Waterproofing Hickory? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-14-2008, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Question Waterproofing Hickory?

I would like to make a seat/ stool to be used in the shower. The wood I plan to use is 3/4" solid hickory. I searched the site here but did not see information regarding which would be the best manner for finishing the wood so it may withstand frequent exposure to water.
Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-15-2008, 07:37 AM
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Advise from a boat owner: Bite the bullet and buy teak. No matter how well you seal the wood, water will penetrate and turn the wood black at the joints.
I personally have never used Ipe but it is slowly growing in popularity among deck builders. I have no idea how well it holds up as a piece of furniture such as a chair.

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Last edited by Tony B; 11-15-2008 at 07:38 AM. Reason: As for the finish, any good urethane should work.
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-15-2008, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony B View Post
Advise from a boat owner: Bite the bullet and buy teak. No matter how well you seal the wood, water will penetrate and turn the wood black at the joints.
I personally have never used Ipe but it is slowly growing in popularity among deck builders. I have no idea how well it holds up as a piece of furniture such as a chair.
Thanks Tony. I will trust a boat owner on the matters of water and wood. :]
For this project I am choosing the hickory simply because we have it, as opposed to deciding on which species to purchase. I have dura-seal polyurethane but wasn't sure if it was a good choice. I suppose, with enough coats, it will work fine (?).
Thanks again for the advice.
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-15-2008, 07:44 PM
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Doku,
If you have the hickory already, I guess it doesn't hurt to try it. I would consider using a marine varnish for a finish. The other thought is, if when you are done using it, you wipe it off with the towel you just finished drying off with, so it doesn't stay wet. I would think it would hold up well that way.
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-15-2008, 08:38 PM
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The only places I would worry about.....

are at the joints. Seats joints could be under lots of stress and develop microscopic cracks in the finish which would be places of water entry. I wouldnt get real radical about it, but if you could find some flexible caulking to match your finish and caulk the seams so it wouldnt be noticable, do it.
Again, no need to get nutsy cokoo about it because even without the caulking, the seat will last a very long time. If you wanted to re-make it years from now, at least you have the pattern.

Have fun making it.

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post #6 of 6 Old 11-16-2008, 09:25 AM
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I've been working with a cabinet shop who is working on a similar project, only it's Mangaris teak and not hickory. I have an exterior grade urethane (not a marine grade spar or polyurethane) from Italy that we tested and as long as you have the wood encapsulated, it holds up well.

With that being said, nothing will hold up in a shower for very long, but you should seriously consider an aliphatic urethane for the best performance, but it will eventually need to be stripped and re-finished just like anything else, but not nearly as often. You can find this type of coating at automotive paint suppliers (PPG, DuPont, etc...) SW makes a decent on called Polane, Gemini Coatings makes one called GemThane, and I am sure there are plenty of others.

Read up on the subject before you try to use it and good luck!!

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