SHAPER'S HOTSEAT: Bill Barnfield

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lcc's picture
lcc
Joined: 04/24/2008

"unless you were there 48 years ago or so, you will never understand how amazing the shortboard revolution was"

so, so true.  One month enjoying my 9'8 Trestle Special in well overhead SF OB surf, the next month stripping the glass and hand shaping it with a surform and block plane into a 7'0.  3 months later stripping down an old Hansen and shaping it into a 6'0.  A wild charge into the future,in our area led by Dick Keating, out in front as always. 

And thanks for shovelling some dirt on the spiral V, Bill, it had been debated to death.

My question has to do with fin placement.  Assume a 7'8 x 21 fun gun, where would you place a thruster set, and conversely a quad set, and how would you set them up.  Also be interested in any thoughts on fins, i.e., system vs. glass-ons, current favorites, see any changes coming in fin design....

cheers

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mattwho's picture
Joined: 05/12/2014

Just reading.

Can't help by self.

Fellow, once a Harbor rider.

Winter of 67/68 while surfing El Cap bumped into Mctavish.

Next day I ditched my 9-10 Sol for a William Dennis 7-10 stringless V.

Took me a week to stand up! 

"Thanks for the memories"!

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

www.mattysurfboards.com

mako224's picture
Joined: 12/26/2005

Man do I miss those 80s airbrush jobs.  That is one thing that is really missing with today's boards.  Loved it back when guys like Pottz had entire quivers of airbrushed boards.  Today's magic marker scribble is no replacement.  Who was the artist who sprayed these?  Big thumbs up!!!

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Billbarnfield's picture
Joined: 07/09/2005

C

mako224 wrote:

Man do I miss those 80s airbrush jobs.  That is one thing that is really missing with today's boards.  Loved it back when guys like Pottz had entire quivers of airbrushed boards.  Today's magic marker scribble is no replacement.  Who was the artist who sprayed these?  Big thumbs up!!!

Aloha Mako

My airbrusher at this time was Suzi Gillette.  Mother of Gavin Gillette...! 

Current photo and one from about 30 years ago

I totally agree with you about colors.  Color is inspirational and lifts the spirit.  It differentiates things and give them personality.  Good design also includes how customers are effected by appearence.  Good design stimulates desire and drives sales. 

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oneula's picture
Joined: 06/10/2004

Just want to say mahalo bill.. and i hope you and your famiy are doing well

same to all the others (barry/greg) that gave some time to do this

that's all just a big  mahalo, malama, aloha, and a hawaiian hug

don't think that's been said enough to guys who do what you do over all these years..

surfers can often be a selfish crowd.

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"ain't no big ting brudda"

Billbarnfield's picture
Joined: 07/09/2005

oneula wrote:

Just want to say mahalo bill.. and i hope you and your famiy are doing well

same to all the others (barry/greg) that gave some time to do this

that's all just a big  mahalo, malama, aloha, and a hawaiian hug

don't think that's been said enough to guys who do what you do over all these years..

surfers can often be a selfish crowd.

You humble me Oneula.  I am happy to serve here among my peers.

Thank you for the Aloha

BB

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jimdunlop's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004

Hi Bill- I just want to echo what Oneula said... Thanks for doing this. And I would really enjoy your response to my question (via PM) about the Clark 7'0"B that you designed, particularly was there an ideal size that you had in mind ? I have one (green) that I want to shape a single fin out of, to use as one of my regular boards...Other than encouraging me to make it a thruster, are there any rocker/bottom contour updates you would suggest? Updates from what was standard when singles were all we had? Thanks- Jim

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Billbarnfield's picture
Joined: 07/09/2005

jimdunlop wrote:

Hi Bill- I just want to echo what Oneula said... Thanks for doing this. And I would really enjoy your response to my question (via PM) about the Clark 7'0"B that you designed, particularly was there an ideal size that you had in mind ? I have one (green) that I want to shape a single fin out of, to use as one of my regular boards...Other than encouraging me to make it a thruster, are there any rocker/bottom contour updates you would suggest? Updates from what was standard when singles were all we had? Thanks- Jim

Aloha Jim

Cool that you have one of those 70Bs.  My blanks while thinner then previous blanks of the era, were still really thick compared to todays contemporary boards.  I was trying to get Clark to get on board with a Quiver concept but they just weren't seeing the need back then.  I was looking forward a big hunk and it was very clear to me where thickness was going but not so to them.  Many of the blank plugs I sent them, they let sit awhile becuase they were afraid they were too thin.  I wanted to create A, B, C versions of each blank.  The A Being thinner, narrower, with more rocker.  The C being thicker, wider and with less rocker.  The B, being somewhere between the others.  We never got there, but now there are similar things happening though they are not well integrated.

