What wood to use? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-17-2016, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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What wood to use?

So my fiance loves the website Pin interest. She saw this thing that girls apparently love to have for their bath time, which includes a plank of wood that sits across the rim of tub and goes to the other side. I guess women do this to set their glass of wine and book. What do you guys recommend for wood? Obviously humidity/water splashing on the wood is my concern. I was looking for something fancy I guess which has a nice look to it. Any advice is appreciated! Thanks
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-17-2016, 01:45 PM
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Sitting in humidity like that, I would completely coat the wood with poly. So, it won't matter what wood you buy, it'll be sealed against water damage.

If you're girl is like my wife, she's pretty particular on what types and colors of wood she likes. Take her with you, or look online at different woods and let her pick out what she likes.

If you don't want to do that ... then go with a light color wood with deeply contrasting grain.
Girls like "showy" or "Blingy" ... even if they swear they don't. The prettier, the better.
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-17-2016, 03:03 PM
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No finish on Western Red Cedar. You ought to take a look at 5/4 WRC deck boards. They vary from really plain to quite highly figured, interesting knots and the price is right. Unfinished, this wood is good enough for the facing in a sauna.

How wide does this thing need to be? Deck boards have rounded edges with a nominal 5.25" width. No reason not to dowel and epoxy 2 pieces together.
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-17-2016, 04:51 PM
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Something rot and water resistant. Cedar, teak, maybe white oak, any number of the harder exotics

I need cheaper hobby
etsy.com/shop/projectepicfail
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-17-2016, 05:01 PM
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You could use any wood so long as it was finished right. It would just need a thicker finish than you would use on a dining table. Because of the temperature of a hot bath I would recommend using a marine grade spar varnish.
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-17-2016, 06:15 PM
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I suggest you put a lip on each end to keep the board from sliding off the tub.
Cover all sides with Formica for durability and easy clean-up.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-17-2016, 09:17 PM
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These are terrific ideas. All slippery surfaces. Try a busted wine glass in a tub full of bubbly soapy water. Wrong.
What's the point of making the thing to last forever? 5/4 cedar will never go out of style.
There's no useful reason to finish cedar in this application.
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-17-2016, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by OzoneBeastMode View Post
So my fiance loves the website Pin interest. She saw this thing that girls apparently love to have for their bath time, which includes a plank of wood that sits across the rim of tub and goes to the other side. I guess women do this to set their glass of wine and book. What do you guys recommend for wood? Obviously humidity/water splashing on the wood is my concern. I was looking for something fancy I guess which has a nice look to it. Any advice is appreciated! Thanks
White oak, teak, mahagony, even old growth cherry is fine with tung oil finish. The finish I suggest is Tung oil, no poly nothing else.. Just rub that sucker at least 4-5 times( Waterlox is great) as per specification and that thing will hold. Every six month or if you see any suspicion so just rub on it with fresh oil again, no need to sand or anything.( because it's bathroom, I suggest 6 month, but usually mine outdoor furniture hold good for 3 years on, just rubbed out of precaution.
Good luck, happy wife happy life.
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-18-2016, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the recommendations guys! Appreciate it.
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-18-2016, 03:01 PM
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I was curious about somethig 2 years ago and tried an experiment. When I was thinking about how I wanted to remodel my bathroom, I wanted to use large 8x8 hand hewn oak beams on the outside of the stone shower surround. I didnt know how the expensive wood was going to hold up so I experimented. I cut a piece of oak - 2"x6"x24" and finished it (all sides) with 4 coats of oil based poly. I then leaned it up against the wall in my shower and left it there....for 6 months. After 6 months it looks like the day I put it in there. It's still there... Partly because it irritates the wife, but partly to see what would happen to it over time. It shows no sign of deteriation or finish peeling.

I would say use what you want and finish it well. No worries

Last edited by Barn owl; 05-18-2016 at 03:04 PM.
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post #11 of 12 Old 05-19-2016, 03:39 AM
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It's heavy and a bear to cut but Ipe would hold up to those conditions without any finish.
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post #12 of 12 Old 05-19-2016, 10:14 AM
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Poly-urethane, is nothing but urethane that has short arm ( of carbons) to make polymer with. This short molecules make polymer as such that they cover an entire surface at one time. Now by applying four coat, you just made that thin layer protective not only along the surface, but vertically upward too.
But, as far as I know you are just covering the surface, there is no chemical bond between wood surface and poly urethane. So if you have a hole somewhere, water can slowly seep over a period of time through and lift that urethane from under the surface of wood. Imagine peeling paint. That's why you need to sand it all if you want to use poly again, because you cannot bond on top of old poly which may have dirt, grease, wine to make coverage through out the surface.

To make this water repellent even stronger for outdoor use, you increase the length of the carbons( i.e. Helmans polyurethane) but because in these polyurethane molecules, chemical bond only happens with urethane- urethane, it is not as strong as regular polyurethane because urethane- urethane bond is farther apart in Helsmann due to long chain of carbons on end.

Second, Red-oak if you used is no no. It is open grain along the length. Water can seep by capillary on this. White oak is closed grain and holds ten times better.

Tung oil also does not make bond, but it does not just sit on the surface, it seeps inside. Some Tung oil ( I have used it and it works great) seeps deep inside those wood pores (and likely water may also only reach that depth when exposed ) stays there and hardens. Now imagine trying to push water through those pore, if there is any because those are covered with oil. Not happening or very unlikely, because water hates oil. So after few years those oil which hardens very slowly or seeps deep inside or get lost, just coat another coat. No sanding needed.

Polyurethane is not inferior at all, in fact it's resist daily abuse better and you can use anywhere where water is not a problem. Plus UV rays also deteriorate those urethane-urethane bond. Just need right place to use, indoor flooring, furniture etc etc.

Your urethane may last a while, but try one coat on piece of wood and soak it in water and see. It will eventually peel.
Second, try another coat of poly on top of one month old poly, it is feel.
Good luck.
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