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18mm ply strips rather than 2by1?


solex
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I'm going to be generalising here, I know this won't apply to all, but wondering where people usually fall.

 

Noticed on a couple of last jobs that sent me to the USA, when building flats, rather than using 2by1 par for the frame of a flat, they use 18mm ply cut into strips of roughly the same size as a 2by1.

 

I've not seen that as a common thing in the UK, am I missing this, or is it a bit of a cultural divide in how we make flats?

 

Chatting with the chippy they said they use ply as it works out a bit cheaper than par 2by1 and a lot straightener. Not factoring the time it takes to rip an 8by4 into ~18 strips, it does seem to work out cheaper than some suppliers par 2by1 and already comes in nice predetermined lengths that are useful for building flats. Given my wood supplier seems to be sending me more banana wood than ever in random lengths so my wastage is high, is there any reason not to move to strips of ply?

 

Cheers

 

Sol

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What if you want to build bigger than 8ft high? Though truth be told if I wanted higher flats I would specify 3x1 rather than 2x1. But regardless, I'd prefer the stiles to be a single length rather than have joins.

 

PS if your timber merchant is sending you rubbish, time to find a new supplier.

Edited by andy_s
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What if you want to build bigger than 8ft high? Though truth be told if I wanted higher flats I would specify 3x1 rather than 2x1. But regardless, I'd prefer the stiles to be a single length rather than have joins.

 

PS if your timber merchant is sending you rubbish, time to find a new supplier.

 

Hah, yes that was my question too. The answer was that's when they buy par.

 

Yup, when selco is cheaper and better quality than my supplier, I need to switch!

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In the past we've used it where we've need a lot of short bracing for things, for one set we had to build a skatepark with several ramps 8ft wide so had a huge amount of 8ft braces behind and we backed them all with 18mm MDF ripped into 3x1.

it doesn't work out too much cheaper for us more recently though, generally we find you have to rip MDF about an inch thicker than timber to be comparable and it works out about 25% cheaper than timber.

 

(We use a huge amount of MDF for cost as we don't have storage so the sets are rarely reused after each show)

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Two layers of ply would enable longer strips as the joints would be staggered? Seems quite a sensible solution, and the corners would also be stronger if overlapped even before bracing.

but wouldn't that wipe out any cost savings by requiring twice the quantities, and make it a lot heavier as well as adding more stages to the fabrication process? I suppose you could use 9mm instead of 18mm. And you can of course get 10x5, but they've always seemed disproportionately more expensive than 8x4 when I've looked into it. I suppose there are swings and roundabouts, but on the whole I still think I would prefer using softwood battens.

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Two layers of ply would enable longer strips as the joints would be staggered? Seems quite a sensible solution, and the corners would also be stronger if overlapped even before bracing.

but wouldn't that wipe out any cost savings by requiring twice the quantities, and make it a lot heavier as well as adding more stages to the fabrication process? I suppose you could use 9mm instead of 18mm. And you can of course get 10x5, but they've always seemed disproportionately more expensive than 8x4 when I've looked into it. I suppose there are swings and roundabouts, but on the whole I still think I would prefer using softwood battens.

 

I was thinking two layers to make an inch-ish

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