Lin Yao Liao. Bench. February 03rd , 2018.
Teak has all of the attributes one could wish for in a wood used for outdoor furnishings. It resists decay, repels water, doesn’t shrink or swell, ages well, and is incredibly strong. Teak’s secret lies in its tight grain and natural oils. Teak oil is all that is necessary to maintain the wood’s beautiful golden luster. Once plagued by sustainability issues, due to the misinformation that old growth teak was the most desirable, most teak furniture in the western world now comes from carefully managed plantations. The superiority of teak wood for creating outdoor furniture is reflected in its high price tag.
Cypress wood contains a natural preservative that is both rot and insect resistant. Cypress is capable of withstanding the elements without a finish of any kind, though a periodic coat of oil will keep the wood looking fresh longer. Like cedar, cypress weathers to a silver gray over time when left unfinished. Cypress is also a very stable wood, with little shrinking or swelling throughout the changing seasons. While cypress is a good choice for outdoor furniture, it may be a little difficult to find due to the scarcity of mature trees.
Comfort is an important factor in designing a bench. But how comfortable a bench needs to be depends on how it will be used. For example, on a shopping street where people will stop briefly with packages, comfort is not as important as in a park where people may spend an entire afternoon. Concern for comfort must be combined with other considerations. For example, in an area where teenagers may sit on the backs of the benches, a bench with large slats, which is stronger, should be used, even though for sitting large slats are less comfortable than smaller ones. The general lesson to be kept in mind is that all factors must be considered together in choosing or designing a bench for a particular location.
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