Tips on buying and using luan

Anything to do with mechanical, construction etc

Postby aportteus » Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:55 pm

I'm a contractor, have been for 25 years. Who ever told you all plywood is now made in China is dead wrong. Quality plys are still made here & in Canada. But Luan has always been an Asain product. The Luan tree grows in the East Asia & the big islands thereabouts. Even there we find major differences in the product. First there are two thicknesses, both commonly called "1/4 inch", 5.2mm & 5.5mm.
Next there is construction. Cheap 3 ply stuff, two thin outer plys over a much thicker core vs, high grade 5 ply material. The cheap stuff is interior /exterior glue, whereas the better material is exterior. This does not mean you can expose to constant weather without issues. BYW, sheet flooring manufacturers demand the better material & it's not cheap. It has blue grade certification stamped on the "good" face.
The big box stores carry what sells. I buy the good stuff from a lumberyard, most homeowners buy junk, because they buy on price alone. So if it's made of the leftovers rubber Dog Poop production, so be it.
You get what you pay for.
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Postby S. Heisley » Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:35 am

Hi, aportteus:

The store I bought from had 1/8", and 5.2mm, 5.5mm, 1/4" etc. with a limited supply of certain products. Yes, many of us purchase by price but many also purchase according to what we can get in our area, especially if we don't live near big cities. I think most of us do the best we can under our own individual circumstances.

Please read the pm I just sent you. :)
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Postby aportteus » Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:37 am

I'm not sure what a big city is in INoCal. I live in Akron OH, but the best local Lumberyard is in Lodi OH, aptly named Lodi Lumber. Kiem Lumber in Charm is a good one too. These products exist, if you are willing to pay for them. A neighbor, good guy too, is first class DIY'r. He complains & complains about poor quality materials. I sent him to my yard, know what he said, too expensive.So he spends hours & hours building cabinets from China Ply, only to sand through the ultra thin veneer. What did he save, $15 a sheet. I'm not cranky, just tired of price first, complain later.
Good luck with your Tear.
Andre`
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Postby Bikerman » Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:49 pm

And now it may be radiated, wonder if that would glow in the dark? :?
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skinning the top of my TTTT

Postby Charles Schmidt » Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:13 pm

Enjoyed all the discussion as I am about to skin the top. I used the good exterior grade 5.5mm for the inside. It was stained and had 2 coats of urathane and one coat of varnush before it was attached. I used urathane glue and only did one spar at a time. The wood was held in with two drywall lifts, if you know what they are, something like a drywall jack.

Since I dried one spar at a time the intererior skin went on with no problem.
Slow at first because of the first 2 feet of bend and quicker once working off the bend.

Now to my delimia. What do I use on the otter skin. After reading all the threads I am thinking anodized aluminum.

I have seen a sheet bent in a 360 and nothing chiped off but I am still looking for experianced input. THANX :thumbsup:
Bush did it
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skinning the top of my TTTT

Postby Charles Schmidt » Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:14 pm

Enjoyed all the discussion as I am about to skin the top. I used the good exterior grade 5.5mm for the inside. It was stained and had 2 coats of urathane and one coat of varnush before it was attached. I used urathane glue and only did one spar at a time. The wood was held in with two drywall lifts, if you know what they are, something like a drywall jack.

Since I dried one spar at a time the intererior skin went on with no problem.
Slow at first because of the first 2 feet of bend and quicker once working off the bend.

Now to my delimia. What do I use on the otter skin. After reading all the threads I am thinking anodized aluminum.

I have seen a sheet bent in a 360 and nothing chiped off but I am still looking for experianced input. THANX :thumbsup:
Bush did it
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skinning the top of my TTTT

Postby Charles Schmidt » Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:15 pm

Enjoyed all the discussion as I am about to skin the top. I used the good exterior grade 5.5mm for the inside. It was stained and had 2 coats of urathane and one coat of varnush before it was attached. I used urathane glue and only did one spar at a time. The wood was held in with two drywall lifts, if you know what they are, something like a drywall jack.

Since I dried one spar at a time the intererior skin went on with no problem.
Slow at first because of the first 2 feet of bend and quicker once working off the bend.

Now to my delimia. What do I use on the otter skin. After reading all the threads I am thinking anodized aluminum.

I have seen a sheet bent in a 360 and nothing chiped off but I am still looking for experianced input. THANX :thumbsup:
Bush did it
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Re: skinning the top of my TTTT

Postby bearfromobx » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:10 pm

Otter skin sounds like a lot of work for a TTT roof, but it keeps the otter dry! :R
I Googled aluminum roll and found both white finished and mill finish (silver) both up to 48" wide online and at some fair prices, considering the price of recovered metal these days. I don't have the money right now and am going to use paint to begin with, but will probably skin mine later down the road.

