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Wood to use for insulation?

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Forum topic by steelwoodworker posted 05-05-2017 12:26 PM 574 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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steelwoodworker

1 post in 226 days


05-05-2017 12:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hello, I’ve been working on a project for my sedan. I live in socal and it gets really hot here especially in the summer. I would like to make sun shades for the side windows of my car. I have a template and was planning on using my bandsaw to trim the template out. Does anyone have recommendation of wood I could use? Also would it be bad to have the wood panels against the window in the sunlight for hours on end? I don’t it heat up the wood and release toxins from the window tint sense it would be trapping heat between the window and the tint, and harmful effects from the heated wood.


14 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

17031 posts in 2845 days


#1 posted 05-05-2017 12:46 PM

Iv got a feeling that no matter what type of wood you use its going to curl up like a slice of bacon being as thin as it would need to be. If I had to use something I think plywood would be the best bet. Take my opinion with a grain of salt however.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Matt Rogers's profile

Matt Rogers

99 posts in 1809 days


#2 posted 05-05-2017 12:56 PM

In terms of insulation, the lightest wood would offer the best insulation. Balsa would be the choice here, or perhaps basswood or poplar (hardwood) or a light pine or fir (softwoods). In terms of how it will stand up to the intense heat, I don’t know exactly.

-- Matt Rogers, http://www.cleanairwoodworks.com and http://www.cleanairyurts.com

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

667 posts in 1058 days


#3 posted 05-05-2017 01:08 PM

release toxins from the window tint- you think that wouldn’t happen without shades if there were toxins in your window tint?
what harmful effects from heated wood?

anyhoo, id say bamboo.
or
get yerself a flinstones car or leave the windows cracked open. :)

View mrg's profile

mrg

786 posts in 2838 days


#4 posted 05-05-2017 01:57 PM

Wood would work to keep the sun off the interior. Wood is not a great insulator. I would go to a building supply and get the thin insulation they use on sheds its thin and rigid and will insulate well and keep the sun off your interior. It will also keep the temp down a little. If just looking to block light 1/4 inch ply, mdf etc would work fine.

-- mrg

View clin's profile

clin

751 posts in 835 days


#5 posted 05-05-2017 09:08 PM

If the goal is to keep the car cooler, it has little to do with insulation and everything to do with creating a radiation barrier (I.E. , preventing the sun from getting in). So the insulating qualities of the wood don’t matter much.

The best thing, for keeping a car cool, is a barrier that reflects the sun right back out. In other words the typical silver foil type windshield shade.

I can’t even picture what a wooden shade used in a car would look like. While a shade that doesn’t reflect the sun back out, will block the sun from heating the seats or steering wheel directly, it will heat the shade. Then you have a situation where keeping this heat from easily flowing throughout the interior is your goal.

To some degree, the insulating qualities of the wood might matter. So that the sunny side can be hot and the inside surface of the wood be cooler. But the real issue is to prevent convective airflow from carrying the heat built up between the shade and window to the rest of the car.

In other words you want that really hot air to stay trapped between the shade and window. That way more of the heat will escape through the window and the car will be cooler for it.

I haven’t a clue as to whether the wood would emit something bad if it were heated. But I’d bet it is less bad than all the chemicals emitted by all that hot plastic in your car.

As for wood type, you might investigate the types of wood commonly used for Venetian blinds.

-- Clin

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

2922 posts in 2948 days


#6 posted 05-05-2017 11:10 PM

1/8” Baltic birch plywood with aluminum foil glued to the side facing the window. It could be cardboard, for that matter, though it would crinkle and the foil would separate. The foil does not have to be perfectly flat, btw. If possible, leave the windows down about an inch. That will help greatly, as well. Clean foil will reflect approximately 95% of the incident sunlight.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10640 posts in 2219 days


#7 posted 05-06-2017 12:21 AM

Quartersawn teak.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View patcollins's profile

patcollins

1605 posts in 2704 days


#8 posted 05-06-2017 12:38 AM

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

2922 posts in 2948 days


#9 posted 05-06-2017 03:20 AM


You are better off just buying some Reflectix radiant barrier. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Reflectix-16-in-x-25-ft-Double-Reflective-Insulation-with-Staple-Tab-ST16025/100012574

- patcollins

That’s a good recommendation! He could put that thin staple tab in the window channel and roll the window up to hold it in place. I also thought about the Styrofoam with aluminum on it, but he’d have little pieces of Styrofoam all over the car. :/

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1138 posts in 1063 days


#10 posted 05-06-2017 01:49 PM

Is this a project to do just to get the practice or because you think you’re going to save some money?

If it’s for the challenge and the practice with cutting patterns, etc, then plywood with the reflective insulation would probably be best.

If you think you’re going to save money, go to Amazon and you can get pre-cut pieces of reflective material to fit the windows of your car for around $20.

View cabmaker's profile

cabmaker

1626 posts in 2648 days


#11 posted 05-06-2017 01:56 PM



Wood would work to keep the sun off the interior. Wood is not a great insulator. I would go to a building supply and get the thin insulation they use on sheds its thin and rigid and will insulate well and keep the sun off your interior. It will also keep the temp down a little. If just looking to block light 1/4 inch ply, mdf etc would work fine.

- mrg

Wood is one of the best natural insulators that exists !

View a1Jim's profile (online now)

a1Jim

116592 posts in 3416 days


#12 posted 05-06-2017 01:59 PM

Unless the wood is very thick it’s insulative value is very low and even 12” thick you’re talking about and R6 0r R7. For what you want wood is not the best material for the job.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

667 posts in 1058 days


#13 posted 05-06-2017 06:01 PM

if im not mistaken, thermal bridging has been a known problem in wood construction for some time?


Unless the wood is very thick it s insulative value is very low and even 12” thick you re talking about and R6 0r R7. For what you want wood is not the best material for the job.

- a1Jim


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patcollins

1605 posts in 2704 days


#14 posted 05-06-2017 06:23 PM

Wood is sort of a medium insulator, it is tiny air pockets in material that make it an insulator, think fiberglass batt insulation and styrofoam.

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