Make dimensional lumber from plywood?

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  • Make dimensional lumber from plywood?

    I want to make a hammock stand from wood. I can buy 2x4s (actually measures 2x4) at the hardware store, but I also have all this plywood from these crates and only a limited number of projects slated for them.

    I've got this crazy idea to cut the plywood sheets down to ~1' wide strips, glue and clamp them up to 1.5-2" thick, and then rip them to 3.5-4" wide--basically making my own glue lams.

    A gallon of wood glue is pretty cheap here. My time is essentially free. The plywood is available. Any reason why this is a bad idea structurally?

    Paul

  • #2
    Should be fine, just alternate the joints away from others. I've thought about making one like THIS the same way, except with solid wood laminations.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by d_meister View Post
      Should be fine, just alternate the joints away from others. I've thought about making one like THIS the same way, except with solid wood laminations.
      Something like that was my front runner, but with solid wood, too. The hammock we bought needs to be hung around 6' off the ground or you bottom out. You could make the stand longer, but that's not typical.

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      • #4
        US 2x4 are 1.5 x 3.5 inches actual dimension.

        If I had 3/4" plywood here it would probably measure 23/32" and 1/2" ply would measure 15/32"

        If I wanted to make 2x4 from plywood, I would laminate two 3/4" or three 1/2" and forget the missing 2/32 or so.
        And then rip 3.5" wide strips. So the lams would be visible on the narrow edge.
        Loring in Katy, TX USA
        If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
        BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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        • #5
          It depends on the quality of the plywood. Is it exterior grade? If your hammock is going to be in the weather it would need to be. Is it good quality plywood that is free of voids? Laminates need to be free of voids. If the answers are yes it should be a good fun project.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by capncarl View Post
            It depends on the quality of the plywood. Is it exterior grade? If your hammock is going to be in the weather it would need to be. Is it good quality plywood that is free of voids? Laminates need to be free of voids. If the answers are yes it should be a good fun project.
            My dad and I built a 26' rounded hull sailboat in the mid '60's using the cold-molded lamination process. While in the planning stages, my father ripped several pieces of 1/4" interior plywood into 4" strips. He laminated them together at different angles using Weldwood plastic resin cement. The lamination method was wood screws clamping the layers together. Once the glue cured, he tossed the sample into the family swimming pool for the winter. In late spring, we drained the pool and retrieved the sample and let it dry out a bit so it wasn't too slimy too handle. Then he tried to break it apart, and only the wood splintered, but the glue joints all held , even the factory "interior ply" glue joints. We built the whole boat out of the cheaper interior plywood and then glassed it over.. As thrifty as the old man was, he rented a flatbed single axle trailer to move the boat 100 miles to it's new home. The outboard axle bearing seized up and the bumper hitch (also rented) ripped off the car and the boat and trailer rolled down an embankment along the side of the road at 50+mph and came to rest in a field. The boat survived with only a few scratches, and was trucked to the coast by the farmer whose field it was. The trailer was totaled.
            I'm guessing that you're using the OSB from the shipping boxes? I'm guessing it would be pretty good, since it won't have the voids found inside cheap plywood.

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            • #7
              Weldwood plastic resin cement, then glass the whole thing over? You can build a swimming pool out of cardboard if you use this process! But for building a hammock frame the cost of the materials you could buy redwood.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by d_meister View Post

                My dad and I built a 26' rounded hull sailboat in the mid '60's using the cold-molded lamination process. While in the planning stages, my father ripped several pieces of 1/4" interior plywood into 4" strips. He laminated them together at different angles using Weldwood plastic resin cement. The lamination method was wood screws clamping the layers together. Once the glue cured, he tossed the sample into the family swimming pool for the winter. In late spring, we drained the pool and retrieved the sample and let it dry out a bit so it wasn't too slimy too handle. Then he tried to break it apart, and only the wood splintered, but the glue joints all held , even the factory "interior ply" glue joints. We built the whole boat out of the cheaper interior plywood and then glassed it over.. As thrifty as the old man was, he rented a flatbed single axle trailer to move the boat 100 miles to it's new home. The outboard axle bearing seized up and the bumper hitch (also rented) ripped off the car and the boat and trailer rolled down an embankment along the side of the road at 50+mph and came to rest in a field. The boat survived with only a few scratches, and was trucked to the coast by the farmer whose field it was. The trailer was totaled.
                I'm guessing that you're using the OSB from the shipping boxes? I'm guessing it would be pretty good, since it won't have the voids found inside cheap plywood.
                I held my breath for a while there reading that.

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                • #9
                  It's not a curved hammock frame. There are a bunch of DIY ones using straight boards which is what I'll make once I figure out which one I like.

                  The plywood I'm using is regular plywood, not OSB, and while it will be outside, it will be out of the elements so there's no real concern it'll get wet.

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                  • #10
                    I did this (laminated regular plywood to emulate 2x4 wood) for my french cleats in the garage (both parts - the ones that go on the wall, and then the other that goes on back of the cabinets).

                    Now those cleats handle the heaviest load of my shop - all my wood scraps, sorted into different bins. Since like mine your project will not be open to the elements, I daresay you can trust it to have the requisite strength.

                    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
                    - Aristotle

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