Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Moving On...

Well at long last the foil board is in a state to test so it's fingers crossed and caution to the wind. I've realised the importance of vacuum bagging to get any defects out of the glassing after sanding and sanding and more sanding. And it's still not perfect!

Well life goes on I guess and on the flip side the board weighs in at 5.6Kgs so not a super lightweight hollow wooden board. However it's my first attempt so all things being equal I'm patting myself on the back instead of flailing myself with tales of; I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy...

Here's a few images to finalise the Hollow Wooden Foil board story:

The Deck in all it splendour - wood what a wonderful material

Wooden Stuff Project logo glassed onto the deck

Hull Side

Hand shaped carbon insert box

The beast with foil in place

Carbon re-inforcing strip to eliminate the chance of the box pulling through the board

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The Wooden Foilboard - Stage 2

Well time flies by and it seems to take a considerable amount of time to move the foilboard forward however, it's nearing completion and I'm looking forward to sailing her real soon. Building everything by hand and laying up the carbon, shaping and then using the male leg insert as the plug for the board housing sure is SLOW!! Moulds would be a much quicker option but hey, in a perfect world there would be never ending 3m peeling waves and force 5 every day ;-) and maybe weekends of super flat force 4 for foiling........

This is a cool project and I am enjoying the journey... It is a considerable personal voyage and if you are thinking of going down a similar route be prepared for the roller coaster ride of emotions as it is an interesting ride. A big thanks to Amac of Mach2 foils for his generosity & continued encouragement and to Paul Jenson & Miquel Coll for their support and words of wisdom.

Well I can see light at the end of the tunnel but I know that there remains shed loads of finishing to do so I guess I'd better crack on...

What I'm going to do is use the router to cut off any excess resin, recess the box by 1mm and then cover the entire insert box with a layer of carbon roving and epoxy. After that the hull of the board will be glassed and reinforced around the insert box.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Wooden Stuff - Kitesurf Board Project

Well it's taken a little longer than I had imagined and the learning curve for shaping a wooden board is most certainly steep, to say the least. On the upside the board shape is looking really sweet and the downside I've learn that it is really easy to over engineer a hollow wooden board, resulting in additional weight that you can do without. Impatience I'm sure is a strong part to blame as I left the deck and hull surface thicknesses somewhat excessive but an important part of the learning process - I guess... Here are a few images that document the process from gluing up to shaping.

Gluing up the 20 x 30mm lengths
Weighted whilst gluing to give the board some rocker shape

Batten lengths after drilling out some of the excess - the bucket shows the excess wood

More shaping

Being at one with you latest creation...
Prior to gluing on the final side rails

Final rough shape - prior to glassing sealing
Side rails added and shaped - next foil conic box and sealing

Sunday, 17 February 2013


Well the French eco-socio bug that's flying around has had the better of me - and I'm pleased to be making the first of 3 new kitesurf boards. I've been reviewing the way I can make a difference. The first is an Alaia styled wooden board: paulownia wood, super light, super strong & I've managed to track down a supplier not far from Montpellier. No huge shipping cost in an attempt to be more green - that would be contradictory for sure.

Unfortunately it won't be totally 'nasty substance' free due to the fact that Kitesurfing puts a greater pressure on your board than regular surfing, so a layer of glass fibre is a prerequisite if you want your board to stand up to the rigours of kiting - I think...

I'm planning on making two hollow-chamber paulownia regular surf styled boards also, the second one for Kitefoiling. Hopefully they will prove to be a real buzz to ride and I'm looking forward to getting the boards moved forward relatively quickly. Thanks to Miquel for the materials and friendly advice - these surf styled boards will not require glass fibre due to them being thicker and more sturdy so they should be totally Eco - just a couple of coats of Yacht varnish to keep them watertight. Although the stresses on a foil board may make me reflect on that to make sure that the foil does not push through the board and everything falls apart out to sea!

So, Eco is really cool as far as I'm concerned; I don't recall how many boards I've bought, sold, broken and then they've finished at the tip making a contribution to the growing mass of consumer waste. The problem of waste that's mighty difficult to break down and get rid of, in an ecologically sound way is a growing threat to each and everyone of us. I'm doing my little bit and if we can all do a little then maybe we can begin to crack some of the issues that will have dramatic effects on future generations. Wooden boards will last a lifetime, can be modified or will break down in the natural environment - or on the flip side you can fuel the barbecue with the wood - mind you that would be a bitter pill to have to swallow after spending a good deal of time shaping the god damned boards ;-)

Rock 'n' Roll Radio for the 2013 Kite Boardz Project via 'Wooden-Stuff'.

Concave hull - ease of ride and some directional stability, I hope.

Alaia with logo - ready for 4oz glass and epoxy.