• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Ply or real wood for outdoor bookcase/ cabinet for mini library?

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

chris.gid

Established Member
Joined
13 Jan 2019
Messages
55
Reaction score
17
Location
Chesham
Hi all, the local parish council has asked me to make an outdoor mini library like the one below. As its going to be located outside and probably getting full sun for a good part of the day I'm wondering what to make it from:

Hardwood/ Marine ply - Better stability, easy to buy a sheet and just cut to size (likely about 30cm deep), will be pained anyway so looks are not important, unlikely to crack, but worried about the edges fraying and potential rot from moisture.

Treated timer - Don't have to worry about it delaminating/ stand up to rain better but will mean joining various boards, potential for warping in the heat, cracks forming during winter and letting water in.....

What are peoples opinions on the best material?

IMG_6249.jpg
 

Jameshow

Established Member
Joined
4 Oct 2020
Messages
1,368
Reaction score
620
Location
Bradford
I'd use MDO / buffalo board.
Resin infused plywood.
Buy a recognised brand like buffalo board or wisa etc.

Expensive but worth it.

Cheers James
 

MARK.B.

Established Member
Joined
4 Jul 2012
Messages
1,435
Reaction score
407
Location
East Yorkshire
if you have bought a sheet of ply now :cry: then with prices as they are a similar piece in Oak or similar would be around the same price and imho look nicer and last longer (y) Make sure it is well secured or some little :poop: will pinch it :mad:.
It's a good idea and i might mention it to our parish council as it would fit in real nice in the pinfold where in the old day's people would sit and chat or read :)
 

Droogs

Is that chisel shar ... Ow
Joined
14 Mar 2013
Messages
4,657
Reaction score
1,562
Location
Edinburgh
If you want it to last then use solid rather than ply unless you can guarantee that you are able to fully seal the ply to prevent ingress and delamination.
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
20,177
Reaction score
1,516
Location
Derbyshire
We had a couple of wooden notice boards made in the village similar to your photo. They were very well made with excellent material but failed very quickly. Biggest weakness was that the notices were just pinned to the backboard which was solid ply and became waterlogged. They replaced them with off-the-peg metal/glass noticeboards which were no problem at all and much cheaper. This sort of thing Outdoor Notice Boards | External Notice Boards Bound to be a similar box for books available somewhere.
The detail design matters more than the materials. It needs projecting eaves and gables all 4 sides with felt etc on top. The back needs to be as waterproof and as protected as the front. The books need to be on a freestanding shelf unit with air circulating all around and no contact with the back or the sides. Ventilation needed for free air flow through.
 
Last edited:

recipio

Established Member
Joined
16 Jun 2008
Messages
350
Reaction score
92
Location
ireland
I'm guessing that will consume about 10% of a 4 x 8 sheet and have you seen the price of marine ply. ! Pressure treated softwood would be my choice with a metal roof of some kind.
 

Jameshow

Established Member
Joined
4 Oct 2020
Messages
1,368
Reaction score
620
Location
Bradford
I would make the roof deeper than the bookcase perhaps even double to keep the rain off!

Cheers James
 

chris.gid

Established Member
Joined
13 Jan 2019
Messages
55
Reaction score
17
Location
Chesham
Yes, deep overhangs will be a must.

Agree on the amount of ply i'd be using, but it has the big advantage of not having to joint boards together.

The price diff between marine ply, and softwood is minimal (as i'd need PAR as i dont have a planer/thicknesser) and Meranti hardwood is only another £30.

Thanks for the tips!
 
Last edited:

finish_that

Established Member
Joined
3 Nov 2014
Messages
139
Reaction score
0
Location
Reading UK
As the quantity of material is low it might be worth using tricoya , miles better than marine ply for the application.
 

chris.gid

Established Member
Joined
13 Jan 2019
Messages
55
Reaction score
17
Location
Chesham
As the quantity of material is low it might be worth using tricoya , miles better than marine ply for the application.
Hmmm, they sell it at my local timber yard but £260+vat for an 18mm sheet, thats double the price of hardwood.

Part of me thinks im over thinking this, i was thinking of making it air tight so the pages don't crinkle up, but then part of me thinks make a basic box frame then use some cheap old bits of pine i have lying around and just make it like weather board edging.
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
20,177
Reaction score
1,516
Location
Derbyshire
Hmmm, they sell it at my local timber yard but £260+vat for an 18mm sheet, thats double the price of hardwood.

Part of me thinks im over thinking this, i was thinking of making it air tight so the pages don't crinkle up, but then part of me thinks make a basic box frame then use some cheap old bits of pine i have lying around and just make it like weather board edging.
Definitely not air tight, or the pages will crinkle up!
 
Top