Hoping to get input on fixing this buckled board.

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pth's picture
pth
Joined: 01/30/2011

I bucked the nose on this board a few years ago and have never gotten around to fixing it. This was my favorite board for the short time I had it before it got driven into the bottom and buckled on me in two places (actually, three, but the third spot is so small and near the top of the nose that I don't think it's worth touching). 

The buckle closer to the middle of the board is by far the worst. It's deep, the glass has cracked open, and it goes from rail to rail. The rails don't have any actual indents in them, but the glass is cracked a bit on both sides through the rail. The buckle nearest the tip of the nose isn't as bad, but the glass did open up a bit on half of it. The buckling stops at the rails on that portion. The stringer does not appear to be cracked, and on the bottom of the board there are some stress spider webs in the center of the board near the worst buckle, but the glass and stringer looks fine. 

On the worst buckle, I was planning on cutting the glass out about 3" on each side of the crack. I was thinking I could butterfly it out, so it's narrowest at the stringer, and wider as it gets to the rails. I would remove more glass, but it gets awfully close to the buckle nearer the top of the nose, if I'm going to remove a few inches of glass around that also. 

I'm not sure if I'm better off taking off less glass in two sections, or taking off one big section that will cover both of the buckles. I also am not sure how wide to go on the rails. I would think I can go pretty thin and get only the cracks in the rails, but am not sure. 

I would then fill the damanged foam areas in with Q-Cell, lay a couple inch strip of 4oz fiberglass over the filled in crack(s), lay another larger sheet that covers the cracks and the area that I removed glass from, overlapping the existing glass by a few inches, and then laying a larger sheet that goes over all of that and overlaps with the existing glass by quite a bit (so, 3 sheets of 4oz glass in total, with the final top sheet likely being mostly sanded away in the end).  

For the rails, I was thinking I'm best off keeping the repair area smaller and put a piece of fiberglass in that covers only the foam, then 2 additional pieces that increase in size to overlap the existing rail glass. 

Sound like a plan, or too much? I'm open to ideas and any input.

I really like this board, but it's not the end of the world if it looks like crap. My main concern is that the repair is strong. I also understand it probably won't surf the same, but that's OK too. It's a 6'0 Bing Dharma quad. Highly recommend if anyone was thinking of getting one. 

Also, I'm not entirely sure on what to buy to get all of the materials I'll need for this. Any recommendations on that are greatly appreciated as well. I was looking at the Foam EZ 'Super Deluxe Ding Repair Kit Large' but am not sure if that's enough fiberglass or resin, or even if I can use only sanding reson on this or if I need something else too.  

Edit: Thanks doc, that's extremely helpful! I can't reply to your post, so I'll edit here. I have 2 yards of 4oz cloth, so I'll have to double that up to get to 8oz. I ordered a pint of laminating resin and a pint of sanding resin, plus some catalyst and q-cell. I can use some of the extra for a few smaller repairs I have to make on other boards as well. Interesting - so you think it's better to push the q-cell and resin mixture into the cracks vs removing the broken/de-laminated glass? That does sound a lot easier. I'm also surprised you think it's best to glass the entire nose like that, but if you think it's the way to go, it's better input than my zero experience input. I've only ever had to fix small dings and replaced a section of delam once. Thanks again for the input. And yeah, no need for pigment or anything - I'm going for strength/quality of the repair vs. looks. I'll be sure to post result pictures when I get to doing the repair some time over the next couple weeks.  

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doc's picture
doc
Joined: 03/18/2004

Ohhhhkay, my take on it. and how I'd do it.

First, put the knife down, put the router away. No, no, not the saw.  Don't cut anything. Okay? First and foremost, don't cut anything. Seriously. Everybody goes nuts playing surgeon and all they do is make a botch job nobody could fix.I really mean it, don't cut anything. 

Do carefully clean the deck. Leave no wax. Or crud. Clean the rails too and a ways onto the bottom. Do it so no wax goes down into the cracks. I mean it, you will want to get a good bond and leaving any wax is the absolute best way to make sure you don't. Lots of rags, mineral spirits or acetone, have at it. 

