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Old 11-05-2016, 08:18 PM   #1
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Rigid foam -- FOAMULAR -- Cabinets?

I am looking into cabinet builds and was planning on plywood or MDF. I will still use a combo of this for the bed/back benches. Then I saw these two YouTube Videos. They shoiw how to make cabinets out of ridgid foam and then cover them in fiberglass mesh or metal screen and then paint them with Glidden Gripper Paint.

Build Ultralight cabinets


How to Paper Bag Finish Poly them

Here is a tour of a really basic van that has them built and shows the strength.

Has anyone here tried this? It sounds like there could be some substantial weight savings which is a plus. Let me know what you all think.
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Old 11-05-2016, 09:10 PM   #2
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Has anyone here tried this? It sounds like there could be some substantial weight savings which is a plus. Let me know what you all think.

I just watched all the vids.....painting on the screen, ripping up kraft paper, and the van with the foam cabinets.....pretty cool......

I've done a few things in the van with lightweight wood panels, and started a thread here about various construction techniques.

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...ood-15558.html

As mentioned in the videos, you need to really plan ahead where you need some wood to bolt/screw things to (like cabinet doors and drawer slides, etc.

The other thing is (obviously) building panels takes a fair bit more time than just slicing up plywood on the tablesaw....for me anyway.
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Old 11-05-2016, 09:21 PM   #3
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Am not sure that the final finish look and feel would be as nice a that on wood. Am also not sure that the longevity will equal wood.
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Old 11-05-2016, 10:11 PM   #4
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I think it's worth doing or at least testing. When I find some time I'm going to test some small panels myself, I think it's worth looking into... and like you I want to build a light weight van so it's an option and hopefully a viable one…

Cheers,
Mark
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Old 11-05-2016, 10:19 PM   #5
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The other thing is (obviously) building panels takes a fair bit more time than just slicing up plywood on the table-saw....for me anyway.


Thanks for the input I will check out your thread on this for sure. The only thing to think about is I am a decent woodworker, I do mainly framing not a lot of finish work unless it is small repairs. I was thinking that for people with a more limited skill set it may be easier than wood, also cheaper if you mess up a panel. It also wouldn't require any special tools really so that could be a plus for some people as well.

I am seriously considering a hybrid version of wood and this concept so some testing will probably be happening in a few months. I will be sure and document it on my build thread.
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Old 11-05-2016, 10:21 PM   #6
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Dirk

I think it's worth doing or at least testing. When I find some time I'm going to test some small panels myself, I think it's worth looking into... and like you I want to build a light weight van so it's an option and hopefully a viable one…

Cheers,
Mark
I am thinking it is worth a shot as well. I will document mine on my build thread for sure. Be sure and post your results if you try it. I am slammed for the next 2 months so it i going to be a bit before I get to the build phase on mine, other than the floor now that I have the brakes all redone and working properly.
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Old 11-05-2016, 10:24 PM   #7
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Am not sure that the final finish look and feel would be as nice a that on wood. Am also not sure that the longevity will equal wood.
In the one video it is poly coated so the feel would be similar to a poly coated wood. I am not sure on longevity though that is something I am wondering about. I am thinking of doing a small custom center console and see how it holds up, that would be a good durability test.
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Old 11-06-2016, 12:39 AM   #8
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Maybe worth a shot, but I question how much weight will really be saved and the value for effort. Boywonder did some calcs on using thinner vs thicker Baltic birch ply that are worth reading.

For our interior I used 1/2", 3/8" and 1/4" Baltic birch for the cabinets. Only one doubled up (3/8"x 2) walls for adjacent spaces, and some 1 x 1 poplar where I needed extra beef for screws. Floor is 1/2" Baltic. Wall coverings will be 1/8" luan. Verticals for the counter are 1 x 2 Doug fir. Some aluminum angles for joining some pieces. I really do not know if I could save even 10 pounds by going with some other foam core materials.

I see almost no reason to use 3/4" anywhere and no reason at all to use MDF.

Probably worthy making up two 2' x 4' pcs - one 3/8" Baltic and one in the foam core and see what the weight diff is. Then extrapolate over the surface area of your build. I wonder what the diff would be. May have to make adj for strengthening attach points.

Hmmmmm....
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Old 11-06-2016, 07:49 AM   #9
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Here are a few things to consider when contemplating a hollow core or foam core build:

As mentioned, you really need to plan where your fasteners will go....

If you skin with plywood, I'm not sure having a foam core does much compared to using wood strips internally and around the perimeter.....either will be plenty stiff for our use, and the wood strips give you something to screw to.

1/8" baltic skins over 1/2" strips (if you want a 3/4" panel) won't be puncture-proof if you have heavy pointy things sliding around in the back of the van I can see them going right through the skin.......

1/4" skins are probably durable enough, although as it turns out the 1/4-1/4-1/4 sandwich panels that I whipped up aren't that much lighter than 3/4" import (Chinese) birch...which allows you screw anywhere you want.

1/2" lightweight plywood will be even lighter than the above.....

Another thought....Foam sandwich construction may give a tiny bit more R value for the cabinet around the fridge.......I would allow space around the fridge inside the cabinet for additional insulation as well.
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