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Wood Types

by Ovidiu


There are several types of wood one can use for the outdoor projects. They are resistant to moisture and have a beautiful appearance. Since the projects will be out in the weather all the time, you need to use wood that will resist decay and insects. The most popular choices are treated lumber, redwood and cedar.

As a general rule, lumber with greater density is stronger but also more likely to split and wrap. On the other side, lower density wood is weaker but less likely to split and warp. Low density wood acts like a sponge, absorbing moisture when the weather is wet and drying when the sun comes out. Dense wood doesn’t addapt so good at the weather conditions so it may split and wrap easier.


[dropcap]1.[/dropcap] Redwood

This type of wood is commonly associated with outdoor furniture, as it is soft and easy to work with. However, the main drawback of redwood is that it tends to splinter.


[dropcap]2.[/dropcap] Cedar

Another wood that is mostly used in outdoor projects is cedar. There are several species, but the two that are ideal for outdoor woodworking projects are incense cedar and Wstern red cedar. Both species are soft and easy to work with, making them ideal for furniture projects. The main drawbacks are that these species are weak in resistance and in strength.


[dropcap]3.[/dropcap] Teak

Teak is resistant to decay, straight grained, very stable and it feels kind of waxy. However, teak is an expensive wood due to its great resistance to water damage. In addition, it dulls tools quickly, as it contains silica.


[dropcap]4.[/dropcap] Mahogany

It is mainly used by boat builders. The following species are the most used: African, Philippine and Honduran. All three species are used for outdoor projects, but Honduran mahogany is the most decay resistant.


[dropcap]5.[/dropcap] Oak

white oak was used for barrels and for casks, being more resistant than red oak. However, white oak absorbs moisture, so you need to seal it with varnish before using the outdoor furniture.


[dropcap]6.[/dropcap] Pressure Treated

Pressure-treated lumber is the most affordable lumber for outdoor use. The lumber is saturated with water-borne copper salts under extreme pressure. However, the main drawback is its color: light green or light brown. Since it can be stained or painted to a brighter color, it makes a good choice for an outdoor project.