I got a chunk of wood...

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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

Ok thnx. It looks & feels right to me. I considered a variety of images, but this one jumped out at me.

Especially appropriate since the board & fin design were very much influenced by him. And such an iconic image, instantly recognizable.

Now the challenge is translating it into wood grain art, and executing it appropriately. Never done any actual inlay graphic artwork before per se, but I did some research & it looks doable, if I take my time.

Similar in concept to the work I did on my first hws, but a little more detailed & painstaking. 

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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

.

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tkelly's picture
Joined: 05/10/2004

OMG!!!!!

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Ride on,

Tom

McDing's picture
Joined: 05/22/2004

Man I am telling you, that is so cool!  Awesome and my respect for your patience and painstaking effort.  Lowel

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That which can be assorted without evidence was read in an illegal magazine.

GregTate's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004

I just quit making boards.  Right now.  The bar is too high.  Block me from Sways.

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Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught. - Winston Churchill

wrcsixeight's picture
Joined: 07/18/2012

Very very impressive work Huck.

I'm questioning my so called wood working skills now.

If I tried to make that inlay, my tools would be launched in low earth orbit followed by a stream of vile curses that turn the sky black..

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Surfdude's picture
Joined: 01/03/2018

Great, love that inlay!

You are an artist!

The only thing is, where to place it; I would suggest more to the front than your last picture; my idea is to be able to see at least some parts of the logo when lying prone and or paddling. This helps me to lay very fast in always the same spot; my logos are always position indicators for me.

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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

Thnx guys. Trust me, in person you can see all the flaws. Awhile back I picked up an old hobby scroll saw at a yardsale, with no idea what I would use it for. Turns out it was perfect for this little project.

But this was mos def at the limit of my skills and tools, and it's far from perfect. But I like the overall look, and that's what I was aiming for.

When it was just a piece of paper I moved it around until I found the spot I liked best: 2/3rds up, 6 feet from the tail. Its not going anywhere now :-)

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Curlz's picture
Joined: 04/22/2019

Dude... I absolutely love that board. Well done Huck. Truly. What a cool shaping experience and really appreciate the attention to detail in finishing with that emblem! Really love the hues of color coming from that board.

Lots of pages here and haven't read them all so might have missed it, but what kind of tree was this from?

Super cool... post pics of it's first surf.

Cheers!

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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

Haha thnx & yeah this wood is very special, but you gotta go back and read it, cuz I spent a little time & effort explaining it that you have to read it. Trust me, it is a unique chunk of wood. 

It is a lot of pages, so here's a helpful hint: I address pretty much everything thrown at me, so if you just read the comments by me you will mos def get the continuity of the story. And oh yeah, its covered in my 3rd post on page 1, so I know you didn't try too hard :-)

After a couple of sealer coats on the deck emblem, tonight I put a layer of 6 oz. glass on the deck (deck first on this one). Used about 14 oz. of resin.

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McDing's picture
Joined: 05/22/2004

Hell man that looks great.  My biggest apprehension on a board like that if I were doing it, would have been;  "What's it going to look like under glass.   Well guess what?  Looks great!

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That which can be assorted without evidence was read in an illegal magazine.

Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

Thnx Lowel, the flip side of that is this nagging worry that I better get some glass on this thing before I accidently stain it or somehow otherwise damage it! 

I got the bottom glassed, I always start off calm and collected like the videos, and about 3 minutes into it I'm a half a heartbeat short of total panic, where I remain for the rest of the process :-)  But it went smooth in spite, and now I can set my fin.

I barely have enough resin left to set the fin, but more resin has been ordered and is on the way.  I'd like to finish this up, its so close, but like everyone here the future looks pretty uncertain, so no guarantee when or even if I'll be able to actually surf it. But its been a fun and challenging process.

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jeffrey's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004

Just Stellar, Huck. Next level coolness.

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McDing's picture
Joined: 05/22/2004

Yes it's taken me a few rail dents on storage racks and just moving stuff around and bumping things to finally learn to get glass on a finished shape ASAP.   Did I miss something?  How did you do the mortise/slot?

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That which can be assorted without evidence was read in an illegal magazine.

Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

I did a spruce inset accent around the fin for strength. I glassed inside the slot although it wasn't really necessary. The fin will be glassed on as normal.

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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

After I lammed top & bottom with one layer of 6 oz, I set the fin with 5 minute epoxy, being careful not to get any on the tab or in the slot.

Then I masked off, and used about 50 or 60 strands of glass thread to create a fillet at the base. My epoxy resin went off so I stopped there, then came back with resin thickened with chopped glass, and using my finger dipped in vinegar, finished up the fillet.

It looked a little milky cuz of the vinegar, but that was just on the surface, and it sanded right off.

