SC27

Interior Plywood Repair options

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Hey hey,

   Just wondering what the opinions are on methods of making this look nice. All of the interior wood is in need of sanding and varnishing, and this is the only piece where the plys have separated.  My first thought was just to replace it, but then I thought that maybe I can just add a 1/4" piece on top. Now that I think about it, I could probably get a veneer.  This is for the dinette and it is tabbed into the structure along the back.  I think there is enough wood remaining on the other surfaces that I can sand enough to bring it back to life.

 

    

Table Delamination dragonfly 25.jpg

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   I had some delaminated plywood pieces on my old boat. I replaced them with Baltic Birch plywood sealed in epoxy and painted white. I have a storm door with a circular hatch in it that I use in place of the hatch boards on my current boat when I go offshore. It is three-quarter inch Baltic Birch plywood coated in epoxy and painted white.  I think it has 12 plies.  So far, knock on plywood, it has been bombproof in some pretty crazy weather. 

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It looks like the veneer let go.  If that’s all, just glue on some replacement veneer. You may have to tint stain to match. 

If the substrate under the veneer isn’t any good, then replace entire. 

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I would avoid baltic birch.  Very low rot resistance.

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On 6/15/2018 at 1:52 PM, Diamond Jim said:

I would avoid baltic birch.  Very low rot resistance.

I did some testing a few years ago with regular interior, Baltic Birch, G1S exterior grade and Marine grade. 

Baltic birch was awesome from the point of view of precision of it's manufacturing, lovely to work with, nice and stiff too, it failed so quickly exposed to any kind of moisture.  I still like to make battery boxes out of it since it shapes so nicely on the router etc, but they get glassed.   Still lasted better than the interior plywood which had some sort of water based filler I think, the filler swelled up and failed in <3 days the plywood soon after.  

G1S seemed to last almost as well as the marine grade in water but wasn't as nice to work with(at 100$ less per sheet that was OK).  Many boat builders use good one side, and most customers opt for that for the cost difference. 

 

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G1S exterior fir ply has served me well for decades. Most people seal it with epoxy and then paint so rot is a non-issue.

Marine ply is necessary if you are building a ply hull like a dinghy but for inside work on a big boat it's a needless expense.

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I have replaced plastic galley countertops with mahogany door skins. Easy to work with. Bonded and top sealed with a heavy coat of epoxy. Hides all irregularities underneath. Made pretty with varnish, or not. Works well, looks nice. Two advantages over plastic/Formica: epoxy seals all the cracks around the edges and trivial to repair scratches and damage.

You would just pull off the loose stuff.

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There are lots of different 'specs' for Baltic birch, usually the 5X5 panels are an interior glue line and the 4x8 are a phenolic (exterior) glue line. The veneer all comes apart but the glue is just fine.

The nice part about baltic is there are no interior core voids (knot holes in veneer) so it machines very nicely and paints well , but birch as a species does not hold up well to moisture, it really needs to be well sealed.

 

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Thank you for the words of wisdom.  The veneer prices scared me silly - a 2' x 8' sheet is $65-$85 depending on the species -  but then I took a trip to the specialty lumber store this morning and that was even worse. I've bought sheets of Okoume (BS 1088) in the past, but I don't remember the prices hovering around $100 for 3mm 4x8'.  Meranti is less expensive, but at 6mm is too thick for my needs.  

I'll add that I was ridiculously impressed by the 4x8 sheets of 1/4" walnut ($132) and I am wondering somewhat about refacing the surfaces of all my wood - not that much, thankfully. Then again,  that is not marine grade ply.  Sure is nice, though.

Seems like veneering is easiest option.

   

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23 hours ago, daddle said:

I have replaced plastic galley countertops with mahogany door skins. Easy to work with. Bonded and top sealed with a heavy coat of epoxy. Hides all irregularities underneath. Made pretty with varnish, or not. Works well, looks nice. Two advantages over plastic/Formica: epoxy seals all the cracks around the edges and trivial to repair scratches and damage.

You would just pull off the loose stuff.

This ^^^^^! And you can cut it with scissors to any shape plus it's way less critical to work with than veneer, particularly if the substrate is the slightest bit uneven. 

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Where do I find such door skins?

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19 minutes ago, SC27 said:

Where do I find such door skins?

Mine came from Home Depot. 

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If you decide to go with veneer, the best way to stick it down is to cut to size, then roll a coat of glue on the substrate and let it dry.  Then roll another coat on it and  one an the veneer.  Let both dry (you could wipe the face of the veneer with a damp cloth to avoid it curling up) but it's not that necessary). then lay the veneer down and rub it all with a hot iron.  It will grab instantly like contact cement so make sure you have it in the right place because it will not come up to readjust.  Titebond II works best for this.  I've done this on several boats for years and it never peels up.  Bigger pieces can be a challenge due to space needed to put the veneer while it dries, and if it curls up, don't worry it'll flatten out as it dries.  Good luck.

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