SHAPER's HOT SEAT: George Gall

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PlusOneShaper's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004

@shapaholic2011-

Hi Jim,

Trying to sort out just what your question is here.  I think you are wanting to know how to run a single through a performance board.  Hmmm, there's a ton of ways to do it, and (unfortunately,) they all work.  Some work better than others.  You WILL find that the deeper you make a single concave in a board, the HARDER it is to keep it working, same is true (probably more so,) for boards with vee in them.  These things will keep your shaping honest, and will let you know promptly when they are not shaped right.

I read, "I carved out a bit more foam between fins...I saw a vid where a Shaper suggested that. Makes sense. It's a lever of sorts. Maybe a sweet spot." which is right in general, you probably want to put the max concave someplace between your stance, probably favoring the back foot.  That said, Maurice came up with a forward concave that worked.  Most single concaves progress gradually down the board (this is key) then terminate at the tail as flat or even a bit of vee.  Also that said, I've had some really bitchin' hp shortboards with con OFF the tail, but it must be shaped with total precision, otherwise the board will feel "locked."

I think a lot of guys investigating concaves might put them in a little too abrupt and too aggressively for starters, so take that as a caveat, since you are choosing to use a Surform (which is a crutch tool in my opinion.)  Use your good eye to get the job done, regardless of the tool.

Speaking of tools, if you gave me a full-blown CNC machine, a planer, and a sanding block, I would use them all, since they get me to my goal.  As long as I can "project my will into the blank" I am all good.

Good luck, hope this board is a shredder for you!

Best regards,

George

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shapaholic2011's picture
Joined: 01/04/2011
PlusOneShaper wrote:

@shapaholic2011-

Hi Jim,

Trying to sort out just what your question is here.  I think you are wanting to know how to run a single through a performance board.  Hmmm, there's a ton of ways to do it, and (unfortunately,) they all work.  Some work better than others.  You WILL find that the deeper you make a single concave in a board, the HARDER it is to keep it working, same is true (probably more so,) for boards with vee in them.  These things will keep your shaping honest, and will let you know promptly when they are not shaped right.

I read, "I carved out a bit more foam between fins...I saw a vid where a Shaper suggested that. Makes sense. It's a lever of sorts. Maybe a sweet spot." which is right in general, you probably want to put the max concave someplace between your stance, probably favoring the back foot.  That said, Maurice came up with a forward concave that worked.  Most single concaves progress gradually down the board (this is key) then terminate at the tail as flat or even a bit of vee.  Also that said, I've had some really bitchin' hp shortboards with con OFF the tail, but it must be shaped with total precision, otherwise the board will feel "locked."

I think a lot of guys investigating concaves might put them in a little too abrupt and too aggressively for starters, so take that as a caveat, since you are choosing to use a Surform (which is a crutch tool in my opinion.)  Use your good eye to get the job done, regardless of the tool.

Speaking of tools, if you gave me a full-blown CNC machine, a planer, and a sanding block, I would use them all, since they get me to my goal.  As long as I can "project my will into the blank" I am all good.

Good luck, hope this board is a shredder for you!

Best regards,

George

George - thanks for the help! It's been a nagging question about concave setups...... I figured out a dub on my own. But the single seemed tougher as the stringer rocker gets altered... i don't want to change it much - like you alluded to ( if done wrong) ....I'll let you know how it works when done. W board sales being slow for a small time gig, I am forced to now use and sell a few used to keep going. .my board will be a test model, as is my keel fish. Gonna have two test models I hope. Ordering white and light colored pigments to do sum swirls... ones gonna be clear w my "boards that have mind and memory...." I get crazy ideas.. maybe I'm going crazy!? :D
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"Freestyle."

