Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Typhoon 5 and "skinning" the new board

We were hit with a nice stretch of swell thanks to Typhoon #5, a very bizarre moving typhoon that moved up towards northern Japan, pushed up the swell here in Hokkaido, then turned around and headed back south. It is now spinning away down south, building strength, and threatening Okinawa and Kyushu. In its sojourn up north, Typhoon 5 produced some really fine waves in southern Hokkaido, particularly here at my local spot in Noboribetsu. Here are a few pics from the glorious week…so nice to get some juicy waves again!

 Between sessions I found the time to finish shaping my blank and start “skinning” the board. The blank will be covered with 3mm balsa veneer, applied one 80x600mm sheet at a time. As this was the only size of balsa I could source at that thickness, it is what I am forced to work with for this project. Each piece of balsa is laid up with Titebond 2 glue and clamped and/or weighted down with bricks. This is a picture of the first sheet after application…it went on a bit crooked (I think it slid a bit when being glued up). But it seems to have adhered well, so all in all I am happy with it. I hope to get the bottom done this week, and will update again at that point.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Update and new build

Well, here goes, back in the saddle again. I haven’t posted on the blog since last year. I enjoyed a number of great swells last summer and early fall, riding waves of all shapes and sizes from here in Noboribetsu all the way around to Hakodate. Caught a few classic days in Volcano Bay as well. The great season kept me from blogging, then, to my great disappointment, the north winds started up early and the winter surf was less than inspiring. Sure, there were a few good days here and there, but not enough to stoke me to blog.

However, as I have a new board project underway, and I like to document my builds for future reference, I am stepping back up to the plate.

The idea for this build was inspired by a trip to Daiso (a Japanese “dollar store” chain) where I happened across a colorful variety of high density EPS blocks for sale. Wondering if I could glue them together and make an EPS blank, I bought a couple and glued them together. After letting it dry for a week, I stressed the glue joint to see if it would break, but it was rock solid…I knew I was in business.

So for the following month or so I scoured the local Daiso stores buying up all their 40x5x5cm and 20x10x5cm EPS blocks. I glued them into “boards”, cut foil profiles into them using a template, and then glued them up into a blank (using three of the foil templates as stringers). The board outline was cut, rough rail bands trimmed down, and a 12mm balsa rail attached. The pics below show the progress so far, it’s coming together pretty well. The rails need to be brought down and shaped a bit more, then I’ll be putting a 3mm balsa veneer on the deck and bottom. The ultimate plan is for a 6’6” “jumbo” single fin (6’6”x23.5x3.5)…fingers crossed…

In any regard, this is where I’m at, and how I got here….updates to follow….

High density EPS blocks

Glued-up EPS "board" section

Placing EPS boards on foil template
Cutting to size with an Exacto blade (wish I had a hot wire system)

Cut foiled-shaped section

Glued-up blank

Outline cut, rail bands drawn

Balsa rails on preparing for balsa veneer 

The waves have been small this July, but fun enough at Kako

Glassy Kako

Bigger day at Kako