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Talking to customer about what to make an outdoor bench out of5/2
I m meeting with a customer tomm that has a home with a 30 ft long pier on a very popular river that a lot of boats go up and down on. He asked me to design a bench/storage area. He wants something with a unique look, then says in the next breath that he doesnt want to spend a lot. I suggested Teak or Cypruss. I made an areodoniak chair that i put 3 coats of minwas spar varnish on about 2 years ago, so its gone through 2 brutal chicagoland winters. The finish is peeling off of the cypruss and its turning s silver color similar to the way cedar turns silver.
Who makes a good enough quality finish that will withstand the water splashing up from the wake the boats make and also withstand the brutal chicago winters? He was thinking cedar cuz hes going to hire me for the weekend to replace his decking and will be keeping up on re sealing that, but i don't want to just use marine plywood and slap some cedar on the outside
Thoughts, ideas or suggestions?
The only thing that holds up is paint. Consider some manufactured product like plastic or composite.
"Unique" and "not spend a lot" are mutually exclusive terms. He will have to relax one and absorb the other.
Teak requires just an oil finish, and will look good for many years. Also, it will show everyone that he has taste and the money to pull it off. Make a unique design with good joinery, and it will become a landmark for him and everyone else.
This problem has been worked out for many, many years. Many, if not most, boats use teak for its brightwork because it stands up to weather, sun and water environments.
Using an oil finish sounds really nice, BUT it is a hell of a lot of work. First of all, Tung oil (the only oil I would recommend) is not cheap and the maintenance schedule (at a minimum of a coat every six months, if not more) is a bit onerous. The auto-oxidation and cross-linking takes place a little slower than some other oils, but in a marine environment, on teak, I wouldn't use anything else.
My recommendation is to use what most boat owners use, marine varnish. All varnishes, marine or otherwise, are not created equal. A good marine varnish or a tung oil varnish, is best. Of the easily available, Epifanes is head and shoulders above the rest. They make a partial tung oil varnish and it is very good. Use high gloss varnishes over those with additives that obscure reflected light. If you want it duller, rub it out.