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  1. #1

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    Darkroom sink construction plywood...

    I'm building a darkroom sink. The local Lowes carries a 23/32" B/C grade exterior plywood @ 25.00 per sheet. I called a local lumber supply and they have an A/B exterior 3/4" @ 50.00 and also th B/C 3/4 in B/C @ 45.00.

    Does anyone know if I will be getting better plywood from the local shop , or just paying them an extra 20.00 per sheet. When I asked the locals about 23/32" plywood they said they've never heard of such a size.

    Thanks for any input !

  2. #2
    jovo's Avatar
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    Yeah....23/32 dimension seems totaly unusual, but I looked it up, and that's how Lowes describes it. When I checked to see if they also carried a 3/4 inch plywood, there were no results for the search. So...it must be that 3/4" is now 'nominal' just like most other dimension wood products, and Lowes is just telling you more accurately what you're getting. BTW, I'd get the AC if I were you unless your going to laminate another layer on top. Too many knots in the lesser grade plywood you'd have to fill. I also think you could use 1/2" ply with good support unless you're going to have trays or tanks that weigh a great deal. Both my 'sink', and dry side bench for two enlargers are 1/2", there's never been a problem. We tend to overbuild things a good bit I think. (There's a pic of my homebuilt benches on the darkroom portraits thread on page 5 if you want to see. There are also tons of really good ideas to be gleaned from a lot of people's darkroom portraits. )
    John Voss

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  3. #3
    noseoil's Avatar
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    23/32" is the nominal size now for this grade, just as 15/32" is with half inch ply, as John has mentioned. The second letter (C) denotes an exterior glue which is used for the laminations. AC is better on the finish side. I would be more concerned with how flat the sheet is when you purchase it than the actual grade and cost. Some of the sheetgoods sold are not stored properly and can take a set which makes them difficult to work with.

    You might consider having it shot with a truck bed liner material (many colors available), if it will fit through the door when finished. This makes a bullet-proof sink and keeps the water out. Get the drain in place and bedded properly as this can be an area of concern with a wooden sink. Make sure to caulk the edges well and use lots of glue & drywall screws. Don't use a silicone caulk if it is going to be finished inside, nothing will stick to this stuff.

    When I started as a cabinetmaker (back in '71), AD was $5.00 a sheet and AC was $10.00 a sheet. Seems like a long time ago now. Glad I have an office job now. tim

  4. #4
    jovo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noseoil
    When I started as a cabinetmaker (back in '71),...
    I've been doing some work on a Habitat for Humanity, Presby-Build (my Presbyterian church affiliation) house in Newburgh, NY. The house is well over 100 years old and the studs, and joists are the real thing, i.e. a 2x4 is a 2x4 etc. It's a wonder that everything comes out right when 'new', dimensioned, nominal size wood has to team with the original stuff. I've not seen all the tricks used to make that happen yet, but it's been a hell of an education so far!
    John Voss

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  5. #5
    raucousimages's Avatar
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    I worked for lowes, 23/32 is 3/4 that has had 1/32 sanded off to give a smoother finish. A/B grade will have no voids on the inside if the wood. B/C or C/D will have voids and might have more warp. A/B should be flatter.
    DIGITAL IS FOR THOSE AFRAID OF THE DARK.

  6. #6
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    I used 3/4" A/C, with the "A" side as the inside of the sink. Pieces held together with "Liquid Nails" and screws every 3 inches. Covered with 2 coats of "Kilz Premium" then 5 coats of latex garage floor paint. Seems to be working wonderfully so far...

    Bruce

  7. #7

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    Go cheap. Resin and fiberglass can fix any flaws.

    As long as the plywood isn't warped, why spend the extra money?

  8. #8
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    Even if the plywood is slightly warped (and most sheets do have some slight warp), the finished sink supports should eliminate the warp. Go with the cheaper material, and spend the savings on the interior finish (epoxy, etc).
    —Eric

  9. #9
    Loose Gravel's Avatar
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    Better plywood has fewer voids. I'm about to make a new plywood sink and I was going to use 3/4 birch. It is very flat and voids are few. I don't know if it is exactly 3/4", but it might be since it is used for furniture.

    They take the 1/32" away from construction plywood because they can and still meet spec and it costs less.
    Watch for Loose Gravel

  10. #10
    fotch's Avatar
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    The voids probably will not really be a problem. The A, B, C is more about the surface and if you cover it up with paint, epoxy, why pay more for smooth sanded A. Put the money into epoxy and a sturdy frame.

    The sink I made about 25 years ago is still in almost new condition. I used a Marine Grade Plywood (overkill) and then used fiberglass cloth along the seams and epoxy the whole thing. The epoxy and fiberglass was purchased at a Marine dealer and used for making or repairing boats. It has held up extremely well.

    However, the lack of drainage is always been a pain. Since I am in the process of setting up my darkroom again (after 15year absence) I am thinking of changing the bottom so it slopes to the center drain. I am thinking of both using epoxy with filler to create a sloping bottom or a mortar mix and epoxy/fiberglass over the top of the mortar.

    I then can make some wood (epoxy coated) slats that would allow drainage while keeping items (trays, Jobo) level. Then again, maybe I will live with the flat bottom and continue to use a squeegee to move water to the drain.

    Good Luck.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

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