Friday, December 15, 2017

Making what works for me.

When it comes to determining what board to build I have a simple approach.  The first requirement is being a competent surfer.  That is a big barrier for many people.  Once you have a board that you can surf.  Try other boards and find one or two that work for you. 

It makes more sense to me to make a copy of those boards.  That starts with making a full size drawing of the copy board.  Another way is to use a computer program.  Once you have the drawing it's easy to develop the spar and ribs.  The materials you select for the outside skin needs to be as light as you can afford.  Balsa and Paulownia are good choices.

It's vital to save weight and make the board strong.  Some builders glass the inside or do a coating of resin.  I've never done that.  It's more important for me to save weight.  The one thing that will ruin any board is excessive weight.  I try every trick and technique to save weight during construction.

It takes practice to be a good glasser.  This step can make or ruin a board.  It needs to be tight, light and strong.  I use a vent port on all my boards.  It's a simple screw with an electrical grommet.  I haven't found anything better.  With practice your boards will come out very similar to the ones that you copied.  It's a really good feeling when you surf your creation.  Good luck.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

It's been a long time.

We haven't had clean decent surf for over a month.  Today, the waves were small and a nice off shore breeze cleaned it up.  The tide was low and I'm surfing the outside sandbar.  It's the only place it breaks since the bottom was rearranged by the hurricanes.

There were lots of good ones to be had.  The 7' funboard is working well and it took a beating a few times.  It felt really good to get back in the water after such a long time away.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Morning nuggets

I was doing a surf check this morning.  From the parking I was happy to see there were waves.  The tide was really high.  There were a few nuggets out there.  I'm really liking the new funboard.  It has a solid feel without being heavy.  Fun stuff.

The water has cooled down a bit.  Still nice in a spring suit.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Trying out the 7' WL funboard.

Yesterday, we had some surfable waves.  It's been a couple weeks since we've had that.  I paddled out with some friends and had a fun session.  The board works good.  It surfs a little different than the foam one.  This one is much quicker because of the quad set-up.  I really like it.

I'm committed to surfing my wood boards all the time.  The 7' is perfect for the small days and the 6'7" fish is good for anything bigger.  Life is good.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Changing from toxic to natural.

There is a big problem with surfing equipment.  Most surfboards are made out of materials that can not be recycled or that are difficult to recycle.  The other problem is the process to make these boards requires oil based toxic chemicals.

If you have a few minutes check out this video.  Unsustainable

I'm guilty of owning some foam boards.  I've been trying for the last 10 years to build wood boards to replace the foam.  My longboards were fun to surf but, I wouldn't say easy.  The heaviness of them made it more of a challenge.

The shorter boards I built were too heavy also.  Then, I started to use balsa.  That made a world of difference.

Since then I've been using a combination of paulownia and balsa.  The paulownia is in the areas of more stress.

I don't want to be political about foam vs. wood.  For me it's about designing and building a board.  It's my hope that the Ormond by the Sea Wooden Surfboard Gathering will be a place where like minded people can come together for a day or two.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

7' Funboard is done.

I finished it the other day.  I'm happy with the outcome.  The weight came in at 10.8 lbs.  The foam copy board was 10.4 lbs.  It's pretty close when you consider the new board has an extra fin.  I'm really stoked about this one.  Now I just need some waves.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tac and rope the fins.

One of the things I like about the Suncure polyester laminating resin is when it's time to glass-on the fins.  It's easy to tac the fins in place and it sets up fast.  Roping them in is fast and easy also.

Hurricane Irma set everyone back.  I was lucky and didn't have much damage.  Others were not as lucky and some are still without power.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Funboard gets laminated.

My glassing schedule is simple and fast.  The fiberglass is 4 0z. S-2 grade.  The resin is polyester Sun Cure.  It's really easy for me to work with this product.  

Next up is glass on the fins.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

You gotta have fun.

It takes a lot of time and work to build a hollow wood board.  When I started it was a good way for me to escape to the shop.  I hope that doesn't change.

Most of the time I'd rather be surfing with friends.  The most important lesson I've learned from building boards is enjoy the moments.  All of them and with practice your life will get better.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Board is shaped.

It's a pleasure to shape using hand tools.  I do my shoulder cut passes with a block plane and use the little Stanley 12-101 to fair it in from there.  Fun stuff.

The leash plug got installed so I can laminate the bottom.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Ready for rails.

It usually takes a few days for me to get the rail strips ready for shaping.  It's an important process in the build so, I take my time.

I love to build wood surfboards.  Shaping the rails is my favorite part.  It's going to be fun.  I set-up the new and copy boards for a little comparison.

It looks like their about the same.  I'm going to copy the rail profiles of the old one on the new one.  It's best to stay with something that works.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Starting to shape.

All the rail pieces are in place.  This board  gets (3) layers of 1/4" balsa.  The tool I like to use for shaping is a Stanley 12-101.  Really fun little plane.  It works well on paulownia also.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Got skin needs rails.

I cleaned up the bottom and top.  It's ready for a little fine tuning and then rail strips.

The board feels light and strong.