Introduction: Fix Delaminating Snowboard

Picture of Fix Delaminating Snowboard

I had a snowboard that I purchased many years back (got it and the bindings at GoodWill store for $5.00) I used it probably a dozen times over 4 years and eventually the bottom started to peel off. This is known as delimitation of P-Tex.

After searching online on forums and other sites, everyone said to throw out the old board and get a new one, because it is not cost effective to fix the old board. Also many people said it physically cant be done. I did end up getting a new one, and now 3-4 years later I found my old board sitting on a shelf taking up space collecting dust, so I became determined to get it up and running again. So this instructable is to defy those who said it cant be done or isn't cost effective. In the end I'm super happy with the fix for this project, unfortunately it is June in California so I won't know for sure if it is "rideable" until winter rolls around. Either way it makes a cool shelf on the wall.

Material:
1) Old snowboard that you have no problem ruining
2) Bondo. 1 quart SHORT hair fiberglass, 1 quart standard body filler.   DO NOT BUY LONGHAIR BONDO (Further explanation in Step # 2
3) Sandpaper of varying grits (50,100,150, 220)
4) Primer Filler (High Build)
5) Paints of your choice (spray and/or acrylics)
6) Shellac / Varathane
7) Cardboard
8) Double face tape and Painters tape for masking off
9) TIME: I spent quite a while on this (probably because I had to come up with the process) but I would plan to spend 10 hours on this minimum, but as with everything in life the more time you put into it the better it will look.

Tools:
1) Putty Knife
2) Sanding Blocks or Wood to make sanding block
3) Cutting tool
4) Palm Sander
5) Cheap paint brushes
6) Airbrush if you want a snazzy paint job and you know how to use one.

As you can see in the pictures the board looks much better than it did. So lets get started!

Step 1: Disassembly and Prepping

Picture of Disassembly and Prepping

Alright, first we need to remove that old P-Tex (Bottom semi rubberlike plastic) feel free to save it if you want to cut it up and do something with it. You should now have a recessed area where the P-Tex used to be and your metal edges should sit up 1/16" to 1/8" above.

Note: In many cases gluing it back to the board if its partially peeled doesn't work. I did that for on day while snowboarding, it held up through the day , but over time it will not work. A mechanical bond like glue tends to be very weak especially in cold climates.

If your bindings are still on the board it would be best to remove them so that the board lays flat.

Next take some 100-180 grit sand paper and rough up the bottom of the board. Make sure you don't go too deep and go through the wood. If you see fiberglass you're going too far.

In my pictures you can see the fiberglass. That was what I ended up with after taking off the P-Tex. I just had to work with it. You may have the same experience, but don't sand down the bottom seeking the fiberglass.

Also, if you see those weird geometric wedges around the perimeter of the board (See pictures), they are metal connectors which go to the metal edge of the board, try not to mess with them.

Now that it is roughed up we can move on to Bondo.

Step 2: BONDO! Then Sand (A LOT) Then Repeat

Picture of BONDO! Then Sand (A LOT) Then Repeat

Alright, now its time for the long part of this instuctable: 

First, start with your short hair Bondo. Again I cannot stress now much I do not recommend using LONG HAIR Bondo for this project. It is way to thick and very hard to spread. If you look at my pictures the more reddish filler on the ends is Long Hair, I bought it thinking that it would have more tinsel strength (and it probably does) but it did not spread well, it was harder to mix, it clumped, and it was a huge pain to sand. Instead get short hair Bondo, as you can see in the first picture, it spread smoothy.

Okay, so mix up your Short Hair Bondo and spread it out in the recessed area of the board. I then took a piece of wood that was wider than the board and used it as a tool to level out the filler. The metal edges insured that the filler stayed at the right height. Continue doing this until the whole board is covered on the bottom. Make sure you mix your filler thoroughly and with enough hardener, if you don't it will stay gooey. I had it happen in one section and ended up cutting it out, and laying new filler in. 

Now you start to sand. Make a sanding block with 50 grit sand paper (see picture) that is wider than the board and run it back and forth until you can clearly see the metal edges again. If you hit the metal edges that means everything between them is no higher than the edges of the board, this is what you want. You can also use a palm sander if need be, I did. Do this all over the board until you feel like it is flat.

Chances are you have no more high spots, but you do have a lot of low cracks and gaps, so grab your regular Bondo, or body filler and fill in the holes (See picture). Then start sanding again. Repeat this process as many times as needed. This is where the majority of your time will be spent. The more level and smooth the bottom is, the better your paint job will adhere and look.

If you want a really nice looking paint job, you should make the bottom smooth and level with 50 grit sandpaper, then slowly move up to 220, or higher if you feel like it. If you want to slam though this, then just jump to the next step.

Step 3: Prepping the Top

Picture of Prepping the Top

Now that the bottom of the board is ready for paint, we need to prep the top.

