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Lightweight Interior Construction Ideas


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I'm looking to build some new shelving and cupboards in my saloon for a bit more stowage, and while I could just knock it up out of plywood, I'd like to try and save some weight if at all possible and try and come up with something a bit lighter than 12mm plywood all around.

Here's a rough idea of what I want to achieve, an extra shelf at the aft end & 2x lockers at the fwd.

Interior.thumb.JPG.9e923ef5d7fa9465cf1ceee2102624f3.JPG

I'm guessing foam core is the way to for this?
I'd like to veneer the visible surfaces at least with a real wood veneer which should look nice against my main bulkhead.

The 'bottom' of the lockers &  shelf I'll glass to the hull for some stiffness & it should also support i along the length, some questions I have:

  • Will 1 layer of 300gsm each side be adequate for this purpose? (with a veneer epoxy bonded over the glass)
  • For the non structural bits like the fronts & dividers can I get away with epoxy bonding the wooden veneer directly onto the foam rather than glass?
  • Do I need a 'balance' veneer on the back face like I would with plywood?
  • Does the core need to be solid in way of the fixings like hinges & catches?
  • I'd like to make all of it apart from the shelf removable for access, was thinking some hardwood stock bonded to the back face & then screws into the shelf / deckhead inner liner
  • Does it all need to be vacuum bagged to look good, or can I get away with heavy weights to hold it all down?

Assuming here the best thing is to make it in seperate pieces then assemble, I guess if I was feeling clever & I patterned it well I could make the shelf bottom and front from one piece of veneered foam core material & then kerf the backside so it could bend for a nice cuved transition between shelf bottom and shelf front.

Or if I'm completely barking up the wrong tree, are there better ways to do this? Framing etc.
I realise the weight savings may not be worth it, but I'm treating it as an interesting project / practice new skills etc.

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With good fillets and solid stiffeners in the right places, you can probably do most of the job in 6mm plywood.  
6 mm okoume is about the same weight as 1/2” 5# foam with 300gsm glass each side side.  And a small fraction of the work and materials cost.  Not as stiff, though and curves are harder.
Some folk like varnished okoume, other woods are heavier or paint it and apply varnished mahogany edge moldings.

You can glass foam panels without vacuum on a flat table.  One side at a time, use peelply and squeegee it out flat.   

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Last winter I experimented with building a shelf for my boat using pink insulation foam.

1/8" teak ply epoxied to both sides and with solid teak end cap and fiddle rail ended up weighing under 1 Lb. per Sq. Ft. and was as stiff as 3/4" ply.

I would do it again for any non-structural panels. I plan to replace my engine box and berth flats with it in future.

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6 hours ago, MiddayGun said:

I'm looking to build some new shelving and cupboards in my saloon for a bit more stowage, and while I could just knock it up out of plywood, I'd like to try and save some weight if at all possible and try and come up with something a bit lighter than 12mm plywood all around.

My 1982 Santa Cruz 50 interior is primarily 6mm "Bruynzeel Mahogany" ply. Interesting appearance. Plenty durable. Really light. It's a dense flawless furniture plywood A/A (maybe A/B) sides. The edges are slightly radiused where they show. There are no frames of any kind. Everything is tabbed to the hull. A small amount of milled lumber for rails, fiddles, and whatever one calls the little boards that support shelf ends. Non-showy panels and bunks are 1/4" DF furniture-grade ply painted white. Countertop backing is 1/2" DF ply. No glassed surfaces. All joints are simple butts with 5/8" square gussets (?). Often glued and stapled. Sometimes screwed together.

Very few doors.No drawers. Much like what you have drawn. The shelves can be thin because the edges are supported by the tabbing in the back and the cubby face or fiddle* in the front. 

It is rather dark by today's standards. Today I'd maybe choose a lighter colored fancy wood.

100% of the volume is used. There are lockers and cubbys kinda secreted behind things. Some false bottoms in cabinets for deep storage. The entire hull surface is accessible except where it's behind 'easily' removable tankage. Gotta see one to believe it.....

