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darbon

Interior Ply

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Hi

I'm looking to fit out my boat in Oak faced ply. I've found a supplier with reasonable prices but I'm concerned by the label "interior"

 

I appreciate that good marine ply is hard to find and generally very expensive, but I can't seem to find any oak faced exterior ply. Will interior ply with well varnished edges etc still get destroyed?

 

What do the commercial boat builders use?

 

Cheers

 

Dan

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Hi

I'm looking to fit out my boat in Oak faced ply. I've found a supplier with reasonable prices but I'm concerned by the label "interior"

 

I appreciate that good marine ply is hard to find and generally very expensive, but I can't seem to find any oak faced exterior ply. Will interior ply with well varnished edges etc still get destroyed?

 

What do the commercial boat builders use?

 

Cheers

 

Dan

 

Hi Dan

 

Oak faced ply wouldn't last long for exterior use, so there's little point in manufacturers making it to an external specification, so it's made to an internal spec. The quality of faced ply does vary but generally even the lower quality stuff is still pretty good especially if you fix and batten out well. Basically to get an idea of quality check for gaps and splits between lamination, good quality shouldn't have any.

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Hi

I'm looking to fit out my boat in Oak faced ply. I've found a supplier with reasonable prices but I'm concerned by the label "interior"

I appreciate that good marine ply is hard to find and generally very expensive, but I can't seem to find any oak faced exterior ply. Will interior ply with well varnished edges etc still get destroyed?

What do the commercial boat builders use?

Cheers

Dan

Our boat is lined with oak faced ply. It's lasted 34 years, most of that with a wooden cabin (now skinned in steel) with only a couple of pieces now needing replacing, right next to where windows leaked in the past; even so, in that worst case scenario, most of the sheet is still salvageable and can be re-used elsewhere. Edited by FadeToScarlet

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Thanks,

That's put my mine at ease that I'm not making a classic mistake!

 

As far as construction goes, the boards will be battened and won't touch the floor. Leaving a 10mm gap which will be covered by solid oak skirting.

 

I've heard that international do a good clear primer/sealer. Any other recommendation for the edges? Also, is it prudent to also seal the backs of the boards?

 

Dan

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Don't necessarily buy the cheapest faced plywood as it is liable to be full of voids - some of the far eastern plywood apparently falls into this category (so I was told a couple of years ago by a timber merchant) and the layers can delaminate over time.

 

My colleague who has fitted out a number of hotel & hire boats over many years tells me to apply 50/50 varnish/thinner mix as a first coat, a 90/10 mix as a second coat and at least two full strength coats afterwards to both sides and all edges, cut or not in order to seal the wood completely. Water based varnish may be OK for walls and ceilings but probably not where the intention is to place things upon the surface (like cups and the like).

 

Water based varnish doesn't tend to darken the wood like oil based varnish did on my boat. Water based varnish dries a lot quicker and smells a lot less!

 

I presume that either type of varnish applied with a roller will require laying off with a brush and sanding lightly between coats (although I don't know whether that is strictly necessary on the reverse side).

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Thanks,

That's put my mine at ease that I'm not making a classic mistake!

 

As far as construction goes, the boards will be battened and won't touch the floor. Leaving a 10mm gap which will be covered by solid oak skirting.

 

I've heard that international do a good clear primer/sealer. Any other recommendation for the edges? Also, is it prudent to also seal the backs of the boards?

 

Dan

Look for a good spirit based sanding sealer for the first coat. Don't use a cellulose based one. The sanding sealer soaks in better than thinned varnish and fills all the pores so that 3 coats of neat varnish afterwards makes a really good finish.

 

Seal the backs with a 50/50 mixture of varnish and white spirit.

 

Water based varnish is cr@p, in my experience. Use a good alkyd based one . International Yacht Varnish is not bad, though it does say it is not suitable for exterior use, Epifanes is brilliant but pricey and I have had good reports of Le Tonkinois.

 

 

The Oak layer is mighty thin on most faced ply, so go very carefully with power sanders.

 

N

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Water will always damage the finish on decorative plywood to some extent if it gets wet, as mentioned above there is no external grade as such, its more important that the glue lines are totally waterproof to prevent the plywood delaminating. This was a requirement for all plywood sold in this country at one time but I have no idea if this has now been altered by the Brussels dictatorship! It was always a good idea to look out for the stamp with WBP (commonly known as Water & Boil Proof) on it, this was the way tradesmen told the difference between ply that could stand up to moisture and that which would fail and go wrinkley. Its a good idea to seal the back faces of all boards, my favourite finish for this is cellulose sanding sealer. Its cheap, dries in minutes and won't raise the grain like water based finishes tend to do. The big drawback is that its highly flammable and MUST BE APPLIED IN THE OPEN AIR. Sorry for shouting but it is dangerous.

Talk to several timber merchants, as someone fitting out a boat he may see you as a one time customer, but he won't want you to come back and complain.

Best of luck with the project.

Mike.

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Don't necessarily buy the cheapest faced plywood as it is liable to be full of voids - some of the far eastern plywood apparently falls into this category (so I was told a couple of years ago by a timber merchant) and the layers can delaminate over time.

 

My colleague who has fitted out a number of hotel & hire boats over many years tells me to apply 50/50 varnish/thinner mix as a first coat, a 90/10 mix as a second coat and at least two full strength coats afterwards to both sides and all edges, cut or not in order to seal the wood completely. Water based varnish may be OK for walls and ceilings but probably not where the intention is to place things upon the surface (like cups and the like).

 

Water based varnish doesn't tend to darken the wood like oil based varnish did on my boat. Water based varnish dries a lot quicker and smells a lot less!

 

I presume that either type of varnish applied with a roller will require laying off with a brush and sanding lightly between coats (although I don't know whether that is strictly necessary on the reverse side).

This is interesting stuff, we are planning to redo the varnish through the boat and we don't want it to darken either, will bear this in mind when we come to do ours, thanks for sharing such useful tips :-)

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We use 'interior' oak faced ply to line out, but as said, make sure you also protect the back of the boards, not just the front. I always varnish the backs, then the fronts are either varnished or oiled with a polyx wax oil, according to customer preference. Definitely let down the varnish for the first coat. We use Johnstons clear satin varnish (not a water based one) let down with white spirit. It really helps it soak in.

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Thanks for the replies all.

 

I'm pretty sure I want to use Le Tonkinois varnish. Would you recommend also using it for the edges and backs, or would cellulose sealer or international sealer etc be better?

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