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Old 06-25-2019, 12:59 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Paneling - Luan?

  • Any issues with warping?
  • Did you get it to follow ceiling curves satisfactorily?
  • How are you fastening it?
  • Why did you not use another paneling material?
  • Did you use it in any cabinetry?
  • Regrets?
  • Anecdotes?
  • Is it just thin plywood, or does it have ulterior motives?
The ceilings, and maybe walls of my rig will end up being paneled in luan. I'm thinking 1/8" to 1/4". I've never worked with it, but am considering it for flexibility and weight savings. Not trying to make an ultralight school bus here, but I don't see the need for thicker materials.
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Old 06-25-2019, 05:56 AM   #2
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Your bus was built to haul thousands of pounds of child. Shaving a quarter inch off your plywood isn't going to affect anything.
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:02 AM   #3
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All of my paneling is Luan with 3 coats of poly satin. I did it because I like the way it looks, it's cheaper and easy to work with. It won't make the ceiling curve.
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:17 AM   #4
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3/16" luan

Hello
I used the metric equivelant of 3/16 luan underneath my tongue-n-groove pine ceiling. Used construction adhesive and screws. My installation of luan ply was not a work of beauty, it was designed for function.



Off the shelf, the luan that I used would not accomodate the tight radius ends of the ceiling without heavy scoring. It would be a great idea to Test...test...test your idea before committing $$ to a plan.



I love the arch ceilings in these buses.



Good luck
MIke
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:46 AM   #5
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Since I can't get to a luau locally, I'm sheathing my ceiling in luaun...
I put up my angled, mitre-cut furring strips along the hat channel sides (Foto 1). Overhead clearance would be too tight, otherwise.
Overkill, but I used some hefty self tappers (Foto 2) to attach, after first marking my hole with one tap of the punch, circling in magic marker (cuz the drift punch sometimes'll drift off target), wale the hell out of the punch with my 4 lb maul, and drill just deeply enough to permit boring out the remainder of the hole with the screw.
I used 3 different bits to perforate the furring: a spade to allow a slight countersink, permitting the bit-driver socket to comfortably fit, a wood drill bit to widen the diameter enough to accommodate the punch barely reaching the back side (to accurately determine where the hole is to go), then augered out to accommodate the self-tapper.
I'm using full sheets of 1/8" luaun down the center. Well, the full 4' width, cut lengthwise to fit spacing. One sheet is good to cover 3 spaces between the ribs.
I had twice as many sheets ripped to my specs lengthwise for the sides, since there was well over 2' of remaining space to panel.
On the side pieces, I glued down Reflectix, after trying to pre-stress them: Wrapped & chinched down with multiple ratchet straps, I sprayed the backside down with water repeatedly, covering with a damp tarp in between sprayings, over a several days' course.
Periodically tightening the straps to increase the curvature, I discovered early on luaun is extremely friable, and will crush, splinter, and/or crack with little instigation! Using some 1 1/4" zinc-plated punched angle I had laying around doing nothing better ATM, placed along the long edges, in between the straps & the panels, distributed the stresses more evenly, mitigating the fracturing problem.
Ultimately, there was limited success at pre-stressing, btw. It'd stay curved, but more shallowly than was of much benefit.
As I've left the longitudinal wiring rails in place, I didn't panel down to the windows. That residual open space allowed me to once again employ my ratchet straps; run over and behind the panel, hooked up together in the panel's open radius.
That angle steel along the panel's top edge is critical to success..! {I'd've shared a foto of that too, but they were on my awesome DSLR camera (along with a pile of other build fotos). Which, apparently someone needed more than me, and filched it out of my car a few weeks ago... }
Oh-so-carefully cinching progressively down allowed me to drill in the cabinet screws (Foto 4) thru pre-marked points into the furs. I later determined that pre-tapping those predetermined points worked even better.
Ease off the tension working upwards, to allow the panel to press into the rib until getting to the top edge. (Foto 3)
There are some warpy edge issues along the long axis. For 6/8 of my windows, shotgun side, I put the top rail for my cabinets over the seam. For exposed seams that don't fit flushly, I may have to come back with some trim to camouflage that unsightly condition.
Pre-installation, I stained the sheets (ooo, that doesn't sound good!), followed by several coats of clear gloss polyurethane. Shiny!
I used a cheapo sponge edger I found at Y'allmart. It worked a helluva lot better than a brush, btw.
Making the curve using full sheets may work better, if you have an assistant or few. This tune here is being played by a one-man band. Putting up the one full sheet I have thusfar managed to install onto the considerably less severe curvature was quite a chore, what with a bad rotator cuff and a bum back.
.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KalamariSafari View Post
  • Any issues with warping?
  • Did you get it to follow ceiling curves satisfactorily?
  • How are you fastening it?
  • Why did you not use another paneling material?
  • Did you use it in any cabinetry?
  • Regrets?
  • Anecdotes?
  • Is it just thin plywood, or does it have ulterior motives?
The ceilings, and maybe walls of my rig will end up being paneled in luan. I'm thinking 1/8" to 1/4". I've never worked with it, but am considering it for flexibility and weight savings. Not trying to make an ultralight school bus here, but I don't see the need for thicker materials.
*phew*
Sure hope all that was worth it...

20190625_083644.jpeg

20190420_124503.jpeg

20190625_083818.jpeg

20190420_124453.jpeg
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Old 06-25-2019, 09:06 AM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Salute

Quote:
Originally Posted by HazMatt View Post
Since I can't get to a luau locally, I'm sheathing my ceiling in luaun...Attachment 34955Attachment 34956Attachment 34957Attachment 34958

Very well done! What thickness was that? He said 1/8".


Love the color - rich looking.
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Old 06-25-2019, 09:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
...Shaving a quarter inch off your plywood isn't going to affect anything.
If the alternative is 1/2 inch, I will have saved 50% on plywood weight . Fair point, I just hate the idea of lugging around things I don't need. All that another 1/4 inch of ply would offer me would be unnecessary rigidity, weight, and materials cost. Upside, I would probably gain a point of R value.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpincher View Post
...Test...test...test...
Wise words.


Quote:
Originally Posted by HazMatt View Post
...Since I can't get to a luau locally, I'm sheathing my ceiling in luaun...
Thank you for the details! I also love the color. Do you own a smoking jacket?
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Old 06-25-2019, 09:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KalamariSafari View Post
Upside, I would probably gain a point of R value.
Wood is about R1 per inch.
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Old 06-30-2019, 11:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Wood is about R1 per inch.

This flies in the face of my second-best guess, and third-best excuse.


Are there tested R value numbers for plywood? Makes sense, just have never seen anything published or accredited. To Google!
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Old 06-30-2019, 11:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KalamariSafari View Post
This flies in the face of my second-best guess, and third-best excuse.


Are there tested R value numbers for plywood? Makes sense, just have never seen anything published or accredited. To Google!
It doesn't usually publish R factors on plywood because plywood is not an acceptable product for insulation, so R factor isn't considered. Just about anything is better than nothing, so plywood does have an R value. As posted, it isn't very much.
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