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Number 10

I needed a faster shape for the near shore breakers and to quickly get through the surf. Number #10 has replaced #7. The extra inch of width and concave in the tail section made it quicker to plane. I had debated whether to vacuum bag on a Divinycell bottom and foot heal area, but determined that is would not reduce much weight and would add at least a hundred dollars to the board cost. 

Paint the blank

I started with a shaped blank. Tape was applied to the stringers and outer edges.  I like to paint my blanks simple with a two tone color that fades into each other in the middle.  The blank is taped so the rails remain white.  The reason I do this is because the rails are the most likely place that damage will occur and it is easier to fix it if the rails remain white. The was a Billy Board idea.  I have used both air-less and air paint spray guns.  The gun I like best is the hobby air spray gun. With the airless spray gun, I have to thin the paint more than I would like.  When you mix the paint and water together only add enough water to get the consistency needed.  If you add too much water it will take more over sprays and there is a better chance of non-consistent color(faded areas).


Painting Tips

Tip 1: You do not want to get the paint too thick on the blank, otherwise resin will not soak all the way through to the foam for binding.

Tip 2: Use masking paper over newspaper, so that the paint will not soak through.

Tip 3: Use good quality automotive masking tape or be prepared for tape glue to be left on the board.

Tip 4: For good clean curves use a thin tape 1/4" or less, then tape over with wider tape.

Glass the bottom

I use two layers of  of 6 ounce (oz/yd2 * 33.9057 = g/m2)  S glass on the bottom and cut it so that the first layer overlays past the edge of rail by about 2 inches.  The second layer overlaps the first by about 2 inches.  You will need to cut relief points at the nose and tail.

I like to tape the top of  board to later cut the glass edge with a razor blade. Through years of experimentation, I have found that using 3/4" - 1" tape on the deck and with 4" wide tape on top of that provides a good edge to cut.  This way the resin will not drip on to the deck.

When glassing use small batches of resin, first batch is 20 ounce for the soak in with the next batches being 16 ounce or less.  (1 ounce = 28.4 grams)


Glassing Tips

Tip 5: Big batches of reins will set up quicker that you think.  Follow the manufacturers catalyst levels recommendation, if you use less than recommended levels of catalyst you risk the chance of the resin not setting up or being a soft set.  Resin does have a shelf life. If it is over a few months old, test it first.

Pull out excess resin, but not to the point of getting dry spots.  Concave areas will have bigger tendency of getting dry spots. If you see a dry spot try working resin into the area.

Tip 6: If you just glassed a ripply mess, do not worry.  As long as the resin has not fully hardened you can use a sureform to the remove the rippled glass and excess resin. This does make a mess of the sureform blade.  I invented this technique after I screwed up once.  Soak the blade in Acetone to remove resin. The other method of removing the ripples is after a thick sanding coat, then sand smooth.

The Top Glass

The top of blank is layered with two 6 ounce and one 4 ounce layers for fiberglass.  I overlap the last layer (4oz) on to the bottom of the board. As the layers cure keep an eye on the overlaying glass so that it will not detach from bottom edge. Remove excess resin.

Do not worry too much about rippling in the glass for the first board. In another process, hot coating(sanding)you should be able to sand out many flaws.


I break from the traditional methods of the board building at this point and will do the hot coating  process after the inserts and boxes are installed.  See the Maui Boardbuilding and Repairs book for the traditional method.  It is the best $10 you will spent for board building knowledge.  I wish I had that reference when I started building boards.

Install Fin Box.

I try to chose blanks with double stringers so I could place the fin box between the stringers. With the fin box, I also install oak woodies (Home Base) on each side of stringers to further reinforce the box.

You drawn on the board with a soft yet sharp pencil. I like mechanical pencils for doing this.  The woodies I make extend at least 1" in of front and back of the fin box and at least a " inch below the fin box. An inch equals 2.54 cm.

When routing out the woodies on a thinner board the router could go through the top of tail at the rear.  If this happens shape the woody to fit the routed slot and top contour of board.  Tape the fin box off.

I install one layer of 4 ounce in the woodies because the slots are tight. The fin box layering will depend upon how wide it is between the stringers.  In the past, I have used between two to six layers of 6 ounce glass. If you use more that two layers of glass check the box depth.  You will not want to be grinding too much off the bottom of the box. It is better to route the box deeper to accommodate the extra glass. The more you grind off the bottom of the box the weaker the connection will be.

When I install the box, I like to use a pointer fin for better straightening reference than a wave fin. Remove the deck taping right after it has started gelling. Leave the fin straightening tape for at least two hours after gelling. Remove excess fiberglass with razor blade. The next day, you will carefully grind the woodies and fin box flush. As I stated before,  the process I use is different from traditional methods. Most builders would have hot coated the board first. This will help keep the grindings out of the gummy laminating resin and produce a cleaner board

Fin2 Fin3

Install Mast Box and Inserts.

 I like the multihole inserts for footstrap maneuverability.

InsetTape Insertglass

With all boxes and inserts installed, now grind them flush.
Glass over the fin box with two layers of 4 ounce glass.
Glass over the inserts and mast box with extra reinforcement for the heal areas.


Hot Coat the Top and Bottom.

If the area is smoothly glassed you can go thinner, otherwise go thick so you can sand out imperfections. I have noticed at glassing factories they use thick hot coats. Hot coat the top first then the bottom. You see tape on the bottom hot coat picture to concentrate extra resin at the rail for a cleaner sanded of water release edge.

Tip: Pull on the paint brush hairs before use to reduce there chance of brush hair incorporation into the sanding coat.

To sand the board I use a mixture tools an 8" power sander, 6" dual action sander, a sanding block and a flexible sanding pad.  Do not over sand .  Keep the water release edge from rounding off.


Bottom Gloss Coat.

Tape of the area that will be getting the textured deck. Mix gloss coat and catalyst, pour onto board.  Move the resin with a painting action of a good finishing brush. All the areas should be covered evenly with resin. Gloss Coat will take at least 3 times or more longer than laminating resin to set. Re-brush areas that ripple or drip.  Over brushing can cause ripples.  When gloss coating the air should be still.  Remove tape after gelling.  After the board has set for a day wet/dry sand with 320/400/600 sand paper grits.  You can also polish after sanding.


Texturing Top of Deck

I lightly wipe the top of deck clean with Acetone to remove dust and polish. Tape off the deck.

Mix up the Gloss Coat Resin and thinly roll it on to the deck of board.  At this point you can use three different substances for texturing.  Salt or sugar will leave imprint in the resin and will washout with water to provide a textured surface.  Acrylic Dust (my favorite) embeds in the resin to provides the textured surface.


Almost there!  Route out and file the boxes.  Inserts are drilled or counter sinked depending upon inserts. Let the board cure for about two weeks after finish lamination.  Add fin, footstraps and pads. Enjoy!!

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