I got a chunk of wood...

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jrandy's picture
Joined: 09/04/2012
This is awesome Huck! Thanks for the updates.
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http://pushheretosavealife.com/ Be safe, have fun. -J

Surfifty's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004
The monolith concept is a good one, but it would be heavy. I'd go with the 9'. The 8'-4" wouldn't be period correct in my opinion. As a side note there would be nothing wrong with adding stringers to avoid unwanted edges and rot.
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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

Hey surfifty, thanks for joining in the conversation. I agree a 9 footer is more in keeping with the wood board period, plus uses more of the length I have to work with. I'm a little unsure of the term "period correct", so i'm steering away from that, but definitely want to give a nod to the wood board era. 8 footers were less common, but they did exist. I liked the fact an 8-4 template could avoid all the flaws I was trying to dodge, but I think I'm gonna patch the rot area and shape up a 9 footer.

The monolith concept might make for a heavy board, chambered could reduce that, but based on the offcuts chunks, the wood seems to be pretty light, as wood goes. Naturally the blank is heavy now because of its volume.

I'm keeping the option of adding stringers open, but proceeding with the monolith concept for now. I actually like the stringered look better, but I gotta try to get a board out of 1 piece of wood, just because!

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WideAWAKE's picture
Joined: 02/20/2013
I really like that hobie board. I put that in my archives haha. That would kill on some of the bigger days we get up here.
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"We ain't on our way to Wembley,we ain't gonna win the league. No matter how much they let us down - Westham's still our team"...

Surfifty's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004

Huck wrote:
Hey surfifty, thanks for joining in the conversation. I agree a 9 footer is more in keeping with the wood board period, plus uses more of the length I have to work with. I'm a little unsure of the term "period correct", so i'm steering away from that, but definitely want to give a nod to the wood board era.

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Surfifty's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004
Period correct would mean keeping in the style of the wood board era.
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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

Just a little surgical weight loss. With a chainsaw. I think it's safe to say chambering will be mandatory if I'm ever gonna paddle this thing out. So stringers seem likely then.

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jrandy's picture
Joined: 09/04/2012
The splice looks great!
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http://pushheretosavealife.com/ Be safe, have fun. -J

Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

surfifty wrote:
Period correct would mean keeping in the style of the wood board era.

OK, I get that, but what I meant was that some of the details won't be completely faithful to the era, like leash attachment, chambering, and flux capacitor.

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unclegrumpy's picture
Joined: 09/16/2006
Chambering boards started surprisingly early in the 20th century.
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No; It's not an ironing board.

Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

Wish i didn't have to chamber but it's kinda looking like I will. I'll try to weigh it next week.

Every time I get a chance I take a little more off, it's starting to look like an actual blank. In the last pic you can see where I painted the side to give me a rough visual shaping guide.

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wrcsixeight's picture
Joined: 07/18/2012
That port rail is going to be heavier than starboard, Might want to account for that when chambering, if this is going to be a rider, instead of a hanger. Given any thoughts about the possible stringers, whether to make them have higher contrast or blend more? How thick? Ever been to Ganahl lumber? I think they are the closest retail source for C or Better kiln dried WRCedar south of Salinas, where one can pick through a selection. I've never been. e
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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009
Yes I believe you are right about the uneven distribution of weight! Can I address that in chambering? I have zero experience with chambering. I will probably start a separate thread with chambering questions. I have never been to that lumber store, but I have some (blonde) paulownia that I could use for stringers. On the clean up of the blank, I'm skimming one last layer with the chainsaw, before switching to planer.
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wrcsixeight's picture
Joined: 07/18/2012
I wonder how many surfboards on the planet have had a chainsaw used to help shape them. I think using a japanese flush cut pull saw, would be difficult to keep at 90 degrees. I was using a thick block of Bubinga as a 90 degree guide when trying to precision cut with such a saw, but nothing close to that length of cut. Pretty awesome project Huck.
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thrailkill's picture
Joined: 05/07/2004
Aloha Huck, The 3rd photo down, in your above post, shows a very functional rocker. And some impressive, precision chainsaw work too. (if there is such a thing) Again, the rocker really looks good. Kudos, mi amigo.
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Bill Thrailkill SHAPER SINCE 1958
Stew_L's picture
Joined: 04/10/2016
Seriously impressed!
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Smerk's picture
Joined: 01/08/2017
Great work Huck! What is the thickness down to now? Must've taken a fair bit off, and as Bill said can see a nice rocker forming....Steve
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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

thanks, the chainsaw has been the most useful tool so far, to get it to this point. It is a little scary, because it can cut too much, or the wrong way, in a heartbeat. But it's down to 3 1/2" thick at the middle, so once I finish the last pass with the chainsaw it will get set aside for the duration.

