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GENERAL DISCUSSIONS => Workshops and Mobile Vehicle-Based Shops => Topic started by: 3PedalMINI on February 01, 2014, 12:19 PM

Title: Best Plywood to make van shelving and racking out of?
Post by: 3PedalMINI on February 01, 2014, 12:19 PM
Hi guys!

I am getting a new van and will be fabricating my own van racking and shelving. I'm wondering what you would recommend for it? I was just going to get some cabinet grade plywood from lowes or HD but i cant help to think there may be something better suited for van racking, possibly something a bit lighter?

Shelves will be holding mostly systainers or boxes of wire

Thanks!!
Title: Re: Best Plywood to make van shelving and racking out of?
Post by: builderbob on February 01, 2014, 12:42 PM
Im in the same boat. Just got my dodge promaster last week and am planning out my racking siuation but haven't moved forward based on what to build out of. I was considering 1/2" ply but in my mind seems too unstable and may want to warp. My racks are going to be about 5' tall. Perhaps I'll just have some sort of mid fixed shelf to allow stability.
Title: Re: Best Plywood to make van shelving and racking out of?
Post by: Tom Gensmer on February 01, 2014, 01:30 PM
I've had pretty good luck with the 3/4 AC plywood from my local lumberyard. I think it has something like 9 plies, which is more even than the cabinet plywood you'd find at the Big Box stores. Something like $50/4x8 sheet. To extend the material, I often will edge band with clear pine ripped to 1.25"x23/32". If I get a chance I'll post pics of my Sprinter.
Title: Re: Best Plywood to make van shelving and racking out of?
Post by: Brice Burrell on February 01, 2014, 01:46 PM
Im in the same boat. Just got my dodge promaster last week and am planning out my racking siuation but haven't moved forward based on what to build out of. I was considering 1/2" ply but in my mind seems too unstable and may want to warp. My racks are going to be about 5' tall. Perhaps I'll just have some sort of mid fixed shelf to allow stability.

Bob, tell me more about your new van.  I'm looking at new wheels probably this year.  I was thinking the new full size transit, but nothing has been decided yet.
Title: Re: Best Plywood to make van shelving and racking out of?
Post by: Jaybolishes on February 01, 2014, 01:51 PM
I used both 1/2 and 3/4 AC in my enclosed trailer and I really liked how it turned out.
Title: Re: Best Plywood to make van shelving and racking out of?
Post by: curt boyer on February 01, 2014, 02:21 PM
Hey Brendon
I used ac ply from Delaware County Supply which has more plys than what you can get at the box stores. The ac will handle moisture better than cabinet plywood. The cabinets nearest the door which take the brunt of the weather have held up well in spite of having no finish on them. I plan to put some finish on them this spring. In my last truck I used MDO which doesn't need finish, has no voids, and is very stable. The problem with MDO is it costs $75.00 a sheet for 3/4". Because I needed so many sheets of ply for my truck buildout I went with the ac. How are liking the jeep compared to the mini?
Curt
Title: Re: Best Plywood to make van shelving and racking out of?
Post by: Paul G on February 01, 2014, 03:40 PM
Hey Brendon
I used ac ply from Delaware County Supply which has more plys than what you can get at the box stores. The ac will handle moisture better than cabinet plywood. The cabinets nearest the door which take the brunt of the weather have held up well in spite of having no finish on them. I plan to put some finish on them this spring. In my last truck I used MDO which doesn't need finish, has no voids, and is very stable. The problem with MDO is it costs $75.00 a sheet for 3/4". Because I needed so many sheets of ply for my truck buildout I went with the ac. How are liking the jeep compared to the mini?
Curt

Per my admittedly limited knowledge of plywood grades, I thought AC refers to the face plys and doesn't have anything to do with a moisture rating. Is your AC an exterior grade? Seems like any moisture situations would dictate an exterior or marine grade plywood. Finishing would of course be helpful also.
Title: Re: Best Plywood to make van shelving and racking out of?
Post by: Peter Halle on February 01, 2014, 04:12 PM
Hey Brendon
I used ac ply from Delaware County Supply which has more plys than what you can get at the box stores. The ac will handle moisture better than cabinet plywood. The cabinets nearest the door which take the brunt of the weather have held up well in spite of having no finish on them. I plan to put some finish on them this spring. In my last truck I used MDO which doesn't need finish, has no voids, and is very stable. The problem with MDO is it costs $75.00 a sheet for 3/4". Because I needed so many sheets of ply for my truck buildout I went with the ac. How are liking the jeep compared to the mini?
Curt

Per my admittedly limited knowledge of plywood grades, I thought AC refers to the face plys and doesn't have anything to do with a moisture rating. Is your AC an exterior grade? Seems like any moisture situations would dictate an exterior or marine grade plywood. Finishing would of course be helpful also.

