Step 1: Buy a Surfboard
Step 2: Ride It Till the Wheels Come Off
Step 3: Fixing a Hole
My patch material was flour and resin. As with cooking and pretty much every thing else in life, I winged these measurements. The key is to add in layers and build up before you sand down.
To patch the main fault I packed it with resin and placed it over two sawbucks (ironing board/civic) and placed light weights (2-3kg) to hold it closed and reduce any misalignment of the "curve" while it cured.
Step 4: Fixing a Hole
After dying the patches for the bottom edges, I knew my color matching skills were not the best in the world, maybe not even fifth best, so when I did the top, I added the most minute amount of pigment/dye possible. As you can see, again, you'll need a careful eye to spot the repair.
Step 5: A Word About Resin
This stuff stinks, but is significantly less expensive than epoxy systems. The fact that I left the deck on sealed the deal that I needed to keep with the same resin.
To set off the reaction, you have to add MEKP reactant. Some places will call this catalyst, but I believe it participates in the reaction. Depending on your MEKP concentration, the resin will cure overnight collecting bugs, or while you are mixing colors. With experience patching the bottom and sides, I for the most part didn't measure my MEKP. Once you get it, you will know if how much you are adding is "a little" or "a lot." If you're building from scratch experiment, even come up with another project to familiarize yourself with your materials. In the end, board builders apply a "hot coat" which refers to the exothermic nature of a mix with "a lot" of MEKP in it. When I built my outer layers, I generally made these coats "hot."
Catalyst chart, no affiliation, a quick googleing will yield others
Epoxy resin is generally considered better, but I did not want to mix materials. They are also generally easier to mix.
Step 6: Masking
The mask is important because it keeps the overhanging fiberglass in the next steps from getting goo on your deck. if not heavily pigmented, you can see through too the mask and cut it with a razor. The trick is to do this while the resin is about half hardened. it will still adhere to the form, but the sliced extra areas will easily pull away. There are images of this with the leash plug.
I just used newspaper and painters tape.
Step 7: Draping
Step 8: Goo Your Glass
Watch a video or two about how to spread the resin over the fiberglass.
Youtube video of a guy glassing a base
What the above video doesn't show is how the edges are wrapped. He shows this in a different video
In the demo video the guy uses a paintbrush to impregnate the hanging rails, resin has a tendency to just run off it and waste on the floor. A lot of guys will follow the edges with the resin pot as they use the squeegie to collect drips. I used a different technique I got from a different video, the glasser said he uses a magazine in one hand to hold the flaps level with the deck while he squeegies resin over them. This has 2 benefits, you're pushing resin down into it like on the deck, and the magazine becomes kind of a well of resin to get the rail further on where you might not have poured as much resin because this is your first time glassing and you don't know the right amount to pour on.
Once your rails are wet, they will adhere to the underside of the board. Use the same technique you use to spread resin on the top to laminate the wet edges to the underside. If your overhang is huge, you may have difficulty getting it to stick. If it becomes an issue you can excise excess glass to get a better stick. Generally the parts that bubble loose will be cut off in the next step!
Some builders recommended doing a practice run on cardboard, but that is material intensive. I felt confident enough after my small repairs to glass the whole bottom. Boy was I wrong; learn from my mistakes.
- I did not make enough goo to go around, and had to frantically make a solo cup full to finish soaking the overhanging edges. It worked out, but could have gone smoother
- I used very dark resin as I am bad at color mixing. Opaque resin is
difficult to cut free from the masking as you cannot see the masking.
- For the love of god, don't do this on an ironing board.
A link I found useful in this undertaking:
Surfer Steve's guide
Step 9: Let It Sit!
Over the area where the base snapped I put two layers of fiberglass. It probably wasn't necessary and made it look ugly until we painted it.
The nose glassed pretty well, but the tail frayed a bit. I sanded this down and took a 2in by 5in strip and gently re-wrapped the tail to insure integrity.
Step 10: Cup It Up
You can buy a cup from most surf supply stores, I believe I ordered mine off amazon or some similar megavendor.
Take a hole saw and zip a hole in the deck along the stringer. Be sure to center it perfectly, as I have. I took a swiss army knife and cut out some of the foam so my plug would fit in the hole. I then coated the inside of the exposed foam with resin and flour mixture, and cut a 4in x 4in square of leftover fiberglass.
Push the fiberglass into the hole with the leash plug, and mix up some resin to fill the plug and glass down the fiber to the deck. Most plugs have a high neck around them to keep resin out of the socket during installation. Some are even closed over and have to be sanded signficantly to expose the leash pin. I probably should have gone with this.
once your fiberglass is soaked, spread it out on the deck, but be careful not to let your strokes pull the plug out of the pit. Once satisfied, fill the plug hole with resin. When the resin is tacky, pass a razor over it to cut out a nice ring around your deck hole.
Learn from my mistakes:
- Keep it on centerline, drill with a small bit first before using the holesaw
- Make sure the "face" of the plug is above your fiberglass level! mine is below it and will never be sanded smooth like the green plug in the pictures above.
Step 11: Find an Artist
Step 12: The Hotcoat
The hotcoat is generally made with more MEKP which yields a quicker reaction, you have a lot less time to spread this around. Doing it in the hot sun speeds this up even more. It's easy to have it harden on you while you're still spreading it.
Look back at step 5 for an image of the surf wax. This styrene based liquid makes the resin harder than usual and is very easily sanded.
Spreading the resin for hotcoating is much easier as there is no fiberglass to suck it up. Look at the first picture and see that the rail is rimmed in painters tape. What this does is allow excess to drip to the ground, instead of forming stalagtites on your deck!
In apx 20-30 min you can just peel the tape off.
Before glassing the bottom I cut the painters tape away from the finbox but left enough to cover the fin slot, but just barely. I do not advise this method. I took a dremel and cut grip into the exposed surface of the finbox before glassing. After the hotcoats, I took a fine bit in a hand drill and mapped out the fin slot, and then cut it out with a cutoff disc on the dremel tool.
Step 13: Get Back in the Water
- Become comfortable with your materials before attempting to wrap.
- You will need more than you think, I bought a gallon planning on doing two boards, I'm not sure enough is left. I would be much more efficient the second time around.
- Color matching is hard, you will need much more practice if matching color for a repair.
- Use a magazine or piece of cardboard to help wet the edges
- Plan to re-install a fin box instead of leaving the old one in. Watch for another instructable in a season or so.
- Make sure your cup is midline and above the level of your deck glass.
- If not for the artistic assist, the bottom of this board would have been uggos. If you can't paint find some one who can or some graphics.
- Finish sanding your hotcoat! Once it is rideable you're not going to want to sand anything ever again!
This is my first instructable! I've always meant to start making them and never got around too it, I always seem to forget to photograph key steps and scrap the instructable. I've taken so many ideas from this community, it's high time I posted something back.