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Thread: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

  1. #141
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    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    We all know what wood is, right?
    Do we remember that petroleum is made from organic matter like wood,
    and that plastics like polyethylene, and polymers like epoxy, are made from petroleum?

    By comparison, using silicon bronze or stainless screws to build wooden boats, and copper for sheathing,
    and all kinds of metals for rigging, are really mixing inorganic with organic materials.

    We all recognize the difference between a (mostly) wood boat, and a (mostly) plastic boat, and a (mostly) metal boat. Let's leave it that way.

  2. #142
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    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    Agreed, it is always best to put back the sructure that was original to the hull. I am having real problems with removing steamed 1970s era 5200 bedded and 5 years old glued to the floors and planks lamminated frames. Both jokers epoxied the screws and bolts in. A great way to mass produce rot, either way.

  3. #143
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    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    Subscribers to WoodenBoat can now watch - Plastic Frames for Wooden Boats - HDMW polyethylene sistered to wood (Part 1 of 2)
    In Jay Picotte’s profile of Louis Sauzedde of WoodenBoat No. 239, he called him the “go-to guy for plastic frames.” In this first of two videos, Sauzedde demonstrates the use of High-Density Molecular Weight Polyethylene (HDMW) frames to sister the wooden frames of the fishing vessel FINAST KIND II before replacing a section of her deck. Part of WoodenBoat’s Master Shipwrights video series.
    All Master Boatbuilder videos can also be found by logging into WoodenBoat.com -> Subcribers Only -> Exclusive Video

    Watch more Tips from a Shipwright videos on our Youtube Channel or www.TipsfromaShipwright.com
    Thanks for watching and if you found this video helpful send the folks at WB a note - http://www.woodenboat.com/contact

  4. #144
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    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    I love this discussion, it's one I have had with myself and anyone that will listen in about a hundred different forms over the last 8 years I've been building learning boat building. My thinking is that I love the traditions of boat building as much as the boats them selves. This is isn't just from some sense of purity but because I like the living breathing traditions. Last year I spent a happy few hours on the saloon of an old fishing fifie as a storm raged outside and the boat swung on anchor, around the table were three old folk from Shetland talking about fishing and boats. It was for me the best moment of boats in a reasonably boat based life as it wasn't stuck in a museum.

    I build and teach traditional boatbuilding for a living. But I built myself a cheap ply and fibreglass sailing skiff, mostly in jig time and with plenty shortcuts. Just because i wanted to get on the water, and have a boat I could abuse a bit because I know myself.

    There is a place for both, and a place for both on this forum. I don't tend to say much on here though, i rarely find myself sure enough of an answer to a question to want to tell someone else how to do it.
    Ben Duffin
    Lead Boatbuilder
    www.anchorandsail.org

  5. #145
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    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    Quote Originally Posted by Benduffin View Post
    ... I don't tend to say much on here though, i rarely find myself sure enough of an answer to a question to want to tell someone else how to do it.
    If only everybody here felt the same way!

    Tom

  6. #146
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    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    For the weight and cost, and lack of stiffness in using HDPE (High Density Polyurethane) I don't understand why this would be a good material.

    Plastic is subject to creep and has little to no stiffness or inherent strength. It will YIELD to sustained load and settle into whatever shape the forces acting on it demand (not the other way 'round). Any sustained force on it will deform it over time.

    Any contribution the Oak frames added to hull stiffness and shape will be lost with Plastic Frames.

    In my view, the Plastic must be viewed as solely a means of "knitting" the planks together. Hull shape will depend almost entirely on the remaining wooden components that dictate the cross section (transom, remaining wooden frames, deckbeams, and the planks themselves). I can understand how they APPEAR to work well in repairs where SOME of the frames are replaced, but I'd love to see how a 100% reframed in HDPE hull measures out after things have settled. (adding heat accelerates creep.. I'm betting the engine room area will be even MORE subject to deformation... and what shape does that hull comply to laying hove to on a tropical beach????)

    If you are going to use Plastic, it makes more sense in my view to use some sort of Fiber-filled high strength stuff.. (basically "injected molded fiberglass"...) but you'd never be able to heat or cold bend it.. it would have to be molded to it's final intended shape.

  7. #147
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    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    So what you are saying may be that the frames are not necessarily contributing a whole lot to the stability and strength of the structure. The question to ask is what does make the structure work? The frames rot, lose strength, break and the boat sails on oblivious until lots of frames are in rather poor condition. So maybe the plastic does not need to be all that strong to stabilize the structure if all the plastic frames (need to) do is knit the planks together.

    The plastic frames are bent into the boat, which means the plastic wants to spring back and push the sides out. The fact that the plastic frames don't tear the boat apart indicates that there is a lot of other load carrying material in the structure.

