Outdoor cedar sofa - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-14-2019, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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Outdoor cedar sofa

I'm building an outdoor sofa primarily out of cedar. The basic framework will be cedar 2x4s and possible the seat and back out of one-by lumber. The sofa will live in an enclosed porch. It'll never see a drop of rain, but it will be exposed to humidity and temperature fluctuations.



Do I need to seal it with something? I just love the smell of cedar and I'm looking forward to that. I hate the thought of eliminating that.
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-14-2019, 11:24 AM
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If it's just to look at and not used then it doesn't need a finish. Any place people touch it they will deposit dirt and skin oils which will make dark spots on the wood. You could put a unpigmented oil finish on it to seal it but it needs something.
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-14-2019, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enchant View Post
...Do I need to seal it with something? I just love the smell of cedar and I'm looking forward to that. I hate the thought of eliminating that.
No...you do not need to seal your wood at all...

There are some natural/traditional oils that will still allow the cedar oil smell to come through yet nothing like bare wood.

Actually "bare wood" is common place in many cultures and regions of the world that have Cypress and Juniper species as there primary wood source (there are no true "Cedars" in North America.) The fallacy that wood has to be "seal" is more a modern concept and marketing tactic of the finishing industry and those that work within it....or...simple ignorance by modern woodworkers not understanding (or knowing) traditional woodworking modalities and/or inaccurate habits...

It is actually impossible to get the finish on some woods (like Japanese floors as just one example) if the wood is "sealed" with anything in the modern context, as the sebaceous oils in human skin create a patina (over time) that is unmatched for smoothness, silkiness and patina.

As pointed out, if these are used for actual sitting, you will note quickly the areas where these oils are in the highs concentrations. If, after a few years, you wish to balance out the tone within the patina, a lite natural oil like walnut or tung can be rube into the wood by had with a lint free rage...

Good Luck,

j

Last edited by 35015; 07-14-2019 at 04:29 PM.
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-15-2019, 01:40 PM
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I think you need also a lightweight drill when you plan to make a cedar sofa for Out door.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-15-2019, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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I'm sure that the vast majority of skin contact will be on the front of the arms. I wonder if I could just seal those...


Great info. Thanks folks!


I'm not exactly sure what a "lightweight drill" is. I've got a cordless Dewalt. Why lightweight for cedar?
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-15-2019, 04:18 PM
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it's a spammer. they get a cut of any sales off that link.
the IP has a couple spammer flags on it.
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-16-2019, 02:50 PM
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great ! I suggest lightweight drill because lot of benefits like easy to use, longtime working comport, I think you know that and You are using a nice tool . Dewalt cordless my first choice . Its also lightweight.
Thanks.
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