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 Post subject: Help with board building process
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 3:58 pm 
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Location: Saskatchewan
I've read a lot on this forum and am now ready to make my own board. I'm 65 kg, so I'm thinking of making a 143x43 and a 130x39 board. Do you think these are good sizes for a beginner? I've done snowkiting and wakeboarding, but am just starting kiteboarding. I don't have a rocker table or vacuum bagging stuff. I'm using 3/8" Baltic Birch. I have 6oz fiberglass, epoxy, graphics printed off on paper, and paint.

Does this procedure sound right?
1. paint board, let dry
2. epoxy then right away place fiberglass on and epoxy over it (or don't I need to epoxy before the fiberglass since the epoxy soaks through the fiberglass anyway?)
3. sand
4. place graphics on, then epoxy over it (or do I need to lay the paper on over wet epoxy?)
5. sand
6. epoxy again if the finish isn't to my liking

or should the graphic go on after painting?

Thanks for the help!


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 Post subject: Re: Help with board building process
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 4:45 pm 
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Location: rhode island
if your not sure what size/shape board you want i would take advantage of ease and cost of the birch plywood before any further exotic layup plans.

no epoxy
no glass
no paint.

for starters :
sheet of plywood (1/4 or 3/8 or 1/2 )
hand saw or skil saw or saber saw or table saw.
cut 145 x 42 rectangle
screw down some straps and go for a ride.
add some fins
go for a ride
use a hand plane to alter rail shape
go for a ride
if it feels too big bring out your saw and cut off the ends
go for a ride.

you get the idea.

if you want some built in rocker or concave:
you can sandwich 2 sheets of 1/4 inch ply using epoxy (or gorilla glue)
prop ends or middle with bricks and clamp to get desired results while glue sets.

not likely you will need glass for your weight but that is your call.
you can use glass to set rocker/concave instead of sandwiching two sheets of plywood

epoxy is good adhesive and good for laminating
its not a good varnish and too expensive compared to a good urethane uv resistant varnish.

so if you decide to glass , do that first and paint/varnish any cosmetics later

things haven't changed that much since these kids were active building kites and boards
http://www.mit.edu/people/robot/zp/zeroprestige.html
it may give you some ideas .

have fun.
-bill


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 Post subject: Re: Help with board building process
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 5:13 pm 
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Location: Southwestern Ontario
Great post zfennell, I wonder if you use veneer core plywood or just your standard GBS. The Veneer core is heavier but the exposed edges will not have any voids so this will prolong the life of the board since water will not be able to penetrate into the wood as quickly.
From my experience building skim boards using this method, 3/8s is about the thinnest you can use especially if you are doing any jumping.Have you tried 1/4", any success?

Pete


zfennell wrote:
if your not sure what size/shape board you want i would take advantage of ease and cost of the birch plywood before any further exotic layup plans.

no epoxy
no glass
no paint.

for starters :
sheet of plywood (1/4 or 3/8 or 1/2 )
hand saw or skil saw or saber saw or table saw.
cut 145 x 42 rectangle
screw down some straps and go for a ride.
add some fins
go for a ride
use a hand plane to alter rail shape
go for a ride
if it feels too big bring out your saw and cut off the ends
go for a ride.

you get the idea.

if you want some built in rocker or concave:
you can sandwich 2 sheets of 1/4 inch ply using epoxy (or gorilla glue)
prop ends or middle with bricks and clamp to get desired results while glue sets.

not likely you will need glass for your weight but that is your call.
you can use glass to set rocker/concave instead of sandwiching two sheets of plywood

epoxy is good adhesive and good for laminating
its not a good varnish and too expensive compared to a good urethane uv resistant varnish.

so if you decide to glass , do that first and paint/varnish any cosmetics later

things haven't changed that much since these kids were active building kites and boards
http://www.mit.edu/people/robot/zp/zeroprestige.html
it may give you some ideas .

have fun.
-bill


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 Post subject: Re: Help with board building process
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 5:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 908
Location: rhode island
Laughingman wrote:
Great post zfennell, I wonder if you use veneer core plywood or just your standard GBS. The Veneer core is heavier but the exposed edges will not have any voids so this will prolong the life of the board since water will not be able to penetrate into the wood as quickly.
From my experience building skim boards using this method, 3/8s is about the thinnest you can use especially if you are doing any jumping.Have you tried 1/4", any success?

Pete



hi pete,
i'm sure the quality of the ply will have a lot to do with its durability.
but overall my thoughts are that plywood is simply an easy prototype material to cover and much ground as possible until you find the traits that suit you.
it always seem to last long enough to decide if you like it or not.
if you really want to 'save' the design instead of incorporating your ideas into better materials.
a few coats of varnish or a bit of glass will easily make it last for years.

i agree regarding the overall thickness that seem to work best.
i think 1/4" (or 1/8) is best used for building in rocker or concave.
that said, "mako-like" concaves will quickly make a board much stiffer than the initial core stiffness.
regards,
-bill


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 Post subject: Re: Help with board building process
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 11:24 pm 
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Location: Saskatchewan
"you can use glass to set rocker/concave instead of sandwiching two sheets of plywood

epoxy is good adhesive and good for laminating
its not a good varnish and too expensive compared to a good urethane uv resistant varnish."