The 70B was designed as a single fin blank.  For boards 6'8" to 7'0".  And since I couldn't make the A and C versions, I had to strike a conservative middle of the road position fot it.  My blanks were typically, designed as BLANKS, that is, I wasn't trying to trap the customer into making a specific board.  But rather was providing a BLANK canvas upon which they could paint their particular board and have it fit within.

Additionally, I usually didn't give away my bottom rockers, so the Natural Rocker in the blank was rarely what I was using in my boards made from those blanks.  Therefore, I would highly suggest that you make a single fin from the blank as it likely won't have enough rocker in it to make a contemporary tri fin, without having to thin out the ends too much to add bottom rocker.  It depends a lot on the rocker that was glued into the blank.  As tri fins emerged, many others created custom public rockers for my blanks.  My personal rockers were always private.

If you make it as a single fin, I would add more rocker and a wider tail then what was common back then.  I would have to know a lot more about you, your size and your experience before advising specific numbers and even then I would be guessing a lot compared to how detailed I am with customers here. 

Regarding bottom contours for a single fin, that would depend on the waves and conditions you will ride it in and also all the other measurements of the board.  Template, thickness, you, etc. Generally though, I would make it flatish in nose, a very slight vee through forward center, increasing toward the tail.  Maximum vee at 24" or so, fading out to flat in the tail.  Depending of course, on rocker, tail width and fin.

Not sure the era you are thinking of emulating as a single fin, or the tail width you migh use.  But you should use a different fin then the popular Brewer fin of the mid 70's.  I can send you my personal template if you like but it would vary depending on the measurements of the overall board, the waves, and you.  Or I could make one for you if you don't have access to making a fin yourself.

Hope this helps.

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jimdunlop's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004

Thanks Bill-

I appreciate the explanation, and would very much like your input on the dimensions I ultimately settle on and the fin template.....I'll PM you rather than take up space here that could be better used to answer other people's questions.

Regards-

Jim

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gregloehr's picture
Joined: 03/22/2004

Great stuff Bill, you are and always have been a great read.  I have also always enjoyed your respect of the reader.  Your accurate, consise and easy to understand.  Your vision is one of the clearest in our biz, your experience second to none.  Thanks for a very entertaining evening.  Cheers.

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Billbarnfield's picture
Joined: 07/09/2005

gregloehr wrote:

Great stuff Bill, you are and always have been a great read.  I have also always enjoyed your respect of the reader.  Your accurate, consise and easy to understand.  Your vision is one of the clearest in our biz, your experience second to none.  Thanks for a very entertaining evening.  Cheers.

Thank you Greg.  That really means a lot coming from you.  

BB

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artz's picture
Joined: 02/01/2007

In The PU vs EPS thread you stated that there should be more scientific 

testing done. That made me wonder if you have done any testing? Do you shape EPS? have you experimented with any other building methods such as wood skins or vacum bagging . Hawaii seems to be a an excellent lab to study PU and EPS. What kind of feed back are you getting on the different cores and building materials?
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According to Mikki Dora Malibu went to the Dogs in 1964. The Chumash Indians will tell you it was 1664.

Billbarnfield's picture
Joined: 07/09/2005

artz wrote:

In The PU vs EPS thread you stated that there should be more scientific 

testing done. That made me wonder if you have done any testing? Do you shape EPS? have you experimented with any other building methods such as wood skins or vacum bagging . Hawaii seems to be a an excellent lab to study PU and EPS. What kind of feed back are you getting on the different cores and building materials?

I have used a lot of different materials over the years.  We built a lot of racing paddle boards with EPS.  Fishing boards with XPS.  Vacuum bagging etc.  Did a board for Shaun Tomson that Gary Young Veneered back in the midish 70s.  

Most of my customers seem to prefer PU/PE.  Because of that I haven't invested that much in the great core battle.  But if I needed to I wouldn't take it lightly.

BB

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Billbarnfield's picture
Joined: 07/09/2005

These are a couple of reasons that have kept me for posting at times.  These just need pinlines, deck gloss and then polished.

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L.I.T.'s picture
Joined: 10/08/2014

Billbarnfield wrote:

These are a couple of reasons that have kept me for posting at times.  These just need pinlines, deck gloss and then polished.

