Man, I dig this forum.... so thought I'd share my first build with ya,,,
I got a lost cause custom kiteboard 5'10'' about a year ago and just fell in love with the shape
inspired me to build my own - just wanted to shape shape shape....
the board needs to be strong and light for kitesurfing, plenty of bouyancy and feel.
found woodyads post on his balsa builds and took up the idea with a few little minor changes...
first - shape the stringers (there an't really any cross struts in this one)
spread them about 50mm apart and hold together with a few light cross struts
add the bottom using strips of 4'' x 5mm balsa
shape the bottom outline
add a single layer of rail on top of the bottom section so you can glue the deck onto it.
pre-shape the stringers to get the deck shape/oval - this was a tricky part for me. I used the hollow board template program to print out cross sections for my board then transfered these on to cardboard and cut them out in female template form so I could lay each one over the deck in the correct place and get an estimation of my deck shaping process.
and then add 5mm x 4'' strips of balsa to create the deck
rails ready to go on..
this was such a fantastic feeling - seeing the board take her first shape - left me high and texting pics to all my mates,,,
added another deck layer (this time lenghtways) of 2mm balsa in the middle and then5mm and then 6mm on the outside.
This top layer REALLY strengthens up the board, butthis is where my next big balls up occured. I weighted the deck too much while the top layer glue was drying (without enough support underneath) so the whole rocker became much more exaggereted (too much) now I'm stuck with how to get the rocker straightened up a bit.
anyhow - it was an important lesson, beacuse now I know I can simply create the rocker I want at this point instead of spending a million hrs getting the initial stringer rocker absolutley perfect.
As I see it I have 3 options
1. strip some of the top deck lengthways wood off and reglue weighted to correct rocker (not a nice option)
2. add a thin lenghtways layer on the bottom and weight it to correct rocker (better option)
3. try to weight the rocker while in the fibreglass stage (no idea if this is possible or will it mess up the glass job?)
now for the tricky part (for me any way!)
really struggled to put the rails on, made a few big mistakes like using cork flooring only about 1ft lengths available so had to add 6 sections per side and they slide all over the place and set off line and need to be redone.
this part really tested my patience and once or twice nearly threw a temper tantrum and wanted to smash it all up, anyhow got through and it was all really worth it!!
tail piece ready to go on (balsa and cork)
now for the best part, the shaping/sanding...
the 2 dark lines are not stringer but wood filler to correct some mismatched/sized widths.
tail and bottom rails need shaping....
Since begining this build I've discovered that Balsa is not a very sustainable wood. Most of it is harvested directly from rainforests in South America with very little coming from managed forestry.
I've just managed to get my hands on a Paulownia truck and got it milled up and I'm thinking of ways to use this build technique with Paulownia.....
Cheers dudes and dudettes...