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Thread: Wainscot for Cabin interior

  1. #1
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    Default Wainscot for Cabin interior

    I have a cabin bulkhead that I just repaired. It is 9mm meranti plywood. I want to finish it with wainscot, to match the opposite bulkhead. The original was 3/8 inch plywood with a wainscot finish that rotted through a couple of wire holes that weren't sealed right. I was thinking of gluing in cedar purchased from a big box store, or maybe plywood wainscot that I can coat with epoxy. The bulkhead is next to the companion, so possible exposure to water and rain is a concern. I don't want to use tacks or brads, because I don't want to introduce a lot of small holes into the bulkhead. I've searched through the forum, and found a few threads, but they all seemed pretty vague on the actual wood to use.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Wainscot for Cabin interior

    maybe plywood wainscot that I can coat with epoxy.
    Epoxy is not a paint, it is a glue. Use a good marine varnish system.
    Why not use the same timber as the bulkhead that you are truing to match. If it is T&G wainscot, that we would call match boarding you can blind nail into the base of the tongue with brass pins so that the heads will be covered by the next board.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Wainscot for Cabin interior

    As for the Wainscotting, there are router bits made that will cut stock but the size is sometimes not right for a match to existing stock. I had a set of custom bits made up years ago as I often use VG red or white cedar for bulkheads and overheads in the boats I build. I also have a Stanley 55 comination plane the I made up specific cutters for to match wainscotting I was matching for a Victorian house.

    Alaskan Yellow Cedar is the wood I usually use for T&G panels as it is easy to work and has less tendency to chip out than red cedar has. The Stanley 55 plane will cut any molding pattern desired. Unfortunately the price for these complicated tools has skyrocketed since they are less and less available as time passes.
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 10-12-2020 at 03:02 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Wainscot for Cabin interior

    I'm presuming your wainscoting is T&G in appearance.
    If T&G isnt available, sometimes the same appearance can be achieved somewhat more simply by milling a shiplap profile oneself with a tablesaw and planing the the exposed edges. Each board can be varnished all over before being glued into place.
    There is nothing quite as permanent as a good temporary repair.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Wainscot for Cabin interior

    Perhaps you can mill the surface of the ply to match the other bulkhead.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Wainscot for Cabin interior

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Epoxy is not a paint, it is a glue. Use a good marine varnish system.
    Why not use the same timber as the bulkhead that you are truing to match. If it is T&G wainscot, that we would call match boarding you can blind nail into the base of the tongue with brass pins so that the heads will be covered by the next board.
    Thank you. As usual, I am overthinking this process. I did not express myself well enough. I would not coat a solid wood in epoxy, but I would use epoxy as a sealer for a laminate, as I understand that doing so is generally a sound practice. As I gather from your reply, the brass pins should not be a worry, as they will not be exposed to moisture. Thank you for your insight!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Wainscot for Cabin interior

    Thank you. Your answer is very helpful. I will look for some yellow cedar, or barring that, red cedar. I have a couple of router bits that may approximate the look of the wainscot on the other side. Function is paramount for me in this case.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Wainscot for Cabin interior

    I did something similar to what you describe on some of the bulkheads in my own build. In this case the plywood was a half inch thick. Over that I glued quarter inch thick strips of Alaskan yellow cedar with beveled edges. The cedar strips were laid into bed of thickened epoxy and held in place with thin steel brads. The brads were only driven in far enough to hold the strips in contact with the goop, and were later removed and the holes filled.

    Here's a photo of the edge of the panels. The finished panels were coated with CPES and primed with Interlux white primer.





    Here's what they look like in place...



  9. #9
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    Default Re: Wainscot for Cabin interior

    That looks great. This is what I was thinking of doing. Your pictures are very helpful. I will call around and see who has Alaskan Yellow Cedar around here.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Wainscot for Cabin interior

    Yeah, it does look good, doesn't it?

    I used yellow cedar because I'm planking with it and there were a lot of scraps. You could use red of white cedar, although they are softer. Applying sealer and paint will harden them up somewhat. You could apply epoxy resin as a sealer. If you do, brush it out as much as you can so there's no puddles, especially in the vee grooves. Leave it for at least a week to cure before sanding, then block sand and prime.


