In honor of Easter, this post we’re going over the types of wood that can be used for crosses that are going to be displayed inside or outside for a long period time after Easter Sunday. The cross is an integral part of the Easter celebration and is often a focal point during the service and celebration. Read on to learn the benefits of different types of wood for cross construction and how to maintain wooden crosses over the long term.
Wood Cross Dimensions
When constructing a large-scale, authentic Easter cross the dimensions of the wood come into play and can affect product availability. A good guideline is to look for one 9’-12’ 4×4 and one 6’ 4×4 to construct the cross. If the cross is going to be mounted in the ground outside the vertical beam will need to be longer because it has to be sunk into the ground approximately three feet.
Interior Cross Construction
When the cross is going to be displayed indoors virtually any wood is an option. The key concerns are appearance and longevity. Workability isn’t such a huge factor because for the most part the design needs little woodworking to complete.
Tropical hardwoods are an excellent option for indoor crosses. They will last the longest of all the woods and come in many beautiful grain and color variations. While they are more expensive than other types of wood, keeping the cross indoors will help to protect your investment.
Indoor wood features don’t have as many maintenance requirements as those that are outside, however that doesn’t mean regular upkeep isn’t needed. You’ll want to inspect and clean the cross at least once a year if not more. Opt for a wood cleaner that is designed specifically for the type of wood used to construct the cross.
While cleaning the cross look for signs of infestation. Even though it’s indoors wood destroying insects can still get inside and use the wooden cross as a home or food source. Proper pest control treatment around the property will help to prevent these insects from getting indoors.
Exterior Cross Construction
Focus needs to be on wood that will weather well out in the elements. Fortunately there are numerous options that are excellent for outdoor use.
Redwood – This wood is prized for its durability, ability to ward of insects and its rot resistance. Many also choose Redwood for its rich color, which can be maintained with a sealant or left untreated to turn a silvery grey with time.
Cedar – Like Redwood, Cedar has natural preservatives that protect it from insects and rot.
Treated Pine – Pine that has been treated can be used for exterior projects and even sunk below the surface. It is the most economical option, however it won’t have quite the longevity of other wood options.
Tropical Hardwood – Due to their hardness tropical hardwoods like Ipe won’t warp and split easily even in extreme temperatures and weather conditions. They are also able to resist rot and insects, which have a more difficult time burrowing into hardwoods.
All exterior wood features and structures should be regularly inspected to look for insect damage and possible rot from water exposure. One way to protect against both is to clean and stain or seal the cross annually. For Redwood and tropical hardwoods you may only need to seal the cross once every two years depending on its exposure to the elements.
If you need assistance in selecting the wood that best suits the needs for you or your church we’d be honored to help. From the Timbertown Austin Family to yours, we wish you a Happy Easter.
Image Source: flickr.com/photos/bogenfreund/2332202713