Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ian's new board all finished and ready for action.

Ian has just finished is 9ft longboard.All the components have been laser cut from hardwood ply with cork rails and deck inlay.

Ian has used some interesting details on this board.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Simon Skerry Alaias at Stone and Wood.

Last night down at Byron Bay a number of young designers and surfboard builders gathered to show their wares at Stone and Wood brewery. Great location to meet anytime when you can stand surrounded by vats of beer and surfboards , photographs of surf and groovy clothes.Oh and $2 beers.I met Simon from Lennox Head there and he builds boards in a shed out in the country. Nice resin work on his boards. But these two alaias stood out as being quite different.
The one on the left a much wider coffin shape with a fin flex profile. And the other a radical fish shape was thicker and the nose more hullish. The bottom had many deep channels and was well made. Both very different and very interesting.

Check him out at : Skerry Surfboards

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Board building classes offered

Rich Blundell, the co-founder of Grain Surfboards in the USA and who is responsible for the Tree to Sea forum, the largest Wooden Surfboard Builders forum of its kind in the world, will be visiting Australia in 2011. He will be running two Workshops on building your own Hollow Wooden Surfboard in Victoria.
Using his patent-pending Strip & Feather method, participants will be instructed in the art of building a Hollow Wooden Surfboard using one of his many proven designs, or Rich can design one especially for you.
Each Workshop will be limited to 8 participants and will run for Two Days.
At the completion, each participant will take home a Hollow Wooden Surfboard that they have made themselves, ready for final sanding and fibreglassing.
Both Workshops will be held on the Mornington Peninsula in Mount Eliza, Victoria in March 2011.
So if you have ever thought of building your own Hollow Wooden Surfboard, but don`t know how, or you have already built one and would like to try Richs` newly refined method of construction, this is your chance.

For further information and Workshop dates visit the Website treetosea.org
Or phone Robert Ivers 0409 211751

Troy and his recycled SUP

" Hi Grant, Here are a few pics of a 10'8" SUP I just laminated. The deck and bottom are made of recycled cedar fence boards from one of my landscape client's old fence. I was building them a new one of corrugated steel and bamboo, and while working on that, kept eyeballing the old boards. The owner asked us to take them away, so off they went to await their metamorphosis. Combined with Paulownia (rails, nose and tail blocks) and a bit of mahogany and redwood, it looks sweet. "

Troy seems to always be building another SUP , in fact he builds more than anyone I know of. So if you need some pointers contact him : lefthandman@mac.com

Monday, November 22, 2010

Boris and his Alaias

" My name is Boris Stender, I am from Germany. first I want to say I love your blog ´wooden surfboards`. I did not knew that there are so many boardbuilders.... I learned a lot about boardbuilding.

I lived a few years on the Canary Island because I love surfing. in February a friend showed my an Alaia. I heard about this type of boards but never touched it. back in Germany I went to my local wood dealer and bought some Paulownia."

" The logo and the words are not burned, its printed on a normal inkjet printer on a paper for transforming on t-shirts. you print it out and than you had to iron it on the board."

"The first Alaia is 7´2´´ x 15 1/2´´ x 3/4´´ because I found this dimensiones in the web. the second I made a bit wider 7´2´´ x 16 1/4´´ x 3/4´´ and the third is 6´6´´ x 161/2´´ x 3/4´´...."

" I was inspired by Tom Wegener but I added a channeled bottom because I thought that is the minimum if there are no fins. the result was great when we tried the boards in April...."

" Here they are riden by friends of mine Manuel Cabezudo and Asier Agirre. fotos of Manolo are from April, Asier from November. they told me they liked the session a lot......"

As you can see there are people from all walks of life from all sorts of places , even land locked countries building wooden boards. It is great to have them share their experiences , so thanks Boris and we look forward to your next projects.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What about your own Paulownia plantation. Boards forever.

Yes here is your opportunity to have your very own supply of Paulownia at your back door.Here is the email I was sent :

" I would like to let everyone know that there is a Paulownia plantation for sale on the Northern Rivers of NSW.
It is at a place called Mountaintop which is ten minutes drive south west of Nimbin.
249 acres.
$1.2 million.
80 acres of the Paulownias have been cleared and bulldozed into piles.
There is another 120 acres of Paulownia trees, the trees are about 15 years old."

