Board #3 - 9'2" longboard

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Rnoll98's picture
Joined: 03/16/2021

Hi all,

Wanted to share a build with the community. This board was inspired by a friend's board that was inspired by a Takayama shape. The board is 9'2" x 22 3/4" x 3". I used a US Blanks 2# EPS blank with a single stringer. Glass schedule is 6+6 on the top and 6 on the bottom. Board was drawn using AKUshaper and cut by a local shop in San Diego. I logged my build steps and posted a time-lapse video of the build. The video missed a few sessions where I forgot to start the camera :) .

The biggest thing I learned this time vs. my other builds was FIN = Fix It Now. If something isn't perfect, don't expect it to get better as you go. Sand it, cut it, smooth it, whatever it is, making the board "perfect" before you start the next step will make each subsequent step way easier. 

Video: 9'2" Longboard Build

Steps (once I got the cut blank from the shop):

Clean ridges
Front concave and other hand shapes
Make blank perfect, no ridges
Vacuum clean
Seal bottom with spackle
Dry

Seal top with spackle
Dry

Sand spackle
Vacuum clean
Wipe w alcohol 
Mark cut lap on deck
Tape cut lap w paper
Cut glass 1x6
Color laminate bottom
Dry partial

Cut laps
Roll laps
Flip
Touch up deck spackle if necessary 

Print logos
Wipe with alcohol
Tape bottom laps
Cut deck glass 2x6
Place deck logos
Mix small batch logo resin
Laminate logos
Mix deck resin
Clear laminate deck
Dry partial

Flip
Cut laps
Roll laps
Dry

Sand
Tape rails
Fill coat 1 top
Dry partial

Flip
Sand laps to smooth
Cut side bite boxes
Install side bite boxes
Dry partial

Tape off fin patch
Cut box patches and fin patch
Lay bottom logos/dims 
Cut patch for logo
Laminate logo and fin patch clear
Dry partial

Cut fin patch laps
Dry

Sand boxes and patch flush
Tape rails and boxes
Fill coat 1 bottom
Dry

Cut center box and test fit
Drill pilot leash hole 1/8”
Widen leash hole w router from deck
Tape off top of hole
Rough up box
Cut 6oz glass to surround box
Tape off around box hole
Wipe box with alcohol 
Fill box hole with black resin
Install box with glass
Dry

Sand box flat
Sand board (make perfect)
Pinline top and bottom
Tape rails
Finish coat top
Dry

Drill 1/8” pilot leash hole through deck
Drill 1/4” leash hole
Countersink leash hole on deck
Clean leash hole in box
Tape fin boxes
Finish coat bottom
Dry

Finish sand board

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Rnoll98's picture
Joined: 03/16/2021

Photo of finished and waxed board

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McDing's picture
Joined: 05/22/2004

Nice job.  And it appears that you took the time needed to do each step properly.  With regard to Spackle;  use a Spackle that will dry as close as possible to your foam blank.  Stay away from Spackle that contains Acrylic.  Little balls of Acrylic will gouge your blank as you sand.  It is also helpful to slightly thin you Spackle.  Use distilled water to thin.  The minerals in "Tap" water will discolor your blank.  Usually leaving it a washed out rust color.  I have heard some say they thin with Acrylic floor and tile sealer like Behr.  I have had good luck with distilled water so have stuck with it.   First one I ever did I used Tap water and it discolored my blank.  I was able to paint the blank a Pastel blue that covered it.  Thin your Spackle to about the thickness of Sour Cream or yogurt.  Use a plastic squeegee to spread it.  You are only concerned with filling cracks and voids between beads.  There may be a scratch or gouge that occurred during shaping.  You can use unthinned Spackle for those.  Just use your finger to apply.  When you sand the Spackle you will find that the thinned Spackle is much easier to sand.  In fact I don't use sandpaper to sand mine. I have a dedicated piece of 220 screen that I use to finish my blanks.  I blow it out once in awhile and don't use it for anything else.  Do as I have described and you'll find the process simpler and will have a better  finished blank.

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That which can be assorted without evidence was read in an illegal magazine.

Honolulu's picture
Joined: 04/28/2004

Well when you list each step it looks a ton of work... and it is, to get it all nicely done.