Came out nice and clean so I dont think I need to add any more glass, I'm pretty happy with it at this point. If I didnt have the tab & slot I might add some more glass cloth each side, but hoping this is strong enough. It's not a big fillet, about 1/4" x 1/4"

Because my tail was foiled so thin I added several layers of glass at the leash hole.

The free laps have been feathered and the deck is ready for fill coat (hot coat).

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McDing's picture
Joined: 05/22/2004

Very nice.

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That which can be assorted without evidence was read in an illegal magazine.

Curlz's picture
Joined: 04/22/2019

Looks really nice. 
 

have you done that before... just the strands for the fillet? I ask as it looks so clean. I just glassed on my keels and don't like how bulky it looks at the base... granted I probably used too much, but still. That looks really clean and if you say it's strong. 
 

again really nice

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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

The fillet is about half long strands that run the length of the fin base, and half resin thickened with chopped fiber.

It looks and feels strong, in combination with the 5 minute epoxy glue the fin was attached with. And the fin had a tab that fit snug in a slot in the board.

I didn't glue the tab in the slot cuz if I ever hit something hard enough to knock the fin loose I don't want to tear the board up. But it was a pretty tight fit, I think that adds a lot of strength to the joint.

But no, I haven't done this before exactly this way, so I don't really know. I haven't done many glass on fins, I usually use a removable fin system. When I have glassed a fin on I reinforced with multiple strips of fiberglass cloth that overlap half on the fin and half on the board..

Which I could still do, if anyone thinks its needed. I haven't fill coated (hot coated) the bottom yet, so I have time to think about it. I do like the clean look of the smaller fillet.

The chopped fiber mix was gooey and hard to work into a smooth clean gusset. That's why I kept dipping my finger in vinegar as I worked it. But I got it as clean as I could.

Once it set hard I sanded with 60 grit, and then 100 grit wet, wrapped around a small dowel, and it cleaned up nice. The tape protected the adjacent surfaces as I sanded.

You might use the search function, I'm sure there have been threads on this in the past.

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McDing's picture
Joined: 05/22/2004

Quite a few board builders were using fin slots just prior to industry wide acceptance of the fin box and removeable fins.   The way you have done it provides added strength and still maintains that glassed on look.  Not glueing the tab in the slot, should also make it easier to repair if ever need be.

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That which can be assorted without evidence was read in an illegal magazine.

Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

Fill coat deck this morning, almost ready to sand. Its got that typical epoxy "curdled" finish, gonna take some time with a sanding block and 100 - 200 grit paper, tryna get the dimples out without much more than kissing the weave. Just seems to be the regular thing with epoxy, but its manageable.

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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

Not done yet, hope it's not too early to celebrate how far I've come:-)

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thrailkill's picture
Joined: 05/07/2004

Quite an impressive transformation.        Much like a homely caterpiller, becoming a beautiful Butterfly.       Almost magical.

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Bill Thrailkill SHAPER SINCE 1958
Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

Thnx Bill!

And thanks to all who followed & commented in this thread. Thnx to UncleGrumpy for the museum tour, and to Bill Thrailkill for giving me the once in a lifetime opportunity!

Did my level best to recreate WideAwake's iconic shot of my surfboard's twin from the same tree.

You have no idea how many times I dreamed of this moment, lol. Governor Newsom sez I gotta wait to surf it, tho :-(

But at least I can finally say, that's a wrap :-)

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unclegrumpy's picture
Joined: 09/16/2006

Awesome. 

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No; It's not an ironing board.

rooster's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004

Hi Huck. I haven't had much to say on this build thread because it leaves me speechless. I don't have the words to express what a wonderful thing you have done with Bill's chunk of old growth redwood and your new board. Congratulations, sir. Mike

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MiWie's picture
Joined: 08/04/2016

Totally awesome work. Leaves me speechless.

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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

Thank you guys for all the praise, but I have to be totally honest: the finished product is not showroom quality like a lot of guys here are capable of.  I am proud of the physical work, persistence, and patience involved in finishing this, but lets face it - the real star here is the wood.

So many times along this journey I literally felt like I screwed it up and it wasn't going to end well. At times I wondered if it would ever end up in a surfboard at all.  I cut the blank apart by hand, the stringers are not precision straight.  They're a little wobbly in spots.  I struggled with the chambering process, the cut outs are pretty crude, unlike some of the pros here who work so clean and precise. Several times in working with this old brittle wood a piece would crack along the grain - big "oops!", and have to be glued and clamped back together.

The shape itself was a challenge, as wood is not as easy to shape as foam, and working from a block is not like just fine tuning the wood planks over a framework.  So many times, even now, I can look at the shape and think I should have taken off a bit more here or there, should have pulled the nose in a little more, worked the rocker a bit more - my wife says I tend to be like the cook who's been in the kitchen too long, nothing tastes just right.