Next, sanding. With 60 grit, sand the area rail to rail and lets say nose to 6-8" behind the decal there. You are not trying to do more than scuff it up some, so the new glass bonds to it. Go around the rails too, maybe use the lap edge on the bottom as your stop point. Again, all the way to the nose and back behind the decal, wipe it down with a rag to get all the dust off.

Now it's time to go shopping. You will want some resin, laminating resin plus wax addative would be nice but sanding resin will do. Some disposable mixing containers in assorted sizes, something to stir with, some throwaway chip brushes for hotcoat and gloss, some q-cell, some of those cheap plastic squeegees , masking tape and some fairly heavy cloth, 8 oz would be nice so you don't have to do multiple layers. You want a piece that will go nose to where you stopped sanding, the width of the board plus say six inches. You'll also need sandpaper, masking tape, a single edge razor blade for cutting laps and maybe some acetone or styrene monomer, but we'll come to that later. 

Still with me? Good.

First, in one of your small containers, mix some sanding resin with q-cell ( or laminating resin plus a little addative) , add the powder until you have something a little thicker than mayonnaise, a little sloppier than peanut butter. The name brand thick peanut butter, that is, not the nearly liquid stuff health food stores sell.  Don't catalyse the resin first, be patient. Put most of your goo in another small container, Add catalyst ( go light on this, it's gonna be thick)  and mix very well. Use one of your squeegees to put that in the cracks, force it in well, then come back and bring the top surface of your goo even with the deck. Repeat with the other cracks.

Di I need to tell you that adding tint or pigment would be a bad idea? No? Good. 

Go have a beer. Or several.  Come back the next day. Watching filler dry is either really boring if you did it right or really exciting if you used too much catalyst and the board catches fire. 

Take out your 60 grit paper again, sand the hardened filler so its definitely even, flush with the rest of the deck. Get the dust off. You saved a little of your mix, use that to fill any spots where it needs it, then go away again.

Okay, now you break out the masking tape. Have a look in the archives for 'doing a cut lap' posts and study them, they will show you how and where to lay the tape down. And how you want to do the glassing. Better than I can or feel like doing right now. I'm lazy. 

I would not put the back of your patch straight across the deck, do a curve or a diamond-like thing across the deck, so you don't have a sharp transition where the stiffer patched area goes to the original glass. I mean, you have a really abrupt transition, you might as well have put dotted line there and a 'snap board here'  written in . The same cut lap glassing posts will tell you how to do the glass, cut at the nose, laminate it and cut it, all that stuff, so I don't have to. Like I said, lazy.

Lightly sand the glass edges. Don't go crazy, you just want to soften them a bit, a little transition. If you did a good lamination, squeegeed it right, it won't need much. Get the dust off.

If all you could get was sanding resin, okay, this is where your acetone or styrene  come in. Wash your new glass job with your solvent and a rag, and you want a white cotton rag for this. Colors sometimes are dissolved by the solvent, as are synthetic fibers. It gets ugly. With any luck, the solvent will get rid of the wax layer on top of your lamination and chemically etch it a bit, so your hotcoat will stick.

Hotcoat. Sand as needed. Dust. Thin your resin a touch with solvent, gloss.  Wet sand if need be, polish if need be. Again, all this stuff is in the archives. Likely with pictures even. 

That's about it, hope that's of use

doc...

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doc's picture
doc
Joined: 03/18/2004

Edit: Thanks doc, that's extremely helpful! I can't reply to your post, so I'll edit here. I have 2 yards of 4oz cloth, so I'll have to double that up to get to 8oz. I ordered a pint of laminating resin and a pint of sanding resin, plus some catalyst and q-cell. I can use some of the extra for a few smaller repairs I have to make on other boards as well. Interesting - so you think it's better to push the q-cell and resin mixture into the cracks vs removing the broken/de-laminated glass? That does sound a lot easier. I'm also surprised you think it's best to glass the entire nose like that, but if you think it's the way to go, it's better input than my zero experience input. I've only ever had to fix small dings and replaced a section of delam once. Thanks again for the input. And yeah, no need for pigment or anything - I'm going for strength/quality of the repair vs. looks. I'll be sure to post result pictures when I get to doing the repair some time over the next couple weeks.  

