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Topic # 225946 12-Dec-2017 13:11
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I looking building some outdoor furniture and looking for suggestions on suitable timber species and profiles.  I'm aware that I could simply buy furniture for less money and trouble, but I specifically want to build some.

 

It's early days but the basic concept is to build diner-booth style seating with high backs and boxy bases. The bases will be used to store cushions etc. The seats will sit on a concrete pad but will be exposed to rain, wind, sun and frost.  We are in a coastal salt-spray zone too.

 

I'm planning on cladding the bases with closely spaced planks (clears) over an internal timber frame.  The planks will do some bracing but the main structure will come from the internal framing.

 

Some water will get in the gaps but not much and we are talking outdoor cushions which are water-proof.  I want to protect them from UV and blowing away.

 

So what timber?  I'll use treated pine for the inside but I'm undecided on the planking.

 

I was thinking some sort of hardwood (FSC certified).   Having look at M10 this seems to be available as <25mm deck planking.  Choices included garapa, kwila, teak, mahogany and purple-heart. 25mm seems light to me but I have almost no experience building with hard-woods. 

 

Stepping away from hard-woods, western-red-cedar would be another possibility.

 

I'm unsure what would be a suitable thickness in any of those timbers to avoid warping cracking etc.

 

I would appreciate some advice.

 

 

 

 





Mike

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mdf

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  Reply # 1917401 12-Dec-2017 13:30
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I'd be looking at macrocarpa for outdoor furniture. It's reasonably easy to work, durable and sustainable. It's also cheaper than some of the exotic hardwoods. If you're based in Wellington, Old Man Mac is good for this (though their website seems to be down, which can't be a good sign).

 

If you were going down the decking timber route, I would shy away from kwila and vitex. Kwila can be quite splintery and will also bleed like no one's business. You probably couldn't sit on it for a year without standing up with a red backside. Vitex gives off a sticky sap until its weathered in. Both are good for standing on - I worry about the sitting bit. I've not used the others you mentioned, but I am sure there is one decking timber or other that tends towards smelly - something else to watch out for. I also think purple heart is super expensive?


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  Reply # 1917715 12-Dec-2017 21:19
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mdf:

 

I'd be looking at macrocarpa for outdoor furniture. It's reasonably easy to work, durable and sustainable. It's also cheaper than some of the exotic hardwoods. If you're based in Wellington, Old Man Mac is good for this (though their website seems to be down, which can't be a good sign).

 

If you were going down the decking timber route, I would shy away from kwila and vitex. Kwila can be quite splintery and will also bleed like no one's business. You probably couldn't sit on it for a year without standing up with a red backside. Vitex gives off a sticky sap until its weathered in. Both are good for standing on - I worry about the sitting bit. I've not used the others you mentioned, but I am sure there is one decking timber or other that tends towards smelly - something else to watch out for. I also think purple heart is super expensive?

 

 

Plus one on macrocarpa.

 

Also beech. There is a place in chch, corner of Edgeware / Cranford streets who have renewably sourced beach. I also collect pallets , like fletcher steel pellets with aussie hard wood or indo hardwood in them. Beautiful grey colour and as hard as.

 

 





nunz

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  Reply # 1917796 13-Dec-2017 07:59
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I'd say cedar is too soft for the sort of knocking around that deck furniture gets.





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  Reply # 1918989 13-Dec-2017 12:30
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The project is in Nelson so timber will be from Marlborough, Nelson or freighted from ChCh.

 

I'm looking at overall shapes  (not the colours textures) inspired by: -

 

- Americana-style diner booths e.g. http://www.newretrodining.com/#BOOTHS ; and/or a

 

- Boxy-based wicker outdoor furniture e.g.https://www.mitre10.co.nz/shop/nouveau-siena-corner-lounge-setting-4-piece-charcoal/p/288907

 

I've looked at macrocarpa but I can't get clears easily.

 

People or cushions won't be sitting directly on the hard wood, it's only for cladding around base.  Bleed off onto the concrete could be problem though.  Can you pre-bleed by stacking the wood on the grass under a sprinkler overnight or something?

 

Cedar would be a bit soft.  I hadn't thought about that.  The furniture will be heavy and won't be moved around, but it will get bumps etc from people sitting on it.

 

Cutting will be an issue with hardwood. I do have a drop-saw with changeable blades so I would look into an appropriate blade for cutting hardwood.

 

 





Mike

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