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HOW TO KEEP THE CLASSICS CLASSIC

Investing in quality outdoor furniture requires long-term dedication and as one of the great design enthusiasts, Marcus Piper is a huge supporter of the fact. As a close friend to the Taits too, Mr Piper recently enlisted the advice of our very own Gordon to give us a few hot tips on how to keep the classics eternally cool, with particular reference to Gordon’s speciality; timber and stainless steel.


TIMBERS

All timbers need oiling. To ensure Spotted Gum’s colour is retained, we would suggest oiling the timber biannually. First, clean the furniture with hot soapy water and a scrubbing brush, then sand the surface with a 240-grade sand-paper. Then, wash the furniture down a second time with fresh water, ensuring you let it dry thoroughly. Finally, using a high-quality outdoor furniture oil, apply two coats with a brush or rag. For Accoya, follow the same steps as Spotted Gum, but be mindful that Accoya is much a softer wood that won’t stand up to aggressive sanding. You can apply an additional coat of tinted oil after wiping the table down with water.

FSC Spotted Gum (Eucalyptus Maculata) and FSC Accoya are high quality timbers known for their durability – we source these from western Queensland and some forest stands located in eastern coastal areas. Spotted gum is a rich-coloured Australian hardwood with fantastic lasting qualities in exterior contexts. Accoya is an acceylated Radiata Pine (Pinus radiata) product with a light colour that is both durable and environmentally compatible and can be used outdoors for furniture and decking.


STAINLESS STEEL

Typically, there are two grades of stainless steel that can be incorporated for outdoor application: 304 and 316 Marine Grade. The latter is employed in high-corrosion environments, such as coastal locations subject to salt-air contact or chlorine exposure in pool settings. For outdoor environments where there is no risk of corrosive contamination, 304 grade is a more than suitable choice. Generally any fixings used for outdoor furniture and those that reduce rust should always be 316 grade.

The finish of the stainless steel also pays a big part with the higher the polished finish, the smoother the resulting surface. A smoother surface will ensure environmental build-up such as dust, vehicle emissions and salt have less chance to ‘hang’ onto the surface, causing what is known as tea staining. It can of course be cleaned off, but will reappear for as long as it is located outdoors. Another way to smooth stainless steel surfaces is to Electropolish, which is an electrolysis treatment.

This article and the above text was written by Marcus Piper with direct quotes from Gordon Tait of Tait, for Mezzanine magazine.

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