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Old 04-03-2009
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Oak for backing plates?

Is there any reason not to use oak board for backing plates for deck hardware? I know aluminum, stainless steel, fiberglass, and marine plywood are typically used, but why not oak? I would of course seal it with epoxy first.
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Because

Generally because it can split along the grain easily where ply can't. Decks, depending upon the boat and core condition, can flex, especially under stanchions, oak will split before flexing..
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It is also more likely to warp if it gets wet and dries than plywood.
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Would thoroughly saturating the oak with epoxy and/or encasing it in fiberglass solve these issues? (splitting, cracking, warping?) I am having a hard time finding marine plywood.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandofish View Post
Would thoroughly saturating the oak with epoxy and/or encasing it in fiberglass solve these issues? (splitting, cracking, warping?) I am having a hard time finding marine plywood.
If you are having a hard time finding marine plywood - just purchase some 10oz fiberglass matt and make up a 1/4 inch backing plate that way. It would be more durable in the end.

Create a frame of whatever size is necessary. Wipe down the interior of your frame with melted candle wax (this is to prevent the epoxy from attaching to the frame esp since I assume you will use wood - but you could use heavy cardboard as well). You can use any kind of oil - linseed, vaseline, cooking oil ....btw

Cut the 10 oz cloth to fit inside the frame - as many pieces as necessary to build the depth.

Place frame on a piece of plastic (I use painters plastic for my projects)

Then lay first layer down inside frame - apply epoxy with a brush. Then add next layer and use brush to stiple it down to absorb excess epoxy, add as little epoxy as you can to make sure the layer is soaked ... repeat as necessary (number of layers).

Usually takes about 48 hours to cure full strength. Depending on temp >60 degrees.

Wallah you have backing plates that are almost indestructible (and will not rot if you have water intrusion)
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Why not lay up some fiberglass backing plates.

Jody's posted how to do it...
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Perhaps someone has some stainless cut offs you could have fun drilling.
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Thanks, I will try the fiberglass layup technique!
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knothead has a spectacular aura about knothead has a spectacular aura about knothead has a spectacular aura about
I think you would be better off going down to the local scrap yard and buying some appropriately thick pieces of flat aluminum plate. Aluminum cuts and drills easily.

Oak also has a tendency to rot pretty quickly.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandofish View Post
Would thoroughly saturating the oak with epoxy and/or encasing it in fiberglass solve these issues? (splitting, cracking, warping?) I am having a hard time finding marine plywood.
With a port-a-band (or saber saw) drill press and grinder, aluminum works as fast as an easy as wood, with no epoxy needed.

I'm sure you can find scrap that does not require a felony. Sheet metal shops often have scraps for a song.
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