Props for using what looks like good PPE, especially the moon suit during sanding.  Must not be all that hot wherever you are, that would be heat stroke here in Honolulu.

Suggestion 1:  lam the deck and deck patch at the same time if using clear.  Wetting out a double lam takes a little longer, so be sure you have your cure times in hand.

Suggestion 2:  A clear lam might as well be free lapped onto the other side, to tape it off is a waste of time and tape.

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Rnoll98's picture
Joined: 03/16/2021

Honolulu wrote:

Well when you list each step it looks a ton of work... and it is, to get it all nicely done.

Props for using what looks like good PPE, especially the moon suit during sanding.  Must not be all that hot wherever you are, that would be heat stroke here in Honolulu.

Suggestion 1:  lam the deck and deck patch at the same time if using clear.  Wetting out a double lam takes a little longer, so be sure you have your cure times in hand.

Suggestion 2:  A clear lam might as well be free lapped onto the other side, to tape it off is a waste of time and tape.

Hi there, thanks for the reply. Definitely sweating in the PPE. Having the shop vac on the ground running and venting to outside the bay definitely kept the dust down too. Cleanup was way easier this time. I have questions/replies:

1. I laminated both layers of the deck at the same time, so I think I did what you are suggesting, but want to make sure? This was my first lonboard and the cure time definitely caught me by surprise. I didn't have any major issues but I definitely had to hustle. Never had any need to hurry on my 5'X" short boards.

2. Agreed. I think this was the first time I cut lapped a clear lam (and the first time I did color too). I thought it might make for easier sanding and less lumps if I knew exactly where the cut line was. Not sure if it helped or not but probably kept my amateur power sanding under better control, especially when dealing with color on the bottom. I could see myself impacting the color on the bottom chasing bumps from the free lap with the power sander.

Thanks again!

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McDing's picture
Joined: 05/22/2004

#2.   Yes people sometimes attack their cutlap because of bumps and the result is that the color is sanded out.

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gdaddy's picture
Joined: 10/31/2008

Good job on the board and your process.   

On your next noserider you might consider skipping the EPS and going to a PU blank.  Noseriders are about the glide so a little more weight helps that.  Besides, nobody wants to go through the fire drill just because they got a ding. out in the water.   

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Honolulu's picture
Joined: 04/28/2004

+1 on what gdaddy says above.

With the cam set to compress the time, I didn't notice the second layer of glass going on at the same time, but you did, so good on ya.

I was going to say that if you use sun-cure resin, you'll never get caught by a hot batch, but then noted you're glassing EPS/epoxy.  I dunno if suncure epoxy is available, I've "been away" for a bit.  This does, though, give credence to gdaddy's suggestion to use a PU blank, then you can use suncure resin and never get caught again.  First time I used it was a revelation.  I had recorded catalyst amounts by batch volume, used a syringe to be really careful, then along comes suncure!  Take all the time you want, it will wait until you drag the glassing stand out of the 3/4 closed garage into the street.  And if glassing clear, pour it right from the can to the board, and zero waste!

I was out at Ricebowl (despite the name a pretty serious break) and the guy sitting a short distance away asked if I lived at (location).  Of course I did, how did you know?  I saw the board on the rack in front of your garage.  Turns out the guy drove the City bus which went by ever hour.  Small world.

Freelapping a clear lam is a big advantage b/c you don't have to stick around to do the cut before it sets up so hard it's a big hassle, and a slip of the knife tears the artwork on the blank.  You'll need to trim the glass so that there are no hanging strings, etc.  If you get hanging strings and bumps nevertheless, let it cure and then baste it with quick batch of lam resin to smooth it out.  Most of the baste batch will be sanded away, leaving a smooth surface.

Here's the short and safe approach:  on a board with color on one side only, your first lam is a free lap on the color side, so that lap will be on the clear side.  Baste if needed, then lam the clear side  In the end, if you do a cut line for whatever reason, that's why and where the Man above invented pinlines, for all the work to get 'em right, they set off the boundaries of colored areas nicely.

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Rnoll98's picture
Joined: 03/16/2021

Honolulu wrote:

Here's the short and safe approach:  on a board with color on one side only, your first lam is a free lap on the color side, so that lap will be on the clear side.  Baste if needed, then lam the clear side  In the end, if you do a cut line for whatever reason, that's why and where the Man above invented pinlines, for all the work to get 'em right, they set off the boundaries of colored areas nicely.

