Introduction: Stain Glass Surfboard

These are purely sculptural pieces that combines recycling, stain glass, surfing and art. They are beautiful and are fairly cheap to produce so if you have no other use for crapped out old short boards then go for it. I have others on my site

I have included two pieces to show the process . It is a bit of a mission so email me if you have any questions or improvements and no I can't ride them

Step 1: Materials

  • Cutting stage
  • Jigsaw with 100mm blade for composite materials
  • drill with 10mm dia drill for pilot holes
  • electric sander to fix dings if needed and cleaning up
  • disposble dust suit and mask
  • ear muffs/ goggles

  • Resining stage
  • 3L Polyester or Epoxy Resin and appropriate cataylst
  • Resin tint colours
  • Disposable Rubber gloves
  • 6m Clear contact film (book covering stuff)
  • paddle pop sticks
  • 3 x500ml reusable measuring cups
  • old foam mattress
  • 4 house bricks
  • blade
  • syringe
  • Mask suitable for Resin

Step 2: Source a Surfboard

This was an Adrian York surfboard in my mates garden. The other board you will see, the Lost was a favourite board that had snapped so i had to do a full fix on that.

Step 3: Design

This board is for a surf contest prize so it was appropriate to take photos of my local break, where the contest was on. I have projected the best image onto the board so I can trace it with pencil. You will find out that if the design is too complex it will be a nightmare to cut out. In addition some designs are not suitable for this method( you'll see later).

I have penned over the pencil with a red marker so it is clear which line I will be cutting with the jigsaw.

The Lost surfboard has been free sketched out of my surfing mind.

Step 4: Cut Out

Here I jigsaw out the voids from the design. You will need a 100mm jigsaw blade for the average 2' 3/8" thick board . I drill pilot holes in all the voids to start off the jigsaw each time. Fibreglass, foam and resin are toxic and itchy so I strongly recommend a disposable jumpsuit ($7) and dust mask, goggles and gloves.Use a shaping bay if you can or any place that you can contain the mess. Remember to take all your mess away in a garbage bag if you want to use it again.

The clearer you mark the voids the faster you can go but allow at least two hours for this part.

When done remove all the pencil marks with turpentine or fine sandpaper

Step 5: Casting

This is the tricky and smelly but rewarding part.

The remaining fibreglass on the board must be totally clean and free of dust. We apply adhesive contact film, the same as you cover textbooks with, to the front of the board. I used to apply it to the back( bottom). It depends on the effect you want but exposed foam does attract dust so over the years they will be grubby looking and hard to maintain.

To cast I place the board on an old mattress.

From here i mix polyester resin, catalyst with resin tint in small batches to be poured into the holes. I fill the voids to be only about 5mm thick, the minimum really. Remember that the shape of the board means that you can only really pour about 100- 400ml of resin each time.

. The brick are to help keep the resin in the right void.

The plastic has to really seal those voids well as when that resin finds a way out it can form a big hard smoking mess. I place some plastic on top to catch the resin drips during the process.

Resin the whole of the front face from the back as shown in the picture.

Step 6: Christmas Time

Ok so you have filled all the voids with resin and tint. Hopefully the resin has gone where you wanted it. So assuming it is dry you can flip it over and pull the plastic off to see the result. Any cracking means there was too much catalyst in the resin. Experiment with the tints and you can get some nice fade ins and fade outs.

Above you can see for the trophy board (Yorky) I have painted the dodgy yellow foam and I used the vinyl lettering for the trophy title.

I seal the backside of the sculpture with a sheet of clear contact vinyl to keep the dust out the back . It looks unfinished as a 3D piece but the only option I found was to try and resin the front and back faces by cutting the board laterally like a fillet of fish.

On the Lost board the white foam only needs s

Step 7: Presentation

So here is the board at the presentation. People go bananas over these and they have for about the twenty years I have been doing them. They change with the light through out the day and at night they light really well. The best lighting being a LED Strip. Go for it!!