Man thanks so much for all your advice and input, I really appreciate it. I have no clue what I'm doing here so it's great to hear the voice of someone really experienced :)
Oh boy, I'm really off to good start here, haha. Worst type of foam, needing three layers laminated together (cause that was the thickest I could find), and to boot, I'm trying to keep this on a super budget. I want a black board, which will probably delam, and I'm using XPS, which will also probably delam haha. Well let's see how it goes. I built my board shaping stand today, what a disaster. I swear finding proper material in Europe is next to impossible, all the sizes are just weird and goofy and nothing makes sense. I was going to get 2x4s for the stand obviously, but the hardware store only had wacky sizes so I (not thinking) went with something like 1x2s (or as near to them as I could get). Well hindsight is 20/20.
I mean, I got the stand built... mostly, but boy is it ugly and wobbly. Just screws on screws on screws and cracked skinny wood all over the show, it's bad. I figure I can reinforce it with some cross supports and it will hold up, but I need to turn my brain on before getting supplies from now on. I guess I was just excited. Still researching the glue thing, but I think I might have found a solution. I'm gonna go with a generic Polyurethane glue from the shop, it seems like that is my best route. Also, I think I'm gonna scrap the color, I don't need to complicate this any more than it needs to be.
Check out a few shots of my hilariously bad "shaping stand". Gonna scrounge some stronger wood to reinforce it I think, or just rebuild it with proper materials.
If you're trying to build a board in your apartment then it doesn't make much sense to get carried away with building stands - they're just going to get in your way when you're not using them.
Consider this: If you have a couple of dining room chairs you can face them toward each other and have a stable base. Take a couple of lengths of the wood you're using and use some cord or light rope to lash them to the top of the chair back and the lower support between the legs. Obviously, you'll want to cover them with some plastic sheeting so you don't get foam dust or resin on them, but this ought to work for a 1-time use. Then when you're done you can disassemble the rig and it won't be in your way.
Next - if you're new to glassing then skip the color altogether. Mixing epoxy requires precision in the ratio between the amount of Part A and Part B. And adding a 3rd element to the mix will also require some precision between batches in order to get the consistent colors. Not to mention the point that the 3rd element you're using might actually weaken the resin mix. There's just too much going on for a novice glasser. In the beginning and until you figure everything out, just go clear in the glassing. If you don't like the color of the foam you're using then paint the board after you're done with it.
And don't even consider using dark colors with XPS blanks because you're just creating a heat sink that will kill your board in the first 20 minutes that you have it out on a hot summer day.
I've made a bunch of boards using XPS foam. You need to use Epoxy resin. If the foam is thin sheets, I prefer cutting rockered slices and gluing them together. I use a 1" band of foam to make the outer edge after cutting the outline shy of that outer band. Use a foaming polyurethane glue. You won't need a stringer, the glue will give it a little extra strength. Keep the foam fairly rough for glassing, just 60 grit for the finish. You can make simple sanding tools. The blue board as made from a single slab of 3" XPS, it's there to show what it looks like with just clear resin. The green board shows the glue lines.
^^^^^ the OP needs to take note: That's how you do it. Gluing 3 slabs together and thinking you'll be able to plane a usable rocker in is a non-starter for a novice. Few pro shapers would even attempt it.
...hello man; do not know where to start or if better to skip this thread...well, first thing you are a brave starter; all what you decided to do is very complicated to do for the first time.
You want advice on your first shape but now you are taking about the U racks...
I can write down plenty of stuff and no no s about what you are starting but better to say only go for it!
Regarding the chairs or other weird stuff; I used a lot cause I started as a kid, with very little extra money to buy electric tools etc.
I remember to do the laminations with those ceramic tiles that are used in the edges; its have one rounded edge so I used it to not damage the foam. I only had one fluorescent tube, so I flipped the shape several times to have the right shade; man, was difficult to obtain the rails simetry but I think that helped to develop and "eye" for the right curves.
I try to say that you would learn a lot about this labor, so if you like to make things with your hands, you will be right.