If your board is like mine and has stickers on it, a simple chisel or flat head screwdriver will peel them right off. Most will peel off easily because they are attached to fiberglass, not a more porous material. (See Picture)

Next I had some dings in the top piece of fiberglass which were easily fixed by chunking on some Bondo. Feel free to put it on thick, it will sand off pretty easily. I took my palm sander and used the edges of the board to make the right form when sanding (See Picture).

Finally I hit the top with some 50 grit sandpaper on my palm sander to take off the top surface of blue paint as well as any of the adhesive left behind by the stickers. I then used 100 grit, followed by 150 grit sandpaper to smooth out the top. We just want to rough it up, not gouge it too deep.

Step 4: Paint Design

Picture of Paint Design

Paint design is completely up you you. The more colors you want, the more stencils and time you'll put into it.

For the bottom I make a stencil with my web portfolio URL and Logo. The stencil is made from cardboard, nothing special. A low tack painters tape will give you much more crisp line work if you want to go that route.

Step 5: Painting the Bottom

Picture of Painting the Bottom

Next we need to paint the bottom:

The first step is primer. I went with a primer filler "high build", this will (hopefully) fill any little cracks or uneven spots you couldn't get completely flat when sanding. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture when spraying on the primer, but it's just like paint, except grey. Make your coats light, and slowly build up your primer, you do not want it to pool. If it's hot out, you'll have to work faster because it will dry faster. Try to put the coats on right as they start to dry. If you wait to long it's as though you are making layer, but if you catch it when its 80% (ish) dry, the layers of primer will bond together and give you better results. You may also want to sand lightly between coats to make sure there are no high spots. I did 3 coats of primer seeing as this is the bottom of the board.

Second step is paint. This step will be as long as you want to make it, all depending on how intricate you want to get with your design. Following the same recommendations above, I put down 3 coats of flat black on the base (See Pictures). I then used my stencil, to spray flat white. Unfortunately I didn't put the stencil down hard enough and white overspray made the text look fuzzy and bad. So I then repainted over that. Then using a small cheap brush went in with acrylic titanium white paint (still using the stencil) to get my lettering in. I like how it came out, it's not 100% crisp, but I like it.

Step 6: Sealing the Bottom

Picture of Sealing the Bottom

Now that we have the paint finished for the bottom, it's time to seal it.

With a foam brush (Hair brushes leave brushstrokes and possible stray hairs that fall out), lather on your clear coat varnish/resin/ A varnish tends to have a yellow tint to it so a more traditional clear coat will hopefully keep your paint job as close to its intended color as possible. I would throw on at least 3 coats if you plan to ride this board. The thicker and more coats you paint on, the less likely the bottom graphic will peel off.

With that said, I cant guarantee that your bottom graphic will stay on regardless the amount of coats you put on. Riding on snow and ice is like riding on sandpaper,  it will chew away at the clear coat and paint, meaning that this process will probably have to be reapplied regularly.

If you're like me and are thinking of using this solely as a shelf, then I think 3 coats is more than enough to give it a glossy clean look.

As you can see the white text has turned a yellowish color, that's what happens when you use Varathane wood sealer. I decided to use a better sealer for the top, something like Clear Coat that is truly transparent.

Step 7: Painting the Top

Picture of Painting the Top

Follow the same process as before, Primer, Paint, Clear Coat:

You can probably get away with fewer coats of clear on the top because it will hardly ever come in contact with anything abrasive. Still I'd go with 3 just for good measure.

After you're done with the top paint job and sealing it, then replace your stomp pad and bindings.

Step 8: Reassembly

Picture of Reassembly

Last it's time to reassemble the board:

Take your bindings and drop them into the screw holes that they previously were in. My bindings were kind of ratty so I cut off the loose threads. Maybe in a future instructable I will look into painting the bindings, because as you can see mine are discolored and could use some TLC.

Now that you're finished, step back and admire your handy work.

Again, I'm not completely sure if it will ride. Physically, yes I think it will, but the question is "For how long?" Either way, this fix took an old board that was doing nothing more than collecting dust and turned it into something that's one of a kind, and can be used as a shelf, or a bench (Saw a local snow sports shop that did this, looks really cool). And for roughly $30.00 of materials, I think that's worth a one of a kind piece of wall art/furniture

Hope you guys like this, if you do, please vote for this instructable, it's in the "Fix It" contest.

If you have any questions or need any further explanation, just leave a comment and I will do my best to answer it in a timely manner.

Comments

ardnon (author)2013-06-06

Great job on the renovation. Looks great as a shelf, but I would never do this in hopes of getting the board ridable, like you said the snow and ice will eat your clear coat in no time, and I would expect the glide of the board to be similar to that of an old wooden toboggan - fine on a steep hill, but bad when you hit the flats going into the lift line. I just might do this to a couple of my old boards and build one of those benches you mentioned.

nickneubrand (author)ardnon2013-06-06

Yeah, thats the posture I'm taking on it. No sense in dropping a lot of time into something that will just scratch off. If I had the space and another board I would make a bench out of them. I'll update and post pictures when I turn it into a shelf.

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