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Forum topic by donn12 posted 03-15-2019 02:03 PM 315 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 5 days

03-15-2019 02:03 PM

I am just getting started and built a bench for my back deck with 2×4s. I will attach a couple of pics….there are many sections that are pitted. do I need to sand or is this too severe ? seems like I would remove a lot of wood. use a plane? wood filler ? or get new wood? I have read a lot but I haven’t been able to figure out this one.

I am just getting started and I am having a blast. thanks in advance

5 replies so far

View Think0075's profile


4 posts in 23 days

#1 posted 03-15-2019 02:11 PM

I would probably use a planer, I guess you could use a hand plane. But if you know someone with a small lunchbox planer or maybe invest in one, can usually find them cheap used. Plane all ur pieces till there cleaned up and the same size. Be aware those 2×4’s are structural lumber and probably not very dry expect them to move(cup, twist, bow) especially as you start removing material.

View a1Jim's profile


117532 posts in 3875 days

#2 posted 03-15-2019 03:36 PM

Hi Donn Welcome to Ljs
Not sure what wood your using, this looks like typical Douglas fir if that’s the case or using a similar wood, If you plane it down you have to watch which direction you planing in or you will get tear out, plus that most new woodworkers do not have really sharp planes,I think I would suggest a belt sand followed by finner and finer grits of sandpaper using a random orbital sander.If you haven’t used a belt sander watch some Youtube videos on its use first. A belt sander can be a project destroyer if not used properly.

View GR8HUNTER's profile


5683 posts in 1010 days

#3 posted 03-15-2019 03:58 PM

i simply would not even worry about it lifes too short to fiddle around with small details :<))))))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View LesB's profile


2004 posts in 3741 days

#4 posted 03-15-2019 04:56 PM

If the roughness won’t end up as slivers in someones butt you can just sand for a general smoothness and then put a finish on them.

Most wood exposed to the elements on a deck will need regular treatment which includes cleaning and re-treating every few year ( 2-4 as a rule). You would be better off using a wood like cedar or redwood because they will stand up to the elements better….but they will still need regular maintenance. Cedar and redwood can be left without any finish and they will age to a gray color.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Kelly's profile


2236 posts in 3242 days

#5 posted 03-16-2019 07:07 AM

Even if you use cedar or redwood, they will dry as quick as the fir. Because of that, all three will shrink, resulting in cracks and splits.

If you can seal the wood, those problems go away. However, horizontal surfaces are not very cooperative about sealing well for any period of time. Then there is the problem of water running down the sides of each board and wicking back under a little. So, if that area isn’t sealed…....

Then there is the problem when it comes to to refinish, you may have to strip. At the least, you have to rough up the old surface. As such any surface coat can be a maintenance nightmare.

If you can get non hardening oils into the wood, the oil will replace lost moisture and swell the wood, causing small cracks and spits to vanish. The oil is easy to apply too. However, it’s not durable. Too, the oil can oooze back out, until it finishes wicking deeper into the wood.

Side note: You can wash oozing oil away with dish soap. Doesn’t take much.

You can add other things to the oil to beef up performance. Boiled linseed oil, not a good choice for exterior surfaces, can be, if mixed with other things. Think about adding turpentine and pine tar pitch to the mix. You might be able to swap the oil for polymerized oil (polyurethane), but, as with the linseed oil, I’d put in only enough to contribute to sealing and not enough to build a significant surface coat. That could be up to a quart in a gallon mix.

I mix about a gallon at a time. That takes a quart of the pine tar and the hardening oil.

When applying it, just keep adding to places it soaks in.

After a few day, you should be able to use the surfaces.

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