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Author Topic: A question for those that turn wood to sawdust  (Read 417 times)

Offline buzzbee

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A question for those that turn wood to sawdust
« on: May 14, 2020, 07:36:09 pm »
I have a small bench I bought probably 20 years ago from one of those fire company fundraiser tool trucks years ago.
Its been outside in the weather for most of its life and I enjoy sitting on it in the back yard.
The slats are starting to bend and sag after all this time .
Can anyone tell me the proper wood to replace these slats that will be sturdy as the old were?

Ill include a link to the photograph.  Thanks to those of you in the know.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/NRdG5n5HZvqRQwYr8


Offline cao

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Re: A question for those that turn wood to sawdust
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2020, 08:11:47 pm »
I am in the process of redoing a bench just like that.  Mine was in worse shape than yours.  I am using oak for my slats.  I have acquired a lot of oddball wood over the years so it really ain't costing me much for the oak.  You could use just about any wood.  The one thing that is a must, is that it be straight grain without any knots.

Offline buzzbee

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Re: A question for those that turn wood to sawdust
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2020, 08:19:30 pm »
I paid so little for this bench at the time I now wish I would have bought several. :happy:

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: A question for those that turn wood to sawdust
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2020, 08:35:20 pm »
Buzzbee if you don't mind, post a picture when finished.
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Acebird

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Re: A question for those that turn wood to sawdust
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2020, 09:06:31 am »
Ash would be my choice but paint is the answer.
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Offline Seeb

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Re: A question for those that turn wood to sawdust
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2020, 09:13:10 am »
I would try to go with teak. and yes, please post a picture when done

Offline jvalentour

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Re: A question for those that turn wood to sawdust
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2020, 11:23:27 am »
I?m doing the same thing
I chose 5/4 treated deck plank.

Offline Hops Brewster

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Re: A question for those that turn wood to sawdust
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2020, 11:23:51 am »
I bought a similar bench from a local home center about 25 years ago.  I think the original wood was some variety of cheap Chinese box wood like elder or Asian elm and it lasted only 5 or 6 years.  I chose not to try to rebuild it, as buying good lumber in a big box store was cost prohibitive for me.  The bolts and nuts were also rusted beyond reclamation.

If you have access to local (inexpensive) hardwood it might be cost effective, because quality hardwood could last for decades with proper paint or varnish at regular intervals.  Stainless hardware would help extend the life as well.  Now you're talking outdoor furniture!
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Offline CoolBees

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Re: A question for those that turn wood to sawdust
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2020, 12:30:32 pm »
Locust wood lasts the longest - if memory serves me correctly. It's hard to get, often has wavy grain, and thus hard to work with. But it lasts, and is strong.
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: A question for those that turn wood to sawdust
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2020, 01:28:35 pm »
Locust makes very good natural fence post for the reason of long life before deterioration. I am thinking those benches came with teak back in the day, as Seeb mentioned.

Here in the South, cypress is known for longevity. I do not know how it would work as a bench slat.

Our Neighbor across the road, had his home custom built with redwood from California brought in for his siding. Redwood may also be a consideration?


For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Seeb

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Re: A question for those that turn wood to sawdust
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2020, 09:06:30 am »
buzzbee - from the picture in the link, your bench looks like an antique to me, maybe from the 1940's or 50's. Can you sand/cut into one of the slats enough to be able to see or smell the wood to identify it? If it's lasted all these years it might be the perfect thing to put back on it.

Offline nella

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Re: A question for those that turn wood to sawdust
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2020, 09:17:39 am »
Locust
White Oak

Offline JojoBeeBoy

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Re: A question for those that turn wood to sawdust
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2020, 10:02:32 pm »
My mother-in-law has one just like it. I seem to remember some sawdust from pin worms at one time or another. This would indicate soft maple (like red maple, not sugar maple) or oak (probably white oak) where we live.

I have made (and help make) a few semi loads of sawdust and chips earlier in life. That said, I don't disagree with anyone here. Straight grain with no knots and you could get away pine, spruce, virtually anything. Pressure treated would be ok too, though the last time I decked my porch with it I strip stacked the deck boards for 2-3 months to get some of the water out and avoid shrinkage after the install.

So if you want to do it soon, then use something kiln dried. You will probably need to relieve the edges a bit with a sander or something. Sealant, paint, shellac, ..... all the stuff mentioned is good.

I just took another look and what you are replacing is oak. If you had an oak 1x4 from a barn or fence you'd be done. That is if you like rustic. If sagging is the issue but the boards are intact, just unbolt the offenders and turn them over.  :cool:

« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 10:29:12 pm by JojoBeeBoy »