glassing - first attempt

hi there,

i’m a beginner and just practiced glassing  on a piece of foam. before i destroy my shaped blank i would appreciate if you could give me some recommendations. I used 6oz fibreglass, polyester resin and about 2% catalyst. it was very difficult to get the laps in. 30mins after the lamination some air bubbles occurred, see photo below.  the resin didn’t dry even after more than 3h and still feels “sticky”. i assume i didn’t use enough catalyst. also the color i used (water based acrylic color) started to bleed into the white part of the blank. out of this I learned: don’t color the first board, focus on glassing only. what can i do to get the problem with the laps & air bubbles solved?

i would appreciate if you could give me more advises/tips to improve the result when glassing the real blank.

many thanks!



[img_assist|nid=1062524|title=glassing 1|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=478|height=640]


hi there,

this is a second picture.




[img_assist|nid=1062526|title=glassing 2|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=640|height=478]


 How sticky does i feel. It is lam resin so it will always be slightly tacky. The amount of catalyst depends on how hot or cold it is outside. UV cure resin would be easier to deal with, especially on your first board.

that scrap looks like glassing a rectangle...very block looking which might have made it more difficult for you to squeegee air out. make sure that when you are glassing, you are pulling the resin and air bubbles out to the rail. hold your squeegee at an angle to the stringer, not perpendicular, so that you can pull the bubbles out to the rail. also, befor you lap, make sure all bubbles are out, then tuck the glass under. work fast too.

good luck and I hope this helps you

As astevens said it will remain tacky until your hotcoat with sa which deprives the resin of oxygen creating a harder surface to sand easily. Air bubbles are essentially a lack of resin in the area. Make sure you are allowing resin to soak in to the cloth. Also 2% may be a little to quick to kick as a first time glasser. Maybe try 1.25%. But if your confident go for it. Good luck show pics as you progress

On hard edges and multiple angles like the tail I’ll do my initial tuck to get the laps as tight as I can.  Then almost always there will be a bubble like the one in your pictures in pretty much the same spot.  You also have to check if your bottom edge is very sharp or your glass is cut short one will form on the bottom as well.  Got to bend over and look.  

I use UV so time isn’t as crucial as catalyzed resin.  Still I’ll dab the squeegee in fresh resin from the bucket and add extra resin right above the bubble or over the entire area near the bubble then slowly pull the lap tight again.  The air escapes and the cloth should lay tight.  Sometimes you have to work it a bit, add more resin, or even use your finger to flatten it down.  I found it is much easier to deal with a bit of extra lam resin on the cloth then having to deal with a large bubble under the glass.

Once it kicks you can sand the extra resin off and prep for your next lamination.  

Check Youtube for videos on surfboard glassing.  There are some pretty good ones where you can watch a pro jam.  Its pretty cool to watch someone that does it day in and day out.  Look for the little subtle tricks they do at the lap edge, tail and nose as they finish off the lamination.  It is very quick but what they are doing is what you need to do. 


For the bubbles you already have try thinning some lam resin down with styrene, that way it should soak through and fill the bubble.

slice the high side with a razor and fill it with resin. that is not a structual area so you will be ok

then proceed

Re: Glassing videos online. I’ve checked out thousands, well… lots anyway.

The best one I’ve found so far was basically advertising for Solarez (UV catalysed resin). II’m not going to bother going into the pluses or minuses of his product, because I’ve never used it, but it was really helpful because the bloke doing it explained what he was doing and why he was doing it at each step of the process. Most of the other ones were just footage of someone glassing a board with music over the top.

You can watch it at:

many thanks for all the replies and advises. especially to CassS, the videos are great and explain the glassing process in a excellent way. will post soon the progress of my first board. thanks again!

No worries, that’s what Swaylock’s is all about. Looking forward to seeing pics of the board.