Another board for the quiver

Very excited to have finished off The Rainbow Fish yesterday. I made a fin for it about a month ago from plywood, and I managed to sneak an hour or two last week to cover it with a couple of layers of 4oz glass. All that remained was to fix it in position on the board, then hotcoat and sand.

Mem took the kids to a local sculpture exhibition first thing yesterday. I would have liked to go as well, but it gave me an opportunity too good to miss to finish off the first of the Baby Eggs. So I stayed home and donned the protective gear and got to work.

This was my first attempt at glassing on a fin and all things considered, it went quite well. I didn’t have any rovings, so I cut a couple of offcuts into rectangles and dismantled them string by string, until I had enough to lay up against the fin’s base. I dipped these into the resin and put them in place, being careful to get all the air bubbles out with a paddle-pop stick. After that it was a simple matter of laminating a couple of pieces of 4oz glass to bond the fin to the bottom of the board.

I think the hotcoat is my favourite stage in shaping a board (probably because it’s so quick). As long as you’re organised, it’s all over in about a minute and, once the sun has done its work and kicked the resin off, you’re left with a smooth, seemingly complete board. Of course, there’s still the crucial sanding stage left, but for a couple of minutes you can sit back and imagine that your work is done.

The family came home just as the hotcoat was setting, so I packed up and got back to being a father for the rest of the afternoon. Later that evening, once the imps were in bed and the dishes done, I set up the stands on the shed’s brick porch and pulled out the power sander. I’m still a bit wary of that machine, after a near-disasterous first attempt on my first board. But I’ve done a lot of research into where I went wrong since then, so I was ready to go last night. I took it slowly and made sure I didn’t stay on one spot for too long and I got the whole board done with no sand-throughs. I started with 80-grit and cycled through 120, 180 and 240, finishing off with 320. I had to do the rails by hand, which was a pain in the arse. But I didn’t want to ruin it at the last hurdle.

I came back in at around 8.30 with a thick layer of white dust from head to toe and a grin that you couldn’t wipe off with a litre of acetone. Number two complete, now on to three and four, which will be for Felix and Tom. I’ll post photos once they’re uploaded from the camera.

About Cass

Surfer, shaper, writer, gardener, father, and doer of many other mildly interesting things.
This entry was posted in Boards, Shaping, The Baby Egg Experiments. Bookmark the permalink.

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