thanks so much! you just saved me about 100$ in lumber. what kind of oil did you use for your rack?
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For cheaper prices, you can go for wooden flooring oils, they're much cheaper, with the same results.
Otherwise, at your local hardware store, look for bee wax for wood.
The oil is nicer if the wood has some grain to show (in that case, you sand your wood, and put multiple layers of oil for best results), whereas the wax just protects it, but it easily gives a soft, nice touch.
In all cases, it protects the wood really well. Of course if you bought pre-treated lumber, it's less usefull, however, you'll have a smooth surface, and water will simply slide of rather than stay there, giving a "always clean" effect.
However, if it's for invisible parts, go for the cheaper/faster option.
In my case, i like wood, so i use hardwoods (tiger wood), sand it very smooth, round edges with a router, then oil 3 to 10 layers for a nice smooth result.
On white woods, the visual impact of transparant oils is much less visible; however, you can use tinted oils (i used a chocolate tinted oil on basic pine beams on a project,
and it gave them the lookof a nice hardwood, and even revealed some wood figures)