Best wood species for bare clapboard siding

fasola-shapenoteOctober 16, 2010

Hey all - I'm building a barn in my backyard, and am going to be putting up traditional wood clapboard siding.

I am going for the vintage/historic/weathered "farmhouse" look, and so will be painting with oil-base paint, so that it will craze and crack and chip off over time, for that authentic look.

Thus, the bare surface of the wood will be exposed to the elements (though all the cracks and missing paint chips), which includes plenty of moisture, since I live in eastern North Carolina.

What wood would be the best to use for this project?

The boards will be 1/2" thick and 5-1/2" wide (basically thin 1x6's), installed with a 1" overlap for a 4-1/2" exposure.

Obviously the traditional wood around here would have been southern yellow pine, but that old-growth virgin wood which could stand up to bare exposure is long gone, and the modern stuff is crap that will warp, split, check, and rot within months.

I need something dimensionally stable, that won't warp/split/crack/twist/cup/etc. with the exposure to the elements.

I had been considering sugar pine, ponderosa pine, western red cedar, clear-vertical-grain douglas fir, and baldcypress. Perhaps none of these are good ideas. Perhaps there's another idea I haven't thought of yet.

Obviously, pressure-treated is out of the question. So is reclaimed old-growth SYP, since it would be full of nail-holes, and of odd short lengths.

Oh, and no redwood or tropical hardwoods (mahogany, paduak, jatoba, etc.)!

And while a very few small, sound knots are okay, something with a ton of knots (even if they're just pin knots) is out of the question...so no knotty pine!

THANKS!

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sombreuil_mongrel

Heart cypress would work; the paint would peel faster, anyway.
Reclaimed heart pine (resawed from large timbers) would not have enough nail (or bolt) holes to cause problems.
Casey

    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 11:32PM
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Moccasin

I agree with Sombreuil that cypress would be a good option.
I have a coffee table made out of some that was in a 90 year old house, which was built from recycled cypress to begin with! And in the 40 years I've had it on my outdoor deck with all sorts of weather, and potted plants sitting on it, and never never any paint, it is still going strong. I keep it out of direct contact with the ground, because of termites.

A few years ago, my brother took a similar coffee table (both of which he built), and sanded and refinished his table. It is absolutely gorgeous, a nice warm light honey color even after the long life its had. Sturdy stuff.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 12:03AM
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