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  • Laminated Veneer?

    I just checked some technical data on types of wood. I found for example specific weight of balsa about 125gr/dm³, pressure 10N/mm² and pull or longitudinal strength 30N/mm² for pine it resulted in 400g/dm³ pressure 40 and pull 80. In other words pine is about 3 times heavier but about 3 times stronger. Larch 550g/dm³, pressure 48 and pull 105. which is 4-5 times balsa in weight and pressure and 3-4 for pull...
    So it looks that the values in general are quite corresponding.
    Since I used successfully 6mm balsa for deck planks, I could be able to substitute them by one third in pine, resulting only in 2mm. For larch I could even go thinner, theoretically...
    But preparing or planing wood to such small measures is not really possible for me, but I got the idea to glue some layers of veneer together, resulting in a thin veneer laminate. A 2,4mm larch deckplank, could be laminated out of three 0,8mm pieces of veneer. And laminating in 90° angles of the grain should enhance strength even more... Even better I could laminate two layers getting a basic plank, glue this onto the ribs and apply a final layer, adapting the curves of the shape even better with less clamping force...

    The result should be a very stable, but light board. What do you think about the idea of laminating veneers, for me it looks very appealing. You could experiment on strenth with different woods combined, for a example a top layer of oak, you could create interesting designs and finally you could even get rid of glass and or epoxy. Imagine some layers of veneer giving the shape and a final layer of some waterresistant hard wood, glued on with PU glue and then just oiled. Since the veneer is very flexible unglued, you could extend the deck down the rails with ease, leaving just little for some solid rails, which could be some veneer stripes too...
    I'm just thinking of a lot of new possibilities, the only disadvantage is that you will need tons of glue...
    The best surfer is the one with the biggest smile on his face...

  • #2
    Sounds like a cool idea. If you are trying to save weight why not just glue the veneer onto foam compsand style? Also, I assume you have to use a whole heap of glue which will add more weight. The idea of mixing woods is interesting to say the least. Skateboard and snowboard makers have been doing that for years why not us. I think you might have a problem not using glass. The number of glue joints and the rail joint in particular seem like they would be prone to leaking unless the joints were absolutely perfect.

    Personally, I think the cost of veneer would determine the effectiveness. 3 sq. Feet of 1/16" maple is about $12 here in Hawaii. For a typical 7 ft board I estimate about 12 sq ft. Two layers makes it 24 sq ft. That is $288 for one deck 1/8" thick. If I'm spending that kind of money the board is either going to be a wall hanger or built strong enough that I know it won't get broken surfing it. If its hollow, the spaces between the ribs seem like they would be especially vulnerable to penetration by something like a heel or rock.

    All of that being said I'm sure it would be a cool build if only for the experience and a light board. I am by no means a master woodworker or surfer. All of my boards tend to be on the heavy side, but I am not worried about them breaking ever.

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    • #3
      Regarding costs, I just bought 26blades of Larch veneer about 2,5m*15cm, 1,1mm strength, resulting in a total of approx. 10sqm or 90-100sqfeet for 44€ including shipping, should be about 50$, which is far less than the wood needed in Paulownia or balsa.

      I'm still thinking on a thin layer of glass, but I'm planning a "reversed" compsand. I will build a hollow frame, thinking on laminating layers of veneer and prior to installing the rails I want to fill it with high expandable building foam from the sides. The idea is to avoi d vents after some water intakes in the past... The foam weight is 15g/dm3. The foam should add some strength too.

      But I'm still in the design phase, these are just ideas, but the end is nearby...
      Last edited by Olddude; 12-23-2017, 12:32 PM.
      The best surfer is the one with the biggest smile on his face...

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      • #4
        Dang, I wish wood here was that cheap. The only things I can find relatively cheap is mango, monkeypod, and koa. They are still expensive, but local hardwoods.

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        • #5
          I have been playing with this idea for awhile now. It is quite difficult to make good panels. You need a big flat table and even pressure. I have been using Paulownia veneer,cork,bamboo,larch,balsa. All sorts of stuff. You need a lot of glue and things come out quite heavy. I have tried Tite bond 3,PU and epoxy. Epoxy is by far the best but expensive. Pu works well if you have good even pressure.Bamboo is good on the outside layer for impact resistance,it's heavy though. There is a good company to buy bamboo from in Germany. Bambeau.de. It is very time consuming and can work out expensive. 4mm marine ply is great at the end of the day.
          Merry Xmas to all.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tarquin View Post
            I have been playing with this idea for awhile now. It is quite difficult to make good panels. You need a big flat table and even pressure. I have been using Paulownia veneer,cork,bamboo,larch,balsa. All sorts of stuff. You need a lot of glue and things come out quite heavy. I have tried Tite bond 3,PU and epoxy. Epoxy is by far the best but expensive. Pu works well if you have good even pressure.Bamboo is good on the outside layer for impact resistance,it's heavy though. There is a good company to buy bamboo from in Germany. Bambeau.de. It is very time consuming and can work out expensive. 4mm marine ply is great at the end of the day.
            Merry Xmas to all.
            I never tried it, but I do have a small vaccuum compressor. It looks that vaccum gluing the venners is a good method to avoid bumps etc, to get a real flat surface. I'm still reading on this technique, but using two panels , the veneer to be glued in between , so plastic foil and sealing tape is all you need, as least it looks that it is quite easy. You can even bond to curved surfaces using vaccum.

