Baltic Birch… Good or Bad Idea?

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RobbieFromCalgary
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Baltic Birch… Good or Bad Idea?

Post by RobbieFromCalgary »

Mmmm Kay,
So I am just about to start and I have been sourcing wood. I need to know if I have a good idea or the worst idea ever? Where I live, I can only get marine grade plywood in one place and it costs a fortune… where I work I can get Baltic Birch plywood for like 25% of the price. We bring int the good stuff, it has no voids that I have seen and is very good quality. I would be paying about $15 for a sheet of 6mm (1/4”) and $40 for 18mm (3/4”).

I am planning on painting the hull exterior and planking mahogany on the deck and transom. So I know it will be lighter but I am not 100% worried about the color….. I know Marine grade is also better for water but if I am encapsulating everything??? I don’t want to cut corners but was wondering if the availability and cost difference would make up for the difference? I am building a Zip if that matters?

Thanks for your help and opinions!!
It's better to start now, you never know if you will be able to later.

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Bill Edmundson
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Re: Baltic Birch… Good or Bad Idea?

Post by Bill Edmundson »

If you can get a sample of the ply, boil a small piece and see if it separates. If it does... no.

Bill
Mini -Tug, KH Tahoe 19 & Bartender 24 - There can be no miracle recoveries without first screwing up.
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kens
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Re: Baltic Birch… Good or Bad Idea?

Post by kens »

all marine grade plywood is expensive, and, that birch you looking at is probably for kitchen cabinet building. (interior grade)
at that price, I'm sure it is interior grade.
Like Bill said, boil a little piece and see if it delaminates
Oak is over rated, everything about it takes extra time; then it warps, splits or checks !!! :roll:

TAB
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Re: Baltic Birch… Good or Bad Idea?

Post by TAB »

At that price is most likely 5 ply( the faces will be maybe .003") 6 mm ply is .236". I also doubt its 4x8 most likely 5x5 as that's a common size used for the back of cabinets.

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chugalug
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Re: Baltic Birch… Good or Bad Idea?

Post by chugalug »

I used a couple of pieces in "Chug" for upright pilothouse sides.Also had a chunk under house air conditioner which delaminated from water.Pilothouse sides are ok so far but are panels so easy to remove.
Working on regular-sized Bo-Jest


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RobbieFromCalgary
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Re: Baltic Birch… Good or Bad Idea?

Post by RobbieFromCalgary »

Thanks, Everyone!!

I thought it might be a bad idea but figured if it was encapsulated it might be ok..... the last thing I want is for it to all fall apart after it is in the water for a bit.
It's better to start now, you never know if you will be able to later.

hoodman
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Re: Baltic Birch… Good or Bad Idea?

Post by hoodman »

You could use ACX or even BCX plywood. Both are going to have core voids. But if you are trying to save money at least they would have waterproof glue.
Matt

Building a Geronimo......!
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Hercdrvr
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Re: Baltic Birch… Good or Bad Idea?

Post by Hercdrvr »

I regret it every time I use non marine grade plywood for anything on a boat.
Matt B

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