Thanks again for the reply. But won't a free lap with color be a mess? If I do a resin pigment on the bottom and free lap it around to the top it's going to make a nasty color line around the perimeter of the top right? What am I missing?

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McDing's picture
Joined: 05/22/2004

Cut lap the bottom at the deck.  It's what everybody does(pro or backyard) and for good reason.  Work on those cutlaps Learn to double or triple tape if necessary and work on folding the tape back so that you can see and cut at the edge of your tape. Pete C and I watched Roger Hinds do a dark tint and cutlap down in the "Ghetto" once.  His only comment was: " Do a good cutlap and you don't need a pin line".  A freelap has its place and I like using them when I can.  Clears and Opaques.   Lowel

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Rnoll98's picture
Joined: 03/16/2021

I felt my cutlap was decent but with EPS and a spackle seal I think the surface inconsistency makes it a little harder to get a clean tape line. Wasn't anything a 1/4" pinline couldn't cover. I'm getting decent at cutting the lap though. Pull the tape up to where you can see it end and I just used a loose razor blade to zip it off. I could tell when I was cutting it right it was very easy. Thanks again guys.

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McDing's picture
Joined: 05/22/2004

I absolutely agree.  A PU Noserider is a better deal.

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Rnoll98's picture
Joined: 03/16/2021

McDing wrote:

I absolutely agree.  A PU Noserider is a better deal.

Probably. But the lower toxicity of EPS and Epoxy make the wife happier with me taking over the garage to build. It's actually not as light as I thought it would be either. I think standard Poly blanks are about 3# and this was 2# EPS. I think the weight difference is negligible, though I do get the advantage of not taking on water if I get a ding. My break is fairly uncrowded so dings are pretty rare.

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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

You can glass a polyurethane blank with epoxy resin.

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McDing's picture
Joined: 05/22/2004

Yes!!  Amazing how few people get that.

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Rnoll98's picture
Joined: 03/16/2021

I guess that's something I knew, but wasn't sure if EPS was a better/safer foam to work with. I assume the dust from both is bad, is one worse? Is EPS used on a lot of performance shortboards simply due to lighter weight?

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Honolulu's picture
Joined: 04/28/2004

Heh... EPS only came on the scene when Grubby Clark shut down his supply of 90% of the polyurethane blanks used in the USA and to a lesser extent worldwide.  Everyone was in a  mad panic to find alternative material and EPS was the only other readily available product... and the epoxy suppliers suddenly did a helluva business.

Polyurethane foam is made from toluene di-isocyanate.  Clark Foam had a couple of workers in severe health difficulties, from ignorance of the hazads and improper PPE use.  As I read it at the time, at least one guy died. Compliance with CA health regulations were cited by Mr. Clark in his long "kiss-mine, and goodbye" letter to the industry, and creeping gentrification upon the once-rural factory site.

Poly foam, being "fine grained" is more likely to create respirable dust than EPS, which is formed of fused beads (but still sandable into respirable dust).  I'm not the chemist in the room but it's my impression that EPS is much less potentially toxic, even though the MSDS for Clark's polyurethane foam stated that it as a fully reacted polymer (implying no leftover badness).There are some that say that epoxy resin, being a fully reacting material (as opposed to polyester resin which contains considerable toxic volatile solvents) is less dangerous. There are others who acquire a severe (life-threatening) allergy to epoxy at unpredictable times.  Epoxy is several times more expensive than PE resin.

Both PU and EPS come in different densities, requiring different glassing schedules, resulting in different ding-abilities and longevities. EPS is denigrated as "losing its feel" after some time depending on usage, and it sucketh water like there's not tomorrow when dinged.

Overall it's near a religious argument whether to use EPS foam (which you have to glass with epoxy) or polyurethane foam (which you can glass with epoxy OR polyester resin).

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McDing's picture
Joined: 05/22/2004

That's some lengthy BS.

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unclegrumpy's picture
Joined: 09/16/2006

Bob Simmons was using "styrofoam" way back in the late '40's. 

https://surfmuseum.org/stories/bob-simmons-foam-sandwich-surfboard-1950/

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No; It's not an ironing board.