The ‘forty one’ – AKU file sent for cutting

A major milestone in the evolution of my backyard process today … I’ve sent my first AKU shaper designed board to the machine cutters.

I’m really exciting and nervous at the same time … being the first, I’m not sure how it will turn out, or whether there are any design glitches with my file.

Time will tell.

The ‘jazz’ – fin install

I decided to try the Shapers S-plugs … I like the idea of not having to link the fin box to the deck, and I’ve been an FCS user for years so I have a collection of fins … with a larger ‘footprint’ and the ‘scallopped’ edges the S-pug looked the goods … however, I was quite prepared enough when I did the install. I thought I could put some resin in the hole and then set the fin cant … bad, bad idea … very hard to get masking tape off the roll and onto the board and fins once your fingers are sticky from the resin … and then the time wasted stuffing around meant the resin gelled since I was using mekp (i.e. due to the ‘depth’ of the resin uv will not set) … meaning a messy install.

I also ran out of q-cell so the next batch was straight resin, and so the install looks a bit odd … ah the joys of the first project!

The ‘jazz’ – glassing lessons 101

Being my first attempt at glassing, I knew there would be issues. Using UV cure was the best choice because I had more time … but, that did not stop the stuff up … when I was laminating the bottom, it felt like the resin started to get sticky, like the fist hint it’s about to ‘kick’ when using mekp … so I started to rush … bad move … using my hands to wet the laps in a hurry then meant pulls, and some area’s ended up not wet enough … the end result a really bad lap job and a lot of sanding ensured to get it smooth …

This also lead to sand thru’s after the hotcoat as I tried to get a “smooth” finish, and many, many patches to fix soft spots …

You can see the end result in this pic … a very ugly lap line!

The ‘jazz’ – my test project

After many hours reading and researching, especially on swaylocks, it is time to actually “do” … I did not want to just ‘practice’ on old bits of foam, and thought the best solution was to try and make something … so, I grabbed a seconds blank that had been pre cut for $20 … this blank had a few “issues”, namely airbubbles and a weird discolouration in the tail and started it’s life as a 6’1″ … working around the “issues” it has ended up at 5’6″ …

Using the pre shaped blank gave me a feel for the little ridges the machine leaves, and how much effort it takes to smooth them down … then with the “issues” I had a play with shaping the nose and tail and blending the rails into the new nose and tail … this pre shape had some concave already, so I only smoothed out the ridges and went with what was already there.