No worries, and I'll update here. 

Personally, I'd go with heavier cloth. single layer of 8oz or a layer of 6 plus either another layer of 6 or 4. Or, if it's what you can get , a single layer of 10 ounce. Cloth is, or should be, cheap. Don't limit your search to surf retailers, boat places have cloth and hey, cloth is cloth, at least for this application. If you do go with a double layer, a cute trick: rails and back end of the patch, step the edges some, make a more gradual transition. 

I mentioned gradual transitions before. For good reason. You see, I have seen busted boards fixed where the hapless repair guy used one or two bands of heavy cloth, and those stopped abruptly, on a straight line. And the boards snapped again, right where the patch stopped. The board could flex some, except when it got to the patch. Crunch. Think of, oh, a three piece fishing rod.pretty flexible all along the length.  You take out the middle piece and replace it with a section of steel pipe and whip it back and forth.. You can imagine what would happen. It would break right at the joints. In the same way, you want a gradual transition in stiffness in the board. On the other hand, done right, you may wind up with little or no change in how the board feels and surfs. I had one 9'6" modern longboard ( this was a while ago) I put back together when it broke at the front end of the finbox and the owner liked it better afterwards. Tricky damned repair. 

Anyhow- you could be a little light on the amounts of resin you're getting. I'd double what you have on order. Don't be afraid to wet your cloth out well and waste some resin carefully and gently squeegeing the excess out to a nice, tight lamination, without starving the job, taking too much resin out. You want to leave the weave showing but the cloth completely saturated. That, by the way, is how you keep the weight down, a nice and light and strong lamination. No excess resin. Again, go a little light on the catalyst, this can be tricky, give yourself plenty of time.

Yes, definitely push the goo into the cracks. Look, the glass in said cracks is on there as good and strong as its gonna get, And if you tear it off, well, you're not going to get a stronger lamination in your incision, especially on top of filler that in turn is on top of bare foam. That'd be just floating there. .Very very weak. 

And yep, this is not exactly a giant patch. 6' board, no?   To my mind, and admittedly it's a very twisted mind, it's a lot easier and a hell of a lot stronger to do one sizable rail to rail patch all the way to the nose. Easier to lay out, easier to glass, hotcoat and gloss. The nose on this board is itself pretty stiff, the width and thickness help that way, You'll note it didn't seriously buckle until it got back as far as it did. You won't be changing the harmonics all that much providing your transition at the back is done nicely.

hope that's of use

doc.... 

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pth's picture
pth
Joined: 01/30/2011

Alright, very cool to hear why this is the way to go. I had made some major incorrect assumptions on how to do this repair. Thanks for the info and thanks to everyone for getting me 10 likes to be able to reply. 

I'll bump my resin order up to a quart each of laminating resin and sanding resin and will figure out where I can get heavier cloth. If I have to use the 4oz cloth I'll be sure to step the edges, that's a really good idea. 

One question regarding pushing the goo into the cracks - how do you recommend I handle the area on the top of the stringer where the glass pops outward instead of into the board? Do I squeeze the goo in there, and try to sand it flush with the rest of the deck after the beers? Or, do I try to sand it down / make it flush with the rest of the deck before I get to the goo? It really doesn't pop out too far, so this may be nit-picky and doesn't really matter. 

Yeah, the board is 6'. Makes total sense about the strength / flex of the patch in relation to the rest of the board, and ease of doing the bigger single patch vs. smaller patches. Really glad I posted before cutting out the buckles and going at the repair with my initial plan.

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doc's picture
doc
Joined: 03/18/2004

ah, you see, just telling somebody 'do this' isn't as good as telling them why. If somebody knows why, they do a better, smarter job. And improve on the original idea. 

Yeah, ideally get some goo/filler mix under the high glass, then sand flat, that will be the strongest. You want to compromise the original glass as little as possible, preserve its strength the best you can. on the other hand, new glass wants to be as smooth as you can get it, so that you have no bumps or concavities that make a great place for another buckle or break to start.,

Use  sharp sandpaper on that, by the way. Dull paper, the glass gets hot and starts to peel away from the foam and so on and at best that adds a lot to the job, at worst... yeah. Sandpaper is cheap. 

doc...

