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Cutting through a surfboard Answered

My house is set relatively far from the road and I'd like a large address display. I was looking to punch out the numbers [5 digits] down the center of an old surfboard, but not sure about what tools to use to get through the resin and then the foam; without shredding or splintering it. I have variable band, scroll, recip and jig saws; and a variable speed Dremel. I'd like for it to be as detailed as possible [hard edges]. I'm of course planning to illuminate it. Any suggestions, recommendations, ideas would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.


If it is a fiberglassed board, you might run into the "stringy" strands that will be difficult to cut. I think a dremel with a cutoff wheel should do the job but wear eye protection, long sleeves and a mask to keep the dust out. I think you want to reduce the tearout by cutting through your lines marked out on masking tape. Maybe reduce the stress points at segments by drilling small holes. If you cut out the fiberglass face, you could cut the foam core with a hot knife but that might be overkill. You might want to even glass over the cut out sections later if you want a permanent sign for outdoor use. Good luck.


Cowabunga, that came out nice.
I hope you put up an instructable on the process, at least throw it up in a photo instructable for others to see.

Thanks. And I took the opportunity to snap a few images in case I got the time to post it here.

It originally had the flickering candle lamps, but I put a black light in for halloween.
Had to take it down because I was painting the house and I was painting the board to match.

And I think what you meant to say was, "If it is a fiberglassed board, you might run into the "stringy" strands that will be difficult to cut.....out from the tips of your fingers and from under your nails."

haha, I probably meant mesothelioma...the itch that won't go away.

Perfect. Thanks. I needed the reassurance that the dremel could do the better job. Fortunately I happen to have some lexan scraps I can use to enclose it. And if I drill the stress relief holes, what type bit should I go for? I know when I get even the tiniest of dings in a board, they always spider-web like a windshield. It's not exactly flawless to begin with, but....
Awesome. Thanks again.

I think its same thought for working with thin wood veneers, put masking tape down to keep it from splintering at the surface. Draw your lines on that and pre-score with a utility knife. The tape also helps getting anything else scratched up when you cut. I guess it's easiest to use a small sharp metal bit to experiment with. Get the bit up to speed and pull back a lot to ensure the bit doesn't get snagged.

...Maybe a coping saw with fine teeth?