    Jim

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Wainscot for Cabin interior

    Same as Mr. Ledger except that I developed the grove after the AYC was glued down. It'll be painted white as well.20200404_170645 (1).jpg

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Wainscot for Cabin interior

    I use a 23 gauge headless pin nailer with stainless nails for this type of work quite a bit. They’re so small the hole disappears under paint and clear finishes with putty. Even under clear without putty you need to be within a foot to pick out the nail hole. A quick dab with unthickened epoxy should be more than enough to seal each hole.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Wainscot for Cabin interior

    Quote Originally Posted by WFK View Post
    Same as Mr. Ledger except that I developed the grove after the AYC was glued down. It'll be painted white as well.

    Nice looking boat!


    Come to think of it, as it was a while back, I also routed the grooves in afterward. Clamp a straightedge to the piece and run the router along it using a vee groove bit. A pair of dividers set to half the router base width is a help to get the straightedge in the correct position.

    The advantage to doing it this way is that any goop squeezing up through the joints can be sanded off before routing.

    That's the way to go.

    Jim

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Wainscot for Cabin interior

    Unless the designer calls for "fixed bulkheads", there can be a danger of having them perimantly cause unfair areas in the hull due to the need of a wooden hull to twist in a seaway and the resistance of said bulkhead after a bit of time. This can be permanent and ugly to the eye of a builder and also to the casual observer. Floating bulkheads will avoid this phenominum but should land on ceiling and be blocked in place with a frame on either side to allow the bulkhead to float as it is supposed to.
    Jay

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Wainscot for Cabin interior

    Thank you, all of you, for your insight and helpful suggestions. This is a simple repair, and not a new build, so I am not too worried about the bulkhead flexing, but it is a good thing to bear in mind. I will call my local lumberyards and find out what they have in yellow or red cedar. I will probably bed the wainscot in thickened epoxy, as that is what was there in the first place. I can use one of my router bits to approximate the wainscot that is already there.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Wainscot for Cabin interior

    I experimented with a bunch of different wainscot treatments on my boat: The photo shows fir T+G that I tapered and then cut new grooves so that it would fit the wierd arc at the back of the cockpit. I power wire-brushed it to bring up the natural grain, then glued the T&G with fast set 5200 (for expansion / contraction) and epoxy inside and out before Kirby Paint. On panels not shown I ripped the T&G to half thickness and glued it to 11mm marine ply with thickened epoxy then cut hatches with a very narrow kerf saw, and glued backers on the back around the hole for the hatch to land on. On an important structural (crash) bulkhead forward which also takes the torque of the mainmast partner I ripped the T&G, put glass and epoxy on the plywood, and bedded the T&G in more thickened epoxy while the first coat was still "green." All of the T&G was ancient stock that I took out of an old shabby maid's apartment in the attic of my 1909 house, the maids obviously had a hard life back then :-(

    Ken

    IMG_4188.jpg

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Wainscot for Cabin interior

    You look very comfortable there Ken!
    Jay

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Wainscot for Cabin interior

    I have always made up bulkheads in tripple laminents. This is what Larry Pardy did as well. I learned from the old guys in the shops I worked in as a kid. The inner layer is made up of T&G with no groove other than the tongue and grove iteself and can be glued up on the bench and then cut to fit the pattern the two outer laminates can also be done on the bench or in the boat where the upper pieces are cut to the top of the deck beam or beams. in the boat is not as affective as on the bench though where you can use weights to aid in the clamping. Still the upper edge is cut to match the deck beam where a moulding can be used for cosmetic appearance if you wish.
    Jay

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Wainscot for Cabin interior

    How thick was the tongue and groove that you were using, Jay?

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Wainscot for Cabin interior

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    You look very comfortable there Ken!
    Jay
    That was a very gentle day, wind was 8-10mph. It's a different experience when the wind picks up. It's a centerboard boat rather than keel, and that cockpit basically stretches the length of the boat, so there is a possibility of filling it with water...

    Ken

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