First of all thanks for the quick replies.

I was thinking of just cutting a piece out and trying it for starters, but I was told the glue in the BB isn't waterproof, so it will come apart. How long would it hold together if I was to try it without sealing with epoxy?

But for future reference, can you post thoughts on the process I outlined please.

I won't be using 2 sheets of plywood so I'm using the glass/epoxy to make rocker. I'm not making it concave.

I've read that epoxy waterproofs better/ is more durable than urethane varnish. You think urethane varnish will be fine though?
What is better about urethane as a varnish compared to epoxy...nicer finish?

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Help with board building process
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 12:07 pm 
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Location: rhode island
epoxy is a great adhesive and an excellant resin for laminating glass,
if you are glassing, the benefits over polyester or vinyl ester are worth the xtra cost imo.
its generally not a good paint unless sold as such with the associated surfactants, pigments and uv inhibiters required to make it a quality user friendly exterior coating.
that usually makes it a lot more expensive than suitable alternatives.
Resin Research sells a surfboard laminatng epoxy that claims to address all of the above failings i have mentioned . i plan on using it some day but haven't yet.
i the meantime there are a lot of plywood boats made over the years that were only painted or varnished with long lasting results. using nothing will probably allow the plank to twist and warp over time as it repeatidly soaks and drys. ( btw, a tried and true method to put rocker into a plank). Structurally i bet it will last all summer (or two) before anything starts to delam.
i am not a fan of glassing over paint. if you've chosen the epoxy as a sealer or adhesive the paint will limit your ability to do either. if you chosen the epoxy as another layer of paint....well you know already how i feel about that

my approach to most 'engineering' type projects is:
Good, Fast, Cheap.....Pick any 2

you've already downselected for fast and cheap.
the added expense of epoxy for a varnish really adds no value over the alternatives.
if you really have your heart set on glassing (no biggy , this is a good place to learn those skills)
But i would practice a bit to avoid wasting all those liquid dollars before they actaully wet out the glass it was intended for.
mix a small amount of resin equal to the weight of the glass you are using and try to get it completely wet out....that should be your goal.
its easy to squeegee 3 of 4 times that weight of resin into the wood with limited structural benefit.

despite all my predictions of doom, much of what you are proposing is common practice for small boat building projects. I'm sure the gougeon brothers of west systems just wanted to sell epoxy , but it can be an easy way to make a strong, light boat.
you'll find lots of good references from the strip-built or stitch 'n glue kayak folks for both glassing and varnishing.
ie
http://www.clcboats.com/shoptips/epoxy_and_fiberglass/

no worries,
-bill


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 Post subject: Re: Help with board building process
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 6:38 pm 
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ZFennell, have you made boards out of 3/8" BB? I was thinking I'd need to glass it for strength and stiffness. If you think that I don't need the extra strength, I'd be glad to skip the glass/epoxy step.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with board building process
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 12:20 am 
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Location: rhode island
600 wrote:
ZFennell, have you made boards out of 3/8" BB? I was thinking I'd need to glass it for strength and stiffness. If you think that I don't need the extra strength, I'd be glad to skip the glass/epoxy step.



no, i've never used baltic birch
but i certainly have opinions regarding how strong or stiff it and weather or not you are lkely to break it.

but, the point i was hoping to make in initial post was/is:
for the amount of money and time you should be investing in a plywood board.
you have the luxury of bending a 4x8 sheet of the stuff ( or any size smaller) and compare it to your favorite board for stiffness.
jump up and down on it to get a feel for how durable/strong it is.
most importantly, go ride it.
too big...cut it down
too soft....increase thickness or increase convave or add glass
too skatey....add some fins or tweak the rails

very soon you will have your own opinion regarding what suits your riding style.
just about anything you want to try with plywood can be changed/undone or repeated with little effort.
if you invest so much money that you cannot afford to break it or lose it you chosen the wrong flavor.

have fun,
let me know.
-bill


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 Post subject: Re: Help with board building process
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 3:56 am 
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Well I cut out my board this afternoon. 142x43cm. ironed it to make a rocker this evening. Wait and see if it sort of holds its shape and will epoxy in the morning and try it out this weekend hopefully. Will take pictures when I get a chance.

Again, thanks for all the help.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with board building process
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:56 pm 
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Figured I better post some pictures of my finished board. I am really happy with how it turned out. There is only about 2cm of rocker. No concave. 6oz fiberglass on the top, Helmans Spar Varnish on the bottom. Just sprayed primer over the epoxy on top and then printed out the 509 logo, cut it out, taped it on and sprayed some white paint on it. I tried it without fins and couldn't hold an edge very good. I am a beginner and this is the only board that I have rode and I haven't rode it since I put the fins on it but am hoping they make it easier. Got the fins for cheap off ebay and the pads/straps were used from Real Kiteboarding for $40. Have enough supplies for 2 more boards, so for 3 boards, the cost is about $50/board if I just switch the pads/straps between them.


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