PlusOneShaper's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004

@Huck-

Right on, the dynamic lift is the major component, BUT we should not forget foiling to make things slide through the water better.  Bill's double (flat side out) config is ingenious, it is a true dynamic lift device yet trying to streamline as much as possible.  I've never tried the dual fin set up, though I had decent luck with the "Canard Fins" (little fin in front of a main fin) which came from sailboards in the late-80's, that system actually held in quite well, I put it on a single fin surfboard and everyone who rode it said the tail "oscillated" when the waves got hollow.  (Spent a lot of time trying to figure it out but the stall/grab effect continued.)  Again, not sure if it is EXACTLY the same, probably not, I liked the canard though it was a little draggy because it held well and recovered from stall (spin out) really well.  Scroll half way down this link to see the Canard Config:

http://www.surfresearch.com.au/fs.html

I had a bit of good news 2 days ago, Mavericks broke with up to 45 ft sets.  The 10'6" with Inverted Vees went better than expected.  In the spirit of "sharing" something I made, here's a pic in action, (this is a VERY recent board I did):

Best regards,

George

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shapaholic2011's picture
Joined: 01/04/2011
Beautiful color combo on that board! That could end up a painting......excellent! George - I think your right about learning proper planer techniques... I think building confidence is the hardest part in life. But building confidence is how thing's happen. The other day it took me three mins until I pulled the trigger and started mowing foam. I dunno, but if i don't Feel confident I will not get started.I also found slowing down has been very helpful to get my job done intact. Sometimes I over sand w block so I have to watch that. Recently I learned to sand board as a whole vs segmented... it really keeps it flat... another thing is cross strokes towards stringer. That I learned on a youtube vid. But it works well near tips, or where the foam gets chewed by a block plane or planing.I geuss I pick up techniques that I like? I wish I knew if I was/am using my otf lever right? I wrap thumb loosely around knob, but use my index finger and edge of top of middle finger to push/pull lever....is this ok to do? What's the deal with the blocky thin rails these day's? I always liked the down rails as they seem to help tip a rail on a turn....then I tried a blocky rail and had difficulty turning. My geuss is that blocky thicker corners add control or planing speed in less than ideal conditions? I set my rails apex at 3/4" but I think aft shaping it ends up less....at a certain point, well,.I mostly eye ball it. But I have learned to use a square to check rail foil.....to just even out the tables. I see others do it to.
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greggriffin's picture
Joined: 05/09/2005

Instead of Youtube , which has so much bad info on it .

You should pay for lessons from Mr. Coffey and Mr. Junod who I think are in your area .

Way more accurate and quicker way of progressing if they are willing .

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shapaholic2011's picture
Joined: 01/04/2011
greggriffin wrote:

Instead of Youtube , which has so much bad info on it .

You should pay for lessons from Mr. Coffey and Mr. Junod who I think are in your area .

Way more accurate and quicker way of progressing if they are willing .

thanks - Greg! I'll run a search and see if I could get some lessons. Fyi - I was looking for some shaping classes but couldn't find anything. I'll see what I can work out. Thanks again -Greg! Keep up the excellent work ! Love your boards. Especially your Felix tail design. Are you putting less nose rocker in those boards? T c-Jim
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shapaholic2011's picture
Joined: 01/04/2011
George - I tried the planing techniques you said and had gotten good even planing today! You are spot on about leaving arm stiffer and keep n bed flush ....took off 1/8" off bottom, did a little otf action on nose flip and it's looking better. But I blundered a bit and miscalculated my nose rocker. It's real low. Barely 3"! I lost my beater rocker stick so I taped together two yard sticks. It kinda works. I think I can go another 1/8"? Do you think 3" of nose rocker is too low? My tail rocker just needs a few clean up passes w block sanding. Tommorow ill try a singlet concave! Should be fun! Plus I got to thin my tail out. I think I might pull the foam back off deck side? I'm thinking about planing 1/8" off the deck and just planing around the tail to thin it out. It's real blocky.
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shapaholic2011's picture
Joined: 01/04/2011
I F'ing had a blast planing today!!! I cranked up my- beast and took off a clean 1/8" layer off the bottom! Lowel- iI planed stringer straight shot first like you said. Then I did what -George suggested w leaving my rear arm stiff to keep planer bed down at back....sonehow my planer slipped and had a slight dip but it sanded out...did a slight two 1/8" fade out straight cuts down nose to 18" down nose flip...did a angled straight cuts around perimeter( two or so towards stringer w otf fades...)it worked out! :) here are my results. Tommorow I plan to foil my deck best I can, also, hopefully cut in my single concave!!!! If all goes well, I will do rail bands.thanks again! Jim
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shapaholic2011's picture
Joined: 01/04/2011
In tail, I will sand out the hump in my tail rocker, thin my deck foil more...or try to get it to thin my tail out. Looks like I have to pull out a lot of material in rear third I think? Look at my deck tail half...... too much foam. My goal is 2 3/4" 12" up from tip there. Also get my tail tip to about 5/16" or slightly more?I'm thinking about trying a different rail shape? I dunno what I want to put on it yet? any suggestions would help.-Jim
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PlusOneShaper's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004

