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I am planning to build some tapered porch columns, and have a general idea of how to do it, but I don't know what material to use. I plan to STAIN my columns, rather than paint, so I need a stain grade wood, that will stand up to the weather. I see that 1x8 pressure treated lumber is availabe, but I want something wider without going to 2x...

Any advice or suggestions?
 

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is it going to be in contact with the ground or cement? if so, treated should be used. if not, cedar and or redwood are also good exterior woods. you can put any wood outside, and if you maintain the seal coat, get fairly long life out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for the reply. The columns have a stone base, with a single 6x6 running verticle from the middle of the base up to the porch overhang. This is the way it was when I bought the house. The stone base is big, and makes the 6x6's look like toothpicks from the street. I'll be using what is already there, and just adding some boards to give it the wide tapered look.

What kind of seal would be best? I don't want it to be glossy.
 

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First off a couple of things.

We generally like new members to start with a intro thread. It gives you a chance to tell a little about yourself, your experience, tools etc. it gives us a chance to welcome you. It's not a written rule and no big deal you can get to that next.:thumbsup:

The more info you give the better answers, pictures help greatly.

Now you say tapered columns. Are we talking just a square tapered column or some other shape?

Pressure treated lumber in my opinion is not a good choice to stain. In my opinion it is usually a lesser grade of lumber that they pressure treat so they can charge more money for it. It usually has plenty of knots etc. I could be wrong but I don't think it will stain well.

Next thing is you are talking dimensional lumber. That usually means getting it from a lumber yard or even worse a big box store all of which will cost more money. However rough lumber requires milling tools such as a planer and jointer.

As mentioned redwood and cedar are options so would cypress and maybe quite a few other species. However I would disagree with any species of wood being good for outside. Oak for instance in my opinion is not a good wood for outside. I make that statement based on a lot of rotten oak front doors in just my subdivision. He'll mine was maintained and do to weather exposure it is rotten at less then 8 years. Personally Spanish cedar would be my preferred choice. Types of woods that are cost effective will change by location because of what woods are native to the area.


Just my .02
 

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puffessional Scrabbleist
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poplar/spruce

Would poplar work for this? It worked for Howard Hughes. Any chance this will fly?

TonyM
 

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Discussion Starter #8
First off a couple of things.

We generally like new members to start with a intro thread. It gives you a chance to tell a little about yourself, your experience, tools etc. it gives us a chance to welcome you. It's not a written rule and no big deal you can get to that next.:thumbsup:

The more info you give the better answers, pictures help greatly.

Now you say tapered columns. Are we talking just a square tapered column or some other shape?

Pressure treated lumber in my opinion is not a good choice to stain. In my opinion it is usually a lesser grade of lumber that they pressure treat so they can charge more money for it. It usually has plenty of knots etc. I could be wrong but I don't think it will stain well.

Next thing is you are talking dimensional lumber. That usually means getting it from a lumber yard or even worse a big box store all of which will cost more money. However rough lumber requires milling tools such as a planer and jointer.

As mentioned redwood and cedar are options so would cypress and maybe quite a few other species. However I would disagree with any species of wood being good for outside. Oak for instance in my opinion is not a good wood for outside. I make that statement based on a lot of rotten oak front doors in just my subdivision. He'll mine was maintained and do to weather exposure it is rotten at less then 8 years. Personally Spanish cedar would be my preferred choice. Types of woods that are cost effective will change by location because of what woods are native to the area.


Just my .02
My apologies for skipping the intro. I'm an engineer (and former Marine), I'm pretty mechanically inclined, but have limited woodworking experience. I bought my first house a year ago, which has spawned my interest in woodworking. I've built a few small simple things (tables, etc.), and built a fence and deck in my backyard. As far as tools, fairly limited as well; circular saw, random orbital sander, drill, sawzall. Gotta start somewhere.

Yes, I'm talking about the square tapered columns, also referred to as craftsman style. I attached a picture of how it currently looks.
 

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If you want stain grade, White Oak is an excellent outdoor wood. :smile:
White oak......make sure its NOT red oak...which is lousy outdoors.
Ok I'm not saying you guys are wrong but as I said there are probably 200+ houses in my subdivision. I know of several oak doors that are rotten in my general area. all around 8 years old. Now these doors are exposed yo the elements because of tall arch overhangs, most or the French double doors
which is not the best door design. We have a very high humidity, high temps in summer and cold to hot winters. Meaning shorts today coats tomorrow and then shorts again in two days. We also have lots of rain. My point is how much does the climate help in determining what woods are good for outside?

Oak here sucks. I may be bias because I hate oak anyway. :laughing:
 

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My apologies for skipping the intro. I'm an engineer (and former Marine), I'm pretty mechanically inclined, but have limited woodworking experience. I bought my first house a year ago, which has spawned my interest in woodworking. I've built a few small simple things (tables, etc.), and built a fence and deck in my backyard. As far as tools, fairly limited as well; circular saw, random orbital sander, drill, sawzall. Gotta start somewhere.

Yes, I'm talking about the square tapered columns, also referred to as craftsman style. I attached a picture of how it currently looks.
Hey, Devil Dog what happen to "Once a Marine always a Marine."?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok I'm not saying you guys are wrong but as I said there are probably 200+ houses in my subdivision. I know of several oak doors that are rotten in my general area. all around 8 years old. Now these doors are exposed yo the elements because of tall arch overhangs, most or the French double doors
which is not the best door design. We have a very high humidity, high temps in summer and cold to hot winters. Meaning shorts today coats tomorrow and then shorts again in two days. We also have lots of rain. My point is how much does the climate help in determining what woods are good for outside?

Oak here sucks. I may be bias because I hate oak anyway. :laughing:
I live in SC, so we get cold, hot, lots of rain, lots of humidity. I'm thinking cedar will probably be a good choice. Any recommendations on finishing/sealing? I think I have the stain that matches the existing wood on the rest of the entry way which is what I would like to use.
 

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Scotty D
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I live in SC, so we get cold, hot, lots of rain, lots of humidity. I'm thinking cedar will probably be a good choice. Any recommendations on finishing/sealing? I think I have the stain that matches the existing wood on the rest of the entry way which is what I would like to use.
I would use a tinted oil finish that can be renewed easily. Not a film forming finish which will fail and require stripping. :smile:
 

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Sawdust Creator
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rrbrown said:
Ok I'm not saying you guys are wrong but as I said there are probably 200+ houses in my subdivision. I know of several oak doors that are rotten in my general area. all around 8 years old. Now these doors are exposed yo the elements because of tall arch overhangs, most or the French double doors which is not the best door design. We have a very high humidity, high temps in summer and cold to hot winters. Meaning shorts today coats tomorrow and then shorts again in two days. We also have lots of rain. My point is how much does the climate help in determining what woods are good for outside? Oak here sucks. I may be bias because I hate oak anyway. :laughing:
White oak or red oak doors? I've seen red oak exterior doors at big box places....guess they figured with enough urethane anything would hold up??
 

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matt019 said:
I live in SC, so we get cold, hot, lots of rain, lots of humidity. I'm thinking cedar will probably be a good choice. Any recommendations on finishing/sealing? I think I have the stain that matches the existing wood on the rest of the entry way which is what I would like to use.
http://www.epifanes.com/products.html right over your fully cured stained white oak:)
 
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