* Whatever a solid fiddle shelf edge is called...

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10mm  60kg/m3 airex foam with 300g cloth either side [Could go down to 200g but is tricky to work with]

Use epoxy, no need for vac bag

Use peel ply which would save weight and give finish good enough to paint or at least, need minimal filling/fairing for super glossy paint job

Lightweight filler in the cut edges and around hole for fixings

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Cheers for all the ideas guys.
Guess I need to do some test pieces.

My experience with 6mm plywood has been that its been incredibly weak, but to be fair I've never actually bought decent quality gaboon stuff, just the local crap that I use for templates.
But I guess with good quality that's glassed to the hull & framed at cupboard opening size it should stiffen it up.

I'll do some test pieces and see what works for me. As I said, this isn't a 'must do' project, so I'm happy to play around and try some different ideas.

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The good grades of plywood are very different from the cheap stuff.  6mm would be five equal plies rather than the three plies of lauan underlay or fir.

A well done fillet has structural value and is tidy, light and easy to clean.  Get Russel Brown's book on epoxy techniques.  The chapter on filleting is excellent.

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20 hours ago, MiddayGun said:

I'm looking to build some new shelving and cupboards in my saloon for a bit more stowage, and while I could just knock it up out of plywood, I'd like to try and save some weight if at all possible and try and come up with something a bit lighter than 12mm plywood all around.

Here's a rough idea of what I want to achieve, an extra shelf at the aft end & 2x lockers at the fwd.

Interior.thumb.JPG.9e923ef5d7fa9465cf1ceee2102624f3.JPG

I'm guessing foam core is the way to for this?
I'd like to veneer the visible surfaces at least with a real wood veneer which should look nice against my main bulkhead.

The 'bottom' of the lockers &  shelf I'll glass to the hull for some stiffness & it should also support i along the length, some questions I have:

  • Will 1 layer of 300gsm each side be adequate for this purpose? (with a veneer epoxy bonded over the glass)
  • For the non structural bits like the fronts & dividers can I get away with epoxy bonding the wooden veneer directly onto the foam rather than glass?
  • Do I need a 'balance' veneer on the back face like I would with plywood?
  • Does the core need to be solid in way of the fixings like hinges & catches?
  • I'd like to make all of it apart from the shelf removable for access, was thinking some hardwood stock bonded to the back face & then screws into the shelf / deckhead inner liner
  • Does it all need to be vacuum bagged to look good, or can I get away with heavy weights to hold it all down?

Assuming here the best thing is to make it in seperate pieces then assemble, I guess if I was feeling clever & I patterned it well I could make the shelf bottom and front from one piece of veneered foam core material & then kerf the backside so it could bend for a nice cuved transition between shelf bottom and shelf front.

Or if I'm completely barking up the wrong tree, are there better ways to do this? Framing etc.
I realise the weight savings may not be worth it, but I'm treating it as an interesting project / practice new skills etc.

Very cool, If I were going to keep my boat, I'd like to do that too. I was thinking like an Olson 30 / SC27 type interior. Mock up in cardboard and use foam (maybe some stringers like surfboards), biaxel and carbon. The boat was built with just bulkheads and stringers.

Some great ideas here.

 

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The cored glass panel and epoxy fillet approach seems like a great amount of work. Especially the sanding and finishing. The thin furniture ply is very easy to saw, construct and finish. A brief touch with sandpaper, a coat of varnish and you're done. Compare that with sanding and painting inside cubbies...ugh. Finishing the tabbing is plenty painful enough. Do it before mounting the faces. Seriously mask the wood. Figure out how to make perfect tidy tabbing. Perhaps use vinyl-ester vs. epoxy since life is short.

Is the finished weight difference significant? Doubt it. The foam core method won't be zero weight... 

