An outstanding external feature of many forest lodges is shiplap cladding. Shiplap cladding comes in many different forms including a variety of different wood types, textures and even in PVC. However I wouldn’t choose a PVC finish for my forest lodge as I want to keep the construction sympathetic with the surroundings and also be environmentally friendly.
Although there are many types of cladding that can be used to provide a water tight finish shiplap cladding is generally the best. The appearance of shiplap cladding can be achieved by placing wood overlapping lengths of wood from bottom to top of the area to be covered. This will provide a basic rough, rustic coverage however the best type of shiplap cladding is a system where the cladding has a tongue and groove feature so that it looks like it is just overlapping but in reality it has a hidden locking system which holds each length together. Moreover this type of system tends to be superior in strength, stability and water tightness.
The type of wood is a matter of personal preference and you can use a soft wood such as pine or a hard wood such as oak. Obviously the hard wood is more expensive however it does last longer and is suitable for both the traditional or contemporary styles of lodges.
Finishes for Shiplap Cladding
For my lodge I chose a western red cedar shiplap cladding. When choosing a suitable finish for the outside of my lodge I was looking for a finish that enhanced the wood aesthetically as well as making it more watertight and giving it longevity. I didn’t want to use an oil based paint as I felt this would weather and flake off. So I chose an oil stain which would penetrate into the wood and give it long lasting protection.
The oil stains currently available on the market come in a range of colours from forest greens to dark browns. However I felt the these colours would weather and look shabby in time. So I opted for an oil which matched the colour of the cedar wood and when it was finished it looked stunning.
Ash wood comes in a variety of colour from Black Ash wood to white ash wood. White ash wood tends to be light in appearance and has a wider spacing in the grain whereas black ash wood is typically a lot darker and the growth rings are much closer together. However whether black or white the woods are hardwoods with a good longevity.
Ash wood is one of the cheaper hard woods which can be used in domestic circumstances. Indeed the ash wood is ideal for working both in hand work and machine work and it responds well to steaming, bending and gluing. Hence it is ideal for lodge furniture, flooring or internal cladding.
Being a hardwood ash wood is often used for wood turning and is excellent for tool handles, sport equipment such as cricket bats, pool cues and oars.
Disadvantages of Ash wood
Even the best of woods has it’s disadvantages and so has ash wood. It is not durable and is perishable and can be prone to rotting so it’s not suitable for every purpose. So it is not ideal of external projects such as cladding where the wood is subject to the elements.
Another main concern is the susceptibility to an attack by beetles and fungus which includes furniture post beetles which eat away at the wood.
Ash wood flooring looks nice however as ash wood is one of the softer hard woods it is not very hard wearing. Moreover sanding needs to be undertaken carefully as if it crosses the grain then scratching will occur.