Wood Veneer with Fibreglass

Discussion in 'Materials' started by Hobbyboatbuilder, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. Hobbyboatbuilder
    Joined: Jun 2017
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    Hobbyboatbuilder Junior Member

    Is there any information floating about on how to use/lay a wooden veneer rather than a coloured gel coat finish?
     
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    No, nope, nada on your request. I don't know of a single reference on the subject, as it would seem no one has ever thought of this previously, good luck . . .
     
  3. Blueknarr
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    Blueknarr Senior Member

    Wood reneers can be laid over composites if it is very smooth. Then the veneer is finished as furniture. This almost standard practice for corperate jet interiors.

    Most veneers have a protective/strengthening backing which does not play will with common lay up resens.
     
  4. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Veneers can be had with or without the fabric or paper backing. If it's a flat surface, the scrim backing doesn't affect anything, but if it's curved, you'll want naked veneers, which tend to be cheaper and available in wider widths too. Veneers are along tradisional in several industries, including yachts. Working veneer sis pretty easy, but making it look perfect under clear coats, is the same as making a piano, in terms of detail level. It's hard to justify on most smaller pleasure craft, just from the skill levels required. You might want to consider a printed polyester veil instead.
     
  5. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Those printed wraps can look pretty convincing.
     
  6. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The cheaper ones tend to have a visible and repeating pattern, but the good ones aren't as noticeable.
     
  7. Hobbyboatbuilder
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    Hobbyboatbuilder Junior Member

    Just thinking about long term, and possible cracking in the gel coat. The possibility of using a real wooden veneer could prevent crack running with only a thin clear gel to protect the veneer?

    Where are the good wraps found?
     
  8. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    What thickness of wood skins are you planing on using? What wood, pine?
     
  9. Hobbyboatbuilder
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    Hobbyboatbuilder Junior Member

    As thin as possible to keep the weight Down.

    The aim is to get 25kg per side in weight for a twin hull.

    The gel is weighing 3.5kg per side.
     
  10. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    Wood veneer is like ply wood or paper, it doesn't like compound curves. A veneer covered boat would seem to be a delicate item with uv, shrinkage and swelling. The slightest ding would be a worrisome thing. A clear coat requires more upkeep than gelcoat.
    If you could replicate these guys, with paper thin veneers and matched, heated pressure molds, it might work.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Wood veneers aren't like plywood and can be bend into some compounds, of course depending of several factors. Most veneers are pretty thin, typically much less than a 1/16th of an inch (1.5 mm). I have a source for naked backed, 1/10" and 1/16" live edge veneers, but this stuff isn't cheap. Plank widths, orientation, species, etc., all come to play on compounds, but it's not uncommon.

    Veneers makes a poor deck. This is because it so thin, you don't get much traffic wear, before areas have to be replaced. This causes builders to put light sheathing over it to improve abrasion resistance. Lastly putting a clear coat over wood that isn't varnish is problematic at best. Wood will want to move, but veneers tend to get bedded in epoxy or vinylester, which locks it down. This exposes the wood to UV degradation and the surface starts to check, split, etc. This is why I suggest a printed veil instead of real wood. UV is still a problem, but the substrate isn't going to move, change color, etc. if it's printed.
     
  12. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    "Protecting" gel coat with a wood veneer is a novel idea, but it does not make much practical sense that I can see. You are covering a durable surface with a less durable one. How is that an improvement ? Surely you are looking for a striking visual effect, and there are many better ways of achieving it.
     
  13. Blueknarr
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    Blueknarr Senior Member


    I think his idea was to replace "heavy" gelcoat with a "light" veneer skin.
    As with most weight loss schemes, it adds much cost to fabrication and greatly reduces durability
    I don't think this is the wisest diet for a beach-cat. I'm just a simple guy voting for solid color double thick gelcoat on any beaching boat. Anything fancy looks horrid if not touched up routeinely. Save the fancy finishes go where they are somewhat protected.

    Perhaps the reason there is no lititure on how to embed veneers with layup, is brecaus no one wants to brag about their failed attempts.
     

  14. Yellowjacket
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    Yellowjacket Senior Member

    Wood veneers can be made to work but there's several issues that make them difficult. The first is that there is limited amount of 3 dimensionality before they crack so you have to be careful in your expectations as to how much you can warp it. Second is how to bond it down. Most glues that are used with veneers aren't that great, and others, if they get wet are a nightmare. Epoxy is the best thing to stick it down, but that adds weight and is difficult to get evenly applied. Then getting the excess rolled out and getting it to be even when you are done is difficult with epoxy. Even with vacuum bagging it can be difficult, trust me, been there, done that. You can address UV resistance with UV resistant metallic dyes, then use a UV resistant epoxy with 4 oz cloth that is vacuum bagged over the top, and then use a UV varnish that you periodically replace... Doing all that just so you can get a nice wood grain really isn't worth it, so getting something that is printed is a lot easier and better in the long run...
     
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