How To Use Waterproof Plywood in Boat Construction

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  • Pub No.: 7048
Charles G. MacGregor/Only resin-bonded plywood should be used for boat building.

by Charles G. MacGregor

Only resin bonded plywood should be used for boat building.

There are many other kinds on the market, including the so-called waterproof variety. Insist, however, on resin bonded plywood for marine work, manufactured by the hot press process. If in doubt about the material you are planning to, use, boil a small sample in water for about an hour. The plies or laminations of the resin bonded plywood will not separate. This product is sold under various trade names adopted by the` manufacturers. When possible order plywood in stock panels. They can generally be obtained from your lumber dealer or direct from the manufacturer's distributors or agents. Resin bonded plywood of fir is the least expensive material suitable for boats. It is manufactured on the West Coast of the United States in the region where the giant trees grow, and is shipped to the distributors in all parts of the United States and Canada. Examine each panel very carefully before accepting it. Inspect the outer laminations on each side of the panel, for blemishes, such as transverse joints and graving pieces. Examine the long edges for voids or gaps between joints of the inner lamination. Do not accept any joint showing more than 1/32" in 3-ply.    They seldom exceed this in 5- or 9-ply material. Stand the panels on edge in a dry room, in a rack or against the wall, with short cleats laid on the floor and a few narrow spacers between each two panels so that each will be separated from the other to allow circulation of air. Choose a shop with good light to build your boat, ample circulation of air and a solid, level, dry wood floor. Keep a clear space of at least 2 to 3 feet all around the building form. Be sure the boat can be moved out when completed without tearing the building down. Many amateur builders have overlooked this simple precaution to their sorrow.

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