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Old 10th May 2008, 12:19 AM   #1
OzMikeH is offline OzMikeH  Australia
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Default Polish / buff phenolic coated plywood?

I want to build some Curvy Changs, I can cut and glue wood accurately, but I really, really suck at finishing. There is no such thing as a cabinet maker in this town and limited hardware supplies. Besides, I'd rather do it myself.

I spotted some form ply in the hardware shop. It has a very smooth, hard surface on it, it's a phenolic resin impregnated paper. When you knock on it it has a higher pitched, sharper sound than normal exterior hoop pine ply.

I envisage using the router to strip about 1mm of the coating material away where I need to glue. I'll probably use polueurathane glue but if this thing needs no paint then PVA might be better because I can wash any excess off.

here is an example:
http://www.gunnersens.com.au/product...k-plywood.html
and another
http://www.boral.com.au/docs/product...Garden_Plywood

Has anyone tried to buff or polish phenolic?
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Old 10th May 2008, 01:08 AM   #2
cuibono is offline cuibono  United States
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I've been using some metal polish compound (weiman, brasso, etc.) and the bottle claims it can be used on plexiglass, so I'd guess it could be used on wood finish too. Its worth a try..

I'd worry a little how the seams would look - they would likely be obvious.

And I wouldn't use PVA unless there is a lot of internal bracing to give it strength. Polyurethane is a much tougher glue...

Here you can buy spray on polyurethane varnish. Seems like a few coats with very light wet sanding between coats could be easy. Just keep them away from dust.
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Old 10th May 2008, 06:27 AM   #3
OzMikeH is offline OzMikeH  Australia
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I was thinking of overshooting on the side panels and hitting the visible plywood edges with some dark blue stain for the TRON look.

the only other seams visible would be the top and bottom corners of the reflex chamber. I'm fairly confident I can get the 22.5 degree cuts for the back/top/bottom/angle panels right.

have a look at the curvy chang with the voids removed and you'll see what I mean. use the curved offcuts for legs.

critical to the look is a good polish on the flat sections. It looks like it should be possible:

"Phenolic resin can include any of various synthetic thermosetting resins, obtained by the reaction of phenols with simple aldehydes and used to make molded products, including pool and snooker balls, and as coatings and adhesives. See phenol formaldehyde resin for a fuller discussion of the chemistry.

The properties of phenolic materials make them very well suited to myriad industrial applications. Phenolics are the result of polymerization between resin and a base material that can be paper, glass or cotton. The base material used is dependent upon the intended application of the finished product. Paper phenolics are used in the manufacturing of electrical components such as punch-through boards. Glass phenolics are particularly well suited for use in the high speed bearing market.

Bakelite is made from phenolic resin

Richlite is made from phenolic resin and paper. "
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Old 10th May 2008, 12:08 PM   #4
GM is offline GM  United States
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Assuming it's already a hard, smooth, non-porous surface, a high speed auto body buffer and jeweler's red rouge will make it shine like polished metal, so of course will highlight any imperfection.......

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Old 10th May 2008, 12:19 PM   #5
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Hi Mike,
No question that form ply would make a good panel for speakers as it is very strong and stiff with next to no voids.
The smooth side is not as smooth as it seems though and if you were to successfully polish the resin impregnated paper, you'd see the flaws magnified by the refection. Furthermore, the longer it has to truly dry out, the worse this becomes. It is, after all, made from thicker layers of wood veneer.
Not trying to discourage, but I have worked with this plywood before (for actual concrete form work) and I know how smooth it is - it really shows when you spray the release agent on it (form oil) in the stark light of day.
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Old 11th May 2008, 12:24 AM   #6
OzMikeH is offline OzMikeH  Australia
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I've been searching for a few hours last night. One method that holds promise is to clean it, give it a few coats of clear auto paint to fill any scratches, then buff most of the clear off. I don't have much faith in the adhesion qualities of clear acrylic.

If it looks terrible I'll have to paint it.
I need some material for some shelving in he back of the wagon so I'll buy some and give it a buff.

I've seen what constitutes a "good" finish to your eyes with your active three way project John. In your opinion would the formply finish be good enough for the rest of us?
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Old 11th May 2008, 02:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by OzMikeH


I've seen what constitutes a "good" finish to your eyes with your active three way project John. In your opinion would the formply finish be good enough for the rest of us?

I'm picky, is that a crime?

Nothing to lose by trying it. I'd like to see the results myself. Like I said, I think the plywood would be great for speakers.
Up here, this plywood is Douglas fir and the paper is reddish brown, not the most appealing colour. In my somewhat limited experience with it (I haven't done serious form work since '89) and from what there is on different job sites, I have not seen a different colour.
What's it like down there?
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Old 11th May 2008, 07:04 AM   #8
OzMikeH is offline OzMikeH  Australia
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Far from a crime, it's an admirable quality.
Ours is mostly hoop pine. The Phenolic is a very, very dark brown, almost black.
there is a higher grade available that has a hardwood skin under the phenolic.

This stuff costs about $70 per sheet.

http://www.plywoodandpanel.com.au/br...%20maxform.pdf
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