I've been on a pig kick the past six months or do, and had been wanting to make a balsa board. Bill Thrailkill reminded me that General Veneer still sold Balsa, and it's actually only about 30 min from me here in LA.
So, with some recent free time I ran over there and ended up buying the remnants of a broken bundle of 10' 2x4 balsa sticks, as I hadn't cleared the expenditure to buy a full bundle. It gave me about 14" width of what would become my board.
For the rest of the board I bought redwood 2x4's, and tried to pick them for light weight as best I could. My best pieces were nearly as light as my heaviest balsa.
I sorted them by weight - I'd read that Phil Edwards always put the hesvy stuff on the outside so I did the same.
I used a rocker template from my 1956 Velzy & Jacobs squaretail balsa pig - this worked well as the board was also clearly made to fit inside a 3.5" rocker dimension matching my lumber.
For my outline, I used the template from my 9'0 Harold Iggy Weber pig - it's an early one with pronounced hips and narrow nose, and I really like how it's worked on other boards. I stretched it a bit, it came to 9'2 even after changing the template to a wide-ish squaretail from the original pin.
Rocker I cut out with a skil saw, then I spot glued and clamped it all together for a rough shape. My balsa kept trying to let go so I actually kept a clamp or two on most of the time, and just clamped from the bottom so shaping was not made difficult.
I was surprised how nice the wood was to shape. The planer cut it very predictably, and the various handplanes I have from my grandfathers worked much of the time in place of a surform.
After shaping, I popped the sticks apart, drew my chambers, overlapping stick to stick, with about 1/2" thickness, maybe a bit less, remaining.
After cutting chambers, I glued up the two halves of the board, then filled with sprayfoam to hopefully avoid the need for a vent. Then glued and clamed together.
Glass was a standard triple six, Volan maybe in the future when my skills warrant it.
I did a little paint pull on the logo as a nod to Jeffery Meyer, who took me under his wing as an airbrusher apprentice for a couple summers in high school.
Fin is African Mahogany in a reverse D shape from a template given to me by Bill T.
I forgot to weigh the uncut pile of wood, but I'd guess 100lbs or so.
Initial weight after rocker cut: 74.4 lbs
After rough shape before chambers: 42lbs
After chambering before foam: 26.4 lbs
Chambered plus foam: 28.4
Final glassed weight: 34.6lbs
Got the board in the water last weekend, and it rides like a balsa pig! Easy to walk with all that weight, but easy to turn and easy to trim. A fun board! My back foot toes felt like I'd been doing jumping jacks after a full session, but that's more me getting old than anything! Hah!
My wife got there at the end of the session but it was dying by then. She got a few photos of the board trimming. All in all, I'm happy with it!
Next board I'll be trying for all balsa to push the weight down a bit more. Josh Martin was kind enough to offer some tips and suggested 20-30lbs is the sweet spot. I think with all balsa that should be doable.