AC plywood here has exterior glue.

I had given Bob a heads up on some ply I saw at Lowes.  Interior grade pre-primed.  Many plies - that's what made me notice it.  Less than $48 a sheet in 3/4 and $35 in 1/2.  The face veneer is thin from what I saw, but that might vary by batch or the back might be thinner.

Just a heads up.

Peter

Title: Re: Best Plywood to make van shelving and racking out of?
Post by: builderbob on February 01, 2014, 05:25 PM
Hey Brendon
I used ac ply from Delaware County Supply which has more plys than what you can get at the box stores. The ac will handle moisture better than cabinet plywood. The cabinets nearest the door which take the brunt of the weather have held up well in spite of having no finish on them. I plan to put some finish on them this spring. In my last truck I used MDO which doesn't need finish, has no voids, and is very stable. The problem with MDO is it costs $75.00 a sheet for 3/4". Because I needed so many sheets of ply for my truck buildout I went with the ac. How are liking the jeep compared to the mini?
Curt

Per my admittedly limited knowledge of plywood grades, I thought AC refers to the face plys and doesn't have anything to do with a moisture rating. Is your AC an exterior grade? Seems like any moisture situations would dictate an exterior or marine grade plywood. Finishing would of course be helpful also.

AC plywood here has exterior glue.

I had given Bob a heads up on some ply I saw at Lowes.  Interior grade pre-primed.  Many plies - that's what made me notice it.  Less than $48 a sheet in 3/4 and $35 in 1/2.  The face veneer is thin from what I saw, but that might vary by batch or the back might be thinner.

Just a heads up.

Peter

I wish my lowes carried it. Peter, I'll meet you half way??  Haha
Title: Re: Best Plywood to make van shelving and racking out of?
Post by: builderbob on February 01, 2014, 05:27 PM
Brice, I really like the promaster!  I'm glad I held out for a slightly taller euro style van. I almost pulled the trigger on a low roof NV 2500 a bit back and am glad I held out.  Here's a pic of my van. Don't mean to hijack the thread. We can start a new one if need be!

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/02/02/murynyqe.jpg)
Title: Re: Best Plywood to make van shelving and racking out of?
Post by: NYC Tiny Shop on February 01, 2014, 05:41 PM
Nice van, Bob! Hmmmm, I wonder if I can fit that into my apartment?
I always buy formaldehyde-free ply.
Title: Re: Best Plywood to make van shelving and racking out of?
Post by: builderbob on February 01, 2014, 05:48 PM
Compared to having worked out of my pickup truck for the past 5 1/2 years, that van is an apartment for me!  If my love kicks me out, I have plenty of room to roll out a sleeping bag!
Title: Re: Best Plywood to make van shelving and racking out of?
Post by: Jon Hilgenberg on February 01, 2014, 05:56 PM
Compared to having worked out of my pickup truck for the past 5 1/2 years, that van is an apartment for me!  If my love kicks me out, I have plenty of room to roll out a sleeping bag!

Might want make a small compartment for an aero bed bro...lord knows it's not an matter of if, but when (at least in my life!)


Can't wait to see the end result.  Don't let perfection be the enemy of good.  Beautiful van, I'm jealous.
Jon
Title: Re: Best Plywood to make van shelving and racking out of?
Post by: builderbob on February 01, 2014, 06:05 PM
Compared to having worked out of my pickup truck for the past 5 1/2 years, that van is an apartment for me!  If my love kicks me out, I have plenty of room to roll out a sleeping bag!

Might want make a small compartment for an aero bed bro...lord knows it's not an matter of if, but when (at least in my life!)


Can't wait to see the end result.  Don't let perfection be the enemy of good.  Beautiful van, I'm jealous.
Jon

You're right Jon, I should've said when, not if!

