Barefoot Adventure

Just finished watching Bruce Browns Barefoot Adventure. The part where Del Cannon goes in to Herbert Walker (of Walker foam) shop and tries to make his own blank. He mixes the chemicals and all a couple of times and none turn out right. Well my question is what is the mixture of chemicals and what chemicals are involved in making a blank?

watching this movie also made me wonder… they used foam molds that looked like they were made from wood. im not sure how it goes these days but iwould be interested in knowing the chemicals and process.

Those molds were made out of fiberglass and reinforced with 2 x 6. Molds today are made of concrete. The main chemicals are TDI and a special type of glycol(resin).

lets say you wanted to make your own foam could you put some 2x6’s together and line the inside with some fiberglass and make just like a block of foam. maybe a 10 foot by 25 inches wide by 4 inch thick? then just clamp the thing together like they did in the movie?

TDI, this is not just 3 letters. They stand for ToluenedIIsocyanate.This is a real bad acter. This site has really bad mouthed Acetone. Well acetone is nothing compaired to TDI. Acetone has an exposure limit of 250ppm, TDI has an exposure limit of .02ppm. Acetone has a IDHL(immediately dangerous to life of health) of 2500 ppm(this is the lowest point at which it will burn in air, called LEL)while the IDHL for TDI is 2.5ppm. This stuff is not to be messed with by the back yard shaper.

You can make the box ou t of plywood or malnine. Just be prepared to screw the box back together after you blow it apart by using too much foam. This will work if you just need to make a couple parts. Getting the materials and then formulating it is the real hard part. As Bagman said, TDI is very toxic and must be handled very carefully.

I seem to remember one of the old surf flicks where I think it was in New Zeland. These two guys had dug out a hole and lined it with cement or something like that. They make a top for it and used a rope to lower the top half to the bottom. This was the way they made there blanks. I also seem to remember reading somewhere that in order to keep the air pockets down on the skin of the board you need to put paper between the wet foam and the mold. I have worked with this foam before but never to make a surfboard blank. We made our molds out of Alum screwed and or clamped together, and coated with Teflon as a mold release. We were just trying to keep parts from moving around on space craft. I would not try to make a blank myself unless I could not buy the blanks or even a block of foam. The TDI is not to be messed with. Oh ya. I do not work for Clark or Walker foam, so I’m not just trying to scare you.