Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Nose Block for the Piney (hollow wood surfboard)

So, not knowing much of the history of Hollow Wooden Surfboards, to my own fault, I understand that we who make these beauties owe a debt of gratitude to Dewey Weber in the early 50's.  I'm slacking on my history and really should learn more about that.  My brother saw an episode of "How it's Made" on the History Channel about the subject.  I kind of wish I had TV or that he called me to watch it with him,  but as the French say "C'est la vie!"  I need to study study study.

So these last two days I have been on a voyage of self discovery when it comes to "the Piney".  I should study study study up on Swaylocks which is a surfboard building website.  To tell the truth, I don't feel like having yet another site to sign up for and navigate and become a newbie on.  That takes time and being on the computer saps something from the day.  I'm relying on what I have learned so far AND I'm glad that my Uncle and my Dad are around to also kibbutz.  Their knowledge and two cents prove very worthy in this and many other endeavours.  

So taking from what I learned with steaming the canoe stems last season I wanted to make a cool nose  block for the Piney as not having one is almost boring, like that of the "Wormhole".  So I milled some scrap Black Walnut that was left over from "Wormhole" into very thin (3/16" thick) bands using the planer.  I had removed some bands from the back of a wooden railing that were exactly the same size of an unknown wood and used them as well.  I thought they were walnut as the railing was walnut coloured, but it was just stained that colour.  The wood seems like basswood.  Its almost grainless, light weight and easy to cut.  So I spent some time making the jig below and then placing them in my makeshift steamer which is basically a 2" PVC  pipe 6 feet long that I put on top of a five gallon pail with a spout and filled with water which is on top of my propane beer burner.  I steamed them for 30 minutes and put them in the below jig.

I let them sit overnight and today I drew out the spot where I would like the noseblock to go.  You may also notice a shine on the interior of the board.   Yesterday I also varnished the inside of the board and the underside of the deck with left over old varnish mixed with 50% paint thinner so that it soaked into the wood really well.   This will add maybe a 1/4 pound to the boards overall weight, but it will protect the innards of the board if ever it should get wet.  I am also putting a brass air valve at the nose and at the tail in case this should happen so I can put a vacuum on either valve and have air flow through the board to dry it out faster and keep it from getting any mildew or other damage.

Today I was working on making the teeth for the noseblock.  I did just say teeth.  I want the noseblock to look like it is actually going to have teeth.  I don't know, I was just tossing around the idea.  They won't exactly look like teeth, but after I shape that noseblock, it is going to be pert near different than most I've seen.  So I counted 35 individual basswood teeth at 1/2'' wide.  To get the angle correct at where the teeth meet up against each other you divide how many lines there will be going around the radius of the nose and divide that by 180 and it will give you the angle at which they will mitre up well.  I came up with the number 5.  I made some changes here and there and the angle probably should have been more like 4 degrees but when all is said and done, it looks pretty neato!  Unfortunately a belt blew on the band saw today while I was making the teeth and I had to move to the table saw to cut them.  It was a pretty hairy affair cutting little bits on that big blade.  I also spent some time ordering two new drive belts for the band saw.  One as a back up.  Hopefully they get here soon as I need to use that baby!

I can't even count how many clamps that my Uncle and I put on there or how we fit them.  This was NOT an easy process and my Uncles ideas really helped.  One such idea was devising a wedge system at either end of the teeth aisle that pressed them together tight for a nice sharp line.

Waddaya think?

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