@shapaholic-

Hey Jim, well if there's one thing you really got going now is STOKE, like not just stoked, it's super fucking energetic type of stoked.  When I said "keep your rear hand/arm stiff" I meant that in a "rotational" sense, to keep the planer from leaving the set path of old path vs new path.   Overall, your body is at ease, very relaxed.  Ideally, you will get past the overexcitement of the shrilling 7.5A "beast" and just calm the Hell down. Trust me, if you remain in a heightened state, you will not progress.  Just a note, in the days of guilds in places like the Netherlands, an Apprentice would spend a couple YEARS just on stance of how to hold and move/walk with a wood plane.  Only after that person became a Journeyman were they allowed to start boat building.  

There is another component to what I am getting at, and that is developing a good eye.  Sigh...    You might want to develop this.  (Or perhaps find a batch of "second" blanks, ref. to my earlier comment of the room full of typewriters, monkeys (probably chimpanzees,) and Shakespere.)  

You can develop that part of your mind by taking a piece of coat hanger wire, or similar, and wadding it up, then by hand and eye only (NO rolling on a flat surface) use your eyes and hands to straighten it into a perfect straight wire.  Sight it down as much as possible from many different angles.  Finally, "test" your work by rolling the wire on a true flat surface, it should roll perfectly smooth and silently.  I can guarantee you that just about all Master Shapers will do this task perfectly, and you will see them "get into" the process.  It's pretty amazing to watch.  Master Shapers are damn good at things well beyond just shaping a foam blank, they've developed their skills, they've (by necessity,) developed their brains to function in the highest order to sight lines, see flaws and know what to do about them. These are the mental skills which you will apply to shaping a blank. Try it rather than wrecking blanks; don't be an Earth killer.   IF you start this task of straightening a piece of wire, and cannot complete it to satisfaction, consider it a failing grade, either you are moving too fast, are missing a step, or have a serious lapse in your mental process.  You may have to force yourself to "slow down" by either internal or "external" means, or perhaps someone could assist you in this effort.

Lastly, your "rocker gauge" that's in pieces.  Not sure that is a road that I would travel down, I liken that to a long straight edge ruler used to draw straight lines that's busted up into pieces: largely misleading and ineffective.  Compounding this effort is working in a curved world of rockers, where "oh, things look great," when they certainly neither make logical sense nor will they yield a constructive result.  Curves and interpretation of curves can deceive the untrained eye.  I strongly suggest early in your planing apprenticeship, to "trust" the rockers which are given to you from the blank makers. They are usually a pretty good start when you have no experience or outside help to draw from.  Later on, as you tighten up your skills (Journeyman to Master,) will production differences in a particular plug design of a blank start to matter.

I hope you understand what I am conveying and don't start drinking the bleach.  I want you to meet success at the highest level.  The beginning level is "making dust and making noise" like a kid in a play pen (having a blast,) then advancing to "making something useful," finally arriving at "making something sought after by others."  I warn you that it may take years, even decades, and even then nobody's perfect...

Good luck!

Best regards,

George

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Surffoils's picture
Joined: 09/09/2006

Thanks for that.