            In the moment, without having the wood already in my hands, I would glue two layers crosswise, to receive a preliminary deck sheet. This would be glued onto ribs and a final layer of veener later with vaccum... Lets see, it still time designing and thinking...

            The best surfer is the one with the biggest smile on his face...

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            • #7
              I've played around a little with this idea and would like to explore further. I've only done one test piece using two layers of balsa topped with 1/8 maple. I used 3/4'' board as a press with blocks on top.... but for building a board, I would like to try vacuum bagging. The problem I foresee is the balsa pressing in between the ribs. So maybe first layer I will clamp in the rack and then bag the other layers.

              The other approach would be to use paulownia ply topped with veneer.

              Surfdude... if you have not looked into vacuum tables do a quick search. I scored a pump & bag a few years ago but have not played with it yet.
              Kook on a wood board.

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              • #8
                My veneer arrived, it looks like advertised, but it will be not that easy to work with! The sheets are up to 4m long and only 15cm wide. I tried to saw, with average success only, I do not have a special veneer saw, but cutting with a knife works quite good, I needed several passes, even across the grain, but with slight forces in the beginning , increasing the power from pass to pass, I was able to separate it, where I wanted it. It cracks very easily in grain direction...

                To get used to the stuff I started laminating some sheets together, and started making fins, which I need anyway for the upcoming build. I laminated the small sheets (15x20cm or 6x8'') between to planks and used clamps and PU glue. The result came out quite nice, but I laminated all sheets with the same grain direction, it may have been better placing them perpendicular. Since I will glass them anyway, I will add some strains of glass, where there is a potential danger of breaking, which actually is at the nose of the longboard fins, where the screw will go through..., some glass on top and bottom, and there should not a problem anymore. I will post some pics in the "Fin" section soon...
                The best surfer is the one with the biggest smile on his face...

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                • #9
                  Click image for larger version

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                  Fin No1:



                  The best surfer is the one with the biggest smile on his face...

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                  • #10
                    Pics: Click image for larger version

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                    This strange looking fin, will be the right one of a dual single, or twingle fin setup...
                    The foil is quite extreme, directed to the centerline of the board and the second one will be exactly opposite, both foils are against each other, distance of fin will be not more than 3‘‘, idea is to create a kind of vortex.
                    Fins are rather upright for turnability, running fast and straight should be the result of the foildesign. Its quite experimental...
                    The best surfer is the one with the biggest smile on his face...

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                    • #11
                      Have you been continuing your experimentation, Surfdude? On my next build I would like to try and make some thin (2-3mm) panels first to glue on top of the ribs and then 2-3 layers of veneer alternating the grain direction on top.

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                      • #12
                        Not really new result on laminating veneer layers, but the exprerience of veneering foam, see, the ""MY" new Project" Threads.
                        One layer of my 1,1mm veneer glued with PU glue onto the foamed core result in a already very sturdy and stabile deck. In the moment I'm planning a 3oz glassing for the bottom only and 5oz for the deck. But I will start with the deck and "feel" the result first, I may change to a 5oz bottom and a 5 plus 3oz deck, but in the moment I believe it will not be necessary.
                        This said, if you are thinking on glassing anyway a 3mm panel plus a similar veneer like mine should be all you need. ONly without glass I do see a need for alternating veneer layers. But this depends too on the wood you use for the panel. If balsa I would rather go to 4 or 5mm panel or 3mm balsa for the shape and then a cross orientated double veneer layer.
                        I would not be afraid of going to thin, because you can strengthen always with additional glas, your work is never ruined. And my "Hot Lucy" has proven, that even withoout any wooden support a board will work, but it took 20oz or similar of glass...
                        The best surfer is the one with the biggest smile on his face...

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                        • #13
                          I glued some of my veneer leftovers together and created a fantasy fin, similar to Roys Whale Fins... Click image for larger version

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                          The best surfer is the one with the biggest smile on his face...

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                          • #14
                            Finally shaped, glassed, final coat still missing

                            Click image for larger version

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                            The best surfer is the one with the biggest smile on his face...

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