using plywood from old shipping crates?

Discussion in 'Materials' started by jumpinjackflash, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    I was wondering the same thing.
     
  2. peterjoki
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    peterjoki Junior Member

    In the workshop I have made test glue ups.

    After following the steps (I don't boil for as long), I clamp one end in a bench vice and give the opposing end a couple of good whacks.

    Its quite crude, but gives me an idea of where failure is going to take place.

    With plywood (boil just once, as the extensive test procedure would most certainly ruin any thin veneers) I would be happy if the stuff doesn't fall or peel apart upon examination.
     
  3. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    one of the significant issues is that the plywood in those crates is usually much smaller than 2400 x 1200 standard ply sheets.

    In your testing, make up some joins as you would have to with lots of small ply panels, and see if the joints hold together.

    My guess is that after you have glued the joins together, either scarfed or Payson joint - when you put one end in the vice, and smack the other side of the join, you will get severe delamination if not actual breakage.
     
  4. peterjoki
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    peterjoki Junior Member

    Forgot to mention. The vice bashing I have done has been using solid lumber glue ups. I agree that punishing thin plywood wont be of much use.

    If the plywood looks intact after boiling, I would use it.
     
  5. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    I dont understand what "solid lumber glue ups." are, but in any case, plywood in packing pallets is the cheapest, nastiest wood they can find - and even if the boiling 'worked', the panels would be full of voids, and knots.

    Imagine spending all that money and effort to build a large boat, and watching the hull bubble and distort in a year or so,
     
  6. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    I would bet such reclaimed plywood would be dandy for making station molds or molds to laminate bent wood or the like.

    Though I must admit the first thing I thought of was all those old mother-in-law jokes, like a special rumple seat for her in the one classic MGM cartoon.
     
  7. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    The quality of solid wood and plywood in shipping crates and pallets varies from barely worth burning to very good. They come in all shapes and sizes and quality and it comes down to testing what you get.

    If you get a crate that was used for shipping $3,000 worth of fire hydrants, it's probably small and worthless, but if you get one that was for shipping a $15,000,000 jet engine, that's probably large and pretty swell. And either one is liable to be thrown away, the one because it's worthless and the other because it doesn't really matter in the scheme of things. It's a one man's junk is another man's treasure sort of thing.

    My friend floored his house with 1 x 6 x 10 good pine boards he regularly got at the printing company he worked at. After cutting off the ends there were only 4 nail holes in each board. I used to get a lot of 1/2 x 3" by 7' mahogany from Yamaha motorcycle crates. Germany makes some fine products and they ship them out in some fine crates.

    If you're wanting to get some good crates, do some investigating. It might be worthwhile to go in and explain what you want at a trucking company, they would know who gets good crates and pallets. Tour around some manufacturing facilities or just ask them, it costs them money to dispose of stuff and if they can get rid of it for nothing, they'll like that, as it turns pure loss into pure gain for them.

    Before you know it, you'll probably have a yard full of quality building materials along with frequent visits from the police answering neighbors complaints about the piles of stuff.
     
  8. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Just dug out some packing crate timber - from inside an all glass double floor GP 14....

    No resin on it, saturated, bandsaw marks, very fast growth (6-7mm pa) complete with the odd staple. Really impressive 'semi structural core material' :confused: probably a good thing this builder is no more. The boat is about 7 years old though and others of it's ilk have shown other parts with interior grade delaminated ply etc. Still gives me something to do ;)
     
  9. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    To paraphrase: be sure, their substitutions will wear you out.
     
  10. Zedwardson
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    Zedwardson Junior Member

    You will spend more on rejecting the bad wood and making the smaller cutouts joined then you would save. Of course, if this is just a small dingy for fun it might be worth it.
     
  11. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    I always scavenge packing crates. The thick plywood is valuable for many projects. Have a good eye, give is a soak test to see if it del ams and avoid using it in structural applications. I just scavenged a crate that contained a big diesel engine. Beautiful thick plywood.
     

  12. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    I will often re - purpose plywood, goes great in temporary hatch covers , temporary deck/protection, jigs & the like. I'd love to re-purpose a crate that held a small diesel engine.... maybe about 15-25 hp... never been lucky enough to find one though....;)

    Jeff
     
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