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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 06-08-2007
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Drop Boards

I want to make wooden drop boards for my companionway. It currently has plexiglass sheets that look like hell. If I make three boards out of say, solid teak, will I risk warping? I'm thinking of making three boards, each about 10-12 inches wide. Is this a feasible approach? Any thoughts are welcome.
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Old 06-08-2007
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You may want to look at teak plywood. Which would have a less chance of warping. It will also cost a fraction of solid teak boards.
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Old 06-08-2007
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Why not two pieces instead? Is the reason to have more than one to stop waves (which flood the cockpit) from getting in but still be able to step over the board to go below? Try some duct tape across to practice how high the lower one can be to still step over in and out.
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Old 06-08-2007
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Drop Boards

my thinkig was to make the pieces narrower to reduce the risk of warping, make them easy to store out of the way, and give me added flexibility on how high to keep the splash guard while sailing. Maybe I am over-thinking this!
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Old 06-08-2007
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teak plywood is cheaper if you have a source for part of a sheet, but if you must order a 4x8 and have no use for the ret, it will probably be cheaper to use solid teak. A good substitute is called billy-web, which is an oily wood somewhat darker than teak, and much cheaper. Since most folks don't know about it, he old law of supply and demand makes the price lower. I have used it in place of teak many times. To minimize warp on solid panels, you could cut the wood into 2-3 inch strips and make tongue and groove joints with a router, then turn every other strip over and glue together. When a strip has a tendency to curl up, the strip next to it will have a tendency to curl down, keeping the whole assembly straight! You could also run the strips thru a planer and edge glue without the tongue and groove but it takes darn good glue and careful preparation to get glue to hold oily wood.
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To use teak boards, you'll need to have a little more then basic woodworking skills. You can also buy solid teak pre-finished solid wood flooring which already has a finish ( on one side ) and is tongue & groove so you can piece them together.
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Old 06-08-2007
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Warping will be an issue if they're not made correctly. I have three solid teak drop boards but the edges have T&G pieces with the grain running parrallel to the slot in the frame, the center portion of the drop board grain runs horizontal. It's a little extra work but this is the right way to do it, the use of teak plywood is a dumbass idea for this application.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denr
the use of teak plywood is a dumbass idea for this application.

I have no idea how old the teak plywood drop broads are on my boat, but dumbass idea or not, they are not wrapped and they keep the water out. They simply work.
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Old 06-08-2007
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I just priced 4/4 teak planking, at 16 per bf. that puts my material cost for planks at around 150. Plywood is looking better all the time! I think your right about the biscuited rails left and right, though. Thats 150 for a new biscuit joiner. This little project is gettin expensive!
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Old 06-08-2007
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Teak is expensive. Mahogany too. Also, I think Greenpeace get's mad if you buy the stuff because children are abused or habitats destroyed or something like that. I seem to remember reading about GP activists going undercover to expose mahogany loggers in Brazil a few years back. I'm not really sure about the politics of teak, but it is very expensive.

I am no expert on wood but I've cut and used a few pieces. I would just go to Home Depot and get some of that Red Oak they sell. Red oak is not hard enough for structural pieces, but this is just companionway boards, and you're replacing plexiglass. Even if they did eventually warp, you should get a few seasons and the price is small enough that you could replace them without a lot of grief. If you're unsure of your woodworking skills, I think this is a better way to go, rather than spend the big money on the "proper" wood. Don't even consider using a soft wood like pine. It will suck water like a sponge and warp.

They also sell oak plywood though it's not marine grade. I think marine grade means that the wood is glued together in a way that inhibits water from getting between the layers. Other than that, it's just the same old wood. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm off the mark or over-simplifying.
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Last edited by Hawkwind; 06-08-2007 at 06:44 PM.
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