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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking to build 12x16 pergola w/ polycarbonate roof for seating and 6x9 pergola w/ tin roof for bbq.

I’m in lovely 4 season Toronto.

I would like to use square edge timber with a rough grain (not smooth).

Two questions for my area:

Are there other options than WRC that come in square edge and rough face? Doesn’t need to be clear and would consider staining to a charcoal tone: white pine, PT, Fir

What is the proper terminology for sourcing the lumber? Examples from regional lumber supplier: https://monaghanlumber.com/building-materials/western-red-cedar/

WEST440304x4x12 WRC 4 SQUARE
 

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retired framer
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Rough cut timber and lumber is what you are looking for.

Most lumberyards here can get it for you. They all know where to get it. There will be some where they get it that mills lumber for people doing timber framing.
You can also find people with portable sawmills that will cut to order.
 

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retired framer
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So rough cut is straight, dried, and stable?
More often we build with wet when you can still bend it to straight and once built it drys straight. Works most of the time.

The problem with fresh lumber cut from a timber, even if the timber is dry.
The center of the timber is always a little dryer or wetter than the outside, when you cut that up, that difference is no longer centered and when it adjusts it's self and the wetter side shrinks and causes a bend.
So you would be looking for dry lumber that has been cut for some time that fits what you want. Good luck:wink2:
 

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Do you have a menards close by? No idea on price comparison, but worth a check.

When we built ours, they had three choices, although I'm not seeing the WRC anymore on their site:
AC2 pressure treated pine
AC2 pressure treated pine, prestained CedarTone color
Western Red Cedar

The WRC is really nice and really light, but cost for our 14x16 was like $1500 for the CedarTone pine and mid-$3k range for WRC, so we ended up going with the pine (pic here).


Also as mentioned, if you go with PT pine, try to plan and buy it close to when you are going to install it, and if possible, store the loose lumber out of direct sunlight. The wet PT boards may be straight when you buy them, but if left to dry for some time, there's a good chance they will warp. If you buy them and install while still partially wet, they typically hold their "straightness" as they dry out opposed to the loose lumber.


Last, as I was cost and material shopping around, this was the response from a pergola kit seller answering the question of PT pine vs. cedar:

As far as material, Cedar is an appearance grade lumber, it is rough sawn so it is kinda hairy. The nice thing is you can seal, stain or paint immediately. We do recommend repeating that process every two -three years.

Our Pine is a denser wood and is structural #1. It is very dark greenish when you receive it. It does need to be set up and installed for approximately 2-4 months to dry out at which time you can paint, stain or seal it at that time and repeat that process very 2-3 years as well.

You would not be making a poor choice if you chose Pine. It is a very nice wood. It is definitely not your Home Depot pine either, it's a #1 not a #2. It will last for years and years. I honestly prefer the pine in my opinion.

**footnote - his response on the pine is comparing what they offer, which is a higher grade #1 pine, vs the stuff you'd find at HD, which tops out at a #2. The lumber you see for our pergola is #2 PT pine from menards.
 

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@dtbingle, do you have any info on that pergola you built?
Was there anything specific you wanted to know?

It was one of menards pergola kits using the AC2 CedarTone Premium Lumber (aka prestained #2 pine). When you add their 'kit' to the cart, it just adds the raw lumber material - it's not actually a kit. I just modified their design a bit to fit length/width for my patio.

Example 1
 

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Was there anything specific you wanted to know?

It was one of menards pergola kits using the AC2 CedarTone Premium Lumber (aka prestained #2 pine). When you add their 'kit' to the cart, it just adds the raw lumber material - it's not actually a kit. I just modified their design a bit to fit length/width for my patio.

Example 1

Thanks, it looked like the Ozco hardware in the pic you posted but was curious if someone else had produced similar hardware. Were you happy with the quality of the hardware for the price?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I’ve found a couple options for cedar and pine (untreated).

The first is a guy who cuts up old telephone poles to dimension you ask for.

The second is untreated pine or northern white cedar. Again, cuts them into whatever you need.

Not against a white cedar or pine but staining every 2-3 yrs doesn’t excite me :) they would both be covered and out of rain and UV so I might get a little longer.

I’ll have to track down a source for PT Grade 1 Pine. Everything I see at HD is jack pine that cracks like crazy.
 

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I’ve found a couple options for cedar and pine (untreated).

The first is a guy who cuts up old telephone poles to dimension you ask for.

The second is untreated pine or northern white cedar. Again, cuts them into whatever you need.

Not against a white cedar or pine but staining every 2-3 yrs doesn’t excite me :) they would both be covered and out of rain and UV so I might get a little longer.

I’ll have to track down a source for PT Grade 1 Pine. Everything I see at HD is jack pine that cracks like crazy.
Someone else may know more on this, but I believe the WRC dulls fairly quickly from it's redd'ish tone to grey'ish/silvery tone. As long as that color is okay, you won't be staining, but if not, you'll be in the same boat of restaining every few years like the white cedar and pine.

The OZCO hardware was a pretty heavy duty gauge of steel and fairly easily to work with. I really like the look of the black exposed hardware when installed. One complaint is that the cap for the screw covers (here) don't smoothly thread into the cap base and it's easy to disturb the black finish on that cap piece while screwing it in. My second issue was that the 45deg angle pieces for attaching the diagonal supports from the 6x6 post to the overhead rafters seemed to be bent just off of 45 deg in a varying amount for each one. If I cut the angled wood support to 45 degrees and hold up the 45 degree angle bracket against the post, there was quite a bit of wiggle room. Basically did trial and error of cutting the wood at 45, 46, 47, etc until it was snug between the angle bracket and post. Both were minor issues and I would likely buy this hardware again if building another pergola.
 

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I'm wondering if Waterlox Marine would give you the finish and protection you're looking for. I've used the original version (without the UV inhibitors that the Marine has) on interior wood for a coffee table. It won't be cheap, but a couple coats should give you good protection without having to constantly re-stain it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm wondering if Waterlox Marine would give you the finish and protection you're looking for. I've used the original version (without the UV inhibitors that the Marine has) on interior wood for a coffee table. It won't be cheap, but a couple coats should give you good protection without having to constantly re-stain it.

I’ve seen wood countertops use waterlox before and it’s not a gloss finish. Will have to look this up.

Currently looking at northern white cedar as an option for siding shop, pergolas, porch soffit. Any opinions on that wood?
 
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