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shapaholic2011's picture
Joined: 01/04/2011
George - thanks again for your tips!
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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009
Thanks again George!
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greggriffin's picture
Joined: 05/09/2005

+ one  ;-)

That was great .

Greg

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phebus's picture
Joined: 08/09/2013

Great thread, thanks George, and Barry for the previous one.

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mattwho's picture
Joined: 05/12/2014

Thanks again George!

Best

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I would rather be someone's shot of whiskey, than everyone's cup of tea.

www.mattysurfboards.com

PlusOneShaper's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004

Thank YOU for all your "thanks," you are all very welcome...

Best regards,

George

Oh yeah, more 'show and tell' here is a project I was consigned to do for the Navy SEALS DEVGRU (and SAIC) see below.  Basically, all I can say is this board is for two divers, who have their own individual propulsion devices.  Then they jump on this "wakeless" sled (side-by-side) and they get extended range compared to just free swimming. They approach their "target" ditch the craft, do their task, then return to vehicle.  (That's a Maurice Cole super deep concave surf SUP collab project in the background of the first shot.)

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greggriffin's picture
Joined: 05/09/2005

Color is correct for Maurice's venture to the Dark Side  ;-)

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PlusOneShaper's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004

Hi Greg-

Funny story, we used iFoam for that surf SUP, 8'3" I think, almost 1" of concave at max.  We CNC milled everything but the concave, not knowing where it was going design-wise. Maurice starts shaping the iFoam (texture like an inside-out sock, and toughness of leather,) and he gets about half done.  By 'Half Done,' I mean he shaped the left side only, then asked me to step in and "finish and clean it up a bit" while he took a break.  Break?  3 days later he comes back.  Said he went on one of his "bush walks" (we were in San Diego,) and was hoping I'd finished up in the meantime.  Not sure who "borrowed" that board, it went pretty good...

Best,

George

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greggriffin's picture
Joined: 05/09/2005

Lost in Space , comes to mind  :-)  

Maurice has a lot of energy for his age :-)

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PlusOneShaper's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004

@greggriffin-

Hi Greg,

Another interesting tidbit- Maurice only shapes barefooted and never uses a filter mask. (Not sure how far down the Rabbit's Hole he's gone, but he's definitely got some stories...)

George

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PlusOneShaper's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004

Here is more Show n Tell, you might see this on a few football games and other events:

It took days to shape out of EPS, glassed with 4 gallons of RR and lots of 6 oz.  I shot Linear Polyurethane (white base first, notice the stencils,) then spec Red over it.  I had to fabricate some internally threaded "foot pads" and welded some handle fixtures.

It's 5'2" across, I think 4'3" tall, it had to make it in proportion to the original Salvation Army Kettle they loaned out (sitting on ground.) That's our electrician, Joe, bending some of his scrap conduit for the handle.  You can see the "lighted" SUP in the background and Doyle's second prototype board above it, I made a lot of money for that guy...

Last shot, Suzi taking it away, she's pretty high up in their organization, I think she once did the news or something.  Never got any feedback on how it paddles, but I bet it floats like a sumbitch.  Christmas time is busy for them, so I thought it would be fun to share this from a couple years ago.  

"MERRY CHRISTMAS!"

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sharkcountry's picture
Joined: 03/25/2006

I think this thread has been the best thing I've seen for a long time. Especially since George keeps adding more. Love the stories and all the very detailed info. Let's keeep this going as long as George wants it to.

Hope you're having a Merry Christmas George!

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wingnut2443's picture
Joined: 01/10/2012

Again, I hope this is OK.

BUMP.

Brilliant Stuff ... ;)

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Surfboard Design and Construction Kook

PlusOneShaper's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004

(pasted the wrong section in here, sorry.)  

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shapaholic2011's picture
Joined: 01/04/2011

 George -Happy New Year 2015!

Anyway , i had to put build on hold as my landlord would freak if i was shaping on the property. Then I found out i am not allowed to shape in the yard-period.  That's that. Welcome to the nwo. 

Anyway,  Ill have to move and get my own garage.

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