Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Exposed roots

Want to glimpse the roots of Grainsurf? Check out the July-August issue of Wooden Boat Magazine for an AWESOME article (on newsstands now). I think it really captures the essence of those formative times. Thanks Sherry and Matt. Very cool! Read it here page-by-page: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5.

No doubt about it, reading it made me miss those early days - the good parts anyway - like the seemingly unshakable camaraderie, sense of community, and the feeling that we were doing something truly organic. Those ideals persist, just with different faces and ambitions I guess. Hope all is going well Mikey, your shop looks awesome.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Curious device

I've been thinking about building a new 9' design. It has always been a challenge to try and transfer shapes from an existing board to a paper template that can be used to guide frame shapes. Usually I'd use computer software to generate and print out an original shape. But this time I'm thinking I want to "reverse engineer" an existing board that I really like.

On a hike I came up with this little idea for a tool:

It's a set of curve transfer calipers. The rounded ends rest on the board and gauge it's thickness at any given point. The other end has little felt tip pens installed in threaded holes that will draw the shape to scale on a piece of paper. I only need half and then mirror it for the full frame shape. When that shapes are traced and cut out of marine ply, presto, perfectly shaped renditions.

The idea is to slide the tool perpendicular to the keel at 8" intervals (one for each frame). The elastic band keep constant pressure on the contact points.

I haven't actually tried it yet, but if I do I'll let you know how well...or how lousy they worked. If anybody out there has a better idea (or knows of an existing tool) feel free to leave a comment.

Now I'm sure you just can't wait to try these yourself. Feel free to download the full size plans here. and make your own set.

Good luck!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Feels good...

... to finally finish a project and have it come out well.

After the delivery of the MB's Striper (left) I got to work on the 6'9 "Shingle fin." Here's a happy family photo:

The "Shingle Fin" has very little rocker which makes it easy to paddle and launch into waves, and makes it really slick down the line.

A nice "Rising Sun" single fin made from recycled cedar shingle. Nice halo (that's the whitish outline).

Here's the view I hope to have soon.. just in the line up! I'll keep you posted on how it surfs.

Up next? A nice 9' "Wing" longboard. Stay tuned for that.

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Shingle Fin Fin

Almost forgot a photo of the Shingle Fin's namesake.

No doubt about it, fins are A LOT of work (design, mill, glue parts, assemble, glue, shape, sand, coat, shape, sand, laminate, sand, make halo, glass halo, sand halo, laminate, sand, tack to board, lay roving, glass roving, shape, sand, laminate wings, sand, sand, hot-coat, finish).

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Shingle Fin

I've finally had a chance to get back to work on a board I started this winter. It is a 6'9" Channel Islands Inspired "single fin."

Since it's a revisited board, the rail construction method is the "old" cork and bending ply type. It still works really well so I'm stoked. The bottom countours of this board have pretty extreme double concave in the exit - hard to pull off but I'm very happy with the way it came out. This board catches waves like a dream so it could be my new daily ride.

Here's a few photos:

The fin for this board is made primarily from recycled cedar shingles I salvaged off a construction site (hence the name).

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Mission Accomplished...

Hey MB, your board is ready.

Next up, a 6'9" single fin.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Striper Update

Finally warm enough (and dry enough) to get to laminating the deck of the MB Striper. Optimally it would be 80 degrees and very low humidity. Otherwise I risk making the finish cloudy.
The first step is to cut the glass cloth to size.
Next, pour out the epoxy mixture onto the surface and gently squegee it out, working it to saturate the cloth.
Much time spent saturating the cloth around the rails. This is the one place where the weave overlaps.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Fin Supervisor

This weekend, even though I wish it was a little warmer, I had the chance to work a bit on MB's Fins and glassing.

I find the hardest part of the process to be making fins.

So I hired a supervisor.

Now she's always looking over my shoulder to make sure they're perfect.

Can't complain though, she works for dry food.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Back to building...and surfing

After a few bumps, we've finally come to rest.

For me, building (and surfing) these wooden works of art has always been a labor of love. So I'm psyched to announce the new home for this blog and the "Tree to Sea" Wooden Surfboard Builders Forum. Here people wanting to try and build their own can post questions, see the process (video clips coming soon), get advice and inspiration - all for FREE!. I'll answer any questions I can.

I'm no longer a part of GSb, but be sure to check out the beauties Mikey is building in his new shop at Grain Surfboards. There you can order a custom built board and see some quality craftsmanship. I wish you all the luck in the world Mike!

Had a great little sesh at Welfleet the other day. Surfing alone gives one the chance to worry about "charlie" (sharks). But at least it was warm and sunny.

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