Hold my beer - I'm gonna try try something...

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On 1/9/2010 9:14 AM, Morris Dovey wrote:

Have you looked into any of the vinyl products? Vinyl clad wood seems to have a pretty good track record.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
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On 1/9/2010 4:16 PM, Swingman wrote:

Most plastics, including vinyl, don't seem to hold up well in the long term to UV exposure. Primer+paint extends their lifetimes decently, but makes product longevity a function of maintenance quality - and I'm attempting to remove that dependence.
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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RE: Subject
Trying to laminate a wood core with fiberglass, metal, etc is at best a very difficult thing to do.
Ultimately the adhesive will get you and wood core structure is heavy.
Stainless steel in a marine environment is a loser.
"Stain Less" are the operative words.
Unless you use 316L, forget it.
Faced with your situation, I'd start talking to the "Plastic Wood" people.
Seems like a natural, especially since the offer dimensional lumber sizes.
Lew
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Carbon Fiber over balsa wood like on a Corvette should do the trick... Strong and light. ;~)
John
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"John Grossbohlin" wrote:

Two basic problems:
Carbon is still on allocation <$$$$>
Balsa sucks.
Ever have to redo a boat deck that has a rotted balsa core, from getting water in the balsa core?
Lew
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On Sat, 9 Jan 2010 18:06:44 -0800, the infamous "Lew Hodgett"

Hey, I just had a great idea. Let' all ask that fine Nobel Prize Winner <kaff, kaff> Algore for some carbon. He can just pluck it out of the air, it's so thick out there. Then we can make lots of carbon fiber while saving the world!
REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE
--============================================-- Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional. --- http://diversify.com/handypouches.html ToolyRoo(tm) and Possum(tm) Handy Pouches NOW AVAILABLE!
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On Sat, 9 Jan 2010 17:17:43 -0800, "Lew Hodgett"

Perhap copper it will last and age well.
Mark
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"Markem" wrote:

Only problem with copper, other than initial cost, is that it would get stolen before it gets installed, for it's scrap value.
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"Lew Hodgett" wrote:

------------------------------------------------ A follow up:
These guys are in your back yard.
It would be worth a phone call.
http://tinyurl.com/y976voo
Lew
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On 1/9/2010 10:14 AM, Morris Dovey wrote:

How about you forgo the wood & SS sheet idea, and think about extruded aluminum C-channel instead? You can frame your box, have the edges welded seamlessly, and get a nice plasma or hard anodize finish applied to the final assembly. These finishes have excellent aesthetics, and will resist handling / installation abuse well, as they're part of the surface micro-structure of the metal (vs. external coatings). Overall weight is reduced, too, so that might be beneficial.
Tabs could be added to the inside to attach mountings, glass, solar panel parts, etc. If you're concerned about heat loss or conduction, perhaps the inside section of the channel could be sprayed with foam or other insulator.
Food for thought ... it's not woodworking anymore, of course ... :)
Aero
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On 1/9/2010 9:30 PM, aeroloose wrote:

I like aluminum, too - but its thermal conductivity makes it a non-starter for this application. Wood, on the other hand is a near-perfect material (for a lot of reasons) - except for the vulnerability of that portion exposed to weather.
Where it makes sense to use aluminum (for the absorber/heat exchanger and the trim that protects seals from UV) I already do use aluminum.

One side of the channel would be indoors (in the heated volume) and the other side of the channel would be outdoors. No matter how much insulation was fit inside the channel, the channel itself would still constitute an unacceptable loss mechanism.

Construction would be _easier_ if it weren't wood, but the performance wouldn't even be comparable unless very much more expensive materials were used.
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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On 1/10/2010 6:23 AM, Morris Dovey wrote:

OK, one more aluminum idea, then I'll quit ... :)
To minimize the conductivity issue, how about an aluminum frame (L channel) that would "clad" the box on two sides? This should get the aluminum out of the heat-path. You could add threaded bosses to the underside of the channel, counter-bore the wood frame, and through-bolt the aluminum frame to the wood frame with plastic bolts.
This also avoids the lamination issues others have noted, as there isn't a need for a bonding mechanism between the wood / cladding anymore.
Aero
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On 1/10/2010 9:10 AM, aeroloose wrote:

Serious response to lighthearted comment: Solar heating technology has advanced to the point where a conventionally-built structure can be (_has_ _been_) 100% solar heated through several winters in an area where this morning's temperature was below 0F. Ten years ago, not even I believed it could be done - and even (especially?) I know it can be done better still - hence this discussion.
Leaving aside all AGW possibilities (because I have no first hand knowledge of the subject) and all political crappola, there are obvious real and significant financial and social benefits to be had from a technology that keeps people warm and comfortable without the need for them to pay and pay and pay.
Please don't quit. :-|

You're not actually all that far from the current design - except that the L doesn't extend all the way from the outermost edge to the structure surface. It's actually a 1/8 x 3/4 x 3/4 aluminum angle - used to secure the glazing, shield the glazing-to-box sealant from UV, and hide the glazing's edge.
If that angle were extended inward past the structure skin, there would be a problem with removing the glazing for cleanout, and with replacing the glazing in the (unlikely) event of damage. I think a two-part solution is appropriate, so I'm after just the flat side portion that can extend from under the angle to a point inside the structure wall.
As suggested, any of a number of materials might be used for that protective extension, and even though aluminum is easy to work, I have reservations about its longevity.

