Lin Yao Liao. Bench. February 11th , 2018.
When buying lumber for outside projects or furniture that will be used outdoors, it’s important to keep in mind that the darker colored heartwood, found nearer the center of a tree, is much more rot resistant than the lighter sapwood. Whenever possible, specify “all heart” materials for your garden bench or lumber used for outdoor projects. Choosing the type of wood that’s right for your outdoor furnishings is initially a question of priorities. Once you’ve determined the balance between longevity, sustainability, and budget; then it’s time to let aesthetics take over. Because in addition to being durable, a garden bench should also be beautiful.
The resins in both western cedar and northern white cedar render these woods resistant to both insects and rot. Cedar is a lightweight wood, making it the perfect choice if you plan to move or rearrange your outdoor furniture often. Cedar is also a good choice if you would like your bench to match your house or other furnishings, since it paints and stains well. In fact, yearly cleaning and sealing of cedar are recommended, as the soft grain becomes rough over time if left untreated. Left in a natural state, cedar weathers to an elegant silvery gray over time. Bear in mind that cedar is rather soft, so it will dent and scratch more easily than harder woods like shorea or teak. Paradoxically, since cedar retains moisture, rather than drying out, it’s more resistant to cracking than many other woods.
Using slats that are the same size aids in replacement and labor costs. Bench seating, for example, can be more economical by using as few as two different slats in one bench. Slat replacement can be made easier by the way it is attached to the bench structure and tradeoffs may need to be considered between ease of replacement and frequency of replacement. For example, a rod through a contour bench requires more time to be replaced than using bolts directly to the bench structure. However, the rod attachment is stronger and so it does not have to be replaced as often as using bolts.
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