How to Bend Marine Plywood

Written by cameron easey
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Marine plywood is a grade of wood that has been treated to resist rotting and is similar to a treated 2-by-4 board, for the same purpose. Typically, treated wood is used for outside construction and for marine plywood this would be for docks and boats. If the plywood is not a type that is bendable, you will need to form it into the shape needed for your project. You can do this with steam or by attaching the plywood to an existing frame.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Steam box
  • Boiler
  • Gas burner
  • Frame or jig
  • Power drill
  • Screws

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    Steam Box

  1. 1

    Obtain or build your own steam box to use to bend the marine plywood. Attach the vessel to use as the boiler to the steam box.

  2. 2

    Turn on the gas burner and allow the water to boil and turn to steam.

  3. 3

    Insert a piece of the marine plywood into the steam box. Screw on the cap for the end of the steam box.

  4. 4

    Allow at least one hour of steaming for each inch of plywood thickness.

  5. 5

    Remove the plywood from the steamer and then attach it to a frame or jig until it dries.

    Existing Frame

  1. 1

    Place a sheet of marine plywood over the frame.

  2. 2

    Drive screws into the plywood and the frame with the power drill.

  3. 3

    Go down the width or length of the plywood to form the marine plywood to the shape of the frame.

  4. 4

    Repeat this process to bend the other sheets of plywood that need to be attached to the frame.

Tips and warnings

  • Radiator hose can be used to connect the water vessel to the steam box.
  • Wait at least 24 hours for the wood to dry after steaming.
  • Steam is hot and will cause burns if you are not covered with clothing.

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