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The wife and I would like to put together an arbor for a grapevine we have in our backyard that's something along these lines: http://www.arboria.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/b/e/berkeley_arbor800.jpg

We have plans and the construction is simple enough, but we don't know what to do about the type of wood. Initially she bought treated wood but I was told that can be dangerous if it's in and around where children may play. However, we wanted something that would handle getting wet well. She looked at cedar but couldn't find anywhere that would sell non-rough cedar in the right sizes. Does anyone know what we can do to build this such that it holds up nicely against the weather?
 

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omatase said:
The wife and I would like to put together an arbor for a grapevine we have in our backyard that's something along these lines....

...She looked at cedar but couldn't find anywhere that would sell non-rough cedar...
Just because your wife couldn't find smooth cedar doesn't necessarily mean that its not available.

Its possible that she didn't know where to look. I'm guessing that she looked at the Big Box stores first?

You might have better luck finding your material somewhere that caters more to professionals.

Your post didn't indicate where you are so I can't be of much help there.

Try Googling "hardwoods" or "lumber" in your area and see what pops up. Call around. The suppliers you contact may nor have what your looking for but may be able to refer you to a supplier that does.

The arbor in the link is nice looking but IMO would be much less attractive built with pressure treated material.

Not knowing what tools you have at your disposal.....

You could buy rough sawn lumber and run it through a planer to smooth it but you'll lose some thickness.

As far as finishing techniques and products go I'll have to abstain from commenting.

Other folks here are much better qualified in that area than I am.

I hope I've helped a little at least.

:)
 
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i wouldn't use treated wood in the ground near any edible growing plants. there is discussion that treated lumber releases/leaches chemicals into the soil.

However, kids play on treated wood playgrounds often. i don't believe that i have heard anything negative in that regards (skin absorbtion??)

why not use the rough sawn cedar? it may provide some grip for the climbing plants. you could laways sand it a little if you preferred.

last cedar i bought had smooth on one side and rough on the other.
good luck!
 

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Treated wood

Years ago treated wood used an arsenic compound. That could be dang
erous for kids. Nowadays a copper compound is used no problem for kids. go ahead and use it.
 

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i wouldn't use treated wood in the ground near any edible growing plants. there is discussion that treated lumber releases/leaches chemicals into the soil.
Do you know if the leeching thing is a problem with the copper compound for treated wood?



So In the end *is* cedar the way to go in terms of getting wood that will last? Or is it better to, for instance, buy a different type of wood and then put a finish on it? If I bury the wood in the ground will it still last?
 

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I believe copper has been used in the earlier (pre 2003) treated lumber as cca - chromated copper arsenate. it was the arsenate that was the problem - although farmers used it for years. post 2003 has been a more green friendly chemical copper compounds. the new pt lumber may be safe if you want to use it, as it is designed to withstand contact with soil/earth and not rot as fast.

I have never placed cedar in ground contact for any period of time to say. you can use stand offs at ground level to solve that problem.
 
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