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deniseO30 05-17-2013 11:25 AM

pvc "lumber"
I want to build a somewhat narrow and long skylight hatch over my galley area and lI'm ooking at the PVC lumber as a way to build it vs mahogany or teak. It's claimed to be UV stabilized whatever that means LOL. But aren't rub rails made of pvc or vinyl? it will be a winter project most likely :D

mike dryver 05-17-2013 12:38 PM

Re: pvc "lumber"
UV stabilized means it won't break down as fast from sun degradation! By this I mean early plastic lumber would start to break down IE; get chalky or get cracks in it after a couple of yrs of direct sun exposure. You can use it, but it will be a lot heavier than regular lumber. Also the expansion and contraction rate will be greater so your joints will move more. the other factor is that the color will fade over time and there is really no way of keeping it crisp looking, once it starts to fade.

jsaronson 05-17-2013 12:39 PM

Re: pvc "lumber"
I think it will work, but I don't know how it will look. Also, if your deck is cored you will have to seal all the balsa. Definetely a winter project!

tommays 05-17-2013 12:45 PM

Re: pvc "lumber"
EVERY wood to plastic replacement I have worked with just has a different issue

White PVC fence looks great BUT loves to grow green stuff and other mold

Trex no matter what they say is heavy ,weak ,fades and grows mold

The Plastic lattice work I installed has such a high fail rate Lowes stopped selling it

deniseO30 05-17-2013 12:58 PM

Re: pvc "lumber"
well mold and mildew grow on the gelcoat just as quick, The stuff can be painted I guess?

overbored 05-17-2013 01:38 PM

Re: pvc "lumber"

Originally Posted by deniseO30 (Post 1031775)
well mold and mildew grow on the gelcoat just as quick, The stuff can be painted I guess?

NO, it is polyethylene and paint won't stick. glue either. same stuff as Starboard.

JimMcGee 05-17-2013 03:51 PM

Re: pvc "lumber"
Take a ride over to Dubell Lumber in Cherry Hill. They have a good selection of deck products. A while back I was looking at some decking there that had color and "grain" all the way through (actually subtle color variations when it was extruded). You can cut and route it like wood and the edges can be mitered and glued with a glue that will chemically "weld" the joint together.

It would be fine to use this for something like a skylight where it would be supported, but unsupported it will sag over time. It's just not as stiff as wood.

You'll want to use something flexible like LifeCaulk or butyl tape to seal the plexi to the plastic trim. The details will depend on how you build it but keep in mind it does move more than wood as it heats/cools.

When you're routing this stuff I like to do light passes and it helps to have a second person with a shop vac catching the plastic as it comes off the router. Otherwise the static electricity will have it sticking to everything and it makes a real mess.

Post some pics if you do this project. I've done some stuff using white PVC but I haven't played around with the colored "wood tone" stuff yet. I'm curious to see how you like working with it.


asdf38 05-17-2013 04:58 PM

Re: pvc "lumber"
I'm interested to hear more.

I just recently made a couple things out of Azek.

1) I thought it is paintable. Azek says this:

"• AZEK Trim does not require paint for protection, but accepts and holds paint very well.

• If you choose to paint use a 100% acrylic latex paint with colors having a Light Reflective Value (LRV) of 55 or higher.

• For darker colors (LRV of 54 or lower), paints specifically designed for use on vinyl/pvc products such as, but not limited to, Sherwin-Williams VinylSafe™ coatings. These paints/coatings are designed to reduce excessive heat gain."

2) It is claimed to be UV resistant and is designed to be used as unpainted exterior trim on houses. This is comparable to outdoor use on a boat.

3) I couldn't find weight info in a short search but I don't think it's heavier. I do think it's much less stiff than wood. In any structural application I would expect you to need much for PVC lumber than actual wood. But in an application as a spacer for a hatch that wouldn't apply.

Skipper Jer 05-17-2013 05:09 PM

Re: pvc "lumber"
Denise, Whats wrong with good old wood? Yea, teak is like $24 a board foot, but there is mahogany or ipe or white oak or maybe cypress.

Hey, by the way, hows your ash?

EDIT: also Iroko around $7 a board ft. Golden Brown, excellent substitute for Teak.

guitarguy56 05-17-2013 05:18 PM

Re: pvc "lumber"

You can paint the PVC to make it less resistant to chalking, fading, etc.

Here is what I did to a tiki bar made out of PVC instead of real bamboo... I roughened the surface of the PVC with 120 grit sandpaper and epoxy coated the PVC with UV stabilized epoxy paint and put knots onto the PVC in various lengths and the epoxy paint has endured for over 6 years and counting.. I put on a UV stabilized satin clear coat over the epoxy and as it fades looks like the real bamboo... although in your case it will probably be a solid white color...

Go for it... show us pics when you're done with the project...


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