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Old 11-28-2007, 03:26 PM   #1
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best wood for exterior fence gate


What is an adequate wood for exterior fence gate? I am looking at Lowes and HD, there seems to be many choices.

I'm looking for 2X4s and the flat pieces too.

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Old 11-29-2007, 08:01 AM   #2
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best wood for exterior fence gate


What is the rest of the fence made of? I would say match what you have. If you do not care about match, and you can only shop at HD or Lowes then your choices are limited.

Pressure Treated Southern Yellow pine (The green or brown stuff)
or
Cedar

The cedar that those two stores sells is, around here, knotty western red cedar. The lowest grade. You CAN get this stuff w/o knots (or very few) at other places and its beautiful.

Other choices from other places.
Ipe, Mahogany, White Cedar, Cypress, Teak, White Oak (NOT red Oak), and maybe others.

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Old 11-29-2007, 08:38 AM   #3
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best wood for exterior fence gate


If it's gonna be painted, get pressure-treated wood. Be sure to use hardware rated for use with it. Sand it smooth, then, a coat or two of exterior primer/sealer and a couple coats of exterior paint.

If it'll be stained, I would consider going to a lumberyard. Check out red cedar, ipe, or white oak. Teak and mahogany are on the expensive side. Whatever wood you choose, you probably want to use something like Cabot for finish.
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Old 12-02-2007, 08:53 PM   #4
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best wood for exterior fence gate


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Originally Posted by darsunt View Post
What is an adequate wood for exterior fence gate? I am looking at Lowes and HD, there seems to be many choices.

I'm looking for 2X4s and the flat pieces too.
Unfortunately all the choices you see at them are bad ones. By that I mean that the materials are poor quality. Their cedar fence boards are a low grade full of knots and extremely thin compared to a quality fence board, and their treatded material is so laden with water from the teatment process that it will warp like crazy as it dries. If you do not have a local fence company who will sell you materials, you should be able to buy 1 x 6 clear grade western red cedar at a decent lumber yard, and easily cut the "dog ears" with a circular saw or miter saw. If you are matching to an existing fence, cedar is most likely what you have. If you do not have to worry about the texture match and want to spend a few $$ dollars more, step up to clear heart redwood, this is the Cadillac of exterior wood.

You are not talking about a large quantity of materials for a gate, so I would go for top quality materials, Including fasteners of stainless steel or a quality coated deck screw.

Pressure treated boards are strictly low end IMO. They are pine, full of knots, and will warp like crazy when they dry out.
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Old 12-03-2007, 08:36 PM   #5
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best wood for exterior fence gate


Somwthing wlse to consider about P.T. wood. You'll have to let it weather for a number of months before it will hold paint.
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Old 12-04-2007, 11:42 AM   #6
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best wood for exterior fence gate


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What is an adequate wood for exterior fence gate? I am looking at Lowes and HD, there seems to be many choices.

I'm looking for 2X4s and the flat pieces too.
Personally, I would go with cedar if you're willing to take care of it. If not, then there's always composite fencing. Gone are the days when ugly white was the only option.
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Old 07-01-2008, 12:04 PM   #7
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best wood for exterior fence gate


I am considering the composite fence by Lowes because it is not shiny and plastic looking (vinyl fencing) and it does not need to be maintained. I know that there is not a lot of information on it and there are not many options but I am going to try it. Any experience, anyone?
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Old 07-01-2008, 12:10 PM   #8
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best wood for exterior fence gate


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I am considering the composite fence by Lowes because it is not shiny and plastic looking (vinyl fencing) and it does not need to be maintained. I know that there is not a lot of information on it and there are not many options but I am going to try it. Any experience, anyone?
Yes, I would go with the composite fence, but it's heavy and expensive. Over time though, you will need to wash it with a deck cleaner & pressure washer to remove mold, mildew, moss, and fungus.
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:48 AM   #9
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best wood for exterior fence gate


your best gate will be custom rod iron ...with the family crest in the middle.

