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Posted: Fri May 13, 2011 9:24am

Post Subject: Roses & Castles, suitable wood for panels

Hi, Having taken up R & C painting I would like to remove the existing MDF panels from the steel stern and side hatch doors and replace them with more traditionally painted panels. Can you please advise me on the best type of wood or ply(?) to use?

Roses & Castles, suitable wood for panels

Posted: Fri May 13, 2011 9:58am

Post Subject: Roses & Castles, suitable wood for panels

The temperature inside narrowboats can get very high so I would avoid using a wooden plank because I fear it would be likely to split, either along the grain or along the joints needed (in most cases)to get a plank wide enough. Unless the MDF has been routed to make feature of it and as it is high up on the boat I am not sure that the dimensional stability of it (as long as you do not soak it in water)would not make it a very good base for your work. It would need some prep. to get a good key for the new paint film. AS you will want a good surface finish and directional stability I think a WBF plywood may do the job. However you will need to search out a supplier of quality ply. I find the stuff supplied by many of the sheds and big names in building timber is full of filler and voids. the name for boat building ply is Robbins of Bristol ( but I am sure there are other quality suppliers in the north. Talk to them and ask for advice but be aware it could be VERY expensive. If you decide to use high quality WBF ply please take time to make sure the edges are properly sealed. Tony Brooks

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