Friday, January 13, 2012

5ft 4" x 23" x 3" bagged Simmons

I started with one of my foam boards that I have designed in AKU Shaper and took 7mm off the thickness and 20mm off the rails all round. This was then cut from a hard Core Fusion EPS blank.
After sanding the blank I glued a 3mm Paulownia rail band / parabolic stringer round the outside of the blank.

The stringer is there to hold the rocker in the board and to aid in some following processes. It also seals the blank on one face.After the glue has gone off I trimmed the timber down to the blank and shaped it to the foil of the blank as well.
The polyurethane glue is spread over the foam blank and I sprayed a mist of water on the timber as the glue goes off with moisture.The 4mm deck and 3mm bottom skins are cut to approx 5mm oversize all round , taped together and placed in the bag. The glue has a 30 minute working time , so plenty of time to set things up.
A piece of shade cloth give the air some space to be sucked out without sucking straight onto the wooden.
The glues takes 2 hours to go off so the pump is left on for that time.It pulls down very well and very evenly. Best to gather up the excess bag on one side prior to pumping the air out. That way the bag is tight to the board on the edges and when the air comes out it pulls straight down on the skins rather than being able to get sucked in between the skins and rail bands. Which can happen. The masking tape also helps to keep it out during this time.
The when it is all set , slide it out of the bag and trim the excess 5mm all round. This is also where the parabolic stringer comes in handy. Make sure to keep the face square as this is important.
There are 6 x 3mm laminates to make up the nose as it is easier to bend these thinner strips , although you may be able to steam or heat them to make it easier. I have not tried that yet.
All 6 laminates on and then trimmed with the Japanese saw at a slight angle which will help hold or key the next rail bands in position. I have also rough trimmed them down to the deck and bottom skins.
Not a big mess yet.
3 x 6mm thick rail bands glued on and tail block laminated as well.
Here I have planned the rail bands down to the foil of the board prior to rough shaping the rails. So the outer edge of the rail band is still square at this point.
I used a small hand plane to bring the rails down rather than the electric planner just to get more feeling for the wood and what was happening. I felt better doing it this way . A bit slower and hard work but you only get one shot at this.
All shaped and leash plug epoxied in.

I used Futures fin boxes and took extra foam out right through to the deck timber to key it all together as there is no glass over the boxes as you would do in a glass board.

These are the new Rasta Bamboo quad set from Futures Fins.

I have finished the board with 2 coats on Lanotec which is lanolin or the waterproof oil / grease from sheep's wool. It is not to waterproof the wood but to condition it in the first instance.
What I have tried to achieve here is a simple way of making a wooden board with less time , materials , weight and cost involve. Not necessarily a greener board in any way , but it is probably a long way towards that as well. My theory is that the materials used are far more compatible flex wise so that if they need to move they will all go together. Where as if you were to use resin whether epoxy or urethane which is hard and not as compatible flex wise. So it may be more likely to come away from the foam as it is the softer material. The other thing is the Paulownia , the Polyurathane glue and the Styrene blank are all waterproof. The proof will be in pudding as they say when she gets waxed up and surfed. It feels good and the weight is great . I will keep you posted.

Well my good friend Johnny T took the little Simo out this morning at The Alley and had a ball. Some late take offs and some speedy little sections saw him slashing the face all the way down the line. One bonus is that he didn't need wax as the deck was not slippery at all. Paddles well and seems to be no problems yet.