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Thread: Ply Suppliers??

  1. #1

    Question Ply Suppliers??

    Does anyone know if there is anywhere around the Edinburgh area that sells boat/canoe building supplies? I've been searchng and asking around, but noone seems to know.
    Ideally I would like to see the ply before I buy it,as I've been warned that there can be huge differences and if you're not really sure about all the differences of all the different kinds (spot the absolute beginner!!) it can be tricky to order online.
    If there aren't any companies around Edinburgh, do you know any reliable online retailers you could recommend?
    Thanks muchly.

  2. #2
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    Hi Kat,

    I think this depends on what thickness you want, and whether it needs to be marine or not. If you're using standard WBP / Exterior ply, it would be wise to inspect each sheet, as quality can vary. Exterior ply is more prone to have 'voids', i.e. gaps between layers, which can lead to weakness when building a canoe.

    I found I could source 6mm marine ply no problem from suppliers around the Falkirk / Grangemouth area. Lawsons Timber in Edinburgh will also do you 6mm marine ply (20 per sheet according to their website).

    However, I really wanted 5mm to save some weight, so bought mail order from Robbins Timber in Bristol. Postage was expensive, but the quality was superb, and I'd have no hesitation in recommending them for both wood and epoxy.

    The thing I really struggled with was wood for gunwales. I ended up using oak, as it was the only thing I could get in the right size. However, if I had my time again......

    Hope that helps!
    The Canoeist's prayer: "Lord grant me the serenity to walk the portages I must, The courage to run the rapids I can, And the wisdom to know the difference".

    John Muir Trust - Wild Places for Nature & People.

  3. #3

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    Brilliant! Thanks very much Blutack. 6mm is actually just what I'm after for one of the canoes, so that's ideal....nice and close too.
    To be honest I'm still swaying between 3 different designs, so at the moment I'm just trying to price them all up to see if that would sway one over the other.
    That's the trouble with getting started, there are so many designs out there and if, as in my case, this is the first attempt, it's so hard to choose!
    Hopefully I'll be good to go though once the weather warms up a bit.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    I have heard of people using door skins(the thin plywood on a wooden door)I don,t know if you can get them over there.They are thin with a nice finish,possibly some voids and not as water resistant as marine ply (its going to be fully coated in epoxy anyhow) and quite a bit cheaper than marine ply

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kat View Post
    Does anyone know if there is anywhere around the Edinburgh area that sells boat/canoe building supplies? I've been searchng and asking around, but noone seems to know.
    Ideally I would like to see the ply before I buy it,as I've been warned that there can be huge differences and if you're not really sure about all the differences of all the different kinds (spot the absolute beginner!!) it can be tricky to order online.
    If there aren't any companies around Edinburgh, do you know any reliable online retailers you could recommend?
    Thanks muchly.
    I bought my marine ply from Jordan Boats. They are in Kirkcaldy in Fife but they do a delivery service. They also offer a service where if you choose your design and they cut all the planks out for you on a machine. I have just built my canoe and I used 5mm marine ply for the bottom planks and 4mm planks for the sides. 4mm was easy to work with and the canoe is light and strong. Their web site is www.jordanboats.co.uk.
    All the best with building your new canoe.
    Cheers, Dave.

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