Exterior Facing Wood

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Hi there, I'm a newbie and would really appreciate some help.

I've got a late Victorian house which has a fair bit of facing wood which is getting towards needing to be replaced (i.e. it's rotted) and I'm also considering making up some windows. I'd like to replace it with a fairly durable wood but always seem to run in to problems getting hold of what I want (probably since I only want small quantities).

[For example, today I was told that I was getting Red Pine (which I assumed was Rimu) in the shop but seem to have walked out with European Redwood - I'm not good enough to spot the difference].

I know I can use this if I chemically treat it (as I do for anything I use outside) but is this really the best wood and best solution? (I don't mind spending a bit more than bare minimum to do a job that will last a while).

Thanks for any help...

M
 
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external softwood joinery is doomed to failure, it is prone to rot especially in the joints, and will need repainting and restaining frequently as it expands and contracts with the weather.

I have had reasonable success by treating the components with cuprinol after cutting and drilling, but before assembling into position, and treating with a water-repellent stain as used for sheds and fences, but if you want long life and a painted finish you need a durable hardwood.

I have been lucky enough to get small quantities (in odd sizes as available) from a timber merchant that supplies the boat-building trade, maybe there is such a specialist supplier near you? A big timber importer is also likely to have more variety that a yard that just supplies builders.

you can also use linseed or other oils for outside timber, but it needs a lot of coats when new, and yearly maintenance. It looks pretty good on a dark hardwood though. I did some exposed sills last year and they have lasted better than with other treatments.
 
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Decent pine will last for a 100 years or more. There are Victorian homes everywhere with original windows.
 
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Thanks for the responses, much appreciated

joe-90 said:
Decent pine will last for a 100 years or more. There are Victorian homes everywhere with original windows.

I think that this is undoubtedly true, with the stress on the word decent. When I look through old joinery texts (as you do ':eek:'), you find loads of variety of pine but few are available today. Like I said, on the basis of this excellent site which gives wood properties...

http://www.sykestimber.co.uk/timber/pitchpine.html

I was looking for Red Pine or Pitch Pine which are durable. Can't say that I've seen them offered much. Even for the Red Pine from New Zealand, I found this...

http://www.timspec.co.nz/rimu.asp

(see note on availability).

It seems very difficult for an amateur like me to get hold of either the durable softwoods or any hardwood.

In Teach Yourself Joinery published in 1951 it says...

"Choosing timber is not an easy matter at the best of times, but during the war years and since, when timber has been in short supply, it has been a matter of taking what one can get, and not being able to select good-quality timber for a job"

Thank goodness those days are over eh ? ;)
 
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