Thus far I've carefully avoided any through penetration of the walls. I'll need to think about this a bit. Much will depend on the reliability and durability of available adhesives.
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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On 1/10/10 12:58 PM, Morris Dovey wrote:

Ok, I'll bite.
Aluminum exterior door threshold, often has a rubber/vinyl/silicone (or some other unknown to me at least) seal inserted into a bead in it. Imbed that in the house, and overlap your angle piece over the seal. You could probably get it extruded in eight foot lengths with the right supplier.
--
Froz...


The system will be down for 10 days for preventive maintenance.
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"Morris Dovey" wrote:

Talk to SikaFlex tech service in metro Detroit, great guys and they have an 800#.
Lew
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On 1/10/2010 12:58 PM, Morris Dovey wrote:

Appreciate the encouragement ... sometimes it's hard to judge how folks will respond in newsgroups these days ... it's a risk when you're not a regular.

So now I'm like a dog with a bone :). How about we keep the idea of the cladding on all four walls, let the cladding extend across the top to the edge (holding the glazing in place), and let it get enclosed in the supporting structure at the bottom of the box (non-removable). BUT, we leave one upper edge in the angle format (the angle you have now) so that edge could be removed and the glazing slid out (think a poster frame with one edge removed). Add some gasket design work, and you might avoid caulking & adhesives there, too.

I think the plasma or HCA treatments will address that concern pretty well (ref. General Magnaplate, Duralectra). Plus, they have lots of colors ...

... and a final thought to eliminate the penetrations. Keep the cladding full-length as above, but add tabs at the lower edge to bend over the wood frame and fasten the cladding in place (beating the poster frame analogy to death, think of those bend-down tabs that hold the cardboard backing in place). Then put a fastener through the tab to lock it. I think the heat-loss here would be small, and could be further reduced with an insulating layer along the tabbed edge.
Aero
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Morris Dovey wrote:

... snip

Haven't done anything exactly like this, but I'd be concerned that 2 mil steel covering is going to be susceptible to all sorts of damage from handling and pre-installation problems. That would leave a channel for water infiltration that could result in worse long-term damage than exposed but painted wood. 2 mils is really more tin foil than covering.

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There is never a situation where having more rounds is a disadvantage

Rob Leatham
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On 1/9/2010 10:28 PM, Mark & Juanita wrote:

That's been a concern for me from the very beginning - and I'm sure that by now there're truckers who make jokes over coffee about this over-protective so-and-so in Iowa. To their credit (and my amazement/admiration) panels have been arriving at destination without even minor dings or scratches.
I've found sources of stainless foil that offer thicknesses up to 3mm (which isn't really "foil" to me), so the skin can be made thicker if that turns out to be necessary, but it really isn't my goal to add any mechanical toughness - just to improve long-term weather resistance.
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Morris,
When I finally figured out what you wanted to do, my thoughts ran to residential windows. The Pella folks (also Iowegians) make windows with wood cores protected by aluminum overlays. I think the aluminum is brake/roller formed and the wood inserted. They might have some methods that work, or could at least move you further down the path.
Seems to me if you had an L or U shaped piece of anodized aluminum sheet that would cover the front and sides of the box, and lap over the back slightly, you would no longer be at the mercy of glue holding it in place. You would only have joints at the corners then. If you needed fastners they could be installed at the back and the front under the panel. You should be able to get a neutral color that could be painted to renew. Moisture that got in could get out through the corners. Or be baked out when the sun hit it.
Anderson does the same thing with a preformed plastic, which seems to hold up. I know they make plywood with that plastic laminated to it, but you would still have edges to contend with. It is also spendy...I bought a piece of trim for a window installation for $20 per sf!!!
I've seen what ocean air and salt spray does to steel, wood and aluminum, and it isn't pretty. I understand that seaside cottages have to be repained every couple of years to keep deterioration at bay. By my observation, galvanized seem to hold up best, it developed a layer of rust and then quit. Other stuff just kept pitting.
You've set a high bar for yourself.
Old Guy Can't see my shop for the snow!!!

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On 1/10/2010 6:45 AM, Old Guy wrote:

Yuppers - I have one of their windows directly behind my display, and I've looked at their stuff (and talked with a few of their people). I like their products, but I'm trying to go beyond everything they seem to have done.

I'd like to avoid the need to form sheet stock - my sense is that the job can be done with foil, although 0.002" may be a bit on the light side.

Ouch! I need to avoid spendy - and although plastics can look good, I'm just not confident that they'll hold up well.

I have, but I keep telling myself that if I keep my aim high enough, I'm less likely to shoot myself in the foot. Actually, I'm just trying to find a really decent starting point - from which I can make improvements as I find 'em. At the moment, stainless steel or silicon bronze "paint" looks like it might make a good starting point.

I have the same problem. This is how I "wait" for spring thaw. :)
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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