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Which Outdoor Timber is Best For Your Garden Lounger?

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Whether your garden lounger is made of pine or oak, the wood you choose to build it from must be durable and resist moisture. That means a good coating of preservatives, to prevent rot and keep insects at bay.

Other factors to consider are how the wood looks and its workability, with a smooth finish a plus. Here are some of our favourite choices:

Teak

Teak, or Tectona grandis, is a tropical hardwood tree with strong workability properties. It is a dense, close-grained wood that is naturally resistant to weather damage, insect infestation and fungus. It is also one of the faster-growing trees, taking about 25 years to mature enough for harvesting.

When properly cared for, teak will last for decades and requires little maintenance. It has a beautiful dark color and smooth, buttery texture that makes it appealing to many buyers. It also has a straight grain and minimum knots. The natural oils in the wood provide a natural water repellent and make it impervious to rot, insects and harsh chemicals.

While other woods may look similar to teak, they cannot match its durability and strength. Alternative timbers such as Balau, Red Meranti and Almon are often used in furniture construction, but are less resistant to weathering and rotting. They can also be more susceptible to fungus and insect infestation. They are typically less expensive than genuine teak, but will not perform as well outside.

Western Red Cedar

Western Red Cedar is easy to work by hand or machine tools, though it dents easily. It also sands unevenly and can be sensitive to iron-based fasteners. It accepts a variety of different finishes, stains and paints. Cedar is a softwood that is naturally fungus resistant and can last for decades when properly finished.

It also produces thujaplicin, which is a natural fungicide that prevents the growth of rot and mildew. This means that cedar is a sustainable and environmentally friendly material to use.

This tree can grow to a height of up to 60 metres and has long branches that droop down. Its leaves are scale-like and arranged on the twigs in flat fan-like sprays that emit a distinctive aroma. It produces seed cones that are egg-shaped and have several pairs of scales.

Cedar’s low density allows it to resist warping and cupping and has excellent temperature resistance. It also has natural insulating properties, offering about one “R” of insulation per inch. It is a popular choice for outdoor cladding, decks and trim.

Fir

Fir wood is a type of softwood that has a long lifespan when it’s treated and cared for properly. It’s often a better option than pine for outdoor timber projects because of its water resistance. Pine, on the other hand, absorbs a lot of moisture, leading to the formation of mould and surface rot.

Hemlock fir, which is also known as “hem-fir”, is a hybrid species of lumber produced by combining Western Hemlock and true firs. It’s a very durable and versatile material for framing, roofing, and decking projects. It’s resistant to abrasions and bumps, making it a good choice for rough-hewn, circle-sawn, or band-sawn finishes.

Hem-fir is a very strong timber that can withstand loads of up to 2,500 pounds per square inch. It’s also easy to work with, as it is dimensionally stable and has a tight, known grain pattern. However, it’s important to note that it has a high sap content, which can gum up machinery and tools and lead to additional shop time and costs. It’s also prone to mold growth if not kiln-dried correctly.

Oak

Oak is a beautiful timber that can be used for furniture in many outdoor spaces. It can withstand the elements, including UV from sunlight, rain, snow and sleet. However, the wood will need to be protected with a sealant that contains UV protectants. If you want to keep the natural look of your wood, you can use a colourless protective stain. This will prevent moisture from causing wood-decaying fungus and insect infestations.

When building a timber home, you may want to consider using laminated oak lumber (also known as glulam). This is made of the best lengths of wood that are glued together to form a strong and long-lasting timber. This type of timber can be extremely strong, and it is one of the most cost-effective choices for building a timber frame house. However, it is not as resistant to decay as other hardwood species like spruce or pine. It also doesn’t have as much grain pattern variation.

Cedar Tongue & Groove

Cedar is a beautiful, durable wood that is naturally insect- and decay-resistant. It can be used in a variety of ways, including fencing, decks, and siding. Tongue and groove wood is a type of joinery that uses a system of interlocking projections (tongues) and indentations (grooves) to create a secure and tight connection. It is commonly used in flooring and wall paneling.

Schillings offers both clear and knotty cedar tongue and groove lumber for your next project. Clear cedar is milled with few or no knots for a more formal look while knotty cedar has plenty of character for a rustic style. Both options are kiln or air-dried to reduce shrinkage and help the finish adhere properly.

Western Red Cedar is a natural rot and weather resistant wood. It is also a light, strong and beautiful wood that stains and paints well. It has a pleasant aroma and is a great choice for outdoor applications. It is a perfect option for siding, cladding, and millwork. Its natural oils protect it from moisture and prevent damage from insects, fungi, and rot.

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