    The issue of thermal expansion should be considered in context with moisture expansion, which is far greater than thermal expansion. The trouble is that thermal expansion works over a matter of hours or minutes while moisture expansion works over month and years.

    quoting me quoting the Wood Handbook:
    Thermal expansion: "When moist wood is heated, it tends to expand because of normal thermal expansion and to shrink because of loss in moisture content... For wood at usual moisture levels, net dimensional changes will generally be negative after prolonged heating." These guys work in a dry lab, and boats live on the water. Bottom line is that the TCOE is hard to predict because the MCOE is more significant. At least a frame is insulated from the temperature swings of the outer surface in direct sunlight.

    I also commented earlier on a way to insert a FRP 'frame' between the planking and ceiling without disassembling much of the boat. Some examples of the process might help. I know of no one using this on a boat, but there is no reason you can't form a tube of FRP this way in something other than a sewer line. There are plenty of options available to tailor the fiber orientation for use a a frame reinforcement. Here are some different approaches: http://www.lightstreamliner.com/news...place-pipe.php
    http://www.formadrain.com/

  8. #148
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    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    lots of working boats around bc coast have been re framed with plastic. my 1949 troller has had a dozen or so frames repaced for over 15 years with plastic, There is no problem whatsoever with this boat where it has been repaired this way; and the oak that is right beside? well 2 generations of sistering are powder laying on the planks. If not for the plastic frames this boat would be ash after someone lit the bonfire.
    with 2" thick planks on the outside and 1.5" ceiling on the inside it would have been too much work to repair with oak again. Funny enough all the planks and ceiling are in very good shape. I would have preferred them using anything but oak when it was built. Yellow cedar is a little soft maybe but Doug fir would have been better.
    But I have quite a few plastic frames now and of all of them those are the ones I worry about the least.

  9. #149
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    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    Quote Originally Posted by MN Dave View Post
    The plastic frames are bent into the boat, which means the plastic wants to spring back and push the sides out. The fact that the plastic frames don't tear the boat apart indicates that there is a lot of other load carrying material in the structure.
    That part Dave, is the "temporary" aspect of HDPE Plastic. It will spring back when installed, but eventually "Creep" so there will be no more "spring back" at all. It will conform to whatever shape the forces around it push it into.

    As I stated above, I think HDPE frames used as "repairs" rely upon their wooden neighbors (and planking, stringers, etc) to maintain hull shape. If you were to frame new completely in HDPE, it brings up questions of the materials ability to hold a shape.


    If you were to consider the hull shape and the contribution of the planking to it of for instance, a Banks Dory, I can see how the frames initially act as "spacers" to hang the planks on, but the simple bend of the planks determine the hull shape. the natural tendency or springback of the planking gives Dories their distinctive shape and sheer. A "relaxed" chunck of HDPD framing might have little impact on that final hull shape.

    Compare it to a deep keeled "wineglass" section, with both concave and convex bends, sometimes occuring over the run of a single plank. This one is brain buster to try an imaging the (Static) forces and what the frames are contributing.. but my estimation is the the frame shape is crucial in some areas of the hull to maintain shape

  10. #150
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    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    All very good points, and also good that Doug got his comments in between the posts. The original video did describe the plastic as unsuitable to high stress members such as floors. We should also bear in mind that wood also takes a permanent set after a few years. I did say that the PE wants to spring back, but it is only about 10-20% as stiff as oak, and in the video, the PE was not all that thick and the curves were fairly gentle. Good point about the tight, complex reversing curves in a wineglass transom. There is another video https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=_h3JWbiP75M showing incidentally how much steam bent oak has to be sprung into the final shape. The melting point of HDPE is 260°F and the HDT is 176°F, so it might bend like oak with steam, certainly in a hot enough glycol water mix.

    The temporary molds used to shape the bent frames and hold the shape during planking is key to building on bent oak frames, which are often bent in after planking. True, a banks dory is shaped by the stiff planks and the thwarts. The frames help the planks resist splitting and support the longitudinal members.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Schultz View Post
    ... and the oak that is right beside? well 2 generations of sistering are powder laying on the planks...
    My point is that the frames seem to be somewhat less structurally important in the long run than they are during construction. A good 'weak' frame is better than a totally rotten frame. High strength material is wasted in low stress applications. The plastic frame repair may not work in all cases, but where it does work well, there are places where a plastic frame is appropriate. Certainly a purist restoring an old Herreshoff would never consider using plastic. to hold that precious 3% of the original hull... oops.

