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post #1 of 9 Old 02-22-2009, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Outdoor bench questions

A friend of mine asked me to make some outdoor benches to put around their yard. He gave me pretty much free rein on the design, he just does not want them to be painted -- he doesn't want to deal with the re-painting. Here are my questions:

1. What's a suitable (and affordable) outdoor wood for this type of project?

2. Is pressure treated lumber safe to use for the clothes of one sitting on it?

3. What is a good method for sealing the bench lumber that is safe for clothes and people sitting on the bench?

Any other suggestions or recommendations are welcome.

Thanks,

Kevin H.
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post #2 of 9 Old 02-22-2009, 04:30 PM
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I made this from cypress about 4 years ago. The customer put 2 coats of poly on it and hasn't done anything else to it since. I looked at it yesterday and it still looks good...a little dirty but the wood seems to be holding up nicely.
I peronally would stay away from treated.


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post #3 of 9 Old 02-22-2009, 04:39 PM
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Redwood, cedar, teak, cypress, they are all good outdoor woods. They all vary in price. I would also stay away from treated lumber.

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post #4 of 9 Old 02-23-2009, 05:39 AM
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Add me to the column of staying away from treated lumber. The chemicals used are just way to harsh to be used for anything that you will have people sitting on.
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post #5 of 9 Old 02-23-2009, 06:40 AM
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I am not pushing the uses of treated pine, however this is a few facts you should know.

The old treated lumber contained Chromated Copper Arsenate (H1 - H5) Known as CCA

It has long being considered a safe and cheap treatment method for all treated pine. Although it was scientifically found to be carcinogenic it is still the preferred choice for most builders. Its mild carcinogenic properties are easily avoided with proper handling. From March 2006 it will no longer be able to be used in decking, handrails or playground equipment.

LOSP Treatment Light Organic Solvent Protection (H1 - H3)

This was becoming the Arsenic Free substitute for CCA products, however it is generally more expensive and far less effective. Most LOSP treated pine must be painted to maintain its warranty (which is half as long as CCA). Without painting LOSP treated timbers may only last a few years)

ACQ Treated pine contains Copper Azole Ammoniacal Copper Quaternary (H1 - H5) or Copper azole (CuAz) (H1-H5)

This will be the alternative to ARSENIC FREE treated pine. It is considered a very safe and very effective product with no risk to humans. At the moment it is approximately 25% more expensive than the CCA, additionally it is a little difficult to source, and as such is not very popular. The Osmose company produces an ACQ product called Naturewood. Its ingredients include Copper, Didecyldimethylammonium chloride and water.

The chloride used to treat the new lumber is the same product that is in bleach. So sitting on damp treated pine may turn your behind a little whiter.

One more thing, ACQ treated wood is also caustic to steal. Meaning it will eat most nails and screws it come in contact with. Stainless is the only way to go useing ACQ wood.

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Last edited by Handyman; 02-23-2009 at 06:44 AM.
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-23-2009, 07:44 AM
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I bought some Larch from a Amish sawmill last year. I'm planning on making a few benches from it this year. It's been out sitting stacked & undercover to air dry to some extent prior to making them.
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post #7 of 9 Old 02-23-2009, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjhart0133 View Post
A friend of mine asked me to make some outdoor benches to put around their yard. He gave me pretty much free rein on the design, he just does not want them to be painted -- he doesn't want to deal with the re-painting. Here are my questions:

1. What's a suitable (and affordable) outdoor wood for this type of project?

2. Is pressure treated lumber safe to use for the clothes of one sitting on it?

3. What is a good method for sealing the bench lumber that is safe for clothes and people sitting on the bench?

Any other suggestions or recommendations are welcome.

Thanks,

Kevin H.
1. Lots of good choices suggested here already.

2. I also would stay away from pressure treated lumber fo anything I was planning to sit on.

3. No matter what you finish a bench with, if it is going to be exposed to the weather, you can pretty well count on having to refinish it somewhere down the road.

My own preference for outdoor wooden furniture is to leave it unfinished and let it age gracefully. Not everybody's choice, for sure.

Gerry
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post #8 of 9 Old 02-23-2009, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for the thoughtful replies. I think I'll consider going with Cedar for now if I can find a reasonably priced source here in Huntsville AL. I'll use a poly to seal it and plan on repeating the process every couple of years. My friend may take the benches inside during the winter which will do a lot to keep them looking fresh. Once I get some progress pics, I'll post them.

Now to find a good design.

Thanks again,

Kevin H.
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post #9 of 9 Old 02-24-2009, 08:32 AM
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I've made over 40 Adirondack chairs out of CCA treated 5/4 decking.....when I get them finished I scrub them with a brush and a srong solution of detergent......in a few weeks they become grey tone......some of the early ones are still looking OK, but the best looking ones are painted.......
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