G'day from Melbourne, Australia!
I'm still a beginner surfer (and soon to be shaper) exclusively surfing small sometimes mushy beach breaks (for now) just having fun. Smashing it in on the longboard, and tried someones mini mal and had fun on that too. After doing some research Im thinking a midlength egg is a good progression for me and a fine first build. Love my DIY so am really looking forward to this project.
Have landed on this:
7' 6" egg (blendingcurves egg c).
2" 9/16 thick.
1" 11/16 tail rocker.
3" 5/16 nose rocker.
1/4" Marine Ply Stringer
48L give or take.
Epoxy with a single layer of 6oz eglass all over.
5 fin box FCS Fusion set up so I can experiment (yes, FCS Fusion because of reasons).
Gore Vent (glass in).
Glass in leash plug.
And for extra context, I'm 178cm & 63kg (5ft 10in & 137lbs). Tall-ish and skinny.
I have been feverishly reading through the archives and thought I was ready to build, so have started (and now basically finished) acquiring supplies. I was just going to go for it without signing up here. But now Im second guessing myself...a lot. The design. The process. The supplies. You name it. I think, in a way, I've read too much. Too many competing opinions. There is 10 ways to get the same result. Etc. Y'all know how it is. Anyways...where to start?
So, the epoxy resin I'm going with comes in three different formulations. I went with the slow stuff (up to 30 mins) as I thought it would give me ample time to lam without feeling rushed. But now am wondering if I should have gone the medium one as I'm now a little worried about the filler coat...and all the coats. From what Ive read, one wants the filler coat to kick a little quicker so it grabs sooner and stays thicker, and reduces chaces of runs or the like. Is there a different way I should approach any of the coats with the slow stuff I've got, or is it not really going to matter? Could I glass in slightly cooler temps so the epoxy is a little more viscous? That's probably not a thing lol. Also, I bought the cheapest resin I could find and that may have been a mistake. Figured its the way to go for a first build but might have made it harder for myself. I found some posts from like 5 years ago badmouthing the brand I went with. You get what you pay for, ey. Haha. Hopefully doesnt come back to bite me. And FYI, its Trojan. Apparently its just not the best, and has a tendency to blush. Time will tell. Any more recent experiences?
Im also wondering about my choice of glassing schedule. I chose a single layer 6oz all over because I figured Im pretty light, I'm not going to be surfing big powerful waves, and even if it doesn't last as long as doing a 6+4 on the deck, well, I'm not out there every day or anything so figured it should last long enough. Am second guessing myself now. Thoughts?
I'll be sealing the EPS with microspheres and epoxy. How should I apply it? With a squeegee? Gloved hands in a manner reminiscent of that scene from Ghost? Lol. Make it thinner and paint it on? Am not really sure. Also, do I need to get it perfectly smooth during application, or, as I assume, I can just sand it a bit before lam?
Am also going to be painting the blank. Not the whole board, but about max 1/4 of the board on the tail end on the deck and bottom with three colours. Now I get it that its probably not wise to paint my first board as its just another layer of unneeded complication...but Im doing it anyway. Was originally going to tint the resin but decided against that after reading around. So Im planing on using water based acrylics (cheap stuff for kids?), watering it down some, and using an air spray gun and taping off. Sound legit?
Also regarding painting the blank. A lot of people use spakle (for some reason. Even someone who has never shaped a board can see that spakle is a bad idea). Obviously spakle is opaque so one would paint on top of the spackle in that situation. But I'll be using epoxy and microspheres. I assume its the same? Paint on top? Do I need to let it fully cure before painting? If so, thats a bummer. As I understand it if you lam before sealer coat had cured then they will chemically bond togther. Unless I paint under the epoxy microsphere sealer coat?
Are there any alternatives to rice paper for logo printing? Because I cant seem to find any rice paper in small quantities. I need one A4 sheet or less but can only seem to find it in large quantities like 30 biiiig sheets, 10m roll, etc. I dont want to have to pay $55 only to use such a tiny amount. If there are no alternatives: What weight rice paper should I be getting to print a logo onto? I'm seeing 32gsm and 60gsm. Thinner the better I presume? And what are the properties that make rice paper the go to for logo printing? Is it just that it goes clear and allows the epoxy to penetrate? And I assume everyone uses inkjet printers because the thin rice paper doesnt handle the laser/heat well in a laser printer? Or is it that the toner doesnt deal with the epoxy well? I imagine that a large dark area printed at a high dpi on the laser would perhaps not let the epoxy through well enough since its basically laying down a contiguous layer of plastic. I dont know. Just curious. The logo is just a bit of fun, nothing serious so if I cant get rice paper its no biggy.
I'm also second guessing the decision to go with 100% glass in plugs (vent, leash, and fins...7 plugs total). I think its only going to complicate the glassing process which probably isnt a good idea for a first board. I should just be worried about the glassing itself, but now Im worried about getting it all sitting flush and not tenting around the ramp parts of the plugs (esp the fin and leash plugs). I've read that some people make relief cuts around those parts. So how would I go about it on the Fusion plugs, for instance? Wet it all out, get it pushed down a bit and then make a slice over one of the slots, and fully push down? Would that do it?
And any thoughts on the nose and tail rocker for the outline I've chosen? Thats 1" 11/16 tail rocker and 3" 5/16 nose rocker on the blending curves egg c outline. How do you think it'll go considering the information I've given? I know 3" 5/16 is low but I'm trying to keep it within a 100mm block of foam I've got to work with without gluing extra on the nose or tail...unless I should?
Oh, and the reason I went the FCS Fusion sytem is because I wanted to make a template myself since paying $150AUD+ for some acrylic sheet and a router bit seems a bit steep...just a bit. And the Fusion are easier for me to copy the shape of as I have remarkably atrocious CAD skills. The Fusion is basically just 2 circles joined in the middle with circle cutouts. Easy. Getting the shape of the newer ones wasnt going to be easy for me. Granted I probably could have traced em and done it by hand...as tedious as it may have been. But I'd rather just design it real quick and then bang it out on the CNC router and have it done flawlessly in 3 mins. And it worked out like a charm...they fit perfectly...all the way around (tested in some scrap foam). Another reason is also that I could get the Fusions a few dollars cheaper. So yeah...Im stingy too. Haha. Im not 100% on the layout for the 5 fin setup so far either, but I'll deal with that when I get there.
Sorry if that was waaaay way too much for a first post. Haha. I get a bit carried away. And I've got plenty more...I had to stop myself...but that can wait until later.