Best wood for outdoor project.

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Old 05-25-17, 01:34 AM
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Best wood for outdoor project.

I need some thin wood, like 1/4" or so for an outdoor project. (Full disclosure, it's to make 8" cat legs that will move in the wind for the mailbox). I was thinking cedar to better handle the elements (it will be painted BTW) but there's not anything that thin that I know of and I don't have access to a surface planer.

So looks like my choices will be those project boards they sell. I think they have oak, maple, and poplar. I'm guessing poplar would be best?

We don't even have a real hobby or craft store or I'd probably try balsa.
 
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Old 05-25-17, 03:03 AM
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I was surprised to see some more un-popular woods like Tamarack and Willow being offered at a local Home Depot, woods that have god resistance to weather.

I've sold some Camps that were built on Tamarack Posts (stilts) and haven't rotted in 25 years !
 
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Old 05-25-17, 03:33 AM
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Poplar would take paint better than the others. Using an oil base primer will seal the wood better from moisture [not sure how much you get]
 
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Old 05-25-17, 05:17 AM
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In my opinion, poplar is a horrible wood to use outside as it is so soft that it absorbs water out of thin air. I have seen properly primed and painted poplar get moldy, and not hold paint. It must readily develop a high moisture content... like a sponge. Willow is equally poor.

If you cant get cedar, oak would last the longest outside, as it's hard and pretty resistant to decay. That's why its always been used for door thresholds. The trick would be to prime and paint all 6 sides of each piece before assembling so that there are no raw edges.
 
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Old 05-25-17, 05:22 AM
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Locally there are a lot of older houses sided with poplar. The only time I've seen decay with them is when the painting has been severely neglected.
 
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Old 05-25-17, 07:12 AM
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Material

Could you use a vinyl material such as vinyl fascia?
 
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Old 05-25-17, 12:28 PM
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Yeah, the other woods mentioned may be specific to some area's or special order. I'm not sure if we even have the vinyl stuff here because of the sun and heat. I can only think of two newer homes with siding and they are fiber cement. Almost every house is stucco except for the older dilapidated ones and many of those are shingle siding or T-111.

I just hate to use fancy clear oak just to cover it with paint and it costs quite a bit more as well.

I'll have to go see for sure what they have. Maybe a small planer won't be too expensive...lol. I mean, this is a big important job, right?

Just had a thought...maybe a pack of those cedar closet liners from the kits would work? Again, not sure if we have them, but they were real thin I think.

And now that I got on that tack, they have red cedar planks for walls and wainscott that may work as well. Just gotta go see later.
 
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Old 05-25-17, 01:53 PM
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How would some cheap wood grain wall paneling work . . . . that's about " thick ?

And people are always discarding scraps of it when they re-model.

I remember placing some of it outside to protect some equipment from the rain and it lasted for years performing a function it wasn't expected to do; with paint it might last even longer !
 
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