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Monday, September 22, 2008

New Materials

Things are getting to the point (at least in the main salon and forward) where we need consider a different building material besides Coosa Board. In this project, Coosa board has been used for portions of the interior structure that is glassed to the hull. Reasons for Coosa over plywood are 1) resistance to rot 2) porous surface gives superior resin adhesion. Additional positive qualities over plywood are 1) lighter in weight and 2) easier to work with. But now, we need to consider materials used for things like cabinet faces and settee supports. This is where some of our interior design ideas have impact. Specifically how we will handle "corners". Generally, there will be few 90 degree "hard jointed corners" in any of the cabinetry. Instead, there will be "rounded corners" of about 2 and 4 inches radius in numerous places. As they do not involve glass work, using Coosa Board for this is a little too much and actually complicates the construction. This also can be done with plywood and hardwood joinery with a bit of shaping, but that is a bit time consuming. Enter NidaCore Structural Honeycomb Material This stuff comes in numerous varieties, but the one in particular we are considering is the thin plywood veneered version. It is essentially a polypropylene honeycomb core laminated on both sides with a thin plywood veneer. One side is smooth enough to 1) prime and paint 2) skin with a hardwood veneer. More importantly, this material can be easily saw kerfed to give nice rounded corners. It shares some of the upsides with Coosa Board. Light and stiff (more so than Coosa actually). There are downsides. It is not as good for glassing to the hull, though it can be done. And with the core of this stuff being mostly air, it will not take a tapping screw as will plywood and coosa (there are alternate ways of doing this, but it is a bit complicated). And finally, the price. While it is more expensive than plywood, it is significantly less than Coosa Board per sheet. Nothing has been decided just yet, but the more I think about it, the more NidaCore makes sense.
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bentwood said...

I have followed your progress with interest. I am building a 32' sailboat of similar design. I also used coosa in similar applications. Now using corecell, especially because of thermo formability in radius structures.

Paul said...

I admitily have not followed your blog in some time, but conserning your interior design issues I urge you to contact the owner of Maruska. The owner is a great guy who did most of his work in the yard we keep our Pearson. Talented and resourceful. maybe a way to get a hold of him also he has had a few articals in Good 'ole boat as well, tell him Absum the red boat sent ya :)