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scottc's picture
Joined: 03/24/2006

Is the board bent? If it is, BIG trouble, possibly not worth the effort.

If not bent, you need to remove all glass that isn't stuck tight to foam, "excise the tumor". If the glass is on real tight, follow Doc's advice.

The part that's sticking up? That's splintered wood, not providing much strength/stbility. At a minimum, sand it flush prior to any filling. Ideally, you can route  a slot butted up to the stringer and place a popsicle stick in there. The concept is similar to putting some extra wood on a decaying fence, it's good enough.

To make Doc's point about staggering the cloth, strive for some sort of diamond shape so there's no one position where the cloth goes from three to two layers, a stress concentration area.

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pth's picture
pth
Joined: 01/30/2011

No, the board's not bent (or at least I can't tell) and the rocker still seems to be intact. I was pretty shocked that it wasn't folded over, but it seems totally fine. It did flex quite a bit, you can see small stress spider webs around the stringer on the bottom, but the glass is totally intact. The rails are also mostly still together. This board has a pretty flat rocker and is wide in the nose, which probably helped prevent it from folding like a lawn chair.

I think the part sticking up is actually just glass. It's hard to show in the pictures, but I can kind of peak underneath it and see that the stringer is intact. It kind of folds outwards on the edges of the stringer because the glass goes into the foam on the sides of the stringer, but sort of tents out up over the stringer. It's really pretty minimal, I just wasn't sure on the best way to approach that part of the repair. The original glassing schedule was 6oz + 4oz on the deck and 6oz on the bottom, if that helps. 

I'll take a closer look when I remove all of the wax, but as far as I can tell, the glass is still on the foam pretty good outside of the open parts of the crack that I'll jam resin + q-cell into really well.

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doc's picture
doc
Joined: 03/18/2004

And here's where it gets...let's say controversial. Like starting a fins discussion among kneeboarders*, an otherwise placid bunch, it gets something beyond testy. Fun with controversy. From the outside looking in, In the middle of it, not so much. 

And here we go. 

The stringer. Don't worry about it. It's under a quarter inch of balsa, the change in strength, futz with it or not is pretty much nil. Having a stringer changes the initial stiffness a little, not much, and the resonance is a little differenct, but strength? Naah. 

And adding glass to the deck and rails in the process of this repair will change the stiffness and resonance a whole lot more than that. 

Routing a channel alongside said stringer? You're compromising the deck glass, some, which I suggest would affect strength a lot more than the stringer fix might possibly add, if perfect. Routing a channel won't be perfect, though. Freehand, nope. It'll zig and zag. You wind up with this horrible ugly zig-zag path like a river delta that will be a far larger repair, lots of filler, yeah. Ugly as hell, definitely. 

You could go to a lot of trouble and make a jig for said router doing a plunge cut, sure, but how are you going to seciure it? Your best bet is a lot of hot glue, or screws, possibly through bolts. Which you have to deal with, remove and patch. Oodles of fun.  

And then there's the question of how to get said splint in there and secure it. Glue or epoxy, fine. Then filler for the rest of the routed channel, not so fine. Sanding, grindy grindy, hopefully you don't get any of said wood patch breaking off in the process. See where this is going?

Plus it looks like hell. 

Stringers, really, have two functions. The first one is when you make the blank up. The foam itself starts out coming out of the mold as a flat piece, no rocker. To get rocker, they saw the foam right down the middle, put in some wood stringer, apply glue and then bend the foam on a curve and clamp the sandwich together to get the desired rocker once the glue goes off. Why a given blank shape/size can be had in a number of different rockers. They don't have a gazillion molds.  The stringer and glue is strong enough to distort the foam that much, sure, but that's not much. The weight of a couple of house cats would do it..Skinny house cats.  And, if that's all it takes to hold the foam with that bend, you get an idea of how much relative strength that stringer really adds to the strength of your board. Compared to what the glass does. 

