Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wooden Board building class in Japan with Paul Jensen.

$1,500 USD includes tuition and materials for any board....

This small group workshop in Japan with only four students, is guaranteed to be once in a lifetime experience unlike anything you've ever done before and you go home with an amazing  board you built...

This workshop is sure to sell out, so reserve your place early...Registration closes January 31, 2014

More info on the class and how to register:HWS Japan 2014 Registration & Info

Japan contact: woodensurfboard@gmail.com (available in Japanese)

2010 Japan Workshop - Pictures and words from the 2010 Japan Class 

Happy New Year everyone

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The "Wood Buddha"

While you are on holidays and have some time on your hands you could check out this very detailed and entertaining account of building a wooden board. Torsten has vac bagged Paulownia over an EPS core and explained every step of the process for you.
Check it out HERE
 Skins on and ready to laminate
 Getting the laminates to go round the nose
 A lot more engineering than I use but still gets the job done
 It can be thirsty work and sometimes you need to celebrate your achievements
 Coming together nicely
 All ready for finishing
All set for summer when get some swell.
For more of his work - "Be at peace with yourself and all things"

Frameless wooden board

Vincent O Halloran or Vinny in Ireland has just completed a hollow wooden board without a frame inside.
"Its just rails deck and bottom, no inside frame or foam, basically I looked into monocoque structures and came up with this.
The rails are Ash what they use to make the traditional hurling stick (one of Irelands national games ) the flex in the hurling stick allows the player to hit a leather ball considerable distances.
 Im pretty stoked with it, its light, strong and has way more flex than the earlier boards I made with the frame inside . Ive just got to get it wet soon and see how it likes the water !! It might need some tweaking but on the whole it seems sound enough."
"Yeah it seems the rails hold the board all together and the deck works like an eggshell , pressure is transferred out to the rails. I've yet to surf this one but it seems strong in the workshop , as always there will be some tweaking till I get it right."

A great looking board and good to see someone doing something different and willing to put the time in to experiment and push the limits. Nice one Vinny. Keep me posted with the ride report.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Lanolin in Europe and USA

I often get asked about lanolin and where people can get it from. Here in Australia and New Zealand we have access to Lanotec which is what I use. But I have just been informed by Kai Dame from Germany that a company in Germany called Fluid Film also has lanolin based products that look very similar. It looks like it is widely available in Europe. I have found it in the States as well at : http://www.fluid-film.com/products/msds.html
 Lanolin is the natural waterproof grease that is extracted from sheep's wool. It is all natural and nothing is added to it and it seems like there is very little that can be used to thin it down or wash it off without a lot of effort. In the Lanotec I use their General Purpose product which is their thinnest product as I figure it will soak into the wood easily, which it will. I also only buy the non aerosol dispenser as I only want the natural product by itself. If you apply it outside in the sun it will soak into the timber fairly quickly and you will know when it will take no more as it will gel on the surface. So then you wipe off the excess and buff it up. Once it has penetrated the timber it will leach out very slowly and provide a very sticky surface once it hits salt water. Then after the water dries off it will dry back and be no where near as sticky. How or why I have no idea but it works. I know guys who have had up to 3 months surfing without having to reapply any lanolin. It also nourishes the timber and waterproofs it at the same time. So the timber will retain all its natural properties longer.
Because this is a natural product and derived from animals rather than plant material like most other nut oils and such, I have found that it will not grow mould in the soft grain as plant based oils will. Although I know that can be somewhat over come by adding vinegar to the plant based oil mixture.
As you will see on the sites it has many uses and is widely used in all sorts of industries and some harsh conditions so for what we want it is a very good solution that also saves you the cost of having to glass your board and saves the weight that comes with that. A wooden board with a lanolin coating would have to be one of if not the "greenest" method of building a surfboard that I know of. I came to using this method from my early years growing up in New Zealand and seeing the timber in sheep shearing shed and yards buffed up with years of sheep rubbing up against them. The lanolin from their wool waterproofed the timbers some of which are hardwoods for many many years.The same here in Australia and most all timber used here for shearing sheds and yards would be hard woods. So using Paulownia as I do I get a greater penetration of the oil and so a storage of the oil within the timber meaning it last quite some time between coats. The only other feedback I have had is that when it is used in cooler waters it takes a little longer to become sticky.
If you have any other experiences using Lanolin, please let me know.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you all out there. And thanks for your support all year. I have slowed up with post as I have been very busy but hope to catch up over the break. I hope you all have a great break and get lucky with a few waves. Keep the projects coming and I will share them out to everyone.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Making it sustainable and making it different

Every year a group of Danish year 12 students stay with Aussie families and complete their schooling at Kingscliffe TAFE in northern NSW. Building sustainable surfboards form part of their assessment...(wish we had that opportunity at school). This year they built 5 boards using 5 different construction methods.Their teacher Aaron is very clever guy and I take my hat off to him for taking on a very challenging project. A lot of unpaid overtime right there. Check out what they have created.
This group of year 12 students  from Kingscliffe Tafe are lucky enough to be completing a project which involves building environmentally sustainable surfcraft. 5 different build methods have been used and all boards are built predominantly from Australian Paulownia timber and use no foam or fibreglass.
Geoff from Paulownia Timber Sales loves helping groups like this. "I love helping them to realise that surfboards can be made in many ways and don't have to look / feel / ride like every other board and that there are no limits or boundaries in surfboard design.. ..or in anything...."
 Great to see someone taking the time with a group of young people to expand the possibilities and expose them to what is out there. Nice one Geoff and Aaron
 Very cool to see
 For more info check it out HERE

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Zinny's new board

Good friend Zinny lives in Western Australia and was one of the first people to contact me about my vacuum bagging building method and has been experimenting for some time with the process with great results. What follows are some shots he sent me of him building his boards.
 To the shaped EPS stringerless blank is glued a thin parabolic stringer or first rail band.
Masking tape applied to protect the blank from extra glue
 Vacuum pump at the ready to get the skins on
Top and bottom skins applied at the same time
Zinny is a builder and so he has opted to build a jig the same shape as his boards rail line to laminate the rail bands to. This way they can then be added to the board as one unit.
 Here the rails have been added prior to being shaped
 Final shaping of the rails
 Looking the goods
 Final sanding and fine tuning of the rails
 Routing and setting up the fin boxes
 All set, with plenty of options to try out.
 Epoxy resin brushed on to seal the Paulownia

 Ready for action in the wild reefs of WA
A great looking result with a long life ahead of it.