I use a portable table saw in the cockpit with a very expensive carbide blade. Cutting the pocket openings has been a challenge. A hole saw and fine coping saw seems to work best. Pretty easy to neaten up the wiggly coping saw lines with a sanding block. Mahogany breaks out kinda easy so the sabre saw is problematic.

Tip on varnishing inside cubbies: Varnish on a little cloth wiper works remarkably well.

Foam core would be great for counter top backing, bunks, and the engine box.

The old world DF ply is nothing like today's retail stuff. Seriously dense and aromatic with pitch. Sands to a perfect finish.

But, yes, wood is so last century...

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I've recently made several pieces from 8mm okume.  It's about as far as I'd like to compromise between load bearing and weight, but that includes some work-tops. YMMV.  BTW, for both the old and new oval-opening lockers as shown in the drawing, I've made bypass doors out of 1/8" ABS sheeting. Very light weight and conceals the jumble within.  A slight curve to the track prevents the doors from rattling or sliding on their own.  I'll pretend that I planned that on purpose.  

But for even lighter weight and organization within the lockers, I've had thoughts of sewing fitted shelving (hammocks) and pockets from leftover sailcloth and the like.  

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2 hours ago, Meat Wad said:

Very cool, If I were going to keep my boat, I'd like to do that too. I was thinking like an Olson 30 / SC27 type interior. Mock up in cardboard and use foam (maybe some stringers like surfboards), biaxel and carbon. The boat was built with just bulkheads and stringers.

Some great ideas here.

 

If you google the interior of the Maxi 1050, that's where i got the inspiration from. 
I already made a mock up with several other ideas but I discarded them as I didn't like them. 

It goes against the grain a little bit boxing in the stiffening web, but its all removable & I think a shelf or cupboard butting up against it looks wrong. 

Some great ideas here, seems like plywood is the way forward on this one, lightweight stuff anyway. My wallet should be happy about that one. 
I actually have bypass sliding doors in the galley and it looks good, not so sure about them in this application though, I'll have a play with the model and see if I can try the idea. 

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Part of the reason for the variety of techniques being proposed here is that folks are putting a different value on lightness.  If it doesn’t matter, you’ll use a lot of 3/4” plywood and if it matters a lot, you’ll start with nomex  honeycomb.  I’ve found it useful to have in the back of my mind the price I’d pay to save a pound.  One way to arrive at this would be to ask how much the value of the boat would be diminished if it were 1000 lbs. overweight.  Divide by 1000 and that’s the marginal value of a pound saved.  I’d guess values of $100/lb. for a light foiler, $50 for sporty things and $10 for a 4KSB.    Factor in a value for your time and you have the basis for evaluating alternative approaches.

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My 2c worth, a veneer either side of 80kg foam, or veneer one side, 200gsm glass the other, is going to be plenty strong and lighter than 6mm ply, and will still look great, but..... There's a lot of work in getting there, including a vac pump to do it well, and yes, anywhere you attach a fastener you'll need to reinforce the core too, and finish the exposed edges. It could be an interesting project if you want to do it that way, but ply's pretty good! 

The fillets in a job like this add up to a sometimes surprising amount of weight too, they're the same whatever panel you use. They also add a massive amount of strength, so even 4mm might be sufficient if you don't need to support too big a panel, or be able to act as a grab handle in a rough sea. By the time you're down to 4mm ply I understand its pretty hard to get much lighter using cores. 

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To be honest I'm not worried about the absolute maximum weight saving, unfortunately with the way my boat was built, comprehensive inner liner and all voids filled with injected foam, she's never going to be as light as she could / should be.

Just want to add some stowage without adding much weight, but because its not a stripped out racer it needs to look good, i.e. veneered to match the wood that already exists, no exposed plywood edges etc.

I've some good ideas to be going on with anyway after this thread.

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After considerable digging in the archives I found this pic of SC 50 era cabinetry. With exposed edges galore. Both rides are about the same age and have excellent fit and finish for such old girls...

 

ExposedPlyEdges - 1.jpg

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Okume can look very good glassed, epoxied and varnished. You can do some test sections soaked in epoxy alone, with one side covered in cloth, or both. Thousands of kit built kayaks have been built this way and hold up very well.