If I planed a high spot down, then I worried did I take too much and weaken the shell.  I chambered pretty aggressively, so there isn't as much meat to the shell as most chambered boards. I guess working with such a rare piece of wood added its own pressures.  I also worried every step of the way if I was really honoring the old guard, the wood boards and wood board shapers of our history.  I know the leash attachment wasn't true to the era, but in that case I felt I had to be true to myself, this leash attachment is one of my signature details, it just felt right to me.  But nevertheless I agonized over it.

When, in the middle of shaping this on the jobsite I was working and staying at in west L.A., I was suddenly and unexpectedly laid off, and at the same time had to get hip replacement surgery, and retire, it really looked like it might be permanently derailed.  The pieces sat in the garage for a year and a half, where my cats sprayed them, knocked them over and broke the ends off, and sharpened their claws on them. 

I didn't have a lot of confidence in the work I had done to that point, and all my tools were boxed up.  My shaping room was in total disarray.  Finally I gave myself a lecture about following through, and honoring the rarity of the find, and I dug the pieces out.  Cleared out my shaping room, unboxed my tools, and started up again.  That was just before the Corona Virus turned the world upside down.

Somehow I worked my way though all my doubts and negative thoughts, and finally finished the board.  Spending hour after hour cutting chambers, filling them with packing foam scraps, planing and scraping and sanding sanding sanding, while tedious at times, took my mind off the depressing news that flooded the networks.  It was actually therapeutic.

Finished up, I did not use a true gloss coat nor did I sand and polish it.  I may do some polishing later, but for now I just let the final coat dry and called it good.  The wax in the additive gives a nice enough finish, but like I say, not showroom.

The wood, on the other hand, is just gorgeous.  The depth and character in the grain is just amazing.  From the beginning, the wood was the attraction.  That's why I was surprised when I contacted Bill and discovered no one had bought it yet.  I wondered then, and still do, if maybe people didn't realize clear vertical grain old growth western red cedar in this size is not available now anywhere at any price, it has to come from a different era, you need a time machine to get a chunk like this, or a barn find.  But I didn't know it would look so amazing, you defintely couldn't tell from looking at that old gray chunk in Bill's driveway.  I didn't think then about the finished look, only about the privilege to work with old wood like that.

At times, I chastised myself for even buying the wood and attempting to shape a board from it.  A little voice in my head said this should have gone to Gene Cooper, or Jim the Genius, or Marc Andreini, or Josh Martin, guys who would guarantee a spectacular finished product from this once in a lifetime find.  I had to remind myself that I was the first one to show up at Bill's house with cash in hand, so if the blessing of owning this landed in my lap, it was OK, I just had to do my best and that would be good enough.

I'm pretty sure a real pro would have made this board without any putty or sloppy glue lines, but I have plenty of both.  Still, thanks to that spectacular grain, it looks great in spite of me. And if I feel good about anything, its that I finished the board like the original chain saw weilding creator of the blank would have wanted, as a rideable surfboard.

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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

.

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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

.

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Curlz's picture
Joined: 04/22/2019

It's hard to pick a favorite thing about that board Huck, but I think it's got to be that dark streak of the wood on the one side. 
 

looks so cool man. Just an amazingly beautiful board. 
 

P.S - I like that you did your signature tail leash. It was right to do so. It was your sweat and tears that made this board and should reflect you and your signature. No one else's. Also, in art there is true beauty to imperfections. 

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GregTate's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004

Huck, you're a Pro. 
 

all the best

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Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught. - Winston Churchill

wrcsixeight's picture
Joined: 07/18/2012

Western Red Cedar is a beautiful wood, but you can't lay all the credit with it.

Awesome job.  It came out beautifully.

It will be a wave magnet that will bring you tremendous joy each time you ride it.

It will not feel like it weighs 26.5 Lbs, with wax when  underfoot, only when underarm and perhaps only on the way to the ocean, as you'll be too giddy afterward a session to notice.

Again, great work.

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rooster's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004

You honored it, Huck, you honored it. Mike

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McDing's picture
Joined: 05/22/2004

The "Phil" logo matches the Phil lines.  I hadn't made the comparison of the Phil Edwards-esq outline and rail before.  Very much so though.  Best, most refined shaping(imho) that I have seen you do.  Very nice rail.  Great job.  And yes the tailblock leash attachment is the "Huck" arteest signature.

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That which can be assorted without evidence was read in an illegal magazine.

MrMik's picture
Joined: 07/17/2012
Brilliant! When life gives you lemons, make lemonade...Best use of Corona physical distancing I have seen yet!
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sk8ment's picture
Joined: 08/22/2013

Dear gosh.

