Skin with 1/4" Birch (No Aluminum)

Finishes, paints and coatings

Skin with 1/4" Birch (No Aluminum)

Postby steve73 » Wed May 14, 2014 8:00 am

I was thinking about using a 4' x 10' sheet of cabinet grade 1/4" birch plywood for my exterior. I would glue it to my 3/4" marine grade plywood. This would give me a nice surface to stain. My concern is waterproofing the birch. I have Epifanes Spar Varnish to put over the stain. I wonder if this is enough and will it hold up over time to the weather. What type of exterior wood are people using for that classic woody look? -Karen
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Re: Skin with 1/4" Birch (No Aluminum)

Postby jonw » Wed May 14, 2014 11:05 am

My sides are 5/8in. Meranti Mahogany marine plywood. I just put on several coats of satin finish Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane . I liked the grain and color as it was so I didn't stain it, but you could easily do so if you wanted a different color or shade, before applying the spar varnish.

If I were you I might just consider applying a thin veneer and finish that instead of attaching a whole other sheet of something. You could even get creative using different woods for a design, as some have done.
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Re: Skin with 1/4" Birch (No Aluminum)

Postby tony.latham » Wed May 14, 2014 11:26 am

Having dealt with an aluminum sheathed commercial teardrop with unsealed "underwood", I'm a big believer in coating all exposed and potentially exposed wood with epoxy. (It wasn't a disaster but there were problems.) I'd seal it with Raka's thin epoxy and then protect it from UV with a good spar varnish. I know some on this forum have had good luck with just several coates of high quality spar varnish.

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Re: Skin with 1/4" Birch (No Aluminum)

Postby steve73 » Thu May 15, 2014 7:28 pm

Thank you, I think I will use the epoxy with spar varnish on top. Can't hurt to have the extra protection.
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