I believe the best gift one can give another is one that comes from your hands, a gift that you created or built. A couple of years ago I made stand-up mirrors for my daughter-in-law Amy, Betsy my daughter and Sue my wife. Each one is made from a different species of wood.
Several years ago I made jewelery boxes for Sue and Betsy.
This is Sue’s jewelery box which is identical to Betsy’s.
When my daughter Betsy decided to get married, I thought long and hard about what I could make for Thomas, her fiancé. I came up with the idea of a wooden surfboard, and this is where the story begins.
I found a site that sold the basic instructions and materials for building a wooden surfboard and then confided with Thomas’ surf bum-buddy (Cody) who helped me pick out a design that Thomas would like.
The main thing that came in the box was the internal structure for the board which was made from 1/4 inch Mahogany plywood, pre-cut by an automated cutter. There were several pieces of balsa wood and two 1.5 inch by 6 inch by 8 ft. paulownia wood planks which are an an exotic hard, light wood that is extremely expensive. Also included were the fiber-glassing materials, brushes, plastic gloves, bamboo cloth, a thumb drive with a large book of instructions and a video of a guy doing the fiber-glassing on a styrofoam board, which is a little different from a wooden board. All said and done, I would have to say the materials and instructions were quite good. The first thing I had to do was build a dedicated table that fit the requirements of the board.
If you look at the photo above, you can see that the main structure is being hot glued down to the table. Of course, I always overuse glue so that later on it was a struggle getting the frame off the table. With the help of a hair dryer and a lot of patience, I was able to get the frame free.
At this point everything is glued to the table so that it will maintain its proper curve while being assembled. Each piece had to be glued down individually and left to dry before adding another piece. So I would glue down a piece then go to find something else to work on. The dark strip down the middle is mahogany donated by my neighbor, Andy.
This picture is several weeks and tears later. The bottom and top have been attached and I am preparing to glue the sides on. This part, just like to first is, is about gluing one piece and waiting until it dries.
This picture shows one of the most important aspects of a surfboard, the curve of the deck. Since this surfboard has not been surfed on yet, we still await the final verdict on its performance. I will let you know how it does once Thomas has taken it to the ocean for its first voyage.
Above, you see the board prior to glassing. I had to tear apart the first table to build a new glassing stand that would enable me to apply the fiberglass. When I look at this thing, I wonder who the crazy person is who initially designed a wooden surfboard. He must have been a man with a lot of time to burn. I know I spent well over 100 hours building. glassing and sanding this board. If you are a person with lots of time on your hands and a table saw, wood clamps, sanding tools and a hot-glue-gun, you too can be the owner of a wooden surfboard. Here is the site that I bought my kit from. They are great people and answer any question, no matter how stupid it may sound.
Flash, Thomas just called and the maiden voyage of my surfboard was a major success–For the both of us!
Here is the board and Thomas in action!!!!
If you look carefully, you can see the WV on the bottom of the board.