I love this magazine. I base most of my knowledge on what I’ve read in its pages. However applying this knowledge to working wood in the southern United States is a constant battle for. Mainly on outside projects. Charleston, SC (not where I live) has many a beautiful wooden gate. Some dating back to the time this country was born. They can last in this climate, yet somehow mine don’t. I’ve tried a great deal of things but each has failed and I’m running short of ideas. Recently (if you call the past year and a half recent) I’ve built a set of gates for a family in Columbia, SC. With is 98 degree weather in the summer and 90% it makes for a real challenge to get something to work. Even in the winter time it presents challenges with weather that can reach the teens and relatively no humidity. The first gate which is in the pictures was made of cypress. I did frame and panels with the appropriate gaps yet the joints still separated. I did floating tenons thinking they would best for the inevidible movement that they would need to endure. No dice. The joints failed and everything started to come apart. I even used epoxy for the joints thinking that the sun weaken regular PVA glue. After looking at the gate once it had gone through one summer in this town it was clear that the tenons I made were nowhere near large enough for such a large gate (the gate is roughly the size of a sheet of plywood). That was the first failure. So I tried a different approach. I decided to make the gate entirely of plywood. Much like an earlier Tools and Shops (I can’t recall the issue) with the workbench for under $250, I made a layered construction forming the mortise and tenons with plywood. I don’t have any pictures to describe this but it was a sandwich of 3/4″ plywood and 1/2″ plywood. The tenons were 1/2″. Now this has been set outside for at least two months and now, as I expected it is coming apart at the seams. So, solid wood moves to the point that it tears itself apart and the layered construction isn’t fairing well either. Anyone else out there tyring to build outdoor projects in the bloody hot south?