What a journey. I maintain that this thing would sit proudly beside the other wood builds in SHACC, the work and attention to detail is fantastic, and to read the thread, the level of overt humble self doubt and depreciation is a credit to your character. 

You said after my last post that I "cracked you up", but I wasn't joking. 

I never thought you would top the tranparent fish hollow polyester thing you made back in the day but this is on another level. Truely magnificent. 

Warts, imperfections, blemishes and all.

Well done Huck!!!!

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@reclaim_surf formerly Skatement

(Adam) Sunshine Coast Queensland Australia

Rloop19's picture
Joined: 04/18/2020

Wow this thing looks absolutley remarkable

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gbzausa's picture
Joined: 09/13/2009

Huck , looks like you got the board out in the ocean , ride report ?

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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

Yes, I did paddle it out today, although its premature for a real ride report.

I really wasn't even planning to ride it today, but I thought I might bring it along. Its been so long since I've even been in the water, with the Corona lockdown here in California, I didn't want to take out a new board for the first time. I wanted my old familiar daily driver under my feet, and then I figured I might try the wood board at the end of my session, if it wasn't too crowded.  But then there was a problem with my wife's car, and I had to take my truck.  I can take two boards with her car, but only one with the truck (I mean, I can take two, but then I worry about theft). And since my mother in law was spending the night sleeping on the sofa, and I left early about 3:30 a.m, and would have had to go through that room to get my daily driver, I opted to take the woodie cuz it was out in the shop in my backyard.

So I did take it out.  Paddled out at the crack of dawn and within 2 seconds hit a submerged rock and banged up the fin.  The attachment to the board was unaffected, but the leading edge got kinda chewed up. There was a little swell in the water, but the angle was wrong, so the waves were more like short beach break waves than the usual longer point break rides I prefer.  And it did get crowded, being the first day of legal surfing in Los Angeles.

I got 3 waves, and called it a morning. The crowd was growing, and the swell was dying, so that was that.

First wave was the best, a sweet little right peak that peeled off nicely.  The next two were bigger, set waves, around head high, but both sectioned out and left me nowhere to go after a nice satisfying drop. And I waited a long time to get them.

So based on that sketchy session, I felt the board was smooth as butter. It feels heavy to me carrying 26 lbs. down to the water, but on the wave it just feels smooth. It felt very responsive for the few little turns I got in.  Wave 2 the drop felt pretty steep, and it handled it no problem no issues. I just wish I had a little green water to turn into off the bottom, but no chance.

So that's it, sorry I don't have more to report, but that's L.A. surfing, for me anyway, I just don't get a lot of waves on a normal day, less so on the first day after a long lockdown, with a dying swell from the wrong direction. It still felt great to be out there again, and worth every bit of effort and hassle it took. And the board felt good enough I think it could actually be a comfortable daily driver if I want. And I can just get mesmerized by that incredible grain pattern, sitting in the water I find myself just kinda studying it in amazment sometimes.

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sk8ment's picture
Joined: 08/22/2013

Shame about the fin damage, sounds like something i would do.

Great to hear you had it out though.

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@reclaim_surf formerly Skatement

(Adam) Sunshine Coast Queensland Australia

gbzausa's picture
Joined: 09/13/2009

Huck how does it float you and how does it paddle ?

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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

Floats & paddles pretty much like any 9 footer, nothin' special one way or another. I do kinda feel the extra weight helps a little at the initial entry into the wave, but I'm sure that's subjective. Turns are not difficult, but kinda like manual steering as opposed to power steering, there is a definite old school feeling to the ride.

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Parsurf's picture
Joined: 09/11/2018

That looked like a crazy mount of work. Worth it in the end.  Kudos!

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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

It was. It could have been done easier, if I did 10 I bet every one would be a little easier. I'm glad its over :-) 

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KarlMeer's picture
Joined: 06/10/2007

Huck! what a great read, what an amazing project! I am stoked for you that you finally had the chance to take the board out!

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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

Just a brief update: the board is currently on display at the Ventura Antique Market, 457 E Thompson Blvd, Ventura, CA 93001 (next to the Habit Burger on Thompson near the pier), and will remain there for some time - in case anyone wants to check it out in person!

If you happen to stop by when my friend David (middle pic), the business owner / manager is there (most days) he is an old California surfer himself, a real character, and will be happy to swap surf stories with you! (The bottom pic is Swaylockian Proneman at the infamous Malibu Wall)

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thrailkill's picture
Joined: 05/07/2004

Truely a TOUR DE FORCE surfboard build.     A real display of woodworking skill.    Impressive.

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Bill Thrailkill SHAPER SINCE 1958

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