Derekm, I prefer to work in SI units too. Unfortunately, here in America, we’re still stuck in some old (English?) ways of doing things :-D Love the Brits, just not the British units!
Windfall, yes there is only lauan on the inside of the nucs. The outside surface is pure foam. I paint them with a latex primer (I’ve used ACEs and 1-2-3 Bullseye, both work fine) then top coat with semi gloss latex, 2 coats. You do have to paint the low density foam if you want it to last. The UV rays from the Sun quickly turn the stuff to dust without paint. If you really want to be impressed with how Foam can be worked, check out some of the videos on Youtube about making Halloween cemetery markers. Just amazing what those folks can turn foam into.
Bee-Nuts, I am hoping to add some comments and dimensions to the photos on my photobucket link, but haven’t gotten to it yet. If I was going to build new ones, I might first laminate the foam to the wood and then simply cut out “sides” and cut out “ends”, butt joint, and glue with a polyurethane glue (ie gorilla glue). That would certainly be a strong enough joint for a nuc.
However my original assembly process was:
1.) cut sides out of lauan
2.) cut ends out of ¾” stock lumber.
3.) cut frame rests into ¾” stock ends.
4.) Butt joint and glue the lauan sides to the ¾” stock ends. I air stapled the lauan to the ¾” ends.
5.) Let glue dry.
6.) Cut foam on the table saw to the same height as your wood core. (i.e. deep or medium height).
7.) Chop the foam slices to the length you want to cover the sides and ends of your inner wood core.
8.) I used Polyurethane glue (like Gorilla glue) and glued the foam to the inner wood core. You need to clamp the foam in place until it dries since the PU glue will expand/move the joints if you don’t. The clamping part is the real pain in the butt part of the process. Clamping slows down assembly.
9.) Next I glued and screwed on some ¾” stock vertical boards for pry points (needed if you’re going to super you nucs and want to use the hive tool).
10.) Finally I screwed a ¾” stock horizontal handle on each end into the pry boards on step 9.
I know that isn’t a great description. Hopefully I can do better annotating the photos. Keep in mind you can be creative here and construct these things in a fashion that you might find simpler. I think there probably is a simpler way to construct these things. The lamination first approach seems like a good idea to me. Then it’s simply like making any old nuc, but you’re working with 2” thick boards!