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garden chair, wooden slats broken.

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Clive Hartland18/05/2020 11:33:31
2564 forum posts
40 photos

My garden chair, 2 seater has broken slats through old age.

anyone know of a replacement service for the wood slats?

I could cut my own but what wood?

Craig Brown 218/05/2020 11:47:33
20 forum posts
8 photos

By slats I assume you mean something in the size of 2"x1"? The cheap option would be to buy roofing battens that come in sizes of 19m x 38mm or 25mm x 50mm and are treated.

The more expensive option would be to get a local joinery company to cut you some new slats from oak or another hardwood but these would obviously look better and last longer.

JasonB18/05/2020 12:15:51
18119 forum posts
1996 photos
1 articles

I would not go for roofing batter or any cheap softwood as knots are likely and the slat will just snap

I've done a few with Iroko and that's what I tend to use when making outside furniture, just check for straight grain as it can be a bit short grained in places which is likely to snap much like knots. hardwood decking boards such as yellow balau ripped down the middle would be a fairly easy option too and it's an oily wood.

Edited By JasonB on 18/05/2020 12:17:40

Martin Connelly18/05/2020 12:31:17
1369 forum posts
159 photos

I just got some straightish grain low knot 60x20 ish soft wood from a local builders merchant to replace the worn out ones on mine. Gave them a generous coat of fence paint and they look good and feel nice and strong.

Martin C

Mark Easingwood18/05/2020 13:03:53
12 forum posts
4 photos

I agree with Jason, Iroko would be my first choice, you will need to buy it from a timber merchant or joinery manufacturer, waste of time trying DIY places or most mainstream builders merchants.

Sapele is another possibility, not as durable but a bit cheaper, same advice for short grain.

If you are machining it yourself, the dust from Iroko can be particularly unpleasant, and it can bend badly whilst being cut.

duncan webster18/05/2020 13:10:44
2591 forum posts
34 photos

When my next door neighbours ripped out perfectly good oak flooring I helpfully removed quite a bit from the skip, and repurposed it as slats for a garden bench for the daughter. It was about 20mm thick, so just needed ripping longways. Still going strong after several years even tho she never got round to varnishing it

peak418/05/2020 13:19:10
1094 forum posts
124 photos

I guess it's a bit of a cost/benefit thing, particularly at the moment when getting out for supplies might be awkward.
Try typing Hardwood Slats into ebay, where you will find options in both Iroko and Sapele.
Disadvantage might be cost and not being able to examine the wood pre-purchase, but advantage is that they're already fully machined.
I found Toolstation cheapest for stainless coachscrews, washers and nuts; I'm sure you appreciate not to assemble stainless nuts and bolts dry.


Tim Rowe18/05/2020 13:28:48
27 forum posts
4 photos

Hello Clive

What is the chair made from? If you don't know or it doesn't matter I would replace the slates with teak. More durable than all the others mentioned and easier to maintain.

A cautionary note about Iroko. If left outside to weather it can warp exposing its twisted grain with the real risk of nasty sharp splinters in sensitive body parts. Iroko splinters tend to go septic and the wood itself untreated tends to go a nasty shade of black. Iroko dust is horrible as mentioned above.

Not that I have got anything against iroko of course.

Tim Rowe

Clive Hartland18/05/2020 13:34:09
2564 forum posts
40 photos

I think from the look of it it is Iroko wood, I have a sawbench/planer and know about the bad effcts of sawing these woods.

Peak4, I will follow that up as soon as I can.

Thank you Gentlemen for your advice.


Ian P18/05/2020 13:47:21
2380 forum posts
100 photos

As Tim said, unless you are trying to match the existing wood, definitely go for Teak.

Having too much free time at the moment I have just overhauled (tarted up) a Teak garden table that we bought in 1984 which has been out of doors ever since except for one winter. In one place the wood had rotted slightly where some steel panel pins had been used in its manufacture. All the other fixings are brass and the rest of the table had not suffered at all. I more or less dismantled the whole table, sanded the parts and then used Teak oil on all the pieces and reassembled it. It now has an as-new appearance.

Those that know will be laughing at me for oiling the table as I now have to do it annually!

Apparently Teak is naturally a particularly oily wood and does not need any treatment, if it is subsequently oiled then (I dont know the technical reason) it will need to be regularly re-treated.

Ian P

not done it yet18/05/2020 15:01:57
4648 forum posts
16 photos

Keruing might be a good choice?

Martin Kyte18/05/2020 15:25:05
1843 forum posts
33 photos

Try this lot Clive


regards Martin

JasonB18/05/2020 16:11:29
18119 forum posts
1996 photos
1 articles

Where are you chaps suggesting teak buying it from? None of my usual hardwood suppliers stock it.

Ian P18/05/2020 17:09:17
2380 forum posts
100 photos

As one of the chaps, I have to admit I knew little about how difficult it is to get hold of!

Its still an ace material for the job, but Clive will have to use something else.

Ian P

JasonB18/05/2020 17:15:17
18119 forum posts
1996 photos
1 articles

You can get hold of some plantation grown teak but it is said to not be as dense or durable as natural growth and even then it's rather expensive.

larry phelan 118/05/2020 18:02:13
719 forum posts
14 photos

All the good Teak was ripped out years ago, in the days of the "Empire"

Not much of either left these days.

Iroko is not a nice wood to work with, since it is dried out too quickly and tends to twist and warp even while being machined, and the dust from it ???????? not good for you. Ask me how I know.

Did you consider using Ash ? Good enough for boats, good enough for seats ?

Derek Lane18/05/2020 18:30:48
324 forum posts
73 photos

I rebuilt two garden benches I replace all of the slats with Teak but as stated not easy to get hold of as well as being expensive. The second choice would be Oak again not always cheap but durable and resists the weather. Like most wood products they benefit from retreating every year or two.

Clive Hartland18/05/2020 18:38:46
2564 forum posts
40 photos

I have Ash, but I find it almost impossible to work with as it blunts the planer very quickly and it is a tedious job taking out the cutters and sharpening. The saw nearly bounces off it.

Looking now at martin's suggested supplier.


Edited By Clive Hartland on 18/05/2020 18:39:15

Douglas Johnston18/05/2020 19:07:28
688 forum posts
32 photos

I had to replace a couple of the slats on my garden seat a few years ago and just used some handpicked softwood from the local B&Q store. A treatment with some cheap wood preservative and left to weather for a while and the result was very good and soon matched the much older original slats.


Mark Easingwood18/05/2020 19:42:10
12 forum posts
4 photos

Hi Clive,

Ash is not as durable as Iroko, Sapele or Oak, but better than softwood, probably better if furniture is well treated, and dry stored over winter.

I think the export of Teak from Burma, now rebranded as Myanmar, is banned, although Teak is not on the endangered list. The plantation Teak, when available, is probably grown in Indonesia. The last time I saw Teak for sale, on a timber merchants list may be 20 years ago, and it was at least twice the price of Oak then, if memory serves.

Burmese Teak has joined Parana Pine, Brazilian Mahogany, Japanese Oak, Pitch Pine and others, the stuff of legend and old men's stories.

Most Lab benches had Teak tops, including all those miles of them in schools, probably gone up in smoke now, but if anyone happens upon any being removed, stake a claim.

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