Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Another Left...

Man, I must be in a rut.  All my bottom turns look the same!  Photo by Peter Hincks

6-6 update

With Michele out of school for another week and me on watch, I've had some time to work on this board.  So far, I'm very pleased with how fair the bottom rail line has turned out.  This makes it so much easier to shape the rails, without having to work through whoop-de-doos.  I bailed at the last minute on doing the two-piece keel and just did the normal plywood keel.  So here is how it looks:
Tail in foreground, ready for  the top.
This clamping process is insane!  I need  either 4 hands or a helper.  I always worry about the glue tacking off before I get all the clamps dogged down.  It takes about 20 stressful minutes to get all the glue on the ribs, rails, stringers and blocking, lay the top and get it clamped and shimmed.
Committed at this point.
Clamp and shim craziness!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Six Six Single Fin (what else right?)

It has been an insane year with utter chaos for the first five months of 2011.  Family issues have been incredibly disruptive and stressfull, financially and mentally.  Things are calming down, yet the shit continues to flow, albeit at a diminished rate.  We just celebrated out 20th wedding anniversay and our marriage continues to be a strong bond.  Through it all has been the constant focus of surfing, taking the edge off the stress and providing mini wet-vacations.  Kinda like two finges of bourbon at the end of a long day, but way better.  Nearly as good as surfing is building boards.  This is the first new board board since last November, and even though we are in the middle of moving, I had to start it.  My awesome wife didn't even blink an eye when I fired up the table saw!

I've used plywood for my last several boards and once I got beyond my solid-wood snobbery, I realized I like the ply and it makes for a quick and light build.  It's not quite as strong as milled solid stuff, so the decks should get a patch.  I'm continuing to explore my trend of  smaller, narrower boards with pulled in noses and tails.  This one will be 6-6, 20 inches wide and have a max thickness of about 2-5/8 inches.  Originally I was going to give it a thumb tail with a thruster or tri set up, but during layout, the pencil and battens had other ideas.  So, not a big surprise, it's going to be a single fin.  I had several new ones lying around waiting for a board anyway. 

Previous  boards almost ended up with some funny flat lines along the rail that were hard to see during construction.  I'm trying a new layout method by creating a fine flowing line using the chine strips, nose and tail blocks.  These bits are glued to the bottom skin first along with the fin blocking.  This way, the rail strips will follow a well sprung line and will hopefully eliminate flat spots.
The plywood ribs are next cut to fit exactly within the chines. 
The milled ribs are now glued onto the bottom skin while on the rocker table. 
When the clamps come off, then I'll install the top of  the rib stringrs the central top stringer.  I'm not going to use the conventional solid notched keel fitting over the ribs.  I'll create a truss-like keel with top and bottom components.  Should be lighter and I'm pretty sure, stiff enough.  So far, this method has allowed me to create better fitting parts which will result in a very strong board with better flowing lines.

More to come....

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Last of the Mini South Swell....

 Andy on his new short board

My wave of the day!