 

nikon_d40_card_2_242.jpg

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Another lightweight option would be to make it in canvas and hang from the underside of the deck.  Should work fine for lightweight stuff.  It isn't permanent and can easily be removed.  I've seen various types of removable canvas storage using awning track attached to the boat and awning rope on the canvas.  Remove a few holding screws and slide canvas on/off.  It can also just be screw mounted with no track/rope.  I guess it comes down to what you want to leave in the storage.  If its heavy stuff I'd go with hard panels like you are considering.

 

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2 hours ago, MiddayGun said:

@steele I'm sure it looks great epoxied and varnished, not disputing that. But it doesn't match what I already have in my cabin.
Nothing says 'owner modified' like a load of interior woodwork all in mismatched species of wood.

Good quality plywood is made with a considerable variety of face veneers.  Okoume is used a lot because it's at the low end of the price range and lightweight, but there are many other very attractive species.  Check  with your local vendors.

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53 minutes ago, Diamond Jim said:

Good quality plywood is made with a considerable variety of face veneers.  Okoume is used a lot because it's at the low end of the price range and lightweight, but there are many other very attractive species.  Check  with your local vendors.

Veneering is common enough (bog-standard, I think they'd say out your way) in cabinetmaking that there's usually a place or two around that does just custom veneering. I was putting a new main athwartships bulkhead in and found a shop that was able to put any veneer on any core, even a core I supplied myself. It wasn't a retail type store - I had to ask around, then call around a bit more after that, and the place operated out of an industrial park an hour from home, but they were more than happy to help.

Come to think of it, that type of shop could probably lam whichever veneer onto your foam, too, if you decided to go that route, although my two cents is that after fillets and all I'd be curious how much weight you'd actually be saving over an installed surface area of what appears to be maybe two sheets.

14 hours ago, Diamond Jim said:

I’ve found it useful to have in the back of my mind the price I’d pay to save a pound.  One way to arrive at this would be to ask how much the value of the boat would be diminished if it were 1000 lbs. overweight.  Divide by 1000 and that’s the marginal value of a pound saved.  I’d guess values of $100/lb. for a light foiler, $50 for sporty things and $10 for a 4KSB.    Factor in a value for your time and you have the basis for evaluating alternative approaches.

This is a very interesting way to think about it.

 

Anyway good luck.

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2 hours ago, Kenny Dumas said:

Hey El B, This thread is about weight saving interiors, not crew

 

 

That’s the lightest weight wood polisher I could find in the islands. So on topic!

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Have a look at this link.http://www.noahsmarine.com/g1s_teak-good-1-side-plywood_md.html Not affliated nor ever used, but seems to have validity.

Teak faced Okume Ply - may kill two birds with one stone, and if it is as claimed can be made to look good with some suitable varnish or sealer.

Off set Wood Veneer faced Foam panel material costa & construction time against a ready to use solution.

Good luck.

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Composite wood construction would be less work and give you many finishing opportunities. I recommend a web search on balsa core (ex: Jamestown Dist) and 1/16 or 1/8 aircraft grade ply sheet (Wicks etc). Make a sandwich from the above and it would be light and strong with a minimum of refinishing work. It can also be shaped into relatively complex shapes.

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On 7/16/2020 at 9:42 AM, LeoV said:

https://yorkshireplywood.com/panel-products/marine-hardwood-plywood

Make sure you have an idea what color you want, go visit and ask if you can browse the stack. Spit on it to get the varnish shine :)

They only sell to the trade unfortunately, tried to buy the wood to make the webs for my chainplate project off them last year, wouldn't even do a one off order.

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1 hour ago, MiddayGun said:

They only sell to the trade unfortunately, tried to buy the wood to make the webs for my chainplate project off them last year, wouldn't even do a one off order.

Always an obnoxious thing to run into someone who's too good for the little man's business.

