First Board!

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sendyND
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:42 am

First Board!

Post by sendyND »

IMG_7865.jpg
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Hey guys! I just finished my first board build. Having the resources on this forum along with countless YouTube videos has helped immensely. I’d like to share my first attempt at a DIY snowboard and potentially help others avoid the issues I had. I made plenty of mistakes along the way and although it was more expensive than just buying a board, I’m happy with how it turned out and can’t wait to build more. I just wish it wasn't July so i could try it out! The process took me just under a month from purchasing the materials to finishing the board. Unfortunately (or fortunately) due to coronavirus, the start date for my new job was postponed. This gave me a lot of free time to work on the project which otherwise would have taken much longer.
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I decided to go for a short and wide powder board design with a long nose and small swallow tail. The board was drawn up in SNOCAD X. The camber profile has camber between the feet and rocker beginning from the inserts to the tips. (I mostly just traced my current board, a Burton Flight Attendant). The board is a 152 cm from tip to tip. The nose width is 315 mm with a taper of 30 mm. Side cut radius is 7 m.

I'll add photos of the build in the following posts.

sendyND
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:42 am

Re: First Board!

Post by sendyND »

Ripped core strips.jpg
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The core blank consisted of 14, 3/4” poplar strips and 2, 1” maple strips down the center separated by a .57” poplar strip. The 1” maple strips support the inserts and add strength. The thin poplar strip centers the inserts in the maple strips while keeping them spaced at 40mm.

I purchased all the lumber from a local wood supplier. 3/4” poplar boards and 1” maple boards. Fortunately, the boards I purchased were finished on 2 faces, eliminating the need to joint the boards before gluing up. The 0.57” strip did need to be jointed. This was done with a small hand plane and patience as I don’t have access to a planer and jointer.
Glued core blank.jpg
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With all the strips laid out, it is time for glue-up. I used titebond 3 wood glue. When
gluing the core blank, use plenty of glue and clamps. I probably could have used more wood glue to ensure squeeze out when clamping. A combination of not
enough glue and imperfect jointing of the center strip led to the core splitting at the
tip when shaping the core. With the core blank glued, the bottom face was finished
with a hand plane to provide a flat surface.
Last edited by sendyND on Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sendyND
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:42 am

Re: First Board!

Post by sendyND »

Half template.jpg
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Full template.jpg
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The shape of the core is defined by an MDF template. I began by cutting a 1/2 template, referencing the straight edge of the MDF panel as the centerline. This ensured the template was symmetric about the centerline. After cutting and sanding the 1/2 template, the full core template was cut and finished using a flush trim router bit (this bit was very handy for the rest of the build).
Cutting core outline.jpg
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To cut the core blank, the template was traced slightly large and cut out ensuring the
core was still larger than the template. The core shape was refined by clamping the
template to the core and using a flush trim router bit.

sendyND
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:42 am

Re: First Board!

Post by sendyND »

Chipped core.jpg
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When routing the core, a chunk was ripped from the nose. This was fixed using wood glue and sawdust as a wood filler.
Sidewall Glueup.jpg
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With the core outline cut, maple sidewalls were glued to the core. The sidewalls overhang the base and will be shaped after pressing the board.

sendyND
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:42 am

Re: First Board!

Post by sendyND »

Profiling Jig.jpg
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A router bridge was made of MDF to profile the core. The router follows the profile of the jig to give the core its thickness. I went with 6.5 mm between the feet and tapering down to 2 mm in the tip and tail.
Thin split core.jpg
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Modified core tail.jpg
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I routed until I was within 1 or 2 mm of the desired thickness and then finished with a handheld belt sander. Be sure to not go too far while routing the core thickness. I messed up and went too thin in the tail. You can also see where the core split due to the imperfect joint. This was fixed with a straight tip fill shape for the tail.

sendyND
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:42 am

Re: First Board!

Post by sendyND »

Spade bit.jpg
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Thru holes.jpg
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Holes were drilled for inserts using a 3/8” twist drill bit and a 3/4” spade bit. Both of which were dull. The holes on this board are embarassing but still worked. Going forward I will be buying forstner bits to ensure clean and precise holes.
Rabbeted core.jpg
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Rabbet jig.jpg
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The core was rabbeted on a makeshift router table using a mortising bit and 2 screws as a guide. The depth was adjusted to provide clearance for the steel edges.

sendyND
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:42 am

Re: First Board!

Post by sendyND »

The base is a sintered base material purchased from snowboardmaterials.com. Like the core, an MDF template was created for the base. Using a flush trim bit, the base was cut.
Gluing edges.jpg
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I went with a 3/4 wrap for the edges, ending at the tail. Using the base template, the edges were patiently shaped by hand. For the next board, I’ll be making an edge bender using tile nippers. The edges were superglued to hold them to the base until pressing the board where the epoxy will secure the edges.

sendyND
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:42 am

Re: First Board!

