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Wood specie recommendation

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  • Wood specie recommendation

    We are restoring part of a client's house built in 1960 but situated right on the oceanfront and as such needs much attention. The original design had a sun/wind screen installed
    to the south and north front corners of the home. Sort of like wing walls. The screens were made of a wood grid using 2x4 cedar divided into 18 in x 18 in. squares into which
    various copper handmade pieces were inserted. This cedar has turned into a soft sponge in many places. The copper pieces are all dismantled and in storage but we now need to rebuild the wood grid. I have been advised to use everything from IPE to pressure treated fir to achieve a longer life than the original cedar. I am leaning to white oak over the IPE since it will be painted and several of the pieces need to be 16 ft. long. Do any of the sages here have an opinion as to what they would use? Oh, the house is located in Southern California. I believe there actually may be more than one variety of white oak. If that is so, are the differences important?
    Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler
    --Albert Einstein

  • #2
    Im not sure that I like white oak for that application. I cut and used some white oak several weeks ago and it split worse than any wood Iíve used before. It never left my humidity controlled shop so I shudder to think what it would do In the wild.


    • kramer katt
      kramer katt commented
      Editing a comment
      Had the oak in your case been dried at all?

  • #3
    Since you're painting it, does it have to be wood? How about PVC, although, that will be pretty expensive.

    I have also used the pre-primed finger jointed white wood from Home Depot. I don't know if they carry it in SoCal, though. I used it to build a southern facing screen door for our house in MD. There was minimal roof overhang so it definitely got beat on by sun, snow, and rain. I repainted it last summer after 7 or 8 years of being outside. No decay that I could tell and no warpage. I also like that stuff because it comes in long lengths--maybe even 16', isn't super heavy, and for the most part is already the size I need--2x4 or 2x6. It's also not that expensive.

    Are you going to half-lap all the joints? Sounds like a big job.


    • #4
      The white oak I used ď suppose to be ď dried. The supplier uses a solar kiln and previous wood Iíve purchased from him was fine. Who knows, Maybe it didnít get dry enough.