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Your Options for Material Type,
Thickness, and Customization
At Vintage Woodworks you have an extensive range of choices in both natural solid wood and low maintenance synthetic "wood"!
Our most common materials and thicknesses
are discussed below.
Material Options: (see full list below)
Also see Care & Feeding of Wood Millwork.
Exterior - Our first choice for exterior use is low maintenance products made from Cellular PVC, High Density Polyurethane, or High Density Polyethylene. Our second choice is Cypress. Cedar and Redwood are also good exterior woods. Read about all of these materials below.
Interior, painted - Poplar is our choice for painted interior millwork.
Interior, stained - If your interior woodwork is to be stained, Pine is most economical, but Oak is our first choice. Our reasons for the above recommendations are explained below.
For exterior use we offer low maintenance synthetic wood products that look, feel, and sound like painted wood. We do not like and do not offer slick vinyl-type products.
Cellular PVC - Most of our items are available in AZEK Brand Cellular PVC. It is truly a MIRACLE material! It will never rot, cup, split, twist, or warp. It is impervious to moisture, salt, and insects. It's also suitable for ground or masonry contact and comes with a 25-year AZEK manufacturer's warranty. AZEK Cellular PVC has most of the good qualities of real wood but none of wood's maintenance requirements. And, unless you tell, no one will know it's not real wood! Read more....
High Density Polyurethane - All of our polyurethane products come with a super tough, long lasting white factory finish. Because polyurethane does not expand and contract nearly as much as wood, this factory finish will last a very long time before repainting is necessary. That, plus the fact that it is impervious to moisture and insects, makes High Density Polyurethane low maintenance and great for exterior use. Read more...
High Density Polyethylene - We offer
Polyethylene Porch Posts. When you consider their longevity and virtual lack of maintenance they are very affordable. Polyethylene is a very tough, low maintenance material that does not need painting. Not now. Not ever! The outer shell is very resistant to damage (denting, scratching, etc.) We have tested these Posts with sharp hammer blows and moments later could not find the area of impact! Our Polyethylene Porch Posts look, feel, and sound very much like painted wood... and they will look fresh and new indefinitely!
The U.S. Forest Service ranks Cypress among the top woods (along with Cedar and Redwood) for ease of keeping well painted and for resistance to cupping and checking (weathering issues). It accepts and holds stain or paint very well, and is very weather resistant. Read more...
Cedar (Western Red)
Please do not confuse our premium Western Red Cedar with the rough, knotty Cedar available at most lumber yards and home centers. Our Western Red Cedar has a smooth surface and only a few small, tight knots.
Often used outside, Western Red Cedar holds paint well and is very weather resistant. However, it is relatively brittle when used for thinner scrollwork items. Therefore, we do not offer our scrollwork items in 3/4" thick Cedar.
Poplar is a hardwood, although not as hard as Oak. The U. S. Forest Service ranks Poplar as stronger and denser than Pine but it lacks the special decay-resistant qualities of Cedar, Cypress, or Redwood. Some feel Poplar is not as good for staining, due to color variations in a given board. However, if you're painting, Poplar is our first choice for interior use.
For interior use when staining, Pine is a beautiful, traditional choice that balances nicely between cost and results. (Always use a pre-stain wood conditioner - Minwax makes a good one - when staining softwoods such as Pine.) However, because it is stronger and harder, Poplar is a better choice for painted interior use.
The premium Ponderosa White Pine we use is far superior to that available in lumber yards and has only an occasional small tight knot. The U.S. Forest Service has found Ponderosa Pine to be “quite uniform in texture and has little tendency to warp and twist ... generally straight grained and ... moderately small shrinkage.” Unless specified otherwise, White Pine is what we are referring to when we offer Pine at our Product Listings.
Likewise, the premium Yellow Pine we use is far superior to that available in lumber yards and has only an occasional small tight knot. Yellow Pine, also known as Southern Pine, can be one of several similar species from the Southern and South Atlantic States. It is generally heavier and harder than White Pine. That makes Yellow Pine a good choice for Beadboard and other wall coverings.
Yellow Pine is relatively stable when properly kiln dried (15% - 20% moisture level) and when used in narrower thicknesses and widths. In larger dimensions, or when not properly kiln dried, Yellow Pine has a tendency to bow, cup, and split. We primarily offer Yellow Pine for items no more than 3/4" thick.
If painting, your best inexpensive choice is
Poplar because it is even harder and stronger than Yellow Pine.
A traditional, beautiful, durable, strong hardwood, Oak is a pleasure to live with. Indeed, it is a continual favorite for inside use due to it's appealing appearance, hardness (resists nicks and dents) and ability to accept stain very beautifully. Oak is traditionally used in cabinetry, furniture, interior trim, flooring, and paneling.
Red Oak has a light to medium reddish-brown color, though there can be a fair amount of variation in color. White Oak (discussed directly below) tends to be slightly more olive-colored. Unless specified otherwise, Red Oak is what we are referring to when we offer Oak at our Product Listings.
Red Oak is not suitable for exterior use. It does not take and hold paint well without being properly filled, and Red Oak weathers poorly when exposed, as noted by the U.S. Forest Service. It's level of decay resistance falls somewhere between slightly durable to non-durable.
White Oak is light to medium brown, though there can be a fair amount of variation in color. Red Oak tends to be slightly redder. Unless specified otherwise, Red Oak is what we are referring to when we offer Oak at our Product Listings.
White Oak's level of decay resistance falls somewhere between resistant to very resistant, making it more resistant than Red Oak. Indeed, it is frequently used in boat and barrel building. However, it may not take paint well without filling, and regardless, it would be a shame to cover White Oak's lovely grain pattern with paint!
Our standard Redwood grade is a quality B Grade Clear. This grade is a kiln-dried Architectural Grade, which is the highest category of Redwood grades. It has a color mix of red and tan. A few small tight knots may be present in some boards. Often used outside, Redwood holds paint well and is very weather resistant. However, Redwood's more open grain can produce a slightly rougher finish when used for scrollwork. Redwood is less susceptible to shrinkage, warping and checking than most other woods used outside. It has natural oils and resins that help prevent rot decay and insect attack. Other grades of Redwood are available if required, please inquire.
Although Western Hemlock lacks the special weather resistant qualities of Cypress, Cedar, or Redwood, it is a traditional and widely used wood for exterior balustrade components. Indeed, it is the most common wood species for exterior Turned Porch Posts. Western Hemlock should perform very satisfactorily if our painting and installation instructions are followed. Read more....
Special Order Woods (Minimum order requirements may apply):
Doug Fir, mixed grain
Doug Fir, vertical grain
Additional woods are also available. Please inquire.
In the past, Brackets and most other exterior items were typically between 1" and 1-1/2"
thick. Please consider at least 1" for the extra substance this provides. You'll be enjoying your thicker Vintage Woodworks items long after the small price difference is forgotten!
Thickness Options Pricing - Price is
computed by adding the percentage shown below
to our standard 3/4" thickness.
1" - 20%
1-1/4" - 30%
1-1/2" - 40%
Custom Lengths: Our Spandrels, Cornices, Mantels/Pilasters, and Door & Window Caps can be made to the exact length you require at no extra cost! Screen and Storm Doors can be made to the exact length and width you require!
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