Friday, February 6, 2009


For the shaper, I think fins are the most rewarding component to make. There are lots of shapes and styles, and if you like multiple fins, lots of different setups. This is the fin on my 8-3 rounded pintail. The first week out, surfing at low tide and I tagged the reef! Bummer. The beauty of wood is just glue it back together, re-glass and its good as new! I figured this was bound to happen sooner or later, given the deep swoop of the fin and the big moment arm. To date, I've reglassed the fin back on 3 times...I hope that is the last time.

Here are some keel fins for a 6-7 cedar fish. I originally milled the wood at 3/8-inch thick and then thought that that was too thin to foil a 9-inch long fin. So I added a second 3/8 layer for final thickness of 3/4-inch. This was a good thickness as it allowed me to foil the entire fin.

Fins getting roughed out by hand. Given the depth of the fin, the max thickness was placed about 40 percent back from the nose base and angled back at something like a 30 degree angle.

Here are the shaped fins on the lamainated board, ready to be glued on. I glued them on and then glassed them with 4 oz. cloth on the board.

This a big D fin in a basic sunburst patternThe red is redwood and the other is cedar.

All finished and glassed on. Talk about old school! This is the fin for doing those graceful drop-knee cutbacks. I can' do them to well, but they do look nice!

These are a set of quads of a 6-4 fish. I copied a set of fins from Rain*** and the setup from a friends board. Great setup. They are small but were a lot of work in that there are four, and the two sets need to be identical in their foil for it to work properly. I really like this set up.

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