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#1 sodisr OFFLINE  

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Posted May 24, 2013 - 09:18 AM

Just bought an antiuqe park bench..My ??? is what can I use as the slats instead of oak.?


Oak is expensive,,   I need 5 ft. X 4 in.   and 5 pcs. 


Pine I think is too soft and would crack or break sitting on it.. How about birch  ?? or popler ?


OR    any other stiff  ridged wood..???


                    ????   no. 2 is   There an oil or something I can help seal the wood before painting it with oil-based paint ??


  Like watco oil,,, or linseed oil or something..I would like to condition the wood before the final  oil-based paint.


   I've done it before,,,just with oil paint and within a year of sitting outside it begins to crack.. Most likely where the old wood grains were,,so I thought some kind of conditioner would help,,maybe even a thinned down varnish to fill the grain ...


                         Any help would be app.                                  sodi

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#2 UncleWillie OFFLINE  


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Posted May 24, 2013 - 10:01 AM

NO cheap wood is going to hold up. Especially when you fat Aunt Bessie comes and flops down on it.


You can always use a deck stain on it to seal the wood.

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#3 New.Canadian.DB.Owner OFFLINE  

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Posted May 24, 2013 - 10:17 AM

Any hardwood will do the job: maple, ash, beach, walnut, etc. Ash has really straight grain & is easy to split for a project like this.  If it was me, and I was using a good grade of wood, I would use a stain, not a paint.

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#4 robert_p43 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 24, 2013 - 10:57 AM

Teak is nice, maybe hard to find in the north country.  Teak oil every 2 or 3 years and it will last forever.




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Posted May 24, 2013 - 12:08 PM

How thick are the slats? Can you plane the slats?  The times I have been to Wisconsin I noticed there were more than a few trees.

Is there a Sawmill close? If you can plain the rough cut lumber you could save a ton off retail.


I have found poplar and Cottonwood to be harder than pine and easy to work, but not as pleasing to the eye for natural finishes. It is one I go to often when I'm painting the project.  If you can find good clear Western Red Cedar Decking Plank, it is not particularly expensive  works easily and is weather resistant.

Red Elm can have some very knarly grains making them hard to work.  Ash is a good hardwood and I find it pleasing to the eye with a natural finish. I'm beginning to see a lot of Kitchen Cabinets done in Ash around here. With the Emerald Ash Beetle attacking Ash Trees, There may be a lot of Saw logs available and the supply may drive the price down?


Redwood & Cypress are very weather resistant, but very hard to find and more expensive than Oak here in the midwest.

#6 TomLGT195 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 24, 2013 - 12:21 PM

I am a carpenter by trade, so my suggestion would be white oak or teak. red oak is not rot resistant . I don't suggest the other hardwoods ,they wouldn't hold up outside. For the cost you'll get the best longevity and $$ value out of teak. it can be oiled but won't need it that often. If you want authenticity white oak is your choice. there is no cheap option if you want it to last.  

Good luck !! Tom

#7 Chuck_050382 OFFLINE  



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Posted May 24, 2013 - 12:51 PM

Cypress would be a good choice.

#8 Kurtee OFFLINE  


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Posted May 24, 2013 - 07:05 PM

Have you checked out any of the composite stuff? Some of that looks good and needs little or no care. Or look at Ipe wood. Very dense and hard. Heavy as heck. And by no means cheap, but lasts and last outside.

#9 CADplans OFFLINE  

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Posted May 24, 2013 - 08:23 PM

We did our floors in tigerwood several years ago. (Goncalo Alves) That stuff has the survive-ability outdoors of painted steel.


It is unbelievable!! I left some outdoors on the shooting bench for a year, other than being a little darker, it is still like new.


NO finish needed. Twice the hardness of oak. It is almost bullet-proof!!




The installer said in 20 years, he had never seen a wood that hard, or HEAVY!!




Google it, commonly used for decks, NO splinters!!   :dancingbanana:

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