Some Useful Information About Treated Lumber
People are increasingly bringing their daily lives outdoors. This information will hopefully help you choose some outdoor furniture that's right for you. First, identify your outdoor lifestyle. Do you want your outdoor spaces informal or formal, intimate or outgoing? Next, work with your existing plan, builder, and landscaper to blend your needs with the surroundings of your new house.
The right material makes all the difference in the world when creating beautiful, long-lasting outdoor patio furniture. Lumber is divided into grades based on the number of obvious flaws, such as knots, sap pockets, splits, and other blemishes. Here at Cedar Creek Woodshop, we use only #1 Grade Treated Lumber that is Arsenic Free picking out the straightest, best-looking boards for surfaces that will show and those that don't. We have found that buying mid-grade lumber is not cost effective as the culling process causes us to waste more lumber than if we would have stayed with #1 Grade in the first place! . We stay away from the lowest grades COMPLETELY as knotty or warped lumber is difficult to work with and will weaken the furniture not to mention look UGLY!!
Here at Cedar Creek Woodshop, we use several different kinds of lumber in our outdoor furniture construction. Our most popular and least expensive choice with our customers is Arsenic Free Treated Lumber usually made of pine. Other choices include Western Red Cedar & Redwood, both being considerably more expensive.
Care & maintanance of treated furniture is quite simple. Once about every 6 months or so, you can spray your furniture with a spray on water sealer (Available at Home Depot, Lowes, Ect.) to preserve the "new" look of your furniture. Or if you prefer to let the wood age naturally, no sealer is required and the wood will weather to a beautiful Barnwood type finish. The sealer mearly preserves the "Look" of the wood, as the wood itself is already protected.
A Little About The Chemicals Used
The wood industry has come up with a few arsenic free wood treatments to replace CCA (Chromated Copper Arsenate). Two common alternatives are known as Preserve (www.treatedwood.com) and Wolmanized Natural Select (www.naturalselect.com) lumbers. Preserve's preservative is alkaline copper quaternary, or ACQ. Natural Select uses copper azole as its preservative. Both brands rely on copper as their primary fungicide; the quaternary protects against termites and other fungi that tolerate copper. Both Preserve and Natural Select protect wood as well as CCA-treated wood, yet are far less toxic to humans, making them a good choice in areas where other alternatives aren't practical - structural support members or deck pilings, for example. These are chemical preservatives though, and the copper they contain could be toxic to earthworms and other beneficial soil microbes, so they shouldn't be used in the garden.