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  • Advice for finish for outdoor bench

    I'm making an outdoor double seat/bench out of White oak. I understand this is the same wood that they used to make the constitution {the frigate}. Any suggestions for a stain/sealer, or should I/ can I just leave it untouched?

    This stuff is a bear to saw..........hard as hell.......

  • #2
    Originally posted by jeffdoorgunnr View Post
    I'm making an outdoor double seat/bench out of White oak. I understand this is the same wood that they used to make the constitution {the frigate}. Any suggestions for a stain/sealer, or should I/ can I just leave it untouched?

    This stuff is a bear to saw..........hard as hell.......
    That's why most old English timber framed buildings were made of green (unseasoned) oak, allowance being made in the construction for future shrinkage.
    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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    • #3
      Different woods were used in different parts of the ships as various factors in the operation of the vessel dictated. The Constitution was not made from one kind of wood, nor all oak of various types.

      This article is, I believe, your best guide. http://www.popularwoodworking.com/pr...tdoor-finishes

      Regards,
      Dennis
      If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

      Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!

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      • #4
        Spar Urethane is what you want.
        Hyperwar: World War II on the World Wide Web
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        • #5
          Originally posted by D1J1 View Post
          Different woods were used in different parts of the ships as various factors in the operation of the vessel dictated.
          In fact British experience suggested that mahogany was more long lasting for hulls and some ships built in Indian yards for the RN used mahogany and teak instead of oak. However oak did have one big advantage when used in warships. Oak splinters are much less likely to cause suppuration in wounds than those from other woods and given that splinters were probably the most common form of wound oak was usually preferred. However John Jervis (Earl St Vincent) when First Lord of the Admiralty undertook a radical (and long overdue) reform of the British dockyards and this included various experiments at reducing costs by experimenting with the use of different timbers. Other nations sometimes copied this.

          What you use will in part depend upon the look you want Yacht Varnish will also do the job but some do not like a shiny finish and will use various oils which will dry to a matt finish - however if you go that route it may be a while before any one can sit on it.
          Last edited by MarkV; 30 Jun 16, 06:36.
          Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
          Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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          • #6
            Yacht Varnish, or Spar Varnish over here, has been largely replaced by the Urethane version.
            Hyperwar: World War II on the World Wide Web
            Hyperwar, Whats New
            World War II Resources
            The best place in the world to "work".

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            • #7
              Two part industrial grade clear epoxy paint / finish. One time and never again...

              http://www.bestbartopepoxy.com/epoxy...y%20-%20Finish

              http://www.garonproducts.com/epoxy-c...-stop-slip-hd/

              http://protective.sherwin-williams.c...oubleshooting/

              http://www.diyadvice.com/diy/floorin...inishes/epoxy/

              Yea, it may cost you $75 to $150 for the stuff, but you never, ever have to worry about it failing to protect your bench.
              Last edited by T. A. Gardner; 30 Jun 16, 20:28.

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              • #8
                I'm a cheap bastard so I'd determine whether I want a hard finish or a soft. Myself I'd do a homemade finish. The real question is do you want UV protection or not and how much you want to spend.

                Myself, I'd use 'Protex Carnuba Wax' mixed with a stain of your choice, Don't know if they're defunct now but I bought a shite load of it and still have a few gallon cans of it.

                The stain is the UV protection. It blocks the sun, the wax is to keep the water out...

                A hard finish will check and crack under the sun. It doesn't matter what you pay for it, it will...
                Last edited by Bwaha; 01 Jul 16, 11:02.
                Credo quia absurdum.


                Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

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                • #9
                  Really depends on what kind of a look you are after. And how easy to make you want it to be. Since i personally like seeing strong wood grain (year rings) i would probably start with burning the surface (lightly!) with a torch to bring out the wood grain and then apply some (non-lacquer) tinted (to get better UV protection) wood stain preferably one with something in it to prevent against rot. So that the color is deeper than just on the surface. And then top it off with several layers of clear lacquer.

                  I got to say though that i haven't worked on white oak so I'm not certain how well the torch method works with it as it tends to vary with different types of woods.
                  Last edited by Vaeltaja; 01 Jul 16, 01:28.
                  It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion, it is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed. The hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning. It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion

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                  • #10
                    You want dirt cheat for a durable finish? Used motor oil. Rub it in about every 4 to 6 months and it will work forever after like 4 to 6 applications.

                    I use that on my utility trailer.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                      You want dirt cheat for a durable finish? Used motor oil. Rub it in about every 4 to 6 months and it will work forever after like 4 to 6 applications.

                      I use that on my utility trailer.
                      Just so long as no one wants to sit on that seat wearing light coloured clothes
                      Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                      Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                      • #12
                        I love the look of wood furniture polished until it gleams, but after years of using commercial furniture polish there will be wax buildup. Itís important to remove wax buildup from furniture because the silicon in commercial polish builds up with each application, trapping humidity or moisture between layers that eventually make the surface sticky.

                        I make a homemade polish.
                        "Stand for the flag ~ Kneel for the fallen"

                        "A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer." ~ Bruce Lee

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Persephone View Post
                          I love the look of wood furniture polished until it gleams, but after years of using commercial furniture polish there will be wax buildup. Itís important to remove wax buildup from furniture because the silicon in commercial polish builds up with each application, trapping humidity or moisture between layers that eventually make the surface sticky.

                          I make a homemade polish.
                          And that works - INDOORs read the OP
                          Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                          Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                          • #14
                            Linseed oil. Once a day for a week once a week for a month once a month for a year. Then once a year.

                            Bin the rag you use to apply it. If you keep them they can catch fire.
                            "Sometimes its better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness" T Pratchett

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DARKPLACE View Post
                              Linseed oil. Once a day for a week once a week for a month once a month for a year. Then once a year.

                              Bin the rag you use to apply it. If you keep them they can catch fire.
                              Did that for may years and none of my rags ever spontaneously combusted but teak oil is better - leave linseed for cricket bats. Works fine if tou want a natural mattish finish but don't sit on it unless you're a nudist
                              Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                              Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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