground now. I wonder if todays ipe is now second growth, fast rotting.
    Bill D
    As far as I know, yes, it is still very rot resistant, at least the stuff I used to build my deck with about 9 years ago is. That's the good news. The bad news is Ipe' is a PITA to keep looking good (and probably goes for any wood used for a horizontal application like a deck, picnic table, etc). I have used 3 different oil products, from Ipe' Oil, to Penofin, to Armstrong and Clark. All have gotten black mold on/in them and the wood after a single NE winter. When that happens it's a nightmare to completely remove it. I was foolish enough to do that 3 times. I even talked with the folks at A&C who assured me their product was different. Wrong. If it's got organic oil in it, it's going to happen.

    I finally found "One Time", an acrylic finish with no organic oil. The answer to my prayers. The test patch I started with (I finally learned not to do the whole deck w/o proof.) is now 3 years old and has no mold on it. It's faded a little, but that's fine. I'll be able to renew it when I want w/o the nightmare cleanly process. I've been power washing my deck for the last two years to rid it of the last of the old finish and stains. The gray isn't all that unattractive, truthfully, and would be fine for a beach house, but I'm going to give it one more shot to look great, with One Time.

    John

  11. #11
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    Ipe is an extremely destructive choice of wood to use. A quick google search will show you most of the ipe for sale here in the USA is from illegal logging.

    We have plenty of north American woods that will do the job here.
    We generally agree that buying well made American / Canadian / European made tools is a better idea than mass-produced low-wage Asian knock offs, for various reasons. Many of those same reasons are the same when choosing wood.

  12. #12
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    I can't get ipe locally either. Had same problem with mold/mildew even using a marine oil based stain. May do cypress again and use the "one time" finish on it. Thanks Brian
    Brian

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    As far as I know, yes, it is still very rot resistant, at least the stuff I used to build my deck with about 9 years ago is. That's the good news. The bad news is Ipe' is a PITA to keep looking good (and probably goes for any wood used for a horizontal application like a deck, picnic table, etc). I have used 3 different oil products, from Ipe' Oil, to Penofin, to Armstrong and Clark. All have gotten black mold on/in them and the wood after a single NE winter. When that happens it's a nightmare to completely remove it. I was foolish enough to do that 3 times. I even talked with the folks at A&C who assured me their product was different. Wrong. If it's got organic oil in it, it's going to happen.

    I finally found "One Time", an acrylic finish with no organic oil. The answer to my prayers. The test patch I started with (I finally learned not to do the whole deck w/o proof.) is now 3 years old and has no mold on it. It's faded a little, but that's fine. I'll be able to renew it when I want w/o the nightmare cleanly process. I've been power washing my deck for the last two years to rid it of the last of the old finish and stains. The gray isn't all that unattractive, truthfully, and would be fine for a beach house, but I'm going to give it one more shot to look great, with One Time.

    John
    Thanks for the suggestion. Brian
    Brian

  14. #14
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    I guess I just see my time and durability of material as value. Given your parameters of a table constantly exposed to the elements, I'd go a different route. For the top I'd use Polywood since Teak is outrageous or I'd just buy a 40x78 Polywood table for 800 bucks since even if I pay myself 80 bucks an hour, I don't think I could completely finish a table in 10 hours. Anything else you do isn't going to last and will require constant maintenance given your environmental parameters.

    I have several Polywood furniture pieces that sit out by my firepit, rain, shine, winter, spring, summer, fall, they look exactly as they did new 6 years ago.

    Now, if something is under a patio/covered then I'd consider some other choices, but otherwise, not worth my time personally.
    Last edited by Michael Burnside; 04-22-2024 at 2:35 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gibney View Post
    Ipe is an extremely destructive choice of wood to use. A quick google search will show you most of the ipe for sale here in the USA is from illegal logging.

    We have plenty of north American woods that will do the job here.
    We generally agree that buying well made American / Canadian / European made tools is a better idea than mass-produced low-wage Asian knock offs, for various reasons. Many of those same reasons are the same when choosing wood.
    That does not seem consistent with what Advantage Lumber says, and I think they are the largest importer of Ipe' in the US.

    https://www.advantagelumber.com/about.htm

    I agree that using local materials is the best option when available. I could not find a local or even US derived wood that would last 50 years with minimal care. Ipe' will. Black locust might have been an option, if it were available, and if it were available in decking lengths.

    John

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