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  1. #1
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    Default A question about plywood .......

    Hello

    I have a question to all Australian friends building with plywood.

    The last time I shopped for marine plywood was over two and a half decades ago ,so I would appreciate some help.

    As far as I can ascertain , one of the best plywoods to build a boat with in Australia today is plantation grown hoop pine marine.
    Apparently it`s good quality , ( and at over $ A 100.00 for 3/8 "or 9 mm it should be ! )

    I`m willing to pay that , but here is my gripe :
    For that kind of money one would think you would have the option to bright finish the plywood and get some "bling".Not so with hoop pine.It`s featureless and bland .Color is also less than ordinary.



    So ...the question is : what do others here use , for bright finish plywood?

    I`m not looking for flame mahogany veneer here , just something with some
    appeal.


    Thank you for your time.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Hobart
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by victorvector View Post

    So ...the question is : what do others here use , for bright finish plywood?

    Gaboon plywood varnishes up nicely. Goes a red / brown colour, quite a bit darker than the bare sheets might suggest, and it can have nice figuring in it too. Definitely not bland.

    It is light weight and readily available. Quality can vary a bit depending on where it comes from. I have been lucky with some good quality sheets, and not so lucky with other sheets that had voids in the inner plys that were not visible until the sheets were cut into.

    Andrew Denman (member on this site) is importing Gaboon ply from Joubert. I haven't actually used any of Andrew's but from the samples I have seen would say it is first class quality.

    Cheers, Cameron.

  4. #3
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    Default

    Good stuff Seafarer !

    Gaboon it shall be then !


    Thank you.

  5. #4
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    Sep 2002
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    Minbun, FNQ, Australia
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    Default

    Yup, my Quick Canoe is Gaboon.
    You can see the pics of the build & the result here.
    https://www.woodworkforums.com/f169/q...o-raid-118846/
    Best pics are at the bottom of post 17.
    Cliff.
    If you find a post of mine that is missing a pic that you'd like to see, let me know & I'll see if I can find a copy.

  6. #5
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    Apr 2009
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    Hunter Valley NSW
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by victorvector View Post
    As far as I can ascertain , one of the best plywoods to build a boat with in Australia today is plantation grown hoop pine marine.
    Apparently it`s good quality , ( and at over $ A 100.00 for 3/8 "or 9 mm it should be ! )

    I`m willing to pay that , but here is my gripe :
    For that kind of money one would think you would have the option to bright finish the plywood and get some "bling".Not so with hoop pine.It`s featureless and bland .
    You are kidding?! You haven't seen it bright finished then. I've also seen Hoop Pine floors. Anything but bland. Some of the boats at the Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart were made from Hoop Pine ply and they were drop dead gorgeous.

  7. #6
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    Default

    No , I`m not kidding!

    I find it ( hoop pine ) bland.
    There are other people who do also
    I also dislike "straw" colored wood.

    Each to their own I guess.

  8. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by victorvector View Post
    No , I`m not kidding!

    I find it ( hoop pine ) bland.
    There are other people who do also
    I also dislike "straw" colored wood.

    Each to their own I guess.
    Yes, Hoop is definitely a straw colour initially. However, like most pines it will darken and finish up a golden honey colour, but it will take some time. I do like the figuring in the Gaboon too, which is a bonus really because the main reason I chose it was for the light weight. They don't make the Hoop in the larger sheet sizes either, so you are stuck with 2400x1200. Just make sure that the ply you get is 100% Gaboon, and not just the external veneers.

  9. #8
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    Default

    Yes , I hear you loud and clear regarding quality.( inside veneers ).

    The Joubert plywood sounds like a good product .

    Like I said before , its been a long time since I have used marine ply.
    The stuff I got then came from Israel of all places , manufactured by Kellet Afikim.
    It was superb.I don`t recall the veneer used but it had a lovely red glow finished bright.
    No voids that I could find .

    I think plywood of acceptable quality is fast pricing itself out of the market.
    At over $ 150.00 per sheet for 9mm hoop pine marine , its getting quite ridiculous.

    Its easier for me to find top grade recycled clear oregon ( Douglas Fir ) at some salvage yards nearby , that would make strip plank attractive.

  10. #9
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    Hobart
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by victorvector View Post
    Like I said before , its been a long time since I have used marine ply.
    The stuff I got then came from Israel of all places , manufactured by Kellet Afikim.
    It was superb.I don`t recall the veneer used but it had a lovely red glow finished bright.
    Yep, this would have been Gaboon for sure. As you say, a "lovely red glow" and the fact that it came from Israel.

    Cheers, Cameron.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Melbourne
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    Default

    At over $ 150.00 per sheet for 9mm hoop pine marine , its getting quite ridiculous.
    The last sheet of marine ply my dad bought for our build was about $120. That was 30 years ago. Consider the difference between wages now and then.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mob View Post
    The last sheet of marine ply my dad bought for our build was about $120. That was 30 years ago. Consider the difference between wages now and then.
    Unless you are comparing apples with apples ,( what thickness plywood was this ? and more importantly what quality ) that statement is largely meaningless.

    Generally , the quality has gone down , and the ( relative ) price has gone up. .

    The cheap" imported stuff from Asia is the worst value of all.

  13. #12
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    Quality Gaboon marine ply has always been expensive, even in Africa where the timber is grown and there were factories. It is imported here, so there is a high transport cost as well. As far as I know, it has always been imported into Australia, and am not aware of any past Australian manufacturers. Bruynzeel used to be the pick of the manufacturers worldwide, but sadly they do not deal in their own product any more.

    The Asians have techniques for reducing the price of their Gaboon marine ply, but I won't go into that here as its been well documented elsewhere. I have seen first hand pictures of their "factories" though!

    Personally, I don't think that $150 a sheet is expensive for quality 9mm gaboon. What does add up is the freight within Australia, but we have to live that because of the distances involved and our inadequate transport systems. Rail used to be cheap but it's a nightmare to arrange nowadays.

    I wonder what became of the Israeli products?

  14. #13
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    I guess we will have to agree to disagree on what constitutes "expensive "
    Woodeneye.

    I think the Isreal produced Gaboon disappeared because of supply problems.
    Unfortunate really , as I was most impressed by its quality.

  15. #14
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    I did a quick search and google found an old 2008 post on US boat forum :

    The only Israeli ply I've come across was made by Kelet Afikim which seems to have shut down a few years back.
    Long gone so it seems.

  16. #15
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    Default

    I'm inclined to agree, in that marine plywood seems costly, but it's really not so bad in the over all picture of a project. This is a small boat issue, whereas a little powerboat that requires say 12 sheets of plywood, the purchase price (usually at full retail) seems high. This is because there's not much else in the boat in regard to wood. On the other hand, once you count the coats of goo, cloth, sand paper, paints, outboards, fuel tanks, steering systems, engine controls, shinny bits of metal to wrap dock lines around, etc. the significance of the plywood purchase price drops dramatically.

    I'm just starting a powerboat build, which requires 38 pieces of plywood. Outch, but once you look at the cost of the new 4 stroke, 50 HP Mercury outboard I'll hang on it's butt, plus it's controls, steering and tankage, the plywood bill is put into perspective.

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