You exactly stated my issue...perfection is my enemy right now. I just need to get it done!
Title: Re: Best Plywood to make van shelving and racking out of?
Post by: Bikeboy80 on February 01, 2014, 06:44 PM
Cab grade plywood from depot here. 3/4" for the uprights and longer shelves, 1/2" for everything else. And I used polyurethane glue to make sure it never comes apart.
Title: Re: Best Plywood to make van shelving and racking out of?
Post by: bkharman on February 01, 2014, 07:42 PM
Brice, I really like the promaster!  I'm glad I held out for a slightly taller euro style van. I almost pulled the trigger on a low roof NV 2500 a bit back and am glad I held out.  Here's a pic of my van. Don't mean to hijack the thread. We can start a new one if need be!

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/02/02/murynyqe.jpg)

Man, those Dodge vans (and a few others) remind me of that show in the 80's...  Highwayman. Very futuristic.

I will say though, these new vans are so much better in gas, space and drivability.

Good luck and look forward to the pics!

Cheers. Bryan.
Title: Re: Best Plywood to make van shelving and racking out of?
Post by: builderbob on February 01, 2014, 07:56 PM
It's definitely a strange looking nose but being inside doesn't feel at all like it looks outside. I really like being over the front wheels and the storage space is amazing!
Title: Re: Best Plywood to make van shelving and racking out of?
Post by: Brice Burrell on February 01, 2014, 08:08 PM
Brice, I really like the promaster!  I'm glad I held out for a slightly taller euro style van. I almost pulled the trigger on a low roof NV 2500 a bit back and am glad I held out.  Here's a pic of my van. Don't mean to hijack the thread. We can start a new one if need be!

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/02/02/murynyqe.jpg)

Bob, I have a few questions (maybe a mod could split this thread up).  What motor, trim package is your van?  Also, this looks like the lower roof version, what's the height inside and out, and how long is storage area?  How does it ride compared to your old truck?  If you have more pics to share that would be great.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Best Plywood to make van shelving and racking out of?
Post by: 3PedalMINI on February 02, 2014, 12:26 PM
Hey Brendon
I used ac ply from Delaware County Supply which has more plys than what you can get at the box stores. The ac will handle moisture better than cabinet plywood. The cabinets nearest the door which take the brunt of the weather have held up well in spite of having no finish on them. I plan to put some finish on them this spring. In my last truck I used MDO which doesn't need finish, has no voids, and is very stable. The problem with MDO is it costs $75.00 a sheet for 3/4". Because I needed so many sheets of ply for my truck buildout I went with the ac. How are liking the jeep compared to the mini?
Curt

Hey Man! hope all is well!!

I didnt think about the moisture factor of the van. Im going to be putting shelving on the two door sliding doors so on rainy days they will inevitably get some dampness on them, and the constant temperature swings and humidity is also a factor to think about. Ill be passing though bothwyn on my way over to west chester this week, ill stop in and see what they have. For such a tiny van im wondering if i should spend the extra few bucks for the MDO. sketching this out its looking like ill need 1 sheet of 3/4 and 2 sheets of 1/2". Ive never worked with MDO, does it cut and route the same as MDF? is it harder on blades/bits?

If you can believe it my jeep is considerably more fun to drive then the MINI was. something about haveing all the suspension travel it makes it alot of fun to drive on the road, going so much slower too :D It isnt without its quicks though, i just chock it up to "its a jeep thing" I got it pretty stripped, heated seats and hard top. When i take the top off and doors i dont want to sit in a 400 degree seat after its sat in the sun  [eek] I do really miss the gas millage though, with my mini it was hard to get under 31-32. This with winterblend gas i am lucky if im getting 16mpg  [scared] granted i opted for the 4:10 gears so my jeep revs a bit higher when its on the highway.

Thanks all for your suggestions!!
Title: Re: Best Plywood to make van shelving and racking out of?
Post by: curt boyer on February 02, 2014, 01:55 PM
Brendon
I would recommend going with the mdo ply since you don't need that many sheets. It's easy to work with and takes paint better than cabinet ply. Delaware county has 1/2" and 3/4" mdo. It's pricey but I think it's worth it. I used unprimed for my pickup. I think Delaware county has primed. Because it has little to no voids and a paper face it is easy to finish. I use it for exterior projects as well as some high end interior work. If you're going to be traveling anywhere near Paoli, I'd like to check out the new ride as well as showing you the progress on my truck! I also have some more systainers available if your interested.
Curt
Title: Re: Best Plywood to make van shelving and racking out of?
Post by: Peter Halle on February 02, 2014, 02:24 PM
You might also check to see if the MDO is offered one sided.  The entire sheet has waterproof adhesives but just the "nice" on one side.  Here it is about $10 a sheet cheaper than good two sides.

Peter