"Now to my delimia. What do I use on the otter skin. After reading all the threads I am thinking anodized aluminum.

I have seen a sheet bent in a 360 and nothing chiped off but I am still looking for experianced input."
Just an overeducated Redneck with a love of learnin' ...
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Alternative

Postby Phillyboi » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:10 pm

After reading the posts it made me wonder what an alternative to luan might be
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Re: Alternative

Postby CARS » Tue Sep 13, 2011 7:12 am

Phillyboi wrote:After reading the posts it made me wonder what an alternative to luan might be


canvas covered Foam??
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Re: Made in China

Postby albion2 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 7:08 pm

Wild Bill wrote:That should explain the poor quality. Made in China. Not a lot cheaper to purchase, just a lot more profit margin for the stores and poor quality.
Too bad nothing is made in America any more, that is why we are in the "recession" we are in now. I call our current economy a Greater Depression than that of the 1930's Lots more unemployment than 10%, but they do not count people that are no longer looking. This "global economy" is actually just lowering us down to the 3rd world level. Thanks for letting me rant, not trying to Hi Jack your post. Good study on plywood, I am at the stage where I just went to a big box store and bought 4 sheets of tongue and groove to build my floor. A big tear is called a drip I guess. going to be 12'-6" long by 6'-3" wide. a biggun. I like to take everything I own with me when I camp. And No I am not one of the millions that are unemployed, If I was I would have more time to build my trailer and no money. It is always one or the other. Bill
Perhaps one reason we are in a recession is all the foreign vehicles being bought by so called patriots.They may be built here but the profits still go abroad.
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Re:

Postby jeff0520 » Fri May 18, 2012 11:07 pm

S. Heisley wrote:At the local hardwood store, I was told that all plywood is now made in China.


Ummmm...no. I drive a flatbed truck. I haul a LOT of plywood. The lions share of Georgia Pacific Plytanium plywood is made in....Georgia. Coastal Forest Products plywood is made in southern Alabama. I've also hauled out of plywood factories in Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana. I HAVE hauled some plywood off the docks in New Orleans, but it was high dollar, exotic hardwood stuff like mahogany plywood and stuff like that. Good old southern yellow pine plywood, is made where the southern yellow pines grow...in the southeastern United States.
Hypno-Toad's Command Post, the build thread! http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=50384

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Re: Re:

Postby S. Heisley » Sat May 19, 2012 9:20 pm

jeff0520 wrote:
S. Heisley wrote:At the local hardwood store, I was told that all plywood is now made in China.


Ummmm...no. I drive a flatbed truck. I haul a LOT of plywood. The lions share of Georgia Pacific Plytanium plywood is made in....Georgia. Coastal Forest Products plywood is made in southern Alabama. I've also hauled out of plywood factories in Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana. I HAVE hauled some plywood off the docks in New Orleans, but it was high dollar, exotic hardwood stuff like mahogany plywood and stuff like that. Good old southern yellow pine plywood, is made where the southern yellow pines grow...in the southeastern United States.


:thumbsup: Somebody else said that not all plywood is made in China, just most of it. ...Maybe it depends on where you live. I hope we can keep some of it in the USA. We all could use the jobs and would like to keep some of our money here, in the states.
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Re: Tips on buying and using luan

Postby Nordicsun » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:58 am

I am in the middle of building a true "woody" TD and in the process of doing my research on the exterior. I realize the potential problems and I fully intend on keeping it out of the weather. It will be wintered in the desert SW and I will garage it back home in the NW where it will only be used for "fair weather" camping. The only extreme weather it may be subjected to is during the three day trip South in December. I've studied the post on luan and I boiled a piece of birch and mahogany for over and hour. The birch began to slightly delaminate and the mahogany came through the test with flying colors. Other than some fading, you could hardly tell that it had been boiled at all. I'm not certain if I just got a good batch of material or if this is a normal results for the "boil test". Nevertheless, I am more encouraged than ever about my woody teardrop experiment. I want to try 2 or 3 coats of CPES and 3 coats of spar varnish and see what happens. Are there any other steps I should take as far as caulking, sealing or venting that would increase my chances of success?
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Re: Tips on buying and using luan

Postby djdawg » Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:04 pm

Thank you for this thread...I was wondering about using Luan for skinning a teardrop as I used it in my hot dog cart. I like working with it because it's inexpensive and easy to use. (and easy to bend to a certain extent)

I too have had a few spots bubble and I hate it. I had painted my cart so I thought a decent exterior paint would keep this from happening but apparantly not. However it was some time between skinning the cart and when actual paint was applied so who knows. I appreciate your experiment and when I finally move forward with this I'll do the same.

You mentioned something about applying something else as a final coat....do you think this could be an exterior paint? Would that do the trick?
Kevin
Bellingham, WA
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