No worries Bill. Those look tasty :)

Cheers!

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artz's picture
Joined: 02/01/2007

Those are what keep me drooling at times

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According to Mikki Dora Malibu went to the Dogs in 1964. The Chumash Indians will tell you it was 1664.

bgreen's picture
Joined: 10/21/2007

Bill,

I've enjoyed your focus on precision and thoughtfulness.

You wrote: "If we have to think in 3 parts..... Of the overall curve, the most important part is the middle as it governs the boards ability to plane well and move through the water comfortably". 

I ride paipo boards (finned and finless) and planning is a primary joy of these boards. With a 50" board where would you describe the middle? No doubt an overly general question but I'm interested in your thoughts  on rocker, planing and enhancing speed.

Regards

Bob

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Billbarnfield's picture
Joined: 07/09/2005

bgreen wrote:

Bill,

I've enjoyed your focus on precision and thoughtfulness.

You wrote: "If we have to think in 3 parts..... Of the overall curve, the most important part is the middle as it governs the boards ability to plane well and move through the water comfortably". 

I ride paipo boards (finned and finless) and planning is a primary joy of these boards. With a 50" board where would you describe the middle? No doubt an overly general question but I'm interested in your thoughts  on rocker, planing and enhancing speed.

Regards

Bob

Well..... acknowledging  the 3 part system (that I don't use)....... on a 50" board, that would be the middle 16.6".  But in actuality, I really have no idea on a Paipo board, where the functional middle is or how the "Flow" goes and what part of the rocker is really important.  I am only guessing cause you asked.  But on a short Paipo board, some portion of the riders body also functions as a planing/control surface.  Which would move the "middle" back somewhat.

Maybe you can see why I don't usually deal with rockers in 3 parts.  It tends to confuse things and leads one into over emphasizing individual parts, rather then dealing effectively with the whole.

I don't know the answer to everything but I can pretend to, just as good as any shaper....!  :-)  I usually don't though as I just find it easier to say "I don't know" rather then speculate on things I don't have direct experience with.

There used to be a couple of guys that rode them at Pipeline in the early 70s that were amazing!  Respect!

BB

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bgreen's picture
Joined: 10/21/2007

Bill,

Thanks. Makes sense.

Sean Ross, a Pipeline lifeguard would have been one the guys you referred to.

Bob

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Billbarnfield's picture
Joined: 07/09/2005

Well guys, it looks like this Hot Seat is running out of steam so lets break up the party and let the next participant have the space.  Thanks for the great participation.  It was fun!

 Check back later as I will finish up on the questions that I didn't get to answer.

BB

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Billbarnfield's picture
Joined: 07/09/2005

Well guys, it looks like this Hot Seat is running out of steam so lets break up the party and let the next participant have the space.  Thanks for the great participation.  It was fun!

 Check back later as I will finish up on the questions that I didn't get to answer.

BB

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L.I.T.'s picture
Joined: 10/08/2014

Bummer. I go away for the weekend, and when I get back my favourite thread's about to go belly-up :(

Billbarnfield wrote:

.....

 Check back later as I will finish up on the questions that I didn't get to answer.

BB

Am hoping so; 'still got my fingers crossed my second question gets dealt with.

In addition to answering the remaining questions Bill, I've an idea that (if I can get it up and running) might make checking back on this thread in the future something that not only yourself, but the other Hot Seat shapers too, will actually want to do....

.... stay tuned :)

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BarrySnyder's picture
Joined: 02/21/2009

Lots of good info. Bill.

Hope you guys paid attention.

I'd love to airbrush some of your stuff someday Bill.

Maybe next time you are shaping on the mainland.

Aloha.

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Barry Snyder

Surfboards made by hand. Not machine.

http://barrysnyderdesigns.com

Instagram @barrysnyderdesigns

Billbarnfield's picture
Joined: 07/09/2005

BarrySnyder wrote:

Lots of good info. Bill.  Hope you guys paid attention.  I'd love to airbrush some of your stuff someday Bill.  Maybe next time you are shaping on the mainland.

Aloha.

Aloha Barry

It would be fun to hang out and do some boards together some day.  I do travel a bit but usually don't try to include shaping into it.  I will be heading to Amsterdam and Nice, France soon.

BB

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artz's picture
Joined: 02/01/2007

Berry you should just line up some work in hawaii and take a working vacation.  I'm sure you could get a few builders to open up their shop for your airbrush work. 

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According to Mikki Dora Malibu went to the Dogs in 1964. The Chumash Indians will tell you it was 1664.

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