Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Corky Boogey Board

Namaste Corksters, 

I've always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with cork. On many occasion it has been my nemesis, standing between me and the delectable contents of many a bottle of wine. Smugly standing guard over a dry and chalky Cab Sav or Spicey Shiraz, giving me the Clint Eastwood stink eye. Snarling that intimidating Dirty Harry snarl. 

On the upside, cork has some really cool properties that make it an ideal material for surf craft building. It's light, buoyant and flexible. It also rhymes with pork which is a funny word. Almost as funny as gonad. 

There are a few board builders out there already using cork on their surfboards like Tom Wegener and Felipe Siebert. So feeling inspired, I wanted to have a crack at using it on one of my boards. I often come across discarded and broken boogey boards and I like the idea of being able to re-purpose or recycle them to give them a new lease of life. So I rescued the foam core of an old damaged boogey board I had found and set about giving it a make over.

I glued up a crack across the centre of the foam using polyurethane glue, vacuum bagged and glued a 5 mm paulownia skin on the base, and vac-bagged and glued cork rails and a cork deck; finished with a coat of epoxy resin.

I was surprised at how easy it was to work with cork. It sands easily and the finish is great.

The original foam core with a glued crack.

The paulownia bottom skin.

Vacuum bagging and gluing the bottom skin. The ply on the top is there to keep the shape of the foam while the glue on the bottom skin is curing.

Out of the vacuum bag.

Gluing on the cork rails and top. I did this in two stages.

The finished board after a coat of epoxy.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

I sent a couple of "fin kits" to Lance at Woolgoolga. He's glassed them and finished them off, ready for a test run on two of his boards.

Some feedback from Lance - "Had both fins for a surf now, both great, the 9" is rock solid, turns nice, holds in nicely on nose rides, the other one feels great fast, turns great, it did slip out on a couple of nose rides but to be fair the waves did hollow out, another nose ride held in good, the wave wasn't quite so hollow, all round, great fins".

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Namaste Woodies. This is my latest creation. A 9'6" version of the elliptical board I made for Mike. It's called the "Big Dog". Dimensions are 9'6" x 23 3/4" x 3 1/4". A nice flat rocker for easy take offs and awesome wave catch-ability and a tight little elliptical tail for easy turning. I took this board out for a test run and was so stoked at how it surfed. Caught heaps of waves and had a fun session. This board turns on a freckle.

 Tasmanian Oak Fin.

 Blending the 5 mm side rail strips with the 2 mm end rail strips.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Dylan White's Addiction - Charity Boards

Namaste Woodies. This is Dylan. Dylan is addicted to making wooden surfboards. Dylan blames me for his addiction. I get blamed for a lot of stuff particularly by Mrs. Wood Buddha. I get blamed for not listening to Mrs. Wood Buddha, losing my keys by putting them in my jacket pocket and forgetting I put them there, forgetting to wash up the dishes, etc. etc. You get my drift. I'm sure I'd get blamed for whole lot of other stuff too...like why shops sell scissors in that impossible to open plastic packaging or world hunger cause I eat too much but that's mainly because I eat my feelings. Hmmm bacon!

Back on topic. Dylan stumbled upon my blog, designed his first board and built it over a period of a couple of months. His second board was an 8'2" made from Bass Wood and Walnut. The board was donated at a fundraiser to the St. Balderick Foundation for childhood cancer research and was sold for US$2500. It was purchased by a guy who is involved with the LA Kings Ice Hockey team. He wanted to donate the board (again) to a charity event that the Kings were hosting. He had the entire team sign the board complete with a 50th anniversary Kings logo and the board sold for US$10,000 with all the proceeds going to the Childrens' Hospital of LA. A sterling effort and a great cause.

Since then Dylan has built a 9' performance tri-fin, a 10' long board and another 10 footer that he hopes to keep as his own personal day to day board. Now if that's not an addiction I don't know what is.

Dylan's goal is to raise US$100,000 in charitable donations by building and placing boards in the appropriate places where they have the best chance of making this happen.

Good luck Dylan and keep up the good work. May good karma shine upon you.

Danny's First Board

Namaste Woodies.

