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Thread: Balsa vs plywood

  1. #11

    Re: Balsa vs plywood

    Plywood is stronger. Balsa looks better. But if you're talking about the top of the tunnels, it really doesn't matter if your stringers are fiberglassed in correctly. Go for looks.
    ****Disclaimer - I'm far from being an expert so you may want a second opinion!****

  2. #12

    Re: Balsa vs plywood

    end grain balsa core is better . it is engineered for composite construction . Baltic is the manufacture .

    ply wood is too heavy . Plywood as a core will totally soak with water if it gets one small leak .
    end grain balsa will only soak locally since the straw like cellulose structure is vertically aligned the way it is in the living tree .

    a lot of manufactures used scrap plywood cut into small blocks to save money .
    76 Marlin Dolphin AMC 401 panther h450
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  4. #13
    It's Impossible to Lose Your Footing, If Your On Your Knees"

  5. #14
    NUTTZ
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    Re: Balsa vs plywood

    the problem with the hull is not wood rot related. the wood has never been damaged but the rear 4' of the floors, tunnels and center pod areas have structural glass damage for what ever reasons (unknown). someone half assed the repairs in the glass and painted over it. now Ron will need to remove all the paint and some wood to chase all the stress cracks and re glass which brings up his questions. either wood will work fine but clear balsa would make for some killer eye candy.

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  7. #15
    Chad89GT's Avatar
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    Re: Balsa vs plywood

    If I may throw out a 3rd option... CoreCel. It's a structural foam core that is lighter and stronger than any wood. But it's also much more expensive.

    To put the weight into perspective, I had 3 sheets of 4x8 CoreCel in the bed of my truck... 2 were 1/2" thick and 1 was 3/4" thick. Imagine what that would weigh in marine grade plywood. Would take 2 guys to lift and carry, right? Well, I lifted all 3 sheets of CoreCel straight out of the bed and up over my head with not much effort. It's crazy light.

    It also doesn't rot. Ever. I chose it because I never want to do this job again. Ever.

    Anyway, I know it's not what you asked but thought it worth mentioning. Would love to see pics of the project!


    EDIT: Sorry, missed the 2nd page of posts. Got a better idea now of what you're asking and CoreCel is not going to give you any eye candy appeal... LOL!

  8. #16

    Re: Balsa vs plywood

    I really like using this stuff as a core . I use it a lot looks cool too I think ,especially if you tint the resin a color .


    http://www.acpsales.com/home.php?cat=422

    76 Marlin Dolphin AMC 401 panther h450
    77 Marlin Dolphin Ford 460 panther g450

  9. #17
    NUTTZ
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    Re: Balsa vs plywood

    what's the specs. on the mat and finished weight? the site Don't tell me much about it.

  10. #18

    Re: Balsa vs plywood

    I use the 3mm mostly . 3mm dry in around 1/8 thick , once you wet it out it grows to closer th 3/16" . The weight depends on how much resin you put in it . I usually wet it out thoroughly then pull out as much resin as I can with a squeegee . I then lay up glass cloth over it , 1 to 3 layers .

    Basicly after it is wet out you have just made your own polyester resin based , glass filled high density
    foam .
    76 Marlin Dolphin AMC 401 panther h450
    77 Marlin Dolphin Ford 460 panther g450

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  12. #19

    Re: Balsa vs plywood

    I have to admit I am with Sleek on this one, BUT with a twist!! Put down the CoreCel, for the strength, and then put down 4"x4" squares of Mahogany, or similar in 1mm(.03739" thickness) wood laminate. I did this to one of my Big wave Guns(11'6") for Todos Santos surfing back in the mid 90's. It turned out awesome. I did use vinyl ester resin because of the UV damage of the sun. Just another tool for the tool bag. You may even be able to find a cabinet maker that could make you up some samples to see if this will do it for you? Let us all know if this happens? Or ask Brendan(hint hint)'76 MarlinDolphin if mabe he might be able to help you in this area. I hear he has a lot of experience with 'laminating stuff'??? Dean.
    Last edited by AG6; 04-22-2016 at 09:55 AM. Reason: Nope!!!She don't run, but she sure is purdy to look at !!!!
    AG6= Amazing Grace VI *
    1980 BIESEMEYER 27' VIKING

  13. #20
    NUTTZ
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    Re: Balsa vs plywood

    he's dealing with a deal like this. he could find the factory seam in the ply and replace ply from seam to transom then add new stringers. keep in mind he wants to be on the water this summer and he's working out of town.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSC00234-001.JPG  
    Last edited by Sleek Freak; 04-22-2016 at 11:06 AM.

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