Cutting outline

First off …Terrible news from Kauai…Everyone pray for that young lady. Sorry to hear it Kokua. May God be with her and her family. I made an obsevation lately and thought you guys might have some insight. This applies to long and shortboards. How many of you guys start by truing the blank before cutting the outlne?? How many cut the outline and then true the blank?? Seems there are several schools of thought out there. which is it???Why?? Thanks, MLC…Texas

Krokus-I do the bottom rocker and vee first,and any other passes depending on what blank I am using and thickness I want.Then comes the deck.I don’t do all of the foiling before I cut out the outline, but get the deck true(take out high spots etc.)After I router the outline,I will do the final foiling,getting the rail line smooth and flowing,nose and tail thickness,and deck rocker etc.I have done it both ways, and some argue that cutting the outline first saves alot of extra work,but once you learn each blank,I believe you get a truer shape doing some milling work first.More area for mistakes(and we all make them)especially on shortboards when doing nose rocker/thickness.You have so much more area to work with.Hope this helps.TEDK.

Here’s my take on it. I true the deck and skin it, this gives me a level playing field to start with. Next it’s bring down the bottom to thickness, thin nose, thin and V tail, or what ever other bottom option yoy have in mind. Now whn it come to cutting the outline, I have much less thickness to deal with, also the hard edge of the blank skin makes cleaning the outline MUCH easier. I also find truing with the additional width makes for a truer line once it is cut out. Your not trying to get a line right on the very edge of the plan shape.

Damn Jim, You said more about how to shape a board in a paragraph than most guys could say in a book. Simple, to the point and it makes complete sense. In the end is about getting rid of a bunch of wasted motion. Off to work, Rich

Jim, Excellent response. I’ve seen your work on the video, you are a true craftsman and artist. It seemed to me when shaping a shortboard on a close tolerance blank that skinning the bottom and cutting the outline first might be easier. I am just starting out and don’t have the experience some of you guys do. I am fairly technical with my approach so to me logic rules! Thanks for all the responses…any more takes on this? MLC

You guys cut some off the blank’s outline? Hmmmm, I always just planed thickness, rocker, rail bands, and then sanded. I didn’t know one could alter the outline. Hmmmm?

I skin the bottom off the blank, get the rocker close to final before I mark the outline - Two reasons.:- The rocker will alter the curve of template you are using, and deviate from your intentions if you cut the outline then put rocker in, - Maybe it’s marginal, but try repeating a board you have taken the outline off if you cut that outline into a flatter blank! Secondly, as Jim Phillips says, there is just more foam to get true to your line if you cut out of an unskinned blank. Josh

Hey Jim, do you ever dig concaves? …and how does your technique affect that? As in, not knowing exactly where the outline is, how do you know where to set the concave? I’m sure after 100’s (1000s ?) of boards you probabaly know exactly where the outline is going anyway… but I’m not there yet. Cheers,

For a blended nose concave, I rough it in during the initial skinning/thinning. Dish concaves and double concave tails, I do last before fine sand