Meranti plywood

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Meranti plywood

Postby beezerboy » Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:54 pm

I was at my local specialty wood store checking on plywood for my project and they had this Meranti plywood, which I had never heard of. It's 1/4", 3 ply, has an A side and a B side.... $20 a sheet (4x8). So now I have 3 sheets on the roof... kinda stiff to bend but looking good! I put a small scrap in a tub of water & no de-lamination yet after 4 days being submerged. I wanted the Finland birch because I've used it for other things & like the quality. problem is the sheets are 5'x5' and my width is 6'7" (go figger?) (I got the project partly built) anyway, I'm impressed with this stuff, the quality beats hell out of the box store Lauan stuff.
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Re: Meranti plywood

Postby MtnDon » Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:40 pm

Meranti is another name for Lauan plywood, philippine mahogany....
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Re: Meranti plywood

Postby beezerboy » Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:57 am

hmmmm... OK, I believe you but it looks different from the Lauan in my local box stores (Lowe.Depot) which is more red with paper thin "show" plies. I made a couple guitar amp cabs out the box store stuff & had to scribe the cuts to keep from splintering, even with a new carbide ply blade. the show side plies on this stuff are thicker and more stable. also... I trimmed some with my router today & it smells like cedar, which is also different from my box store crap. guess that shows how much variation there is out there
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Re: Meranti plywood

Postby swoody126 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:34 am

i love discussions about plywood which has become one of my preferred building materials over the years

it goes w/o repeatedly saying that TTT's that live in garages and only occasionally experience rain events do not require the quality of building materials that boats appreciate since their every event involves exposure to dunking in water

as the forests of the world have been depleted substantially(some brutally) the need for good replacement woods is becomming more n more important

MERANTI & OKOUME are the names of woods that i have been associating w/ better quality building materials lately(the last 10± years)

they both are harvested in ways that make it possible to have full sheets w/o major flaws and in some cases w/o visible flaws

the absence of the flaws common to many other species makes finishing these materials much more satisfying as we view the results over time

MERANTI & OKOUME plywoods can and frequently have edges that are so good they can be finished bright and the results can be quite smooth and attractive

the bright finished edges can then become architectural enhancements rather than something that has to be hidden from view

when you bite the bullet and use MARINE($$$) plywood w/ the BS6566 or BS1088 certifications the core plies will have very few if any voids and the edges are beautiful

here are a couple pics of MERANTI & OKOUME plywood edges that have been finished bright

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/46WYy ... 80-h640-no

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/cqea2 ... 72-h762-no

it also goes w/o saying the glue will withstand repeated constant exposure to water and not give up

another benefit that comes w/ MARINE plywood is that the core plies are the same as the exterior plies(veneer grade) in thickness, looks and structural integrity

as i peruse the many threads here i see the huge investment of man hours required to create so many of these TnTTT's i question the decisions some are making by using some of the know inferior materials just to get out of the shop cheaper

searching and finding better sources of quality materials is to be applauded

once found doing the exposure to water test and reporting the results to the forumites can only benefit the forum as a whole and the results of future builds WILL be of better quality and last much longer

:thumbsup: to beezerboy the OP

sw
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Re: Meranti plywood

Postby Aguyfromohio » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:39 pm

We are building a pair of largish teardrops, and one is skinned with 1/4 inch Meranti marine plywood.
Including local sales tax we pay $74 a sheet. Our trailers take 10 sheets of exterior skin, so let's call it $750 for the exterior skin.
Not really so bad a price.

The other trailer is getting prepainted aluminum skin.
We have common 1/4 birch ply under the aluminum, so it turns out cheaper to use the expensive Meranti marine plywood than using birch-plus-aluminum.
We were just not comfortable exposing anything less than marine plywood to the weather.
Plus it is gorgeous for a classic woody trailer.
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Re: Meranti plywood

Postby beezerboy » Mon Aug 21, 2017 6:59 pm

swoody...nice lookin stuff you got there. it looks similar to the Baltic Birch from Finland that my local store has. the 1/2" (12mm?) has 10 plies and they tell me it's made with waterproof glue, and there are no voids. I've made some cabinets from it & never found a void. that was what I wanted to use on my roof, but the 5x5 sheet size don't work on a 6'6" wider camper.

anyway, an update on the bare scrap of Meranti I put in water a week ago, it still shows no sign of delamination
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Re: Meranti plywood

Postby elcam84 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:11 am

Meranti plywood is typically only available in marine quality and can be pretty nice looking stuff and holds up well. That said I have seen some that was branded as marine ply that was garbage and the plywood supplier was giving it away because it was so bad. The old BS1088 rating hasn't been an actual rating for many years though most manufacturers still put it on their products.

As for the birch ply sold at most all suppliers that isn't Finnish birch. It's Baltic birch which is very good stuff though. If a 4x8 sheet of 1/2" is less than say $150 then it's Baltic birch. I typically pay around $24 for 5x5 sheets of Baltic birch. I haven't bought Finnish birch since I stopped building model airplanes as it is very expensive. Aircraft suppliers are the best source for Finnish birch and real Sitka spruce.

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Re: Meranti plywood

Postby jonw » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:46 am

I used 5/8in. Meranti marine plywood for the walls of my teardrop (and 3/4in. Okoume for the floor) and it has held up great.

Even the "bad" side is Meranti and looks good - I just put interior Poly on it and used it as is for the inside walls.

In my opinion, if you're going to use plywood for a teardrop it should be marine ply. Otherwise you're asking for water troubles.
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Re: Meranti plywood

Postby swoody126 » Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:03 am

jonw wrote:...

In my opinion, if you're going to use plywood for a teardrop it should be marine ply. Otherwise you're asking for water troubles.


SOUND THINKING!!!

sw
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Re: Meranti plywood

Postby tony.latham » Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:11 am

swoody126 wrote:
jonw wrote:...

In my opinion, if you're going to use plywood for a teardrop it should be marine ply. Otherwise you're asking for water troubles.


SOUND THINKING!!!

sw


I've tested the Baltic birch plywood that I get by throwing a junk in a bucket of water. The water will evaporate before the plywood bunches up or delaminates. The 1/4" underlayment plywood does the same. On top of that, I seal my teardrops with epoxy on the exterior and galley floors.

Tony
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Re: Meranti plywood

Postby swoody126 » Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:30 am

tony.latham wrote:
swoody126 wrote:
jonw wrote:...

In my opinion, if you're going to use plywood for a teardrop it should be marine ply. Otherwise you're asking for water troubles.


SOUND THINKING!!!

sw


I've tested the Baltic birch plywood that I get by throwing a junk in a bucket of water. The water will evaporate before the plywood bunches up or delaminates. The 1/4" underlayment plywood does the same. On top of that, I seal my teardrops with epoxy on the exterior and galley floors.

Tony


TL, you obviously have access to materials that are assembled w/ exterior glue :thumbsup:

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Re: Meranti plywood

Postby tony.latham » Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:49 am

TL, you obviously have access to materials that are assembled w/ exterior glue :thumbsup:


I think everyone on this forum has access to quality plywood. I challenge anyone to find a more remote place than my home town––Salmon, Idaho.

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If people would get out of the box stores and buy their plywood in a lumberyard, I think they'd be much better off.

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Re: Meranti plywood

Postby beezerboy » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:14 pm

so.... I forgot about the piece of meranti plywood I put on the soak. I just tossed it out... its fine. over 3 weeks a bare piece has been under water and no sign of bubbling or delamination.
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