Wednesday, October 28, 2009


After seeing some alaia boards a few years back I thought they looked like a fun building project.  So I bought some fence boards or scavenged old cedar house siding and glued up  a few blanks, and copied some shapes I had seen.  I make a bunch in the 4 to 5 foot range and started riding them as belly boards.  The funny thing is, these little boards have become my favorite type of alaia!  I grab my 4 footer and fins and head out into either a nice clean day or mushy high tide small surf - it does not matter.  I always find some sweet peelers either inside or outside in the lineup and usually get a couple nice little barrels.  They are so much fun and super simple.  They are much faster than a thick foam boogie board and way easier to paddle out and under bigger breaking waves.  I almost always carry one or two in the car. 

Fun tools for shaping

Alaia for Mitch

Heres a 6-0 alaia with a channel bottom and chined rails for Mitch up in Ventura.  Have fun with it!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Redwood Swallowtail

Here are a few pics of a recent board, an 8-0 swallowtail in redwood.
The finished board:

And the rails:

The blank in 2x material:

All finished:

  Note the precision cutting tool.

Roughed out:

The rails will be pinched 50/50:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Tool

I've been using my 4" rotary sander to make my channels lately, but it is noisy and dusty, so I though I'd make a hollowing plane.  I found some white oak in the rafters and roughed out the plane in about an hour.  I had an old orphaned iron i'd been using as a scraper, so I reshaped it with a slight radius and put an edge on it. 

After some finishing, it looked like this:


Nice!  Even better, it works quietly and  makes no dust.

Little Visitor

This little guy was hanging out with the iguana.  Iggy did not seem to mind and the cats strangely ingored him.