Post by sendyND »

Mold.jpg
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The board was vacuum pressed. The vacuum mold consists of MDF ribs cut to give the board’s camber profile. A single rib template was cut and sanded, then using a flush trim router bit, 8 more were cut. If I were to make another mold, I’d make a solid mold instead of spacing the ribs. When spacing the ribs, they became slightly uneven and required additional sanding. To achieve a flat base. 1/16” plexiglass was attached to the mold.
Vacuum setup.jpg
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A 1/6 hp Gast vacuum pump was purchased on eBay for $100. It provided sufficient vacuum to shape the board after pre-bending the core and base/edges. The base/edges were pre-bent by hand. The core was bent by covering the tip in damp paper towels and using a hair dryer to heat the core making it more malleable. The core was then positioned in the mold weighted by some water jugs overnight.

The layup process consisted of laying out the following layers: base/edges, VDS rubber, fiberglass, core, fiberglass, graphics, top sheet, peel ply, breather. Each layer of the board was wetted with epoxy. I used west systems 105 resin with the 206 slow hardener.

Be sure to mix small amounts of epoxy at a time...this is where I messed up. I began by mixing 14 ounces of epoxy which was way too much. At the time I didn’t realize that mixing epoxy is an exothermic reaction which produces heat, and heat decreases the time needed to cure the epoxy.

More epoxy = more heat.

Within minutes the epoxy began steaming and melted the mixing container. The epoxy already spread on the board became lumpy and began to cure very fast. This led to the first layer of fiberglass not being fully wetted. This might cause issues down the road. The solution is to only mix in small amounts for each step during the layup.

Once all the layers were assembled, a vacuum bag was placed over the mold. The board was then pressed for 18 hours. I bought all the vacuum bagging supplies from Fibreglast. The bag came as a tube leaving only 2 sides to seal with vacuum tape. I ran into a couple issues while vacuum bagging.
Bag patch.jpg
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Within 10 minutes, the bag material ended up tearing under vacuum. I got creative with a ziplock bag and patched it quickly which held for the remaining 18 hours. I also made the mistake of placing the vacuum nipples directly on the board which left indents after pressing. Next time I’ll relocate them, so they don’t touch the board.

sendyND
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:42 am

Re: First Board!

Post by sendyND »

Post press top sheet.jpg
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Post press base.jpg
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Here is the board fresh out of the press! You can see on the base where the fiberglass
was not completely wetted. As well as the indents on the top sheet.

sendyND
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:42 am

Re: First Board!

Post by sendyND »

Doodle.jpg
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Processed doodle.jpg
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Final graphic.jpg
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As you can see, I went with a clear base and top sheet. For graphics, I came up with some sharpie doodles. I just took a picture using my phone and increased the contrast/black point until it was black and white. I then printed the designs on some rice paper taped to standard printer paper. The rice paper graphics were then placed between the fiberglass and top sheet during layup. I’m pretty happy with the clarity and how they turned out. For the next board I will try placing graphics on the base as well.

sendyND
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:42 am

Re: First Board!

Post by sendyND »

Sidewall jig.jpg
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Sidewall oops.jpg
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To add the sidewall bevel, I attempted to make a router jig. I wasn’t careful enough
and ended up gouging the sidewall leaving a pretty good mark. I finished shaping
the sidewalls with the handheld belt sander. Next time I plan to take my time and
only use the belt sander to shape the sidewalls.
Final Product.jpg
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Here is the finished board!

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Head Monkey
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Re: First Board!

Post by Head Monkey »

Nicely done!

On mixing epoxy: mix as much as you want at the beginning, then divide it into multiple cups. You'll end up with the epoxy you need during layup without having to go back and keep mixing more. Standard red plastic party cups work great for this.
Everything I know about snowboard building, almost: MonkeyWiki, a guide to snowboard construction
Free open source ski and snowboard CADCAM: MonkeyCAM, snoCAD-X

sendyND
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:42 am

Re: First Board!

Post by sendyND »

Head Monkey wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:30 am
Nicely done!

On mixing epoxy: mix as much as you want at the beginning, then divide it into multiple cups. You'll end up with the epoxy you need during layup without having to go back and keep mixing more. Standard red plastic party cups work great for this.
Thanks! I’ll definitely be using that epoxy tip on the next one.

MadRussian
Posts: 702
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:32 pm
Location: USA

Re: First Board!

Post by MadRussian »

Head Monkey wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:30 am
Nicely done!

On mixing epoxy: mix as much as you want at the beginning, then divide it into multiple cups. You'll end up with the epoxy you need during layup without having to go back and keep mixing more. Standard red plastic party cups work great for this.
you want to say that already mix epoxy in small cups and left alone not gonna start hardens?
I usually mix at least three times. mixed all amount only once and that time almost half of it went to waste
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
Thomas A. Edison

SleepingAwake
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:06 pm

Re: First Board!

Post by SleepingAwake »

I usually prepare multiple cups with resin and hardener, but just don't mix yet. then whenever you're ready you can just stir and use without getting the scale all messy...

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