outdoor wooden table lamp finish - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-03-2019, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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outdoor wooden table lamp finish

I came up with an idea for an outdoor turned wooden table lamp using a solar powered top. These would be sitting outside on glass patio tables for weeks at a time. What kind of finish would stand up to weather as well as periodic cleaning? Is there a clear epoxy? Perhaps just raw linseed oil and let them weather to gray like drift wood?
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-03-2019, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holtzdreher View Post
I came up with an idea for an outdoor turned wooden table lamp using a solar powered top. These would be sitting outside on glass patio tables for weeks at a time. What kind of finish would stand up to weather as well as periodic cleaning? Is there a clear epoxy? Perhaps just raw linseed oil and let them weather to gray like drift wood?
Epoxy is hard. For an exterior finish you think soft. Outdoor wood expands and contracts a lot more than interior wood and you need a finish which is elastic enough to expand and contract with the wood. This is what a spar varnish was developed for. The best is Epifanes but is a little expensive and only available at places that sell boat supplies or mail order. Another cheaper option would be Cabot spar varnish and is available at Lowes.

The choice of wood is important too. Some woods like cedar or redwood will withstand being outdoors better to begin with. If you want to use an oil type finish then use 100% tung oil instead of linseed oil. Tung oil was originally used for the hulls of boats. With enough coats you can make a varnish type finish with it. The finishes that are called tung oil finish are a mixture of tung oil and linseed oils and alkyd resins and are not near as water resistant.
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-04-2019, 09:44 AM
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Hi Holtzdreher,

That reads like a very interesting design and project...!!!...I look forward to seeing pictures of it or perhaps a post of your progress through the projects steps?

As to finish it all depends on your goals for the projects looks and the species of wood you select for the most part.

If you want the "Gray Look" then any of rot resistant species...unfinished...will turn a nice shade of gray in a short time or can be accelerated with several tradtional methods.

STAY AWAY from "plastic" film finishes for outdoor application like epoxy, polys, etc.!!! These do not tolerate expansion and contraction, and generally just don't play nice with wood over time inside or outside...

A traditional oil finish is the best your going to find for long term durability (when maintained) and developing a fine patina with time. I use a blend of food (big box store and paint store oils are often adulterated) grade tung, flax, citrus oil mixed with pine rosin and beeswax. However, any of these (and others tradtional blends like walnut oil, etc) can have use too. I also add a mineral based UV stabilizer to anything going outside.

Good luck and look forward to seeing your progress...

j
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-15-2019, 06:12 PM
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I made this outside lamp many years ago (15?). It's made from some nondescript hardwood and the roof shingles are made from the slats of a wooden venetian blind. It's been finished with a product called Sikkens Cetol Deck which is described as "A highly water repellent, weather resistant, high build transparent coating for exterior timber decks and handrails". I use this also on verandah decking and it has performed admirably over many years. The lamp has been refinished once during those 15 years and is still in excellent condition.

I'm not sure if Sikkens Cetol Deck is an Australian product but if it is I'm sure you'll be able to find an equivalent. If you Google "Sikkens Cetol Deck" you'll be able to find a more comprehensive decsription.
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-16-2019, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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wow that is mighty fancy. Far more complicated that what I have been toying with. Since photobucket went stupid, I have been having trouble with posting photos. For some reason, Imgur is not an easy thing to figure out.

I recently got back from Chincoteague VA, and an interesting dive there, called the Chinco Tiki had solar path lights stuck in holes on the tables to add light. (I don't frequent night spots so the place seemed pretty quirky, but great burgers. For a town surrounded by miles of salt marsh, the skeeters were almost non-existent)

Last edited by holtzdreher; 08-16-2019 at 11:31 AM.
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-17-2019, 05:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holtzdreher View Post
wow that is mighty fancy. Far more complicated that what I have been toying with. Since photobucket went stupid, I have been having trouble with posting photos. For some reason, Imgur is not an easy thing to figure out.

I recently got back from Chincoteague VA, and an interesting dive there, called the Chinco Tiki had solar path lights stuck in holes on the tables to add light. (I don't frequent night spots so the place seemed pretty quirky, but great burgers. For a town surrounded by miles of salt marsh, the skeeters were almost non-existent)
The design of my lamp is based on a traditional Balinese lamp (as in the attached image). They traditionally use some kind of palm for the roof but as that would be impossible to source here in Australia I've gone for the shingle look which is quite common too.

WRT posting photos here, you don't need to post a link to Photobucket/Google Photos or whatever. You just drag and drop an image from your PC. If you're using a phone then I assume there's a simple way to do it there too. If you don't follow let me know and I'll walk you through the process.

But as the original post was about the finish on the wood to best display its nicest features, and preserve them for the future, I thoroughly recommend the product I mentioned.

Chincoteague VA sounds like an interesting place. I'd love to take my camera there!
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-17-2019, 06:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holtzdreher View Post
wow that is mighty fancy. Far more complicated that what I have been toying with. Since photobucket went stupid, I have been having trouble with posting photos. For some reason, Imgur is not an easy thing to figure out.

I recently got back from Chincoteague VA, and an interesting dive there, called the Chinco Tiki had solar path lights stuck in holes on the tables to add light. (I don't frequent night spots so the place seemed pretty quirky, but great burgers. For a town surrounded by miles of salt marsh, the skeeters were almost non-existent)

You do not need a host to post pictures on this site.



George
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-18-2019, 01:56 AM
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Quality of wood what matter the most for an outdoor projects as these wood face different climate which tends to swell in moisture if cheap quality wood is used,There are three ways you can water seal the wood 1-use linseed or tung oil to create a beautiful hand rubbed finished which i prefer to do on my outdoor projects 2-seal the wood with coating of polyurethane,varnish and the last one is to finish and waterproof the wood with a stain sealant combo.
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