anything else says I can't afford that.
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Old 07-05-2008, 11:21 AM   #10
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best wood for exterior fence gate


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Originally Posted by troubleseeker View Post
Unfortunately all the choices you see at them are bad ones. By that I mean that the materials are poor quality. Their cedar fence boards are a low grade full of knots and extremely thin compared to a quality fence board, and their treatded material is so laden with water from the teatment process that it will warp like crazy as it dries. If you do not have a local fence company who will sell you materials, you should be able to buy 1 x 6 clear grade western red cedar at a decent lumber yard, and easily cut the "dog ears" with a circular saw or miter saw. If you are matching to an existing fence, cedar is most likely what you have. If you do not have to worry about the texture match and want to spend a few $$ dollars more, step up to clear heart redwood, this is the Cadillac of exterior wood.

You are not talking about a large quantity of materials for a gate, so I would go for top quality materials, Including fasteners of stainless steel or a quality coated deck screw.

Pressure treated boards are strictly low end IMO. They are pine, full of knots, and will warp like crazy when they dry out.

Well put I agree!
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Old 07-07-2008, 09:21 AM   #11
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best wood for exterior fence gate


When forced to build gates, I always lean toward cedar. It is relatively stable, rot resistant, and primes/paints well. And it's relatively light, which is easy on your hardware.
I resist the urge to use treated lumber, as it is wet, heavy, and prone to checking and warping/cupping as it dries. And you need to let it dry out a few months prior to finishing.
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:08 AM   #12
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<snip> If you do not have to worry about the texture match and want to spend a few $$ dollars more, step up to clear heart redwood, this is the Cadillac of exterior wood. <snip>
Yep, clear heart redwood USED TO BE the Cadillac of exterior wood, but that was back when we had decent-quality "old growth" redwood available. Its growth rings were around a thirty-second to maybe a sixteenth of an inch apart. That's what gave redwood its reputation. Nowadays, the fast-grown highly porous "redwood", what they call "Second-Growth" redwood, has little if any rot resistance. That's not just my opinion, it's a fact you can see in the Wood Handbook published by the U. S. Forest Products Laboratory, and available over the Internet. When I need to use that grade of redwood, I find that soaking it in that penetrating epoxy makes a big difference in how well it stands up to weather.

Read the Wood Handbook carefully....particularly the first few chapters, which discuss mostly all the different kinds of wood, imported and domestic, hardwoods and softwoods, and compares their rot resistances. It is a valuable resource and you can download it for free, or buy your own bound copy. I personally like to have a book on the shelf I can pick up and read when I want to.
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Old 07-10-2008, 12:27 PM   #13
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best wood for exterior fence gate


Next gate I'll probably use clear cedar for 2 X 6. But that stuff isn't all heartwood, correct? So it doesn't resist decay that well?

By the way, do they have PT 2 X 2s and 6 X 2s? I didn't notice any last time I was at the lumberyard.
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Old 07-10-2008, 01:24 PM   #14
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best wood for exterior fence gate


AYC (Alaskan Yellow Cedar) HEARTWOOD has high natural rot resistance. However, the SAPWOOD will rot so fast it will make your head spin.

Deal with an established and reputable lumber dealer who knows what he is selling, and make sure you know what you are getting.
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:15 PM   #15
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best wood for exterior fence gate


Hi, I'm in the same boat. I need to make two gates for the side of my house. I just put up a six foot block wall that I had originally intended to attach the gates to. But I've been getting advice that it would be wiser to attach the gates to the front and back corners of my house on the reenforced studs. This mainly because I wanted to use the composite fence materials sold at Lowe's with one of the "Adjust-A- Gate" steel frame kits for strength. But I've come to find out the whole thing with hardware and composite will weigh about 105 lbs. So now I'm worried the house or wall will not support this kind of weight. Now I'm thinking of wood for the weight issues. Anybody want to throw in any opinions on these issues. Thanks, Jeff

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