making a table from teak faced ply - virgin questions about glues/epoxies/varnishing

niccapotamus

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I'm not a woodworking numptie - about 34 years ago I did get an A at O-level woodwork :) But i am an accountant not a chippie.

That said, we are making a table for our boat - it is about 700 x 900 and will be used both for the saloon and cockpit. Mounting on one of those Lagun swivel legs. I have some 9mm teak faced ply broadly cut to size.

For the edging, or fiddles I was thinking of nails and glue - and then wondered whether I should use epoxy for ultimate strength - which of the west system products would I need please as it all looks a bit bewildering at first look. Particularly as I'm now considering having two more cuts made so we can have fold-over flaps rather than just one relatively huge surface, so the edging will take some of the strain from the hinges.

Second question is about finishing. I'm assuming that I just fine sand, blow off any dust, de-grease and then start varnishing (doing it properly with lots of coats - about 8 I think is optimum, thinned to start, and rubbing down between coats).

Any views, comments, advice?

ta

nick
 

prv

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I'd use waterproof wood glue rather than epoxy for that purpose. The waterproof aspect should be irrelevant thanks to the varnish, but I reckon I might as well.

I use tack cloths to pick up the last of the dust before varnishing - it can make a big difference to the final finish.

I use 320-grit paper as the final grade before varnishing and between coats.

Pete
 

aslabend

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PU wood glue might be preferable if the table is to be used outside as it foams and expands slightly to fill in any voids in joints that might trap water.
 

SiteSurfer

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Thankyou, thankyou. I have been trying to find a solution to my lack of space with the table for months. Lagun solution is exactly what i needed.
 

niccapotamus

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Thankyou, thankyou. I have been trying to find a solution to my lack of space with the table for months. Lagun solution is exactly what i needed.

good stuff :) pm sent about where to buy. nice blog btw. looks like you are on the same path as me - here's a list of stuff in progress, or perhaps even done

cockpit and saloon table
new cooker
replace the solar panel (photonic)
learn to pop rivet (3rd reef)
fitted a heater (mikuni)
new winch (on its way)

we are just into year 2!
 
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GrahamM376

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PU wood glue might be preferable if the table is to be used outside as it foams and expands slightly to fill in any voids in joints that might trap water.

Agree. I have been using Wudcare Fast Grab for years with no failures in hot sun and damp conditions - http://www.axminster.co.uk/fast-grab-5-minute-polyurethane-glue?gclid=CLXs7ZzD_scCFUoJwwodXB0IYg

I used solid sapele for this table and finished with International Woodskin, only one summer use so far so don't know how the Woodskin will stand the test of time.
 

prv

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I used to use PVA type white wood-glue, but when my last bottle ran out I bought PU instead. Been happy with it for the couple of small jobs I've done so far, and the foaming action does sound useful if your joints aren't always quite as tight as they should be :).

Pete
 

Tranona

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9mm is a bit on the thin side for that size and you might need to put some strengthening ribs underneath as well as the fiddles. If it is only for occasional use outside would not bother with piling all that varnish on. Satin finish Ronseal gives a very good durable finish and usually looks better inside the boat than a gloss.
 

prv

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If it is only for occasional use outside would not bother with piling all that varnish on.

It do look nice though :). I made a small drinks table to go on the front of Ariam's binnacle, varnished exactly as the OP intends, and several people have remarked on how nice it looks. Some act very surprised that it didn't come from some kind of factory.

Pete
 

Amulet

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I'd use waterproof wood glue rather than epoxy for that purpose. The waterproof aspect should be irrelevant thanks to the varnish, but I reckon I might as well.

I use tack cloths to pick up the last of the dust before varnishing - it can make a big difference to the final finish.

I use 320-grit paper as the final grade before varnishing and between coats.

Pete
Seem to be implying epoxy is not waterproof. Certainly is. The only down side of epoxy for this kind of job is that tidying up excess once it's hardened is difficult and blunts tools. If you end up with lumps of cured epoxy it's hard to sand them off as the paper rides over the hard bits and sands through the top veneer of your ply. So if you use epoxy clean up well before it goes off.
 

Spuddy

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As Amulet said. You could put a thinnish batten around the outside, underneath; mitre the corners if you feeling posh. This will allow wider lipping and longer fixings for the flap hinges. I'd cramp the lipping on myself but if you have none then panel pins will have to do - steel won't matter for fair weather use.
Belated congrats on the A grade O level
 
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I recently rebuilt my saloon table and leaned the following...
Epoxy stains teak black.
PU glue makes a lot of mess around the joints, so mask them if you use it. I would use Cascamite.
Formica is a much better table surface for a boat than veneer.
To make a stronger top, put a second layer of ply underneath, recessed from the edge by a few cm.
Paint the underside white, it makes it much easier to find stuff you drop.
Screwfix No-Nonsense Yacht Varnish is the best I have used.
 

Minchsailor

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I made a new salon table for my boat last winter. IMHO 9mm is too thin. It will either need doubling or bracing. You could easily double it onto another sheet of 9mm FE ply. Here's how:

1. Get a vacuum storage bag for Poundland/99p shop.

2. Get Cascamite glue - 500g.

3. Spread glue onto both surfaces. Use an old paint brush.

4. Squeeze together.

5. Place in vacuum bag. Use an old towel to protect the veneer surface.

6. Evacuate with a vacuum cleaner. Leave for 24 hours.

7. Done, at a fraction of the price of the 'proper job.

I used this technique for veneering ordinary ply. table_s.jpgHere's a photo of my finished table:
 

prv

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Seem to be implying epoxy is not waterproof.

