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Laminating Mahogany Veneer

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Old 01-14-2017, 06:24 PM
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jetpack
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Default Laminating Mahogany Veneer

I purchased some ribbon striped Sepele mahogany in hopes to use it on a few boats I have been wanting to build as sheeting and if possible, even the bulkheads and forget using birch ply all together by laminating the veneer into its own ply.

What I have in mind is using fiberglass cloth between two of the .025" thick veneer and letting it cure using epoxy. Clamping or weighing it as it cures.

What can I expect out of this as far as bendability, strength, working characteristics, bandsaw wear, etc?

Am I on the wrong track or what other methods are there? I don't want to get into anything too expensive to set up like vacuum bagging or such. Any suggestions welcome. I'll leave with a few pics of the veneer and the boats which can range up in size to need a 12" x 48" sheet.
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Old 02-05-2017, 05:15 AM
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You'll have to experiment, but I'd think it'll get heavy fast and pretty stiff depending on glass weight and amount of epoxy. Having said that, don't discount using vacuum as it can be done very cheap and the results for your application has the potential for being outstanding, if you use release cloth,etc. Just try a small piece and make sure you use laminating resin and not too heavy glass (2 oz, maz, as a guess). I'm curious how this works since I want to do something similar, but not with boats. If I get some time, I'll try and experiment some. Other house projects in way, though...
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Old 02-16-2017, 12:50 PM
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If you laminate veneer/wood you need some glue/epoxy/laminating epoxy in between them, and if you add light fiberglass between there also - that will not make much difference in weight because you already need the glue right? It would however add quite a bit of strength, the epoxy is what represents most of the weight anyway.

I would do this with vacuum down to a 8mm glass plate or a straight shelf plate (inside the bag) if it is to be material plates, and I would have the light fiberglass on both surfaces - remember light and thin fiberglass becomes more or less invisible when it is saturated, all layers @ 45*/45* so you at the same time add the missing directional fibers in the 0/90* veneer... makes extremely straight and flat material plates.

Adding fiberglass require a "dry up" with paper towels pressed to it to remove excess epoxy (if you use laminating epoxy anyway) because the fiberglass cloth really sucks up a lot of epoxy and it makes puddles of epoxy under it - it is very important not to have any more epoxy than necessary because this will build up unnecessary weight very quickly indeed.

About stiffness one layer of fiberglass will not make much change, to get the stiffness potential from fiberglass you need two layers with some distance between them in a sandwich structure. An example would be to use one layer of 1/64" plywood on each side of a 1/8" balsa sheet, that would give the same effect - very stiff and strong compared to its weight.

I guess you could do it without vacuum, it is just an extremely simple and easy way to compress something together with an almost unimaginable perpendicular force - without taking up any space or represent any weight load on your work bench...

Fiberglass is a serious tool killer, but in thin layers in combination with wood it's alright. At an 1/16 fiberglass sheet a standard drill bit will last a couple of holes before it must be sharpened, a standard contour saw blade will last perhaps a couple of inches before the teeth are gone, cobalt/carbon steel drill bits will hold, a carbide (tungsten) drill/mill bit will last.

Very nice boat! Cheers

Last edited by ibuild; 02-16-2017 at 03:23 PM.
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