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Wood recommendations for outdoor project - Mike Brady - 01-13-2022

Have any of you built a neighborhood lending library?  I have volunteered to make two of these for neighborhoods here in Indy.  One of them is a replacement for what must have been a curio-cabinet piece of furniture that was re-purposed outdoors to hold books. It lasted only a few months before self-destructing.  Old pieces of furniture seem to be the go-to for this type of project.  The ones I build will last, but being a furniture builder, I have little experience making outdoor projects, other than some cedar benches.  Cedar will last, but not forever; plus it is a bit difficult to find right now.  What I would like is some suggestions for sheet goods for panels that are exposed to the weather, and board stock for making the frame and door.  I do have fiberglass shingles on hand and I have found some good scaled-plans to follow.  I welcome your suggestions.


RE: Wood recommendations for outdoor project - jteneyck - 01-13-2022

MDO plywood is an excellent choice for outdoor sheet goods as long as you seal the edges and paint it.  Lots of outdoor signs are made with it.  I've used it for porch columns and they have held up great so far, about 9 years now.  For the frame and doors, white pine would work well if painted, as would cedar, cypress, white oak, Spanish cedar, and of course mahogany and its relatives.  Spanish cedar is a pleasure to work with, but it's not cheap.  

John


RE: Wood recommendations for outdoor project - Cooler - 01-13-2022

I built one that was used indoors at the local Starbucks.  It was a very popular option before the pandemic.  Much less so since.

I was amazed how much abuse it suffered at the hands of both the customers and the staff (the staff damage was primarily due to sloppy mopping techniques).

You cannot overbuild this.  The stronger and more weather resistant it is, the better.

I might even consider plastic decking materials. 

You might call a local deck builder and ask if he has off-cuts that you can use for this purpose. It is likely that pieces less than 3 feet long get tossed in the garbage. 

I would hope they would donate the off-cuts for free.


RE: Wood recommendations for outdoor project - Tim J. Chase - 01-13-2022

Cypress, White Oak, Locust would all be good frame material. I'm getting ready to build two outdoor Adirondack chairs and use White Oak.


RE: Wood recommendations for outdoor project - Bill Holt - 01-13-2022

I built one for our church about three years ago.  It is outside, under a breezeway.  I used ceader, board and batton. Recently I noticed one board has checked.


RE: Wood recommendations for outdoor project - Terry W - 01-13-2022

IPE would be great. It's used for decks and boat docks. It's called iron-wood for a reason. Has an expected life of over 25 years outdoors. You should be able to buy beg borrow some cut offs from a local deck builder.


RE: Wood recommendations for outdoor project - Mike Brady - 01-14-2022

Thanks, everyone.  I am looking for someone who has MDO in stock, and can cut it to fit in my SUV.  Menards near me supposedly has a couple of sheets.  Some stuff is still pretty scarse though, or really bad imported crap.


RE: Wood recommendations for outdoor project - jteneyck - 01-14-2022

(01-14-2022, 02:36 PM)Mike Brady Wrote: Thanks, everyone.  I am looking for someone who has MDO in stock, and can cut it to fit in my SUV.  Menards near me supposedly has a couple of sheets.  Some stuff is still pretty scarse though, or really bad imported crap.

I order it through my local full service lumber yard.  No Menards anywhere near me, unfortunately.  

John