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Wood type of Garden bench?

654 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  JCamp
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Hi all, We got this bench a few years back, and I want to make a copy of that for our garden table. What type of wood do you recommend to survive during the cold Ontario's winters? and Any guess of the current bench's wood type?

Plant Wood Road surface Rectangle Composite material

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The surface texture looks like some sort of cedar on the back but seat and legs look more any of the softwood construction lumber that is available in your area (spruce, fir, pine, etc.)

Frankly, the way that one is constructed, it won't last long outdoors. A better design will make it last longer.

The type of wood will depend upon budget and availability. Some of the usual suspects are teak, black locust, ipe and cypress but there others worth considering.
Too me it looks like common construction lumber sold at the borg. The rounded over edges are the dead giveaway.
I also agree with Nathan don't copy the way it built. Find a better construction plan
Nice sideways picture…. you get to pay my chiropractor to tweak my neck now.

Existing wood looks like normal softwood construction lumber. Frame has too much gray weather damage for only a couple years to be pressure treated lumber. I'd guess it to be standard 2×4 frame with 2×12 seat from local big box store.

+1 Better outdoor woods are; White Oak, Teak, Black Locust, Ipe, Cypress, Redwood, or Cedar.

Cheers!
A + for all four responses above.

In you area the best price on wood is probably western red cedar but a lot of it now days contains sap wood which is not as weather/rot resistant so watch out for that. You nest best is probably white oak. I suspect Redwood, cypres and Ipe would be on the expensive exotic side in Ontario.

For benches like that the first decay often starts at the bottom of the legs where they contact the ground and wick moisture up into the wood. It helps to seal the end of the legs or put a water proof material….like a piece of roofing shingle on it.

Adding a weather proof coating will also help and a water based deck sealer might be best. It can be clear or include a stain coloring. What you don't want to put on it is a top coating that when it begins to break down needs to be scrapped and sanded before a new application….like a varnish or poly. With a deck sealer you can use a stripper- cleaner/brightener on it, wash off with a power washer, and then apply a new finish. Expect to do that about every 3 to 5 years if you leave the bench out in the weather all year long.
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I would use either Ipe or black locust. Black locust seems harder to get. I don't know how good it holds up but Sapele could also be used outdoors and a lot of lumber yards seem to carry it now.
Looks like the wood in the picture has been stained not grey from the weather.
Anything that'll be in contact with the ground needs to be water resistant, something like good treated wood, white oak or locust and cedar. Nothing else in your neck of the woods that I'm aware of. For it to mostly last forever you could use some version of composite material. Honestly though you could build it from pine and it would last 10 years then you'd have to build again. Composite is the only way to make it to last forever though. For wood you can also burn it a bit to seal it. Basic construction lumber that's burnt and stained twice the first year and once a year after will outlast one built from treated lumber with no treatment by years. Another option is to keep a tarp or grill cover on it and keep it up on a couple rocks/blocks
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