Friday, November 20, 2015

Four day wooden board building class.


Wooden surfboards make for a wonderful ride and by making your own you'll have produced a work of art uniquely yours. These classes are run in Southern Queensland by master-craftsman, surfboard builder/designer, and fine furniture maker Stuart Bywater.

How the most recent four-day class went down:

Day 1
Looking inside a Bywater hollow wooden board you’d think there is nothing to it and in many ways this is very close to the truth, Western Red Cedar ribs at every 150 mm and 2 rails each made from three 6 mm thick paulownia strips and a Paulownia Nose and tail block

In the first day all students have assembled the internal frame whether it is a 5'10" fish, 8' pig shape Mal or 10' nose rider, all 9 students are in the workshop to help each other and learn as much as possible. The stoke is high and no one has even been for a surf, gluing techniques, timber species, how to use a hand plane, and the end goal that prize of riding something you made yourself.
After lunch that day we glue the external skins into panels, that is 18 panels for 9 boards, what a great day.

Day 2
On the next day it is all about hand planning rails and practically working inside out, preparing the rails with a hand plane following the contours of the ribs and preparing the frame to glue the external skin over the top.

There isn't much time to rest as we go hard from 8am-4pm working together and getting to know new friends, hearing of surf spots we haven't been to and being told about the one last week. At the end of day 2 the rails are shaped and skins are glued together and now sanded.

Day 3
First thing Saturday and it looks like some of the guys got together and tied one on, they had hit new milestones in their life, they were making their own board and they thought it worth celebrating, so a quick Coffee and we were all into it.
I call everyone together, ok it’s a big day today we are going to glue the skins onto the boards and we will get all glued today, the excitement rises

As we start to cut the skins to shape with the jigsaw, apply glue to the inner frame and the skins and the first board goes in the vacuum bag , excitement overcomes everyone as they can now see it all happening , with 9 students Michael, David and myself the boards start to move very fast and by the end of day 3 all 9 boards are glued and ready to shape tomorrow .

Day 4
The blank is ready to shape.
Cleaning the tape and glue from the board is quick and it is all shaping from here, the rails are cleaned up and start taking shape.
The fin boxes are marked out and routed into the bases, 50/50, 60/40, boxy, round nose everyone has their own reason and theory on why they like certain details as we all surf differently.

By lunch the sandpaper comes out and the boards are being fine-tuned and some lovely boards are created, if only my first board was this refined.

At the end of four days we had made nine boards and each of us had made nine new surf buddys.

If you are interested in making a hollow wooden surfboard our next classes are in February 2016

4 Day Wooden Surfboard Class
February 11 to 14
Each day from 8am-4pm

Full assembly and gluing of frame, gluing the top and bottom skins, vacuum bagging your board, shaping your rails, fin placement, and sanding (ready to glass).

Our last class was filled to capacity so if you are interested please let us know and I will send you an information pack.
   - Cheers, Stuart B

This is reposted from Pacific Longboarder Magazine.
A Wooden Board building class would be a great Christams gift for a friend or family member. Stuart is a very talented wood craftsman and a main supplier of Paulownia to those of us building wooden boards, alaia and handplanes.      or

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