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Any suggestions on outdoor wood for a bench?

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Forum topic by AllanA001 posted 04-20-2021 08:39 PM 419 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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AllanA001

4 posts in 25 days


04-20-2021 08:39 PM

Topic tags/keywords: outdoor bench

Hello all,

First post here and hope I don’t screw up too bad on it :-))

I got a project here that I’m going to start. I’m mostly concerned with getting a wood that wouldn’t be expensive, easy to keep appealing, and fairly easy to work with. As the pic shows,

I’m working with redoing a bench. I’m thinking to get the metal sandblasted and power coated, or blasted and put a coat of paint on it. Got to shop around to see the cost of doing this and then decide. The replacement wood is 48 inch lengths. I do have a table saw to use, and somewhat a collection of tools, but not a full blown workshop.

I was thinking of using fencing redwood. If there’s some finish that would keep splinters down or just give it a better finish, I’d definitely be interested in doing that. I’m in Northern California. It does have to stay out in the elements but it doesn’t have to be in the beating sun all the time.

This would be more of just something that can be used more than some show piece on a pedestal.

Any help in this project will be greatly appreciated and most welcomed.


14 replies so far

View corelz125's profile

corelz125

2825 posts in 2060 days


#1 posted 04-20-2021 08:50 PM

Ipe or black locust are excellent outdoor woods. Black locust might be hard for you to get by you but Ipe is common.

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

3032 posts in 3722 days


#2 posted 04-20-2021 08:53 PM

Black locust, white oak, mohagany, sepele.

I bought some Angelim Pedra for outdoor benches but haven’t built them yet. Any kind of lumber commonly used for decking would do – Ipe, if you’ve got the cash.

Angelim Pedra is kinda splintery too, but commonly used for flatbed trailer decking. I hapened to get a good deal on it.

-Paul

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3843 posts in 2882 days


#3 posted 04-20-2021 08:57 PM

I think redwood would great. Look for Heart wood it will cost more then what’s sold at home centers but it’s much more rot resistant heavy and dense.
It should be around somewhere up there.
The fencing redwood I see down here isn’t good enough but maybe it’s better up there?
Good Luck

-- Aj

View LittleShaver's profile

LittleShaver

752 posts in 1704 days


#4 posted 04-20-2021 09:25 PM

I re-did a similar bench and replaced the slats with old cross-country skis. Removed all the hardware and attached the skis in the spaces. My supports had through holes so I didn’t have to cut off the skis.

In all honesty, it was my wife’s idea.

-- Sawdust Maker

View RClark's profile

RClark

127 posts in 3269 days


#5 posted 04-20-2021 09:26 PM

Cypress, if you can get it on the west coast.

I rehabbed a child-sized version of one of those benches with cypress about 7 years ago. Been outside year round all this time and still solid with no upkeep work.

-- Ray

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

7694 posts in 1658 days


#6 posted 04-20-2021 10:16 PM

Plenty of options, but in No Cali Redwood comes in as most access available.

-- Think safe, be safe

View SMP's profile

SMP

3991 posts in 990 days


#7 posted 04-20-2021 10:41 PM

Another vote for redwood

View rickf16's profile

rickf16

395 posts in 4665 days


#8 posted 04-21-2021 01:22 AM

I’ve done two of these so far with a third one on deck. The first one I used Cypress and because of the width and thickness of the wood, it was a little on the flimsy side. The next one I used White Oak. Much better results. These benches are usually about four feet wide, so a hard wood will be much stronger. IMHO cypress is a great wood for outdoor use, just not for sitting.
Just my two

Rick

-- Rick

View Badgerstate's profile

Badgerstate

24 posts in 116 days


#9 posted 04-21-2021 01:28 AM

Another one to consider would be cedar. Cedar has pretty good moisture and weather resistance. Another would be teak but teak can be expensive.

View nickbatz's profile

nickbatz

722 posts in 1164 days


#10 posted 04-21-2021 02:02 AM

Kaya batu is available for not too much around here (Los Angeles), especially if you buy it at a lumber yard.

It’s in the mahogany family, I believe much like ipe – both suggested above.

I used it to replace the slates on a bench at a relative’s house in Santa Monica, four blocks from the ocean, and it’s held up very well for 1-1/2 years.

View AllanA001's profile

AllanA001

4 posts in 25 days


#11 posted 04-21-2021 05:04 AM

Thanks for all the replies! I really am blown away in the feedback. I’d would really like to pull the trigger on some of the suggestions here, but the cheapster in me kicks in pretty fast! I gotta stick with “sensible” options. I guess that’s redwood fencing stock, right? Shop for good pieces. I forgot to mention I have both Home Depot and Lowes to shop at. What really has me leaning on redwood too is that I’m pretty much clueless on wood out there. I guess I’ll shop around and do my homework, as I do have an identical bench on the sideline that needs work too.

View BigMig's profile

BigMig

624 posts in 3697 days


#12 posted 04-21-2021 02:37 PM

I re-did a bench just like that. I used cypress that I got at a place that sells to Mushroom farms (probably a local thing) – and it was cheap. The slats needed to be kind-of thin because of the groove in the ironwork is narrow. After about 3 or 4 years they’re doing good…weathered but hanging in there.
Don’t forget there’s a support under the seat that’s a metal bracket that supports the seat from each end

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

View AllanA001's profile

AllanA001

4 posts in 25 days


#13 posted 04-21-2021 05:36 PM



I re-did a similar bench and replaced the slats with old cross-country skis. Removed all the hardware and attached the skis in the spaces. My supports had through holes so I didn t have to cut off the skis.

In all honesty, it was my wife s idea.

- LittleShaver

I forgot to reply to your message here LittleShaver. Do you have any pics on your project here? Would love to see them.

View AllanA001's profile

AllanA001

4 posts in 25 days


#14 posted 04-21-2021 05:38 PM



I re-did a bench just like that. I used cypress that I got at a place that sells to Mushroom farms (probably a local thing) – and it was cheap. The slats needed to be kind-of thin because of the groove in the ironwork is narrow. After about 3 or 4 years they re doing good…weathered but hanging in there.
Don t forget there s a support under the seat that s a metal bracket that supports the seat from each end

- BigMig

Yeah those bracket are around somewhere, just not in the pic. These are very important brackets and well worth making, if not included.

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