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-   -   can i get away with cabinet grade plywood for a project seldom exposed to weather? (

Philphine 10-27-2011 09:37 AM

can i get away with cabinet grade plywood for a project seldom exposed to weather?
one of my hobbies is fooling with bicycles. one i'm working on now is a cargo type bike that will have about a 2'x3' flatbed like area on it.

even though i'll probaly very seldom use it, let alone choose a rainy day to use it, i still want to use something that will hold up to some exposure to weather. i was thinking marine grade or treated plywood, but i came across a deal on some cabinet grade that would look nice for the build. i've been reading a little on things like voids and glues used and cabinet grade seems like it might work for me if it doesn't get exposed to wet weather very often.

think it would hold up with a coat of urethane on it? i think the most exposure it would regularly get is being kept in an unheated, but dry garage, but as stated, maybe if i use it and get caught in rain, or it's outside overnight and ends up with dew on it, i don't want to have to start over and have to buy better wood a second time.

what say ye good people? thanks.

nealtw 10-27-2011 01:58 PM

I think you would be better off using wood and make it look like an old pickup truck bed. Finding material at a good price might be hard.

joecaption 10-27-2011 06:36 PM

It would hold up much longer if you made it out of Advantec subflooring, not as nice a finish but it's made to be able to withstand the weather when building a house.
If you do go with the cabinet grade, prime with two coats of primer, and two coats of acrilic exterier enamel paint and skip the poly. Most Poly has no UV protection.
It's easer to prime and paint one coat all the panels before you do any cutting. Then the last coat when it's built to cover any scratches.

KerryAll 11-04-2011 06:09 PM

Actually, spar varathane (several brands available) has strong UV inhibitors in them.
One example is Varthane brand:∂=spec∏=84&rcddr=2

BridgeMan 11-04-2011 08:51 PM

I'd be tempted to use the cabinet-grade stuff you've got, but go the extra step and make sure to seal any exposed ends before assembling it. Once moisture gets into the laminations, it's the beginning of the end.

I built a garden cart using high-quality, cabinet grade 5/8" plywood. Even covered it with 6 mils of 2-part epoxy paint. It lasted about 8 years (of heavy use, stored outside, and moisture intrusion) before falling apart, delaminating from the edges inward. So if you take better care of yours, and keep it in a dry location, it might last considerably longer.

do-er 11-10-2011 09:00 PM

Hi Philphine,
I would use one of those waterproof deck products (paints), they come also in clear if you want to keep nice look of smooth sanded cabinet grade plywood exposed :) More expensive ones will go really deep inside the wood (not only stay on surface) and make it last winters and rains outside. Put at least two-three coats since bare wood will drink a bit (which is good) in this case. Good luck and post the picture of that bike you're doing, who knows you might be another Orange County Custom Bikes (Choppers)

Big_Bill 11-18-2011 01:51 AM

Ok, I'll probably get called a heretic for suggesting something other than wood, but have you considered vinyl trim or composite boards?

joecaption 11-18-2011 05:31 AM

Big Bill
Price out the cost of these items, then check the weight on each of these, come up with a materials needed list and see what you come up with, then factor in vinyl trim and composit deck boards would leak if used as a top, and will have to be supported every 16" plus vinyl trim has about zero top load strength, it's made to be installed againt a soild substrate.
A 4 X 8 sheet of 3/4" vinyl would work and should last forever if built right with stainlees steel screws, and PVC cement and some built in gussets, but it would cost about $100.00 a sheet, cabinet grade plywood is less then $30.00.

Big_Bill 11-19-2011 11:59 PM

He wouldn't need a 4'x8' sheet- 1- 1"x6"x12' would cover the 2'x3' area mentioned for $39.98 (local Home Depot). As to load strength, how much weight are you gonna carry in a 2'x3' area on a bicycle? Just my 2 cts....FWIW

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