Saturday, March 3, 2007

Wood Surfboard.

I'm edeavoring to work in wood because I want to build cedar strip canoes as well as other boats and methods.

Because a canoe would take much more time and money to get started in this, I opted for a surfboard kit from Grain Surfboards in Maine and had the kit shipped out here in November of 2006. Mike L. from there included some nice peices of lumber in there and I am hoping that she will turn out real nice.

2/23/07 I finally got rolling on the rocker table which is similar to the strongback used for canoe building so I'm liking the similarities here. The board is the 9 foot "root" and is exactly what I am looking for. In the future I may shape the big boy version of the fish styled "wherry" that they offer. But the niner will be good for now as I need to strengthen my paddling capabilities.

I got two ten foot 2x6's at a NON HOME DESPOT type lumber yard. Sure I paid another two bucks, but I didn't rape a third world country or put the local small business hardware store on the unemployment line either. (today's rant is now over)

For the slats, stations, or strapping that go across the 2x6's I am using dumpster discards from work (my bosses joke that the board is going to have return to XXX across it). They turned out to be 1 3/4 by 1 1/4 inches which is pretty OK in my book. I ripped a 1/4 inch off of the 2x6's to make a runner that goes along the outside of the rocker table a 1/4 inch high and is screwed down at each station for the first step in gluing and clamping the planking via the wedge method. I then carefully with the aid of a large square clamped and screwed in the stations to the 2x6's (after I had cut all the stations to 24.5 inches).
That day I also made about 100 of the PVC clamps with a ten foot 4" white PVC pipe. I ran the length of it over my table saw between two rigged guides (fences) and made a single cut the whole length. Then I carefully cut about 1 inch rings from it. It wasn't easy and found that it went better if I was able to prop the pipe up on teh rocker tabel between two stations to keep it from meandering about as I was cutting. Also the rings took off like rockets and would have shot 30 feet I'm sure, so I set up a box on a garden chair that the shot into. If you do this, wear your safety gear and be very careful of the saw blade!


brad said...


Some of the guys here at Grain Surfboards have been reading through your posts on the Homegrown Kit project. We are pumped at the feedback this gives us on the building process, the time it takes someone to build one, and the effectiveness (or not!)of the instruction manual. And other home-builders will be helped tremendously by your comments.

If you don't mind, we can put some comments on your blog entries for your readers that could help clarify some of the points that you raise. Naturally, if you any questions you can call us or email us at the contact info on our site. That certainly goes for anyone that is building one of our kits...

Thanks again for the great blog.
Grain Surfboards


Fish said...

Awesome! Totally feel free to comment! I'm diggin' that. I hope I don't offend with some of my comments. Think I used the word "lame" at one point in describing the instructions. Must be the east coast to west coast lost in translation thing. LOL

brad said...

No worries... I heard about that comment from someone that reads the tree to sea forum (I don't check in there - some people don't know that it is not actually associated with Grain Surfboards). But we are super interested in hearing (good and bad) about the experience of building our kits. We have some pretty serious tinkerers here, and there are always things that we want to improve upon - the manual has been on our list since the day we published it. FYI, I will be working on a new draft while I am in Costa Rica over the next month or so.

Anyway, let 'er rip - tho of course it is nicer to hear directly from people about things they would like to see improved than it is to stumble upon stuff out in the blogosphere.