Prototype 1

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Hoops
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:31 pm

Prototype 1

Post by Hoops » Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:42 pm

Greetings, fellow ski/snowboard builders :)

It was almost a year ago that I made a personal pledge to build my next snowboard. It's now a couple of weeks until my next snow trip, and the board is almost finished, so I thought I'd share some pics of the project. As I'm sure other builders can sympathise, it has been ridiculously time-consuming and quite a learning experience. Definitely not cheaper or easier than just buying a board, but much more rewarding. Can't wait to try it.

I designed the shape and camber profile in SolidWorks. A little different from anything I've seen on the market. 154cm length, 293mm nose and tail width, 260mm waist width, 7.4m sidecut radius, true twin and traditional camber between the contact points for carving the groomers, with extended nose and swallowtail for float in powder. Also shown is the camber profile / parts for the press.

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Below is the CNC cut MDF template to be used for cutting the HDPE base to shape using a router follower bit. Base material plus topsheet, fibreglass and steel edge were all purchased from Skilab.

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Cutting out the base using router follower bit while clamped to the base template:

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Attaching the steel edge to the base using intermittent supergluing. For bending the edge material I made a sort of custom pair of pliers. It was a tricky job to do neatly - would be interested to know how others bend the edge.

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Core was made from laminations of robusta pine with two tasmanian oak stringers running the length of the board at the width of the binding inserts, for added strength there. (I had trouble finding any better options for wood here in Perth, like poplar or maple.) Pictured here is it being clamped after gluing. After this it was run through a thicknesser on both sides to flatten it out properly.

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CNC routing of the binding insert holes and a channel for pouring a polyurethane sidewall. My CNC is only 900x600mm bed size so the routing had to be done in two halves, with reference holes in the middle for alignment.

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Pouring of the polyurethane into the channel for the sidewall:

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Thicknessing the core in the CNC router, tapering the tip and tail down. The core is about 6mm thick under and between the bindings, tapering down to 2mm thick at the tip and tail.

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Almost completed core below, after being cut out around the sidewall on the bandsaw. Last thing was to machine a small 1mm deep step around the edge to accommodate the edge material (since it protrudes slightly above the base).

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Cutting laminations for assembling a press. In total the press was made from 20x laminations of 16mm MDF. One of the most time-consuming steps! I might have to make more than one snowboard with it, to justify the effort.

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Laminations were clamped together between steel bars using M10 threaded rod + nuts.

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8x M10 threaded rods used to clamp the two halves of the press together. In theory this should be good for a few tonnes of compression. (More would probably be better.)

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Getting ready to do the layup. It was done upside down in the hope of keeping the base free of stray epoxy, i.e topsheet, fibreglass, core, fibreglass, base. Fibreglass used was 22oz/sqft triax. Epoxy used was West Systems 105 with the 206 slow hardener.

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Layup in the press, left for 2 days to cure. Aluminium either side of the layup to prevent epoxy getting onto the wood parts of the press (and to give a nice smooth surface), and a 6mm layer of foam to accommodate any imperfections in the press.

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Opening up the press - to my great relief the layers had stayed aligned well. The P1 (prototype 1) text was done with black spraypaint onto the core using a stencil before layup.

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Nearly completed board - binding holes exposed using a countersink bit, and shape cut out approximately using a bandsaw following the steel edge. Still remains to clean up the edge on a linisher, add a sidewall bevel using a router somehow, sand some stray epoxy off the base then give it some wax.

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I must confess I was not feeling confident that my first attempt at building a snowboard would succeed at all, so it has been gratifying to get this far. I'm looking forward to trying it out at Perisher (Australia) in a couple of weeks!

sammer
Posts: 912
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 10:37 pm
Location: Fernie B.C.
Contact:

Re: Prototype 1

Post by sammer » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:49 pm

It all looks so simple,until you start!
Nice job, How'd it ride?

sam
You don't even have a legit signature, nothing to reveal who you are and what you do...

Best of luck to you. (uneva)

24Dave
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:14 pm

Re: Prototype 1

Post by 24Dave » Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:07 am

Nice one Hoops!

Wait, you have a CNC machine, but a trash can for a workbench, hilarious, and I love it!

An easy solution for getting a stronger epoxy cure would be to get some foam paneling, screw the panels together in a box just a little bigger than your press. Blow heat in at about 300F with two heat guns for about an hour and a half. Stick some meat thermometers through the foam away from where you are blowing heat in. The aluminum should help carry heat into the press. Or just get heat blankets for inside press.

Hoops
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:31 pm

Re: Prototype 1

Post by Hoops » Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:46 am

And I'm back! I only got four snow days this trip and only spent one of them on the P1 board because the conditions were much better suited to my Custom X (hard snow, no pow, occasional slush at best).

Before riding the P1 I got a local workshop to do a base grind, edge tune and base wax. I wasn't sure if the board was going to break or delaminate on its first day but it held up just fine for the whole day including some reasonably hard riding, so that was gratifying.

It felt pretty damp and solid blasting through chunder, had a nice surfy feel in the afternoon slush, was nimble through tree runs, and pretty easy to ride in general. The edge hold when trying carve groomers was not great though, it tended to wash out pretty early. The other board I had with me was a Custom X though and maybe it's not fair to compare my first home-made board to Burton's best carving board!

Still, I'd be interested to hear any suggestions on how to improve edge hold on my next build. It has more camber than the Custom X so lack of camber isn't the problem. I suspect it was due to flexing from the bindings to the contact points. Maybe carbon stringers would help.

Also I didn't build it with any "edge tech" like Frostbite / Grip tech / Magne-traction; not really sure if these are marketing gimmicks or actually very useful?

gav wa
Posts: 375
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: Perth

Re: Prototype 1

Post by gav wa » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:12 am

Even a 156cm custom X has about 1150mm running length so I'm not sure how your powder shaped board could have more camber than your custom X.
Magnatraction works, it's not a gimmick.
Your effective edge and running length is pretty short and your shape and camber profile probably don't match well enough to give grip when on edge.
Or the flex is too soft to hold power in the edge.

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