  11. #151
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    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    Hi
    it has its place in a few places.
    On the top of bulwarks on fishing boats.
    Hawsers and anchor protection spring to mind.
    But not in general construction.
    Lower density recycled stuff is used to make park benches where it's just awful bends like a bent politician!
    James

  12. #152
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    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesh View Post
    Hi
    it has its place in a few places.
    On the top of bulwarks on fishing boats.
    Hawsers and anchor protection spring to mind.
    But not in general construction.
    Lower density recycled stuff is used to make park benches where it's just awful bends like a bent politician!
    James
    I worked in a factory where we processed 100,000 lbs of HD and LD Polyethylene daily (1 railcar every 3 days...) We reused the scrap produced in the process as "regrind" which got fed back into the extruders. Every time you remelt the PE, the molecules get trashed, cut shorter, and become very weak. Eventually, we'd route the scrap to a bundler and store it out in the parking lot to go to a recycler. While in the parking lot, gravel, garbage and human waste (homeless guys would setup camp in the stacks) leaves, dirt and bird droppings accumulated in the material. One reason why park benches is all recycled is good for (and why I won't walk barefoot on "Treks" or other plastic decking.....

  13. #153
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    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    #148 Tipsfromashipyard

    If you are Mr Louis Sauzedde, I'd like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to you for the wonderful series of very instructive videos on Youtube. I hope there will more as I have watched them all three or four times each over the last few days & seeing your skills & techniques preserved in this way will encourage & inspire future wooden boatbuilders. Watching you caulk a carvel planked hull was terrific. I knew the principle employed, but seeing your economy of effort derived from years of experience was a delight.

    Very best regards,

    Perry

  14. #154

    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    Sorry, I don't get any of this. If the point is to find lower maintenance materials, just build a fibreglass boat, or a steel boat, or whatever. Pretending you have a wooden boat after you have substituted most of the wood for something else, then slathered it in adhesive waterproof goop, is just wishful thinking. It's a boat, but it ain't wooden.

  15. #155
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    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Malcolm Jardine View Post
    Sorry, I don't get any of this. If the point is to find lower maintenance materials, just build a fibreglass boat, or a steel boat, or whatever. Pretending you have a wooden boat after you have substituted most of the wood for something else, then slathered it in adhesive waterproof goop, is just wishful thinking. It's a boat, but it ain't wooden.
    Excuse me. Don't say "adhesive waterproof goop." Specify PL Premium, the miracle product. Thank you.

  16. #156
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    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Malcolm Jardine View Post
    Sorry, I don't get any of this. If the point is to find lower maintenance materials, just build a fibreglass boat, or a steel boat, or whatever. Pretending you have a wooden boat after you have substituted is just wishful thinking. It's a boat, but it ain't wooden.
    The point is not to build a boat with this stuff, nor is it to restore a museum piece by hiding plastic frames behind the ceiling. The point is that this is a way to repair an older, lower value boat that is not worth the labor and expense required to tear the whole boat down and rebuild it. This is a way to replace a lot of badly deteriorated ribs and get the boat repaired and back in service within the constraints of a limited budget and schedule.

    Sistering ribs with plastic is a far cry from 'substituting most of the wood for something else, then slathered it in adhesive waterproof goop'. I understand that a stripper is a composite boat. We substitute glass for frames and slather the hull with goop. We finish them bright for the wood look, and use wood for trim, but they are composite. What about SOF? SOF boats are nothing but a bundle of sticks with a rubber skin that doesn't even look like wood. You might as well sneer at wood and canvas while we're at it because W&C substitutes a leaded oily rag for real bark.

  17. #157
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    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    In the video that seems to be offending some people who contribute to this forum, Mr Sauzedde makes the point in the very first few seconds that he had carried out the self same repairs to the starboard side 2 years prior to the present video, which was released in September 2014. "Finast Kind" is a 47 footer gill netter out of Tiverton, Rhode Island, a vessel that looses money when it's not fishing at sea. The owner does not ask for authentic wooden boat repairs. He wants safe, cheap & now.

    Louis
    Sauzedde is my kind of man & I'd willingly trust his judgement; anyone who can accurately scarf planks with a chain saw has my vote.

  18. #158
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    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    Hi, is there any updates regarding plastic sisters? I haven't found any bad reports. Thought I'd revive this thread as I have a lower value Angelman and am new to all this. Also, can anyone point me to a plastic supplier? All the sources Ive googled lack stock in requisite thickness. Where does Louis Sauzedde get his?

  19. #159
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    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

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    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    Thanks. I called them and a 4'x8'x1.5" sheet is about $1400. the rep actually suggested using reprocessed uhmw with is about 10% weaker but the cost is less -- around $900.