I started skimming, but only got as far as the pics show. Next week I should be able to finish up with the chain saw, and move to the power planer (Bosch). I would like to try a pull-knife, but haven't been able to find one around here. Maybe order one on amazon, but its like another $40 or $50 for a good one, that I will probably never use again.

Surprisingly, one of the most useful tools for cleaning up behind the chainsaw has been the surform. That's what I used to clean up the bottom after the chainsaw. Then I planed the high spots, and followed up with more of the surform.

Monday I have a trip planned to the SHACC museum in San Clemente for a look at some real McCoy vintage wood boards, like the last pic!

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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009
Today I got a great tour of the Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center by docent Uncle Grumpy, and it was awesome! Overwhelming, you would have to spend weeks there to begin to absorb it all. Saw so many awesome wood boards. And a peek at Velzy's shaping setup and tools. But shape-wise, my greatest inspiration were these Phil Edwards shapes.
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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

Down to 3" thick, so I'm done with the chainsaw, ready to shape, prob weighs about 50 lbs, hope to weigh it soon. Time to think about rails, bottom, foil, tail, all that good stuff, so glad I walked among the old masters yesterday!

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cmbacot's picture
Joined: 11/25/2009
Huck; I've got a draw knife you can use as long as you want. It will need to be sharpened and the wood handles will need to be secured firmly to the metal frame (they are loose, but tooth pics or bamboo skewars may cure that malady).
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Entropy (noun; from the English); (1) a measure of a thermodynamic system's increasing disorder as it approaches equilibrium. (2) thermodynamic happy place. Usage; "Entropy abounds in my workshop".

Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

Thnx, I am getting one from another swaylocker here local to me tomorrow, I should know soon if it's gonna work, will update. It's been a lot of work to get it to this point, but still a lot of road ahead on this journey. Just keep telling myself, baby steps...

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Surfifty's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004
A lot of work yes, but the end result is priceless.
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McDing's picture
Joined: 05/22/2004
Priceless?? There's a price for everything. Have been following your progress. Exceptional and I would expect nothing less from you. Yes those little electric chain saws are often overlooked for what they are cable of doing. Lowel
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That which can be assorted without evidence was read in an illegal magazine.

Surfifty's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004
Priceless in this case means that the pride in doing a difficult job well far exceeds any monetary value.
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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009
Tools
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stoneburner's picture
Joined: 12/30/2007
What is the value of the experience? With sincerity, most impressive Huck. Perhaps the glasses are the most important tool... _____
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Swaylocks Surfboard Design Forum: thoughts & theories ... practical & theoretical

RAIL PROFILE http://bgboard.blogspot.com/2014/03/march-82014-afterr-seeing-recent.html

Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

Thnx everyone for the positivity! Priceless is probably the word for the experience, from the malibu morning handodoff of an ancient tool from proneman, to a museum tour by uncle grumpy, and really, priceless pretty well sums up the value of this slab of wood, IMO.

And yeah it does come at a price! Working with these antique tools makes me feel connected to the old masters of the shaping world - how do you put a price on that? Not like shaping chemically produced inorganic foam, this blank was a once living thing, its really an experience to form it into a surf craft. Still nervous as heck I might screw it up!

I will keep posting pics, but it's hard for the camera to record the changes from this point on.

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mattwho's picture
Joined: 05/12/2014
See 2.10
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I would rather be someone's shot of whiskey, than everyone's cup of tea.

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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

I'm working out of town, and sleeping at the jobsite to save my client some money.  So this project is how I fill my time in the evenings after work.  Here are some pics from the jobsite.

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WideAWAKE's picture
Joined: 02/20/2013
Huck - looks really good!!!! Very impressive.
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"We ain't on our way to Wembley,we ain't gonna win the league. No matter how much they let us down - Westham's still our team"...

wrcsixeight's picture
Joined: 07/18/2012
Must feel so satisfying and rewarding having gotten that chunk of Western red Cedar, to where it now stands. Excellent job. Build thread Extraordinaire.
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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

No power tools lately, I dug out some old seldom used hand planes and put them to work. Along with a variety of other scrapers, sanders and rasps. It's 2 7/8" thick.

The punky wood got 90% shaped out, a couple areas are gonna need a little special attention, but minor compared to how it looked when I first got it.

I'm not working off a specific template per se, using a lot of hand and eye shaping on this one, watching the curves as I go.

& WRC6-8, yes I think I would describe it more as a sense of relief than satisfaction. Its still heavy - 47 lbs. Too heavy to want to paddle it out like this (crowded surf spots)  But hey, it always feels good to shed excess pounds!

