Proofgrade weather-ability

Anyone have any experience with PG acrylic (or wood) in the elements? My kids want to make gaudy birdhouses but I wasn’t sure what would hold up best.

(Pacific NW - all the rain, no direct sunlight at the proposed birdhouse site)


I doubt that the PG plywood is going to hold up to external elements. I’m not sure if the acrylic is UV rated, but worst case scenario for that would probably be discoloration. I would imagine the PG hardwoods would hold up as long as they were properly finished, and kept off of the ground.

1 Like

The middle layer of the pg ply is mdf. Interior MDF, afaik. I’d go with acrylic, or maybe some non-PG wood with lots of layers of paint…

1 Like

For outdoor use I’d use Baltic birch ply and finish with exterior paint.


As I recall @Jules used something made from :proofgrade:-ply by her sink for a while. It did better than anybody expected. I also recall reading here you can get a UV spray or maybe a film for acrylic. Even without direct sunlight, there are plenty of UV rays out there.

Cover anything in enough spar finish and it’ll be weatherproof.


No, the plywood will not hold up indefinitely to the elements unless it is sealed/painted.
(The brush holder eventually started to swell where the wet sponge sat.) :worried:


All depends how long they expect them to last, and if they’ll be exposed (e.g. in the yard) or have some protection (e.g. on a porch).

As markevans36301 suggested, baltic birch–but good primer first before paint.

And acrylic good for rain resistance, but horrible if you really want birds to use it! (Or at least the front w/ the hole should be wood, maybe acrylic for the roof?).

I’d suggest exterior or marine grade ply, but likely the glues used would not be good to go thru being lasered… cedar ideal, but likely would be a fire hazard in the GF… or maybe teak? IPE is great in rain, but may to too dense for the GF to cut thru!


Lacquer works well for wooden things outside, but no matter what used, it will weather and eventually fail unless refurbished regularly.

TIP: Do not put lacquer on the acrylic. Since it does not absorb any of it, there is a nasty looking film left on the item. (grabbed the wrong can once - ahem).

1 Like

Thanks. It would never cross my mind to use plywood (although I’m curious how the laser scorching would affect the MDF absorption rate).

But to reiterate, does anyone have experience with PG acrylic in an outdoor use?

Thanks for all the input

Acrylic is pretty much weather-proof. If it’s good enough for airplane canopies, I’d think it’s probably hardy enough to handle sitting out in the sun / rain.


Not a fire hazard. I use the cedar grilling planks for all sorts of projects (and it smells good!). You can get packs of 10 at HD.


Thanks for correcting me & having already used–another material I can experiment with, and may be what I need to add some details to my kitchen porch project!

1 Like

You should use leather and build a teepee! A teepee for birds. That sounds pretty guady, yeah?

Leather seems pretty weather-proof when it’s on the cow, at least. Post-cow mileage may vary.


Can I give you a “my favorite Forger” badge? Wait … I’ll go make one!

Seriously, reading this made me curious so I went and read some of your other posts. I’m gonna start a fan club. (You had me at “infringey”!)


Hah! You’re easily won.

Adding -y to words inappropriately is a sickness. Too much Buffy the Vampire Slayer in my formative years, I think.


Ah, Buffy.

Come to think of it, I didn’t see any Joss Whedon projects in my “nerd off” thread. I wonder if there are any out there?

Pretty sure I’ve seen some Firefly stuff in the forums. :slight_smile:


Good point! I stand corrected.

1 Like

(I’m using a 1/4” thick clear extruded acrylic sheet to block off the entrance from my broken rooftop swamp cooler to the attic ducts below. 2 years and the Phoenix heat/sun haven’t melted nor warped it!)


i have some coasters and Serenity decals i’ve done… Just not in the GlowForge :joy: