Bending Plywood

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Bending Plywood

Postby ezbie » Thu Mar 23, 2006 2:29 pm

I am to the point where I am ready to start covering/skinning the curved framed areas of my TD. The side walls are 3/4 birch plywood. the rest is framed with 3/4" by 2 1/2" framing. I have 1/4" birch plywood (from Lowe's I know chi-ply) I am concerned about getting it to bend to my frount radius which is a two foot radius curve. Do you thing I will have a problem? Should I consider something more ply-able? Are there any tricks to making the ply conform to what I want it to do? I will have pictures of my progress up by this weekend.
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Postby Boodro » Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:53 pm

EZ ,are ya putting this 1/4 on the outside or inside ? If its too stiff , maybe try bending to layers of 1/8 inch . Do ya really need 1/4 inch ? Usually the inside skin is 1/8 & the outer base is 1/8 , then 1/8 or 1/4 finished skin. Good luck! :thumbsup:
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Postby mikeschn » Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:01 pm

I agree with Boodro...

And 1/4" IS too stiff.

You'll have to get 1/8" luan to make that bend.

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Postby asianflava » Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:28 pm

If you need 1/4" just double up on the 1/8"
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Postby Gage » Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:30 pm

I agree with what has just been said. You don't need 1/4 ply for your skin. Inside or out, it is plenty strong when it has a curve to it. You'll never get the 1/4" to form without a lot of extra work and a few choice words. :? I used 1/8" and laid it out with out any help.

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Postby ezbie » Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:42 pm

Thanks for the info. Thats kinda what I figured. Lowes didnt have anything but there are many other luber yards to check around here. I will get 1/8 luan.
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Postby rainjer » Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:33 am

ezbie wrote:Thanks for the info. Thats kinda what I figured. Lowes didnt have anything but there are many other luber yards to check around here. I will get 1/8 luan.


Look for 1/8 Baltic Birch. It comes in 5 x 5 sheets.
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Postby Larwyn » Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:44 am

I used 1/4" luan for the outside skin. Cant really tell you the radius as it is an elipse but the bottom frount is very tight. I secured the bottom edge steamed the luan with a clothing steamer and slowly pulled it into place with ratchet straps. If I were to do it again I think I would try one of the "easier" ways, like one or two layers of 1/8" stock....I did this without help. Others showed up for beer after the cussing stopped........... :beer: :beer:
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Postby Gage » Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:48 am

My roof is 1/8" birch, 3/4" foam and then another 1/8" birch. A person weighing over 200 lbs has been on the roof to fix an ezup and no problem. Oh, my cross bracing are 1x2's laying flat and spaced about 14" apart. Jus a little added infomation.

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Postby surveytech » Fri Mar 24, 2006 3:45 am

I used 1/4 inch luan ply for my roof and hatch and found it bent quite easily around a 24 inch radius. I did notice quite a difference however in the ply from Home Depot versus Lowes. The 1/4 in ply at Lowes was consideralby stiffer than that at Home Depot.
Pull some sheets off the rack and try giving them a bend and see what you think. Be sure to try to bend it along the 4 foot side too. Bending along the 8 foot side just isnt going to happen.
I wound up with two seams in my roof. Hence the bondo in the pic.
hope this helps.
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Postby doug hodder » Fri Mar 24, 2006 3:51 am

Just my opinion, but if you already have the ply..go ahead and use it...I got 1/4" to work the way I wanted with no big issue....use some straps to suck it down to the frame, It will bend a lot easier in 1 direction, and it isn't as easy as 1/8" you don't need 1/4"...but since you have it, you can make it work...I know I have.... :thumbsup: Doug
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Postby asianflava » Fri Mar 24, 2006 6:35 am

Gage wrote:[b][i][color=darkblue]My roof is 1/8" birch, 3/4" foam and then another 1/8" birch. A person weighing over 200 lbs has been on the roof to fix an ezup and no problem. Oh, my cross bracing are 1x2's laying flat and spaced about 14" apart. Jus a little added infomation.


Mine is the same except I went 12" on center. I used poplar for the cross braces.
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