An email from Danny of Buderim on the Sunshine Coast dropped into my inbox this week. Danny has just completed his first wooden board and I think he's caught the wooden surfboard bug. Building a wooden surfboard is a rewarding and "character building" experience as I can prove by all the holes in my ashram walls from where I've thrown my tools in a temper tanty. It's great to hear from folks like Danny who are inspired to build these types of boards. Keep up the good work.

"I saw your post on building a board for your mate and was instantly possessed to try it myself. I liked the "I" beam idea so I put it to use along with a lot of other techniques you shared. I had the most rewarding and challenging time of my life making it and would to share some pics of the first test at home. Danny"

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Steve Hann's ETC Boards

Namaste Wood Fiends. Recently, at the Byron Bay Surf Festival, I caught up with fellow wooden board builder Steve Hann from Noosa and got the low down on his latest wooden board projects. Steve is shaping under the "etc" label (Epoxy Timber Construction) and is creating some super light and incredibly strong surfboards. He's even managed to test them in some serious Samoan surf. I was blown away at how great these boards are and after some firm persuasion on my part (incessant begging and pleading), Steve kindly agreed to share his build secrets.

The boards have an EPS foam core and composite sandwich combination of Basalt Innegra fabirc, fibreglass and paulownia timber deck skins. They are light, flexible and incredibly strong. Even after some heavy sessions in double overhead Samoan surf, the boards had no deck compressions or damage.

Read on for the full details on how these little beauties are made.

1. The board is hot-wired from a large block of foam.

Steve cuts his blanks from a solid block of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam using a custom made hotwire cutter. He uses plywood profile templates and outline templates designed in AKU Shaper and Hollow Broad Template Maker to guide the cutter. This ensures a clean and accurate blank as a starting point for all his boards.

Using a second custom made hotwire cutter, he then cuts 10 and 15 degree rail band chamfers on the deck. The outlines for the rail band cuts are made by importing sections from AKU Shaper into Autocad and drawing 10 and 15 degree lines on them. The cuts are accurate and the rails only need a light sand with (60 - 80 grit) to blend the curves. Hotwire cutting is clean and minimises the amount of sanding required to shape the board.


 The templates.

The completed foam core, Ready for glassing.

2. The bottom of the board is glassed.

The bottom of the board is glassed with a single layer of Basalt Innegra 5oz cloth and epoxy resin including a 25 - 30 mm lap around the top of the rails onto the deck. Steve uses Surfset Flex acrylic epoxy resin from Sanded which has a 4 hour pot life allowing plenty of time to lay up the glass. The Basalt Innegra cloth is strong, light and flexible and is used extensively in the aerospace industry. It is quite textured so an additional layer of 4oz cloth can be layered over the top of it. This eliminates the need for a fairly thick hot and gloss coat to fill it in but does add to the final weight of the board. Tints can also be added. The deck is taped and the lap is trimmed while the resin is tack free but not fully cured.

3. The timber deck skin is vacuum bagged onto the deck.

The timber deck skin is glassed (underneath) and vacuum bagged onto the top of the board, overlapping the Basalt Inenegra rail lap. Steve uses a 4oz fibreglass cloth cut just inside the edge of the paulownia deck. The fibreglass is epoxied to the bottom side of the timber skin and then the timber skin is flipped over, and taped to board. The whole board is inserted into the vacuum bag, sealed, connected to the vacuum pump and the air removed. The thickness of the timber deck skin is approximately 1 mm – 2 mm.

4. The deck is glassed.

The board is removed from the vacuum bag after the epoxy has cured, the deck is sanded and a layer of 4oz glass is epoxied over the top of the board. The fibre glass is cut to the outline of the board allowing a 25 - 30 mm lap past the edge of the timber.

5. The fin boxes are installed.

6. A hotcoat is applied top and bottom with an overlap on the rails.

7. The hot coat is sanded, and a gloss coat is applied. The sanding at this stage is fairly critical. The better the sand job, the better the final gloss coat will turn out.

8. Final sanding then ready to surf. Steve starts at 240 grit wet and dry sandpaper and works his way up to finer grades from there.

Some more shots of Steve's other creations.