Here is a link to Elders real estate Lismore :
Plantation for sale
More info

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Davids board ready for a few waves this summer.

David did the Paul Jensen course last month and this is the board he built. It is now ready to be tested in the waves this summer.Here is Davids email to me.

" This board has been influenced by many people directly and indirectly. I call the board Manna Fish since it was built at Manna Park where the class was held.

Manna Fish
5'10" x 21" x 2.5"
Built by hand October 2010 at Merimbula
Decks - Blackwood, Western Red Cedar and Paulownia
Rails - Cork and Ply
Fins - Marine Ply
Inspired by Steve Lis
Designed by Paul Jensen
Board Construction and Fins by David Chung
Rails shaped by Jed Done
Glassing by Jye Byrnes
45+ hours to build and a lifetime to enjoy.

Building this board has been an incredible experience. Now to get some waves :-)

Thanks for the blog and inspiring other wooden board builders."


As you can see from Davids comments this is really a journey of learning and a great challenge to take on if you are into your surfing and have a few skills in the shed. Not many tools required to build a board. Just a passion to express yourself in your own way. Do it , you will never look back.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wooden surfboard Rails workshop / class offered

Huck has been working on his method of building boards and especially the rails. Many people have asked him about his approach and so he has set about to conduct an online class to share his experience.

" Since receiving and answering many requests to explain my wood rail system, I've been thinking about how best to present / explain the system to an interested group. After a year of using the system, I am now offering a step-by-step workshop / class. Cost will be $15 per person. This is an online class, so all the teaching will take place at the computer, and in your own working environment whatever that is.

I call my system Bahrman rails because many people asked me if my board had Jensen rails, and I had to explain it was my own rail system. So to distinguish it from any other rail systems, I began calling it the bahrman rail system. I don't claim to have invented anything new, I haven't patented or copyrighted it, and don't doubt something very similar has been done by others before. In fact, I know one shaper who posts pics online has a similar system, 'tho not identical.

With this system, the rails can be built first, and the strength of the board is in the rails. The rails effectively become the perimeter stringer, and a very strong one at that. Because of this, the remainder of the board can be filled in with a variety of different methods. If you normally work with foam, you can build your board with foam. The method would work well with compsand, and is probably similar to many compsand boards being made today. If you like the "fish bones" method of most hollow wood surfboards, you can build accordingly. To test the structure, I even built a board just using the rails and a piece of plywood glued top and bottom, producing a 100% hollow surfboard. It has been test ridden for several hours and lots of waves, and works fine so far.

The weight is comparable to most wood rail systems, and dictated largely by the wood chosen. Balsa or paulownia are probably the lightest, although I have always used 2x6 Calif. redwood, sometimes combined with 1x6 cedar, because they are available very inexpensively at my local big-box stores. I recommend using an inexpensive wood that is fairly light and easy to shape for your first time. Later, once the process is understood, you may go to more expensive woods if desired.

If you want to get experimental, this is a good method. Because the rails carry so much of the strength of the board, the options open up for the actual remaining structure. Use your imagination. Once you understand the system, you will see that it can be modified in numerous ways, and you can proceed to customize and experiment on personalizing the process on your own future builds. A rocker table is not required for this system, but a solid flat workbench top is. Also recommended is a good set of shaping racks, like shown in the bottom picture.

This is a solid rail system, carved or sanded to shape. To build the rails, you will probably want to use a handheld jigsaw (which is what I use) or a bandsaw (which I would use if I had one!). Clamps are helpful, although screws can be used instead, and then taken out once the glue dries. To shape the rails, a belt sander, 4" handheld grinder with sanding disc, and power planer may be used. Although they could be shaped without power tools (carved and sanded) if so desired. Although not difficult, if you are not comfortable with "shaping" your rails, this is probably not the system for you. And you should be aware that there is a certain amount of "waste" when carving or shaping, that differs from the minimal sanding required of rails built with strips.

$15 U.S. cost of class, no refunds for withdrawal. I will set it up so that payment may be made by PayPal, credit card, or you can send a money order by mail. Everyone will have access to a step-by-step detailed explanation of the process with accompanying pictures / drawings as needed. You can proceed at your own rate, but will be expected to keep your project moving forward on a regular basis.