Regarding the shape: please do not forget that the templates are the most important factor; if you have a not so smooth outline, you will pick up these errors in the glass and finish...and of course on the waves.
--Regarding the U racks: the cheapest and easiest if you do not want to use the chairs (I used the chairs only to sand the glass-those old scissors chairs that the back is straight-) is to use two big empty buckets of wall paint or similar; sand, small pebbles and cement; 4 sticks around 10cm diameter, 2 stripes of EVA (buy the thicker one -1/4"-you can use 2 stripes of leather etc) a bit of cushion foam; nylon or PVC film and some small nails.
Put two sticks per bucket at the distance equivalent to the U that you want (use the PVC film wrapped on them to prevent them from the water); fill with the concrete mix; let it dry couple of days then put the EVA strips as the U (nailed on each stick to form the U) then the cushioning foam glued on top.
The EVA 1/4 as a U can hold a longboard pretty well.
Agree completely - if the OP plans on shaping and glassing several boards then spending some money and building a pair of reusable racks makes more sense. I started out with the 5-gallon bucket with concrete and 2x4s because I had the room for them in my garage and I knew I'd be doing a lot of repairs. .
I gotta say, thank you all for your encouraging advice and support, even if it seems the general consensus is that I'm in way over my head and pretty much asking for a disaster haha. I tend to jump in head first in most of the projects that I do, and to be honest, it usually works out, but I'm glad I've been asking questions here.
The project has been on hold the past week since my wife kindly reminded me that since I have all this time to build a surfboard, I never did finish painting the hallway and doors that she asked me to do a while ago... hahaha. So been working on the house, and surfing a day or two also!
I didn't even think of the idea of cutting rockered strips from the foam, I just assumed I would glue the slabs together and try to work the rocker in, but thinking of it now, that seems like I will have very little room to play with. I will definitely be going with the rockered slices and gluing them together.
I'm gonna go stringerless as it seems like it will be fine, and less work to be honest. Either way it's my first attempt so I'm just gonna go for it.
Thanks so much for the chair/bucket suggestions! Brilliant little things that I never would have thought of on my own, seriously, that is a huge step forward for me knowing I actually have stands sitting right in front of me.
I've decided to scrap the color. It sounds like it's a pain and possibly can create several big problems for me so I'll just go clear epoxy. I'm not too worried about delamination as there are no waves here in the summer anyhow, the season is October to March, so I'm never surfing too warm days, but I don't want the hassle right now.
As far as shape goes, one of the reasons I thought gluing the slabs together and planing in the rocker was because my original idea was to go for a fish with not a lot of rocker anyhow. People here are saying an egg is probably better for me, but I'm still undecided. I was out today and I'm really getting the hang of turns, and I feel like I just want to go for the fish. I'm not sure, this is probably my most conflicted issue right now.
As far as shaping goes, I'll find out once I actually get into it, but I do have about four years experience with autobody repair, which involved a lot of line and curve matching work, sanding, finishing, getting things smooth and looking right. Not sure if it will actually translate to shaping a board, but I think there might be some similarities there. I'm still reading and watching videos about it so hopefully by the time I get there I'll be as prepared as I can be.
I'm still trying to find a glue that will work. I've done a few experiments and all have failed. I might just end up going with an epoxy glue.
As always, thank so much for all the advice, tips, pictures and cautious encouragement, I really appreciate it!! Hopefully next post will have some actual progress.
The chair thing is just a temporary fix. It's a crude hack that you can use on a one-time basis until you decide whether or not you're going to continue to shape and glass. If you're going to commit then investing in tools and equipment will help you get the better result.
Putting that many glue lines in will add some rigidity. Moreso than if you were shaping a single piece of stringerless foam. If you color them then adds to the contrast and makes it look deliberate instead of accidental. My approach to the issue of visual imperfections in the materials is to use them, draw attention to them and incorporate them into the aesthetic. You're showing your work and how you solved your challenges.
If you ask around about the glue a little more I'd imagine someone will tell you. I don't remember what the answer is but I've seen a couple people comment on it before. You can use epoxy but it will set harder than the foam and you may have some problems getting everything flat.