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Thread: Cheap plywood: Bad idea?

  1. #36
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Sault Ste Marie, ON, Canada

    Default Re: Cheap plywood: Bad idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    Nathaniel Herreshoff clinker/ lapstrake planked his dinghies in Eastern White Cedar. Its regarded as one of the best timbers for small boat planing in the world...when it can be found. Winter is the best time to fell them but i think needs to be done gently as the ground is hard and you dont want internal shakes. You’ll have your choice of natural crooks too at the bends and branch points. Thin planks of softwood will air dry in no time. If you need to minimise waste from a chainsaw kerf, there are guys with a bandsaw mill that will do it for you on site. If you have plenty of EWC on site you’re set for life for small boat construction. You could fell one or two extra and sell the air dried planking to pay for sails and trailer etc. That’s about the most premium timber you have and air dried is better than kilned. Natural crooks can also save alot of time and glue if you makes some basic templates to offer up from you selected plans/ lofting. Keep extra crooks for the next boat’s breasthook, knees or inner stems etc.
    Lots of good advice here. Thanks!

  2. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Default Re: Cheap plywood: Bad idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Davepat76 View Post
    I will look into that type of chain. As for a bandsaw mill, our property is an hour away from civilization, and I don't have a way to get heavy logs out of the woods. I will have to do the milling onsite.
    Many bandsaw mills are readily portable and if you have more than three or four trees to mill will come to you worksite. Looking through Marketplace at all ads, not searching for anything in particular, I saw 2 or 3 ads for onsite milling.

  3. #38
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Jonesport, Maine, USA

    Default Re: Cheap plywood: Bad idea?

    As another bit of unsolicited advice on boatbuilding plywood (my Ha'Penny's worth):
    When building my first big boat (40 ft. custom all solid 'glass hull w/ balsa-cored deck) in the late '70s, I was looking for a cheaper alternative to expensive marine plywood to finish out the interior. I tried MDO, in 1/2" with both sides finished (G2S), and boy, was I impressed. My stuff had almost no voids (less than comparable Marine Fir), was exterior-rated (same glue as Marine ply), very strong, and MUCH CHEAPER! The best part was, that I saved even more time and money in that I coud just finish paint it, without any sanding, filling, and priming. After painting, it looks so smooth you'd swear that I'd spent days sanding and fairing the surface.
    Fast forward to now, and when I decided to build my little 18 ft. pilothouse skiff, I used the MDO for all plywood componements: 1/2" for the hull topsides, and 3/4" for the bottom. When I return to my little shop in May, I plan on using MDO in 3/8" thickness (if I can find it) for the pilothouse, as well.
    FYI, before epoxy-coating the MDO with Xynol, I simply roughed up the tough phenolic faces of the MDO with 80-grit, and the epoxy stuck like it should. I also did a low-tech test of a scrap of MDO, by simply leaving it outside in my south Miami yard for several years... in the sun, rain, sweltering humidity and several hurricanes. I actually found it one day, (I'd long since forgotten it) and after I brushed off the mold, the faces and the laminates were still incredibly intact!
    If it is good enough for Highway signs, it's good enough for my boats!
    Good luck with whatever you choose.

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