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  1. #1
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    best wood for outdoor furniture

    I've built a few adirondack chairs in the past and usually got cedar from one of the 'big box' stores to build it from but now that I've realized the difference between the quality of wood there vs. at a hardwood supplier I've been using rough cut lumber exclusively. My question is my local hardwood supplier only carries the aromatic cedar like for cedar chests/closets. I thought I remembered reading that white oak is a good choice for outdoor use but I searched the archives and couldn't find the answer. Any other choices to consider? I plan on applying a stain at most but not painting it. Boyd

  2. #2
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    RE: best wood for outdoor furniture

    The top three for outdoor use are Redwood, Western Red Cedar, and Teak. White Oak falls into the middle of the scale.

  3. #3
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    RE: best wood for outdoor furniture

    I would also throw Cypress out there...

  4. #4
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    RE: best wood for outdoor furniture

    Thanks, I'll see if I can get any of those types. Boyd

  5. #5
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    RE: best wood for outdoor furniture

    Boyd,

    Actually, the original Adirondack chairs where made of White Oak...I would rank White Oak up there with Teak and Cypress.

    It's the "traditional" wood used in wooden boat building for the framing members; the United States Navy's oldest commissioned ship, the USS Constitution, has a White Oak keel, framing members were of Southern Live Oak, planked with White Oak, and decked with White Oak. Her keel was laid in the summer of 1795 and was commissioned on October 21, 1797. Over 15% of her wood is original, all of it below the water line. FWIW.

    Dano

  6. #6
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    RE: best wood for outdoor furniture

    Just make sure it is white oak not red oak. Or hollie oak. Major difference between the two.

    If you want to make sure of what you have the easy way to tell if it is red oak is to slice a very thin cross cut. Look at it with a light behind and if you see holes through the wood, you have red oak and don't use it outside. Thousands of wicks and water don't work well.

  7. #7
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    RE: best wood for outdoor furniture

    White Oak was used for shipbuilding because water doesn't penetrate it. The Adirondack chairs were made of it because white oak is one of the dominate hardwood species in that region of the country.

    While not a bad outdoor choice it doesn't have the natural resistance to mold, fungus, and insects that teak, cypress, redwood, and western red cedar have.

  8. #8
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    RE: best wood for outdoor furniture

    Drew,

    Because of the tanin that White Oak contains, it too has a very high resistance to decay, Southern Live Oak is even more resistant to rot and decay. Southern Live Oak is, arguebly, the most rot resistant wood found in North America with the possible exception of Black Locust.

    BTW, the White Oak keel on "Old Ironsides" is the original and she has only been drydocked 3 times in her 206 years....

    White Oak is not the only species native to the Adirondack region...

    Dano

  9. #9
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    RE: best wood for outdoor furniture

    If you go with redwood, check out the sourcing of the lumber. There are companies that specialize in sustainable harvest redwood.
    Recycled redwood is a beautiful material that can often be gotten for free, if you are willing to help someone tear out an old deck.

    www.geocities.com/wefnut

  10. #10
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    Teak is a popular furniture wood that is quite a bit different than other furniture woods.Teak is very oily and can stand up to some pretty rough weather outdoors, but it needs some tender loving care to keep it looking bright and beautiful.Common uses are teak dining room furniture, teak garden furniture and teak patio furniture.Teak is used extensively on boats, because of it's ability to stand up under humid conditions.

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