Gary Young (Hawaii) was doing bamboo veneers with (if I recall correctly) a plastic shrink-wrap type exterior shell over them.
The pics below are from his Insta. He apparently hasn't added any new pics in the last 3 years. This board was apparently snapped in heavy conditions in the Bay area. It looks like a wood veneer over XPS.
I tried it and got a big mess. The type of plastic film is crutial. I couldn't find the video but I think Lemat is right about Jimmy Lewis and SUP construction. I would go the extra cost and use release ply, lam as usual and then put on the ply with a lot of tape underneath to hold it tightly to the board while curing. When I have vacuum bagged boards I put it on and you can see the resin come out. Many times I thought I shouldn't even bother with the other steps in the bagging process.
I have wetbagged before and that works. If you run the lamination slightly wet and just use a raw bag with no wrinkles in it you can get a no-sand finish. No peel ply or breather on the wet side so the only consumable is the bag itself.
The way I did it was run the breather and the vacuum fitting on the dry side and pull the bag tight over the wet side, including wrapping the rails. I used masking tape to tape the corners down so those came out perfectly, too. The trick is to pull the board out of the bag after the resin has gotten to the B stage but before it fully hardens. Then pull the tape off the corners, cut the cutlaps if that's what you're doing and allow the resin to completely harden.
But as I understand it the OP was trying to get away from fiberglass altogether.
The release ply will hold down lighter "floating" alternative cloth and remove some excess resin. If you don't have a vacuum setup it will work to get a slightly lighter laminate.
GDaddy---Yes and we have side tracked and hijacked a bit; but I appreciate your comments and explanation. I have always figured it could work that way and remember others doing likewise. Mahalo, Lowel
That which can be assorted without evidence was read in an illegal magazine.
These are great methods that I'm eager to try, can anyone link to the sorts of bags used OR the plastic film used to get the wrap tight?
For rawbagging I was using the cheap stuff. Use once or twice then toss it. I'm not using peel ply or breather on the wet side and I'm not running my vacuum on the wet side, so it's literally just the bag.
I was afraid to even attempt bagging a wetlam until I ran across a Q&A thread with Greg Loerh where he was talking about having tried every combination of bag+release+breather and so on, and they eventually decided that raw bagging it just worked as well *for surfboards* as any of the other vacuum bag techniques and was quicker and simpler to set up to boot. So I figured I'd experiment with it 'cause I've got more time than common sense. And as it turns out it worked.
I started off using a more elaborate vacuum rig, but I later caught am "Instructables" vid on Youtube about converting an aquarium pump to swallow instead of spit so I tried that out, and it worked. You don't want to run a high pressure vacuum on a wetlam anyway. Use the plastic lid off a 1$ condiment squeeze bottle (clip that cap, trim the nipple, grind the bottom down a little so it lays flatter at the base, insert through the bag from the inside) and seal with some sticky tapeon both sides of the bag.
I used this rig to vacuum veneers onto blanks so it'll pull a steady 10# all day long and you won't even be able to hear it unless you're within 5ft or so. Which if you've ever run a real vacuum rig you'd know that "nearly silent" is really saying something.
Strictly ghetto, my friends. What's fine for a garage hack like me would be a complete waste of time for a shop doing any volume. But as far as cheap and simple goes I don't see how you could beat this setup. Unless you stick with a good hand lam, which with normal layups is hard to beat in any case.
Ohhhhkaaay, a few things-
First off, nylon, hemp, recycled silk undies, whatever, what you want to be thinking about is how much these materials will elongate under a given tension. As was mentioned, you would need a helluva flexible resin to make it work, otherwise the resin fails while the fiber is still stretching to it's ultimate strength.
Carbon fiber, glass fiber, aramids ( Kevlar and friends) tend to initially resist elongation, more than the resin will. Which makes them the fibers usually chosen for laminates that need to be fairly stiff, not deform a lot and come back after forces act on them, such as surfboards, fishing rods, airplane wings and what have you.
Now, vacuum tech. There's a lot of it. See Fibeglass Supply on that subject and go from there. Vacuum infusion, vacuum lamination, it's cool stuff. It's the method of choice for a lamination/composite structure that more or less reliably has the most strength for the least weight. The best resin/reinforcement ratios, and you can meter it precisely.And they can turn out a helluva nice surface finish.
If I remember right, the strongest fiberglass/polyester resin lamination is around 40-50% resin to 50-60% glass by weight, which probably varies with the cloth weave and other factors. The best hand laminations are more along the lines of 55-60% resin to 40-45% glass.
Neato. The thing is, do you need to go buying the whole vac setup, and you can easily drop several hundred bucks on a basic rig and multiples of that for higher end? You're not, for instance, building wings for Airbus. With those, a few percentage points on weight translate into a lot of fuel use, engine wear, structural fatigue, performance and so forth. If you were building thousands of surfboards to a fixed shape, modern popouts let's say, with very unskilled cheap labor at Pacific Rim Laminates Ltd. ( 206 Jungle Clearing, West Nowhere, Malaysia) it would be worth it for the nice surface even with labor by some poor devil that's being paid 67 1/2 cents a day. It's worth it to them.
A buddy of mine was building very high tech RC gliders that way too. But he was fascinated by it all and something of a mad genius. As well as being one of the finest craftsmen I have known in my long and checkered career. He was willing to go to that extent to get the best possible results. Aneurysm got him a couple years back, he's missed, he is. Crazy bastard.
You're building hand shaped surfboards one at a time. For fun. There's a learning curve to vacuum tech too, somewhat steeper than hand lamination. Some guys here have been willing to go through all that, spend the money, deal with the failed attempts, to get the best they can possibly get. If you are too, by all means, keep us posted on your progress. The world needs more crazy bastards like my mad genius buddy, if it wasn't for them we'd still be living in caves chasing our lunch with stone-tipped spears and crude wooden clubs.
hope that's of use
FYI. There is a guy in my area of Northern CA, who is building very legit eco-friendly boards under the "Iconoclast" label, using an algae based foam, natural plant resins and a flax/basalt fabric.
Check out this link: https://www.hmbreview.com/sports/eco-warrior-sets-line-toward-sustainabi...