Don't mean to sound like a broken record but shops that do veneering I suspect are pretty used to smaller orders, since a lot of smaller cabinets routinely only use a few sheets for the faces. 

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I'm doing some looking around, most likely I'll buy a veneered sheet to cut myself as nothing is square enough to just be able to work from dimensions.
First things first though is to knock it up out of shitty cheap stuff to try it out.

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On 7/13/2020 at 9:16 PM, El Boracho said:

 and whatever one calls the little boards that support shelf ends.

Known variously as cleats, ledgers, or nailers.

On 7/13/2020 at 9:16 PM, El Boracho said:

 The shelves can be thin because the edges are supported by the tabbing in the back and the cubby face or fiddle* in the front. (* Whatever a solid fiddle shelf edge is called...)

Known in the trade as 'nosing'. Adding dimension (height and/or thickness) to your nosing is a great way to stiffen a panel. One item to note, tho, is that glue surface is less on thinner panels -- so some kind of mechanical interlock that also improves long-grain glue area is desirable (rabbets, grooves, splines, biscuits, etc). Over 12mm, I generally trust a pure glue bond.

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Make the nosing wider than the shelving, dado/rabbit the back to accept the panel and glue.  The sides of the dado/rabbit offer ample glue surface.  

Panels can be made from 1/2 inch blue or pink insulation board faced with 1/8 inch door skin, glued with titebond II. 

One advantage of glued up panels of this type are you can hog out the insulation at the back and use cleats to secure the panel to vertical surfaces.  Don't need a back or other nailers to mount the cabinet or shelf unit.

Basically what you posted in the first post, and yes, both faces of the panel need to have ply.  Ideally, same ply on both faces.  And, both faces should be glued up at the same time to eliminate warping.

I've used this technique for everything from boat panels to 12-foot tall x 8 foot wide library shelves.  Never a problem with strength, delamination, etc.

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12 minutes ago, Diarmuid said:

Known variously as cleats, ledgers, or nailers.

Known in the trade as 'nosing'. 

I could fill a book with all the things I don't know about the things I do. I just copy what I see. Thanks.

I can't say enough about the Bruynzeel plywood products for this kind of work. You can build entire interior components in a morning. No laminating or edge finishing.  It is not a veneer surface. The 6mm board is 5 plies of near equal thickness. Low probability of sawing pulling up an edge. One is not going to sand thru the surface. And the surface is perfect...like glass when varnished. No need to hide the edges for race/cruise level work as they finish like lumber and match appearance with the panels. It is absolutely waterproof: I've had panels with water trapped on the backside for months and you'd never know. The grain has some interesting swirly character.

My entire SC50 interior was built with the 6mm, some teak lumber and some mahogany lumber. Matched well enough. Even the broad walls of the head compartment. 35 years of racing and cruising. Only one panel got smashed at some point. Looks like somebody stood on a cubby opening they shouldn't have. Was trivial to repair.

The end product is light. Not Gran Prix racer light, but light enough for weight-woke weirdos like me.

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49 minutes ago, Diarmuid said:
On 7/13/2020 at 8:16 PM, El Boracho said:

 and whatever one calls the little boards that support shelf ends.

Known variously as cleats, ledgers, or nailers.

Gougeons recommended making them triangular instead of square.

1/2 the weight and the same mounting surface area.

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1 hour ago, jamhass said:

Make the nosing wider than the shelving, dado/rabbit the back to accept the panel and glue.  The sides of the dado/rabbit offer ample glue surface.  

Panels can be made from 1/2 inch blue or pink insulation board faced with 1/8 inch door skin, glued with titebond II. 

One advantage of glued up panels of this type are you can hog out the insulation at the back and use cleats to secure the panel to vertical surfaces.  Don't need a back or other nailers to mount the cabinet or shelf unit.

Basically what you posted in the first post, and yes, both faces of the panel need to have ply.  Ideally, same ply on both faces.  And, both faces should be glued up at the same time to eliminate warping.

