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Thread: White oak, how to keep its beauty outdoors?

  1. #1
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    White oak, how to keep its beauty outdoors?

    First, Id like to say hi to everyone, Im new.
    I just got invovled in woodworking less than 2 years ago, mainly sticking to outdoor projects.
    Im very impressed with some of the threads Ive read here and feel way out of my league, but everyone starts somewhere.

    I recently was at a garage sale, and saw two adirondack chairs that were weathered grey, but seemed to be in fine condition.
    I purchased them for 25 dollars each since it was white oak, and on Long Island, the price is outrageous.
    I bought them with the intention of taking them apart, using the parts and recutting them a bit so there was more style and curves in the chair, making a bit more comfortable, this one was all straight cuts and rather stiff looking.
    I only cracked one piece taking it apart,(one chair) and I sanded every part,(thought about planing them, ), restored or brought the wood grain back to life in about 90% of the wood, still some grey areas, but hardly noticable, now my question is how do I treat white oak to keep that beautiful look and keep it oudoors year round? Is there any way to preserve the look of the natural wood without it turning grey?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by allen levine View Post
    ...my question is how do I treat white oak to keep that beautiful look and keep it oudoors year round? Is there any way to preserve the look of the natural wood without it turning grey?
    Well,,, It'll require frequent attention, but it can be done. You'll need to apply a weather resistant finish with UV protectants in it. One of the best one would be a good quality spar varnish. Several manufacturers make good ones - Minwax, McCloskeys, etc., but the really best ones will be sold through boat yards and chandleries.

    You might want to take a look at Jamestown Distributors website. They have some really good 'brightwork' finishes available. Be prepared for 'sticker shock' though. Some of those marine-grade finishes can get pretty pricey.

    Whatever finish you use - regardless of price - will likely require at least annual redoing - and maybe even more often than that. The sun and rain can be pretty brutal to any wood finish.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by allen levine View Post
    First, Id like to say hi to everyone, Im new.
    I just got invovled in woodworking less than 2 years ago, mainly sticking to outdoor projects.
    Im very impressed with some of the threads Ive read here and feel way out of my league, but everyone starts somewhere. "This League is your league, and the only people not in it are those that don't get involved."

    I recently was at a garage sale, and saw two adirondack chairs that were weathered grey, but seemed to be in fine condition.
    I purchased them for 25 dollars each since it was white oak, and on Long Island, the price is outrageous. (sounds like you made out like a bandiit on that purchase ) I bought them with the intention of taking them apart, using the parts and recutting them a bit so there was more style and curves in the chair, making a bit more comfortable, this one was all straight cuts and rather stiff looking.
    I only cracked one piece taking it apart,(one chair) and I sanded every part,(thought about planing them, ), restored or brought the wood grain back to life in about 90% of the wood, still some grey areas, but hardly noticable, ( is there a chance you have a photo we might see, this is an interesting project with a "before" and "after".) now my question is how do I treat white oak to keep that beautiful look and keep it oudoors year round? Is there any way to preserve the look of the natural wood without it turning grey?
    Hi Allen ,
    My pleasure to welcome you to the "league of woodworking and wood enjoyeers", and also to Familywoodworking. As far as preserving the beauty outside, advise will have to come from someone else, but that white oak is one of my favorites too.
    Glad to have you!
    Shaz
    I am a registered voter and you can be too. We ( registered voters ) select the moderators for this forum by voting every six months for the people we want to watch over this family forum.
    Please join me. Register now.
    Shaz
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  4. #4
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    Jim nailed it!! I have piddled around old wood boats for years and there is nothing better than Marine Varnish, commonly called Spar Varnish. But if it sits in the sun, as Jim said it will typically need recoating every year.

    I ever agree with Jim on Jamestown. Dealt with them several times over the years.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  5. #5
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    thanx, I live on the south shore of Long Island, and there are tons of marinas and boat shops within 10 minutes of my house.
    Im not that worried about the price, I just want to keep these two chairs looking good.
    When I approached a local paint store, a large store, he just suggested putting the deck waterproofing on. Said not much will keep the wood from weathiering if its left outdoors.

    When my son gets home, Ill have him show me how to upload a picture, I only did one chair, so I have the wood discolored from the other one.

    I have a can of spar urethane that I used on my Tiki bar, but the wood has faded also after one season, and I put 5 coats of it on it.
    Last edited by allen levine; 03-11-2008 at 05:01 PM.

  6. #6
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    I caught some kind of bug and was sick yesterday, and my son wanted 2 chairs I made for his friend, so he asked me if he should clear coat them with thompsons deck, and I told him sure if he wanted them for this weekend.

    what I didnt know is that he did the white oak chair also, so it has a coat, but Im still going to varnish with marine varnish when I feel a bit better.
    (Im giong to use it on my tiki bar also)

    I think in the pic the chair has a slight grey hue to it, but when you look at it, it looks fine, thats the pile of wood of the other chair, I wont have enough to cut and shape the way I want, so Im going to have to buy 2 feet of white oak to fix it up.

    the second chair, was actually covered in this guys backyard, and the wood seems much cleaner, the undersides are are beautiful. Makes life a bit easier.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Tiki 168 (Medium).jpg   Tiki 170 (Medium).jpg  

  7. #7
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    this will give anyone else the level Im at right now, I made these few items last year, got a steal on redwood 1x6, and the other table is red cedar.
    I copy designs, alter the plans a bit, ofcourse, the chairs are my own design, hey, dont laugh, but with a cushion , they work fine.
    The tiki bar I have a sheet of oak plywood for the bartop, stupid mistake, but I had it laying around, so it needs to be resanded and varnished.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Tiki 080 (Medium).jpg   Tiki 114 (Medium).jpg  
    Last edited by allen levine; 03-12-2008 at 07:33 PM.

  8. #8
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    ok, so Im not the best at uploading pics, sorry,im learning
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Tiki 128 (Medium).jpg  
    Last edited by allen levine; 03-12-2008 at 07:33 PM.

  9. #9
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    I went over to a local marina, the only brand they sold was Epifanes.So I picked up a quart. 32.00 bucks. (now thats pricey)
    Last edited by allen levine; 03-18-2008 at 09:10 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Schaubhut View Post
    Hi Allen ,
    but that white oak is one of my favorites too.
    [COLOR=blue]]

    maybe you can give me a few tips on how to keep the burn marks from happenning.
    My main problem is rounding over. Even with a new bit, I get the burn marks.

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