Well I certainly didn't mean to imply that! The waterproof aspect refers to a choice between ordinary wood glue and waterproof wood glue. Obviously epoxy is waterproof, but it's overkill for joinery jobs like this, expensive and a bit of a faff.

Pete
 

howardclark

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Ok some basics-teak faced ply is expensive. Plan every step so you do not damage it. Have a look on the edge-you will find the veneer thickness is not a lot so very careful handling/sanding. After you have coated it (perhaps a heat resistant varnish) you can relax a bit.
For glues the earlier comments are sensible. Epoxy and foaming glues can be difficult to tidy up and you have very little veneer. I use both regularly but for an internal table would probably use Titebond 3 also available from axminster
Which is dead easy to clean up. It is waterproof but maybe not quite as good as they claim however unlikely to be a problem unless you sink the boat. Nail and glue is fine for fiddles-pay a few quid for a proper nail punch to punch heads below the surface. Consider leaving a gap at one or all corners for clearing up crumbs. Gets rid of need for mitres too. 9mm is just about enough to support hinges. If you need to add to thickness Titebond will also do job but to get the two panels flush to each other would really need to be cleaned up with a router or a lot of careful sanding.
 

rogerthebodger

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This is the centre section of my cockpit table made from 12 mm thick ply with 5mm thick Iroko strips glued to one side using PU glue. The fiddles is also Iroko also glued on with PU glue, no mechanical fixing have been used. The black strips are sikaflex corking which is only cosmetic.

The varnish is a locally formulated varnish to better resist the high levels of UV and temperatures we get locally.

I have moved away from using veneer in places that could get dinged during use so the surface con be sanded and repaired easier than the thin veneer we get on veneered ply
IMGP2574_zpsdbebabeb.jpg
 

niccapotamus

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Just a quick thank you to everyone!

the board is sitting in the corner waiting for the lagun leg to arrive. then it's a trip to the boat to check that it'll all work before the next bit!

cheers
Nick
 

GrahamM376

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..........Titebond 3 also available from axminster Which is dead easy to clean up. It is waterproof but maybe not quite as good as they claim however unlikely to be a problem unless you sink the boat. ..........

Never used Titebond 3 but, after your post, looked it up and tests indicate it was the best tested and epoxy the worst. How do you clean it off unwanted areas, damp rag? Does it stain once dried? http://woodgears.ca/joint_strength/glue.html
 

ip485

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I know you have the teak faced ply, but I would keep that for something else. Buy some solid teak planks. They often come up on fleabay and arent that costly. Why? the table will inevitably get some dings and dents and go through to the ply - you will always know it is teak on ply.

If it takes any weather, then only epoxy will really do. Anything else will weather, will allow water into the joints in time and will result in the teak marking, especially if it is ply. West 105 is fine.

You can build up coats with varnish but it takes an age and still doesnt give a very resilient coat. I would coat with a good clear epoxy flow coat - you can put it on at an equivalent of probably 10 or more layers of varnish equivalent and it will really stand the test of time looking good for years to come. I find it so good that I sanded well to the required finish and just poored the flow coat onto the teak - no degreasing, no other prep. The flow coat is also crystal clear so doesnt darken the wood and really shows off the honey grain to perfection. Finally, either spray or paint a couple of coats of two pack polyurethane for UV resistance.

There is a cost in these materials BUT anything else will flake and be weather effected in time, whereas this will really last years and look as good as the day it was made. It is also really easy to refinish if it takes the odd really severe knock or dent.

Of course you culd do the same with the ply, but I think it is worth going the extra mile.

When you think of the time it takes to refinish after say three or four years it is well worth the invesment up front.

PS - I am not sure of the fiddles - I know it is very yachtie, but it is a load of extra work, and they dont really work, compared with some good no slip matting which will hold everything very well in place rather than things sliding into the fiddles and tipping off the edge anyway.
 
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Tranona

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I know you have the teak faced ply, but I would keep that for something else. Buy some solid teak planks. They often come up on fleabay and arent that costly. Why? the table will inevitably get some dings and dents and go through to the ply - you will always know it is teak on ply.

If it takes any weather, then only epoxy will really do. Anything else will weather, will allow water into the joints in time and will result in the teak marking, especially if it is ply. West 105 is fine.

You can build up coats with varnish but it takes an age and still doesnt give a very resilient coat. I would coat with a good clear epoxy flow coat - you can put it on at an equivalent of probably 10 or more layers of varnish equivalent and it will really stand the test of time looking good for years to come. I find it so good that I sanded well to the required finish and just poored the flow coat onto the teak - no degreasing, no other prep. The flow coat is also crystal clear so doesnt darken the wood and really shows off the honey grain to perfection. Finally, either spray or paint a couple of coats of two pack polyurethane for UV resistance.

There is a cost in these materials BUT anything else will flake and be weather effected in time, whereas this will really last years and look as good as the day it was made. It is also really easy to refinish if it takes the odd really severe knock or dent.

Of course you culd do the same with the ply, but I think it is worth going the extra mile.

When you think of the time it takes to refinish after say three or four years it is well worth the invesment up front.

PS - I am not sure of the fiddles - I know it is very yachtie, but it is a load of extra work, and they dont really work, compared with some good no slip matting which will hold everything very well in place rather than things sliding into the fiddles and tipping off the edge anyway.

All very sound but a bit OTT for a cabin table that can also be used in the cockpit.
 
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