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Pressure Treated Pine questions

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  • Pressure Treated Pine questions

    Hello all,

    I went to the local HD today and walked by a huge assortment of pressure treated pine. Is this type of pressure treated wood that is suitable for outdoor furniture? I have heard that pressure treated pine is a solid choice for outdoor furniture -- but I was curious if the stuff I saw at HD is the same stuff people are talking about. Is there any pitfalls for using this type of wood? My latest project involved cedar and that was very expensive.

    Thanks again in advance,


  • #2

    PTP is utilized when exposure to moisture is expected.

    This being said, the chemicals used during the pressure treating process are toxic (copper chromium arsnic). Since you are building chairs, skin contact with the wood containing CCA will most probably take place.

    You may be better off with a non treated material.

    Take a look at using Ipe', cypress, composite or other suitable alternative that meets your budget.


    • #3
      Totally agree with Desmo888----and to add to it---PT wood typically gets rather nasty looking and painting requires waiting until the right time---in fact, with the new formulation, who knows how it will take paint.

      Depending on where you are located, cypress is a great choice. Ipe is also becoming readily available---it's only issue is making sure to seal end grain---otherwise, it has the same attributes as much more expensive teak.


      • #4
        Thanks for the responses. Well, to be honest -- those aren't the answeres I wanted. PTP is just so much more less expensive.

        Before I went with cedar, I looked at using Cypress, however no one had it available. I have not checked into Ipe -- that will be my next task. As for composite -- I am not real familiar with it. I will take a look at that as well.

        Again -- thank you



        • #5
          Think you have to look at it this way----the time you put into a project is far more valuable than costs of materials differences. Not only the quality of PTP (which is usually made from grades below select or good) but the chemical issue for human skin and possible food contact---well, it's not much of a choice.

          Don't forget cedar as well, though I've personally found cypress easier to work with. You'll have to check your yellow pages for wood dealers other than HD which is not only more expensive, but generally has lessor quality wood.


          • #6
            my personal favorite is cedar for exterior products. but you are right it can get expensive.

            Check your phone book, find out if there are any places that build with cedar only. around my parts there is a place called cedar rustic. t hey buy in bulk and sell to the public much less than HD or anywhere else cedar is sold.

            the other thing i do is look for people having cedar fences replaced. the reason they usually do this is because the posts have rotted out in the ground after 20 years or so so they replace the whole fence. i have loaded up many a cedar fence in my pick up stacked by the garbage, pulled all the nails and resurfaced it with the planer. cedar generally does not rot(unless in the ground) it merely greys and becomes brittle. with a little TLC and patience, you can get some pretty good pieces of cedar using this method.

            the other option for outdoor furnature asidefrom cedar or the hard/exotic woods like teak and such is pretty much anything. seal the hell out of it with thompsons water seal. pine, oak, whatever.

            but recycled cedar is definately worth the time. you wont save every board but you will ger 80-90% useable


            • #7

              Thanks for the encouragement. You are right -- it is the time and the end result, not the money associated with the projects costs. I would liked to have used Cypress my current project, but that seems rather hard to find in the Wash DC area.

              spacebluesonoma, I'll keep my eyes out for people replacing their fences -- never thought of that. I wondered if something like using oak was okay as long as you seal it very well. Does that really work?



              • #8
                Pete--if you have a Woodcraft in your area, you might give them a call. Seems strange that I can always find it at WC but you guys are actually closer to where cypress grows than we are.--- Who knows.


                • #9
                  Hi daveferg,

                  Yeah, I had called them a while back when I was specifically looking for Cypress. At the time, they did not have any in the thickness I needed (2 inches). Haven't called them back. Maybe I'll give them another try.


                  • #10
                    The pressure treated wood currently available at BORGS is not CCA---it is ACQ--Alkaline Copper Quarternary--- no arsenic in the formula.

                    ACQ is still not the optimum wood for furniture building, due to warping and bowing. However, it is paintable---using an oil based primer and whatever paint one favors.
                    Mac<P>Problems are opportunities in disguise