I've used this technique for everything from boat panels to 12-foot tall x 8 foot wide library shelves.  Never a problem with strength, delamination, etc.

Interesting about T2 glue, I've used epoxy and contact cement but looking for alternatives, was going to try formaldehyde glue.

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1 hour ago, Bruno said:

Interesting about T2 glue, I've used epoxy and contact cement but looking for alternatives, was going to try formaldehyde glue.

TB2 has largely been superseded by TB3 among bottled PVAs. I vastly prefer TB3. Thinner, so it spreads easier. Less initial tack, but a quick rub of the joint and it's pretty grippy. Much longer open time! Longer than TB1, too. And it rates as a Type 1 adhesive -- truly waterproof, with decent boil-resistance.

3 hours ago, El Boracho said:

I could fill a book with all the things I don't know about the things I do. I just copy what I see. Thanks.

I can't say enough about the Bruynzeel plywood products for this kind of work. You can build entire interior components in a morning. No laminating or edge finishing.  It is not a veneer surface. The 6mm board is 5 plies of near equal thickness. Low probability of sawing pulling up an edge. One is not going to sand thru the surface. And the surface is perfect...like glass when varnished. No need to hide the edges for race/cruise level work as they finish like lumber and match appearance with the panels. It is absolutely waterproof: I've had panels with water trapped on the backside for months and you'd never know. The grain has some interesting swirly character.

My entire SC50 interior was built with the 6mm, some teak lumber and some mahogany lumber. Matched well enough. Even the broad walls of the head compartment. 35 years of racing and cruising. Only one panel got smashed at some point. Looks like somebody stood on a cubby opening they shouldn't have. Was trivial to repair.

The end product is light. Not Gran Prix racer light, but light enough for weight-woke weirdos like me.

Sounds like an A-1 marine multi-ply, like HydroTek. Probably BS 1088 or equivalent, which means all veneer layers  are continuous (no seams), of rot-resistant species, with no voids or repairs, and using voidless & boil-proof glues (usually resorcinol/formaldehyde). Generous face veneers (might as well be, since probably the whole panel is of the same quality & species of wood). It's really good stuff, quite stiff and light at 12mm or under. Foam-core panels have a big weight advantage above that size.

One thing to note about multi-ply panels, however: even the very best quality are really prone to twisting (corner to corner warp) in unconstrained assemblies. If you've ever messed with so-called 'Baltic Birch'  multi-plys, you have probably witnessed the effect. Just a thing they do. So multi-ply is great for tabbed bulkheads; okay for floor hatch lids where they are dogged in place, but problematic for (say) a swinging or sliding door.  If using for shelving, you might want to screw the shelf to its cleats to keep it flat.

 

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8 minutes ago, Diarmuid said:

One thing to note about multi-ply panels, however: even the very best quality are really prone to twisting (corner to corner warp) in unconstrained assemblies. If you've ever messed with so-called 'Baltic Birch'  multi-plys, you have probably witnessed the effect. Just a thing they do. So multi-ply is great for tabbed bulkheads; okay for floor hatch lids where they are dogged in place, but problematic for (say) a swinging or sliding door.  If using for shelving, you might want to screw the shelf to its cleats to keep it flat.

I know what you mean. Very annoying. However my boat is full of simple 6mm un-stiffened doors both large and small, dogged and sliding, that have not sprung even slightly. All around varnish likely helps. The stuff is a miracle...and priced about the same.

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On 7/15/2020 at 1:04 AM, MiddayGun said:

Cheers for all the ideas guys.
Guess I need to do some test pieces.

My experience with 6mm plywood has been that its been incredibly weak, but to be fair I've never actually bought decent quality gaboon stuff, just the local crap that I use for templates.
But I guess with good quality that's glassed to the hull & framed at cupboard opening size it should stiffen it up.

I'll do some test pieces and see what works for me. As I said, this isn't a 'must do' project, so I'm happy to play around and try some different ideas.