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resinhead's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004
What tail shape you gonna go with?
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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009
I am partial to something like this...
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thrailkill's picture
Joined: 05/07/2004
Aloha Huck, To put your 47 pounder in perspective, my first balsa board that I shaped in 1958, weighed close to 45 pounds when finished. Not too far from your present weight. Don't despair!
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Bill Thrailkill SHAPER SINCE 1958
Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

Thanks Bill, I'm surprised, I thought balsa would be lighter. I've got a bit more refining of the rails and bottom to do, but nothing that's going to take pounds off.

Its definitely been an eye opening experience, gives me a new appreciation for the "old masters" of surfboard building.

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thrailkill's picture
Joined: 05/07/2004
Huck, When I ''selected'' the wood for my first surfboard, I DID NOT KNOW that the weight of balsa could vary greatly. I just got the first pieces that I touched. By the time I made my second board, I was in possession of a considerably better understanding of how to build a surfboard. I spent several weeks hanging around the Burland Surfboard Shop, in La Jolla. I was able to watch both Wayne Land, Alan Nelson, and Del Cannon shaping. Ronald Patterson showed me how to glass, sand, and how to put a fin on a surfboard. I was exposed to the ''state of the art'' for 1958. That group of WindanSea ''regulars'', were on the cutting edge of both surfboard design, and charging big waves on the North Shore at that time.
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Bill Thrailkill SHAPER SINCE 1958
Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009
I found this video clip showing what it's like working with a blank like this... https://www.instagram.com/p/Bbzno0lF-PQ/
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Swied's picture
Joined: 11/22/2006
Huck, Great project! You are a true master craftsman. I can't wait to hear the ride report. Is it currently 47 lbs unchambered?
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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

Yes, its 47 lbs. right now. I had planned to finish and ride it like this, but honestly, its just a bit much for this 62 year old geezer to handle, so unfortunately I'm gonna have to violate that incredible monolith quality, and cut 'er open for some weight loss surgery.

Research shows chambered surfboards as early as 1935, so I don't think it violates the period correctness of it, even tho it was never intended to be fully accurate to the period. And hey, you won't see the chambering anyway.

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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009
One down, four to go.
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gbzausa's picture
Joined: 09/13/2009
Is there an advantage to cutting the board longwise with just a little hand saw ?
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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

Narrow kerf, & I do not have access to a band saw. That's a big one, because a band saw would be the logical, ideal tool for this.  But I don't have one, and don't want to stop the project to wait until I can get access to one.  And I guess I just want to see if I can get away with doing it by hand, in the spirit of the project.

I'll use a circular saw down the middle cuz I want to add a stringer there. The little Japanese pull saws work great, as long as you keep the kerf open. Except one area where the grain fought me and just kept binding no matter what I did - amazing how much energy can be stored in an old piece of lumber!

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thrailkill's picture
Joined: 05/07/2004
A rare display of courage! Looking good.
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Bill Thrailkill SHAPER SINCE 1958
Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

Thnx Bill, no great craftsmanship going on here, but I'm grinding my way through. 1st chamber I learned a dew things. My cheap little drill press can only drill halfway, then have to flip it and drill from other side. Same with jig saw blade. Fortunately most of this won't show, only the rip cuts, and I'm hoping they kinda disappear when I put it all back together.

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balsa's picture
Joined: 06/11/2004
Beware with the jigsaw, Huck. Blade will eventually bend out and you will end up with an irregular thickness; don't ask me how I know. Routing or drilling may take more time but they are much safer.
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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009
Thnx I tried several methods and came a little close so I do know now! The drill press not hard but slow going.
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red_boards's picture
Joined: 09/06/2007
I'd be so worried about stuffing a cut. Can you please post weights of sections before and after chambers? Red
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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

Well yeah I do worry about that, pretty much with every cut!!  But I have to remind myself I bought this blank more for the experience of shaping it than for the finished product.

But I'll be honest, fear of goofing up made it hard to get started at first. I finally pushed my fears aside and grabbed the chainsaw and dived in. I have plenty of errors and mis-steps to this project already, but thankfully none that have doomed it yet. Hopefully I'll get thru this with a real live surfboard, but I have no fantasies of perfection. 

One of the biggest lessons of my museum visit was all the imperfections in those old wood hand shaped boards, but you can also see the love of the craft, and you can see the human touch. Wood is naturally imperfect, in the computerized / machine manufactured sense, so it invites a more "hand hewn" approach, at least that's been my philosophy on this. Meaning I'm giving myself pemission for stuff ups as long as they're fixable!

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