Classes will be conducted through a private Delphi forum not open to the public, so you must join Delphi (free), and you must be able to post pics. A separate photo-hosting site is highly recommended - like flickr photobucket or picasa, (most are free), as Delphi picture size and space is very limiting, but with a separate photo hosting site, there are no limits. I cannot answer questions very well if I can't see a pic of your project, and I will expect every student to post pics of their progress. To see if you can use Delphi and post pics, you are welcome to try my free public Delphi forum Surfers Surfing Surfboards.

I will walk everyone who joins through the process. You must have a full-sized board template (plan shape) and rocker template (stringer shape) to proceed. Because this will be a group forum, we will learn from each other also, but without the distraction of outside observers and trolls.

Registration will be open until the end of the month. At the first of December, class will begin. What you will end up with is a wood surfboard perimeter rail. You can build your board using any method you want. While the class does not concern itself with the remainder of the build, I will answer questions and discuss the options for those who desire.

If anyone is interested, email me at doghousereilley@yahoo.com, and title your email "bahrman rails class"

- Huc

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Roger's Redwood hotcurl

Roger Hall from Surfline Surfboards in New Zealand loves wood and loves a challenge.

He spent a whole day at a timber yard selecting the right sticks for this project , matching colour and weight for this solid wall hanger board.

Cleaning it up with the hand plane to get it ready to setup on the APS3000 shaping machine.

A sharp cutting head , plenty of time and you can save a weeks worth of work using the right gear.Roger has hand shaped many wooden boards and done the hard yards , hand sanding and finishing . So this is just the smart way to get the job done without wrecking yourself and saving an enormous amount of time when you are a small operator.

Plenty of cuts and the finish is pretty well smooth as a babies bum. Saves days of hand sanding.

And there you have it a 1930's 10ft Hot Curl finless board ready for oiling. That will make the colour come out. Roger isn't the biggest guy , but it looks like she carries a little weight.

The Kiwi Alaia

John Sutcliffe from New Zealand is looking forward to a fun summer at his local break of Mangawhai Heads in the North Island. He has just finished his first alaia and I don't know that they are that common in " The land of the long black raincoat ".

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dave Dewitt's 7ft 2" quad fish under way.

" The board is a 7'2" quad fish 21" wide made from 6mm Paulownia and western red ceder accent strips and will have a 4oz glass all over. "

This is Dave's own design , similar to the Grain kits with bead and cove rail method.

To explain to the following ... " I'm a Car designer at Ford, we use a Software called Alias which I used to create the data for the Hollow wooden fish,
The process involved starting with designing the exterior surface of the board and then working from this to create the internal structure including the frame, rail profiles and timber thickness allowances. This all then gets unwraped or flattened. which translates into 2D data for templates."

I agree with Dave that computers and people who know the software can make the whole process so much easier and far more accurate. I to started building boards by drawing them up on butchers paper and bending long lengths of thin wood to get my curves and flow I was after. But hand lofting plans and then copying them onto wood to hand cut out is a long process. Very rewarding and a great learning experience. But like most people I would say the hardest part is creating the rail band shape if you are building a board with laminated rails. It is such a complex curve and a very important one as it ends up being very visible in the finished board.A computer can create this for you in no time at all.The other thing that becomes quite obvious is that there are so many design elements and decisions to be made as you go.We have spent countless hours sitting on boards and probably only felt the rail as we slide it in and out of the board bag. It will certainly help if you have an appreciation of what you have been riding and what you like when it comes your time to design a board.I am sure that once you have made your first board that you will have a greater appreciation for the hand shaper who has carved out your board by hand and eye.
My greatest learning came from hand shaping a couple of boards and feeling the sculpting and hand crafting of the foam shape. A great feeling.
Another great tool is downloading AKU Shaper which is the free software that many shapers use to design boards and then have computer cut from foam.You can try all sorts of ideas and 3D model them for free. Even buy a blank and have a foam board cut from foam as a trial horse prior to building a wooden version. You could buy a seconds blank and get it cut on the computer for $25 for a short board or $50 for a longboard.Glass it and surf it or cut it up to make templates for your chambered board ? There are many ways of using technology to help in the process. Yes some will say what about the hand craft side of things. A computer is also a tool and there isn't much these days that they can't do or help you with.You are on one now, so you know the power it has.There is no easy way of building a wooden board , but there are plenty of ways to help make some of the decisions you are faced with along the way.