glass tailblock

I just put a balsa tailblock on a classic cruiser type longboard I’m shaping and it looks pretty cool. I’m wondering though, I’ve seen some boards that have a clear glass tailblock and I was thinking about trying it on another longboard I’m making. Any ideas on how to do it?

I think those were made out of lucite

I just put a glass tailblock on a 7’4" hybrid by stacking layers of 6 oz glass. It’s only about 3/8 of an inch thick, but fairly clear. And I would imagine it’s fairly bomb proof.

I haven’t tried it… would casting resin work?

I’ve done them out of laminating resin, with multiple resin tints, i.e. red, white, blue. I take a cut in half lotion bottle, length wise. Place it on the bench and do my pours one after another. After it kicks,i just pop it out of the half bottle and grind it to shape. Glass as usual. I don’t see why clear wouldn’t work the same way? -Jay

John, If you are in So Cal, go to Crystaliner and they have S40 and S41 silmar casting resin. In Norcal, Fib Hawaii would have the same. Tell them how thick of a casting you are going to do, they will let you know which one to use. S40 and 41 are from the same base product as S249A, but with a different promoter package for casting. Sluggo

Oh yeah, you can build a simple mold from RTV silicone. Get a 25 shore A tin based silicone. has small kits.

my buddy has a colored tailblock on a Surfboard’s Hawaii board. it is a multi colored tailblock. i saw resinheads post, but didn’t quite understand. do i make each individual piece and then sand or grind to shape? what do i set-up the pieces in, and how do i attach them to eah other to form the block??

teddy- it is actually a pretty simple procedure- purchase a baking sheet at the grocer- one that has raised edges. utilizing a mold release(saran wrap can work if you are careful), pour your colored resin into the baking pan(make sure your work piece is level all round) and allow the resin to kick- pour the second layer of clear or colored resin in and allow to kick. use laminating resin and no surfacing agent- when you have acheived the desired look you are after, pop the piece out of your baking sheet and cut on a band saw- don’t cut your fingers off- i glue my blocks on with resin and allow to sit overnite b-4 grinding- if you are skillfull enough with a hot glue gun, that works ok too. laminate the board as usual,and enjoy p.s.- color swirl tailblocks are nice looking also- someone above posted how they use the bottom of a lotion bottle- neat idea…

I mix separate batches of colored resin letting one set-up before pouring the next on top of it. I just use lam resin because 1) i just don’t know any better, and 2) thats just what i usually have?. Make sure the mold is flat and level. For a mold I find an old shampoo bottle or something that looks like the basic shape of a tail. Usually i have to cut the bottle length wise to get a wide enough mold the width of a tail. i do this because I’m a iherently cheep bastard surfers (I also buy 99 cent Jumbo Jacks), and don’t want to buy all the mold making releasing agents etc. Once the mold has hardened, I just pop the whole striped block out. Usually there is some bleeding of the colors on the outside of the block, but once you start to shape it to the tail size all the colors are well defined and straight. I shape the resin block with a 16 inch disc sander, but a belt sander with 60 grit turned upside down and locked open will work well too, just make sure you lock it into a bench vise or something so you don’t grind your knuckles off. Once you have the shape, apply and glass as usual. Hope this clarify? -Jay

I use to do them the same way that Shaper stated.A big tray with lots of different pours…ending up around three inches thick or so.This gave me a large sheet that would yield twelve tail block “blanks”.You could also get matching nose blocks from the same sheet.Cut them out in the rough shape with a band saw,glue to blank.shape with a grinder.Some folks would apply them after the blank is glassed and hotcoated but it seems a like a lot of extra work to me.Jim Phillips is an absolute master when it comes to things like this. R.B.

Thanks for all the great replies, guys. I’ll try it out sometime but in the meantime, I just found a nice block of redwood in my garage that I’m gonna use for my next board.

I build all the colored glass tail blocks for Surfboards Hawaii

any secrets to share??

  1. they’re not resin tail blocks, but solid laminated glass. 2, I lay up sheets of thinner glass accent colors and inter-mix them with pieces of fin sheet, box and glass on. 3. When laminating all the pieces together, I use several strips of cloth with colored resin. 4. If a clear piece is used for the end cap, it can be backed up with a strip of Hawaiian fabric that will show through. Just some of the techniques that I use, there are others, but no sense of mental overload. My wrap around laminated glass nose and tail blocks boggle even the best of minds. It was too much for Cleanlines, he had to throw in the towel

Jim: “…and inter-mix them with pieces of fin sheet, box and glass on.” So recycled fin(s) and scrap layups? Fascinating stuff, I’ve got a nice box full of rogue glass ons from repairs and retrofits. Off to the bandsaw with 'em. Are you using epoxy or resin to attach these as nose/tail blocks? Tom S.

Yep I felt a bad case of the itch coming on so the glass noseblocks are still on the shelf. R.B.

Hey C.L.- I was gonna call you. What about the glue ups with the colored paper. Do these hold their color for a while or do they fade out over time? What about attachment? Epoxy, glue gun or resin? Tom S.

The paper is everyday construction paper that you can get pretty easy.I glued up my tailblocks out of different woods with paper in between the layers…I just used plain old carpenters yellow glue and wood clamps…When gluing up tailblocks I make a large slab so I can get more than one. R.B.