For the shelving shown ply is  probably the way to go, it might be weak but still plenty strong for the job. 6 mm ply with no voids and clear faces try and get one with as many plys as possible, occume is good, seal with clear urethane or west/varnish on the visible faces. Epoxy is optional on faces, highly desirable on edges.  Surprisingly you can use typical cabinet making methods, cleats, staples (ss) polyurethane or even waterproof pva for wood to wood joins.

If you want a beautiful timber finish in blonded oak etc then bag a veneer of choice onto whatever you choose to use. I like the idea of foam but by the time you glass both sides etc unless there is god a reason for needing substantial structure then the weight savings are small if any but a lot more cost and time involved. If you wanted to go the foam route, them template the whole lot and build the parts on the bench- you can glass all the panels before cutting them out which saves heaps of time. Good luck

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Entire interior is constructed of 3/4 pink foam with 2 plus of glass on either side using west system epoxy.  Bunk tops also have thin plywood facing & counter top got white formica also bonded with epoxy.

Here's a couple examples:  counter assembly & Az02235.JPG.a43860851c0a78cb519dc37628353148.JPGengine box:AZ02194.JPG.eddf26145f2c4ede7362a9dd248b4802.JPG

AZ02197.JPG

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What about twin-wall polycarbonate for cabinet sliders instead of plexiglass.   6mm twin wall weights about .27 lbs per square foot.  I have never worked with it so I am not sure how well it would hold up.

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I laminated a table top, here are pics. I only had access to very limited technique: bricks and heavy stuff on a plywood board to press this against the carport floor so not perfectly flat but it's holding up. 

 

 

I also think very highly of extruded PVC sheet.

Oh, and the Wilsonart laminate I put on top of the galley surfaces is holding up very well. I built over-lids for my reefer units of divinycell and 'glass with the wilsonart laminated to the tops. AFAIC, as the original ply or glass bits in my old boat die, I'm replacing them with divinycell laminates

For sliding cabinet door faces in my heads, Ive used coreplast. talk about easy

 

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Watch Leo build Tally Ho and you may want to build it with custom made bronze fasteners and hand carved purple heart...or just some reasonable marine plywood and maybe brass or ss flat head Philips wood screws and some good glue....

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You can buy compressor kits,  you build a well insulated box,  putting the cold plate in that.  

An accessable box for the compressor,  with a well ventilated area for the heat plate. 

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1 hour ago, badia420 said:

talking about furniture, has someone insight of what you need in order to make a fridge?

At least 150mm of polystyrene (pink) foam on sides and bottom. No gaps. Refrigerant lines routed out high. No drain - use a sponge or a pump from above. I don't think there is a payoff for a holding plate on an electrically-driven system. Only for engine-driven. Takes up space and freezes whatever falls against it.

Compressor access and ventilation is very important. Carry spare power supply modules.

I've built the interiors from 6mm foam-core PVC board held together with white 5200. Helps to have plenty small shelves on the far (visible) side to avoid the big crush.  the Figure out a way to have the beer on the bottom but still instantly accessible buy the loving spouse without having to abuse the carefully stown contents.

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In the seventies, I built an icebox.  Double walled, 2” gap, 3/8” fir ply, foam-in-place foam. Glassed inside and out.  
It held ice for a week in Maine.  Still doing the job.

Today, I’d probably use different materials.

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On 7/13/2020 at 7:34 PM, Diamond Jim said:

With good fillets and solid stiffeners in the right places, you can probably do most of the job in 6mm plywood.  
6 mm okoume is about the same weight as 1/2” 5# foam with 300gsm glass each side side.  And a small fraction of the work and materials cost.  Not as stiff, though and curves are harder.
Some folk like varnished okoume, other woods are heavier or paint it and apply varnished mahogany edge moldings.

You can glass foam panels without vacuum on a flat table.  One side at a time, use peelply and squeegee it out flat.   

Yah ...plywood 

 

save your cash for foam core  floorboards , doors and horizontal panels that can't be properly stiffened 

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