The second function is to give the shaper a nice centerline to work from. Unlike a pencil line, carve foam away and it will still be there. 

Awright, fuse lit, now I'm standing back. 

doc....

*UDT Duck Feet. Best kneeboarding fins ever. 

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scottc's picture
Joined: 03/24/2006

LOL, if it was my board, I'd toss it in the dumpster.

I agree, the fiberglass is stronger than the wood. I suspect part of Doc's answer has to do with the overall condition of the board. As in, why bother to do more work than needed.

Here's something I've done in the past with the splintered stringer, I just route out any splintered wood, and slap in a new piece with lots of filler, for continuity. The key is you want the pieces to be connected so load and vibration don't have a stress concentration area. Being at the nose, probably doesn't matter as much.

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pth's picture
pth
Joined: 01/30/2011

I think it's worth fixing. I only got to surf it for a few months before it buckled on me, and materials to repair look to be about $80 total. I'm going to take a stab at it. 

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doc's picture
doc
Joined: 03/18/2004

Umm, no, actually, I think there's not that much wrong with the board and it's eminently worth fixing. And to hell with the stringer. 

Heresy, I know. Good. The surf biz is way overdue for some good heresy.And thinking outside the box. 

Like free love, my exes' cooking ( all but one of them) , package vacations, non-British comedy TV, veggie burgers (the term 'oxymoron' leaps to mind) ,  pizzas from franchise restaurants and Ryobi tools in general, stringers are way overrated.  

The weight won't be all that much more, which would be my main concern.On a 6' board, it's not at the end of a big moment arm anyhow.  Strength will be okay too, the bottom glass isn't messed up, and if it was I'd lay a band of 4 or 6 down there too. 

The main things are, it was a board you liked and for $80 plus a little time, you have it back. Plus practice at glassing larger areas, which, should you have an itch ( play on words intended, you'll find out) to build some boards of your own sometime, will be essential. Plus hotcoating, sanding that ( a very underrated skill)  and glossing and polishing. 

Enjoy. Again, take your time, don't mix your resin too hot, preparation, preparation, preparation, you'll be fine. You're not sure of something, come on back, hey, that's what the rest of us are here for. ask and you'll get lots of answers...some of which may even agree. 

Remember, surfing, and everything connected to it, they are supposed to be fun. 

hope that's of use

doc...

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spuddups's picture
Joined: 04/14/2011

I have fixed about 150 of these over the years. Apart from a few minor details, what Doc has prescribed is pretty much how I do it. The only real difference is I use an extra layer of glass.  Oh yeah, I don't bother with the whole cutlap thing but that just comes down to personal preference. 
 

Due to the location of the damage I don't think a repair will have much affect on how the board goes. It should surf pretty much the same. 

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pth's picture
pth
Joined: 01/30/2011

Due to the location of the damage I don't think a repair will have much affect on how the board goes. It should surf pretty much the same. 

That's good reassurance, thanks. 

Extra layer of glass? So, do you do 3x 4oz layers? Or what would you recommend? 

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spuddups's picture
Joined: 04/14/2011

Yep, three layers of 4oz. 

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pth's picture
pth
Joined: 01/30/2011

I wanted to follow up here and say thanks to you all. I finally got around the fixing the board and have learned a ton. I posted this thread here with a question on some hot coat issues: https://www.swaylocks.com/forum/110229/troubles-hot-coat-buckled-nose-re...

I'll post some pics of the finished product once complete, and wanted to link to the hot coat issue for anyone else reading this in the future.

So far, my biggest take aways are:

1. Do a cut lap. I thought free lapping this would be easier, but the extra sanding to clean up the lap is not worth it.

2. Tape everything off. I free handed my laps without any tape to prevent extra resin spread, and same with the back of the patch over the deck. Tape would have made everything cleaner.

3. Cut your nose flap right. I left too much cloth, and it overlapped on me. 

4. Go light on the catalyst. I used too much when laminating and it started to kick before I was really ready for it. Also used way too much with Q cell mix, and had to sand off some really gloppy / grainy areas to fix it. But, use more on your hot coat.. mine was too little and I think it let the rails run a bit too much. 

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