I was wondering if there are any easy ways to produce even rails. Like a shaped sanding block or something like that.
You can find a rail you like 50/50 60/40 or so make a template of the rail, take a two by four and trace rail template on its side. just half the template cut with band saw, glue on some 60 grit. You can use this to help shape rails after you make your band cuts
Yeah, you can make one rail outline female plug for every one foot of board length, and check it constantly.
OR....you can pick up the board with both hands, close your eyes, and feel the blank rails with sensory perception working full blast, like any shaper.
For sure the first method works, but might take you days of work to get the rails just right.
For sure the second method works, as most shapers use that method. Lotsa shapers finish a board from shipped blank to finished product in one hour and a half.
you can use the fred tool on www.foamez.com it helps to start. after a while you will just start to use your planer. Austin S
1st thing: make sure each part of your board is even and flowing and matching before you start shaping the rails! If you do this, it is not hard. The hardest part is getting everything else even before you start! Then you can use the planer, a surform, a sanding block, etc and take long even strokes and cuts.
You can make and use rail templates, but i would advise against depending on those to shape- use them more as a guide to gage where you are to where you want to go. Do like the others suggest - shape and feel often, untill you get what feels right. And if you are unsure of how the rail should feel - develop that skill - keep a board you like close by and keep looking at and feeling those rails and disect the different angles and curves made up by the transition from deck to bottom and from bottom to deck and the transition along the length of the board. You should do this before you start shaping also to give you an idea of what you need to do.
An easy and fun way to make a rail template is to:
1) Tape some heavy grit sandpaper to a rail on a board you like.
2) Take a pice of 'foam bone' from cutting out your blank and rub it against the sandpapered rail untill you have your rail shape.
grasshopper has the right idea if you want a rail template. The only other thing is if I like the rail template I made I will seal it off using some leftover hotcoat. It makes it a little more durable.
Hey Woody... I'm not sure what type your working on, and I'm sure many of these methods work, but I just learned a gem of a lesson on my last board. I've never made the tucked under edge, and it seemed the best way to go about it was to plane in the edge - after using my Fred tool - not so much to remove foam, but to set up a guide for my planer.
Anyway, I ended up using the planer to do the whole tucked edge and all the way into my 50/50 on the top half. Long story short - best rails I've ever done. Quickest too. Hardly even used the shark skin, coulda just used a screen for cleanup, and straight to 150 grit.
Thanks for all the help guys. Using sandpaper to create a template out of foam is genius.
One of my strengths in my opinion is rails. I think I got really good really fast at shaping out even rails. I used a fred tool when starting to shape my board, but found that just my surform worked so much easier, and I got it right! So don't feel you have to use any ONE tool, do what works for you ;)
Rails are pretty easy if you just get a rhythm , and count as well, personally i think dragonskin and fred tools are useless crap, Learn the angles or mark with a sharpie the angles on your surform. and use those notches as a guide. Dragon skin has a tendency to cut into the foam, what works better is the cloth backed sandpaper in about 50 grit same effect less potential for damage. just count them off plus the cloth backed paper is like a dollar and will last you 10 times longer than dragonskin. ALSO it covers 9 or 11 inches instead of what 4? cmon its less work and maximum benifit