Saturday, July 4, 2009

Deck Chairs Back from the Dead (chilling at the beaches out at club Med)

Last summer I made some highly functional deck chairs, and from all sources it came from Woodcraft magazine, and Scott Philips no less, the arbiter of woodworking cheese (IMHO). However, these actually have a somewhat modern look and feel, and they're very comfy to sit in since they have a nice 52" radius curvature, which fits the back nice and comfy like.

The plan called for using white oak, a nice outdoor wood that's very strong - oak, obviously, very beefy wood. Myself, being the rather frugal sort (who, ME!?!?!) made the foolhardy decision to go with cedar, this being many degrees cheaper, and also a wood commonly found in my basement last year following the deck project which was also built out of said species.

Well, in the span of about 10 days this spring, 3 out of 4 of the deck chairs met their demise, each one having a leg break off while someone was doing nothing more than sitting in it. Not only was this somewhat embarrassing, but of course the sitter felt guilty and I felt like an idiot for making such a poor decision.

I went ahead and purchased white oak a few months ago at the local purveyor of $1 / bdft wood, but my bargain soon turned into a burden as I found that the wood was still wet as a clam, or about 25% MC. Foiled again....

So I put said stock up to dry - and having recently purchased a dehumidifier found that after a few short weeks the MC reading was down to 10%! So I went ahead and made more legs for two more chairs, happy that I would have real deck furniture again.

After an afternoon of sitting out in the 90 plus degree weather, imagine my horror to see some really large cracks developing in the legs. Aghghghhhhhh!

Looks like the dryness in the wood was very surface, and it was still pretty wet in the middle....

Oh well, maybe someday I'll learn that it doesn't always pay to save a buck (but it was a lot of bucks).

2 more deck chairs, soon to be cracked....

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