  21. #161
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    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    Not exactly cheap! I can laminate frames out of CVG Doug Fir and epoxy for about 40% less in material cost.
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  22. #162
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    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    Having overlooked this thread since it was first posted has put me into the category of playing catch up. As a result, I have skimmed over the high points and have come up with this conclusion. This is indeed an interesting idea! In a new boat that is built in the Scandivavian style of building with a combination of sawn futtucks and steam bent frames in between, it could work well as the sawn futtocks will hold the shape of the hull while the intermediate plastic frames will bond the planking.

    One concern is stretch loading in areas of rigging loads such as mast thrust and stay and shroud loading. Does this material possess tensile strength to handle such loads. Certainly a wine glass sectioned hull would be a challenge to using this material. Then again what about the need for the twist that is needed as the ends of the hull taper from the midships station?

    It does seem to have some merits when used for sistering damaged existing frames. In fact, I am faced with the need of sistering six frames in the engine bay of "Bright Star" due to the fact that someone before I had her, drilled logitudinly through her frames, in that area, to put in new engine bearers in the little H28. Bad choice on the part of whom ever chose to do that. In truth we will use "Engineered Wood" by Pure Timber LLC out of Gig Harbor WA. Something tells me that it is a more proven and reliable way to go.

    While I am not against the concept of using plastic for faming. I do believe I will save myelf the expense of materials by using wood for the job rather than gambling the material costs and labor of installation on the concept of using plastic for framing. I do feel that this concept has yet to be proven for use in a sailing hull over an extended period of time. Oak sisters will take paint better for sure! Let us just say that the jury is still out on this one.
    Jay

  23. #163
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    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    I think you're the first person to comment or imply plastic sistering is more suitable on powers boats and not sail. Great point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    Having overlooked this thread since it was first posted has put me into the category of playing catch up. As a result, I have skimmed over the high points and have come up with this conclusion. This is indeed an interesting idea! In a new boat that is built in the Scandivavian style of building with a combination of sawn futtucks and steam bent frames in between, it could work well as the sawn futtocks will hold the shape of the hull while the intermediate plastic frames will bond the planking.

    One concern is stretch loading in areas of rigging loads such as mast thrust and stay and shroud loading. Does this material possess tensile strength to handle such loads. Certainly a wine glass sectioned hull would be a challenge to using this material. Then again what about the need for the twist that is needed as the ends of the hull taper from the midships station?

    It does seem to have some merits when used for sistering damaged existing frames. In fact, I am faced with the need of sistering six frames in the engine bay of "Bright Star" due to the fact that someone before I had her, drilled logitudinly through her frames, in that area, to put in new engine bearers in the little H28. Bad choice on the part of whom ever chose to do that. In truth we will use "Engineered Wood" by Pure Timber LLC out of Gig Harbor WA. Something tells me that it is a more proven and reliable way to go.

    While I am not against the concept of using plastic for faming. I do believe I will save myelf the expense of materials by using wood for the job rather than gambling the material costs and labor of installation on the concept of using plastic for framing. I do feel that this concept has yet to be proven for use in a sailing hull over an extended period of time. Oak sisters will take paint better for sure! Let us just say that the jury is still out on this one.
    Jay

  24. #164
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    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    Off the top of my head, HDPE and UHMW are about one fifth as stiff as white oak and half again as heavy. The tensile strength is half to one third of white oak, but with the low modulus, PE will bend and stretch a lot before it is sustaining a high load. Like a rope, it is strong, but it will not hold any shape other than a straight line under a high load. As for twist, it is not very stiff, so no problem there. The melting point and heat deflection temperature are low, so it may be steam bendable. It will never rot and it is very tough. It does have a very high TCOE while wood in the grain direction has a very low TCOE, but the moisture coefficient of expansion is the the oher way around.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

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    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    Quote Originally Posted by MN Dave View Post
    Off the top of my head, HDPE and UHMW are about one fifth as stiff as white oak and half again as heavy. The tensile strength is half to one third of white oak, but with the low modulus, PE will bend and stretch a lot before it is sustaining a high load. Like a rope, it is strong, but it will not hold any shape other than a straight line under a high load. As for twist, it is not very stiff, so no problem there. The melting point and heat deflection temperature are low, so it may be steam bendable. It will never rot and it is very tough. It does have a very high TCOE while wood in the grain direction has a very low TCOE, but the moisture coefficient of expansion is the the oher way around.
    I'm confused. if plastic is 20% as stiff as oak and flimsy and unable to hold much shape, why would this product be adequate to replace/reinforce ribs in any significant way?

  26. #166
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    Default Re: Using plastic for framing instead of oak with Louis Sauzedde

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Cross View Post
    Does any Frame Material have a "Proven" service life of over 50 Years Except Southern Live Oak?
    Steve Cross
    lotta european double sawn frame vessels meeting that criteria.

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