How did pioneers build picnic table legs before the invention of pressure treated lumber? How long did the legs last? We will find out!
I recently built this picnic table out of scrap wood from my wood bin. I chose not to use pressure treated wood for the legs, because of the environmental impacts. I realize that the legs will eventually rot, but figure I can always just unbolt them and bolt new ones on. I am just wondering approximately how long they will last with the Pacific Northwest Rain and humidity? Is there anything I can do to extend the longevity of them. Deck sealer? Concrete Pavers under them? A wax dip?
I have built two of this exact table (found the same pdf years ago also using plain old pine and not using treated lumber). The first one got two good all over coats of outdoor latex paint and I think it is still doing well in my son's back yard in full sun. I'll have to ask him. The second one I left completely natural (made of pine as well) and simply set each leg up on an old brick. It has been exposed to sun and shade, rain and snow, etc. for about six years now and still has not rotted. The boards have turned a bit green from all the rain this year, but it still seems quite sound. However, I think painting and propping on pavers would be the ideal combination.
Larch and tamarack, black locust are usualy considered rot resistant. There must be others. To split and plane your wood also adds to rot resistance. Because there's the least amount of short fibers.
In my area we have a LOT of red cedar. It works very well for this if you can mill your own boards. I was in a hurry and used pre-cut lumber, but I plan to make several of these from cedar once I have time to get my little Alaska chainsaw mill in action. If you don't have cedar, osage orange and redwood are good alternatives as well.
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