Gluing the Wiley Perimeter Stringer Blank

OK, I’ve been building these off and on for a couple years. I have a few tips to offer. But, I’m sure some of you can improve on this and you darn well better tell me what you figure out. Here goes:

Mark the blank with the board outline and the stringers.

Cut one side only on the stringer line. You will use the off cut to glue back to the blank sandwiching the stringers. If you cut and glue both sides at the same time you will need a crew of 8 to hold everything down while you glue and clamp. Glue will be everywhere and your friends will hate you. You’ll have to throw away your clothes. Assuming you get them off before the glue sets.

Using the blank after the first cut, obviously before gluing, trace the rocker outline on to your stringer material. I used bending ply. I’m not crazy about it, but it works well in bending. Thus the name, I guess. But I’m not impressed with the layers and what that means for the strength. KEY ITEM: over size the stringer outline by about ¼ inch so you can have a little adjusting room as you fit the blank to the stringer.

AND on the bottom of the marked stringer, mark the true bottom rocker using the blank for the template. You will need this line to true up the blank to the stringer correctly. Otherwise your rocker will be off. (don’t say it).

AND mark the mid point of the blank at the rail on to the stringer. You will use this as an initial navigation mark when you first line up the stringer on the blank and begin gluing.

Cut out your stingers.

Mix up your glue. I used 3 oz of RR epoxy with equal amount of microballoons to give a pourable paste consistency. I applied it to the two blank surfaces, not the stringer. Remember, you are only gluing one side of the blank at a time. Squeegee it out evenly and prepare to assemble.

Line up the mid point of the blank with the mid point mark you put on the stringer and lay the stringer on. Add the top off cut piece and clamp at the middle.

Using the true rocker bottom outline line you marked on the stringer, work out to the ends adding clamps and keeping both the top and bottom piece even.

I notched out the stringer so I could see the bottom rocker line on both sides of the stringer.

Use your squeegee to get all the excess glue off the blank. It tears off in nasty chunks after it is hard. And don’t use so much glue that it oozes off the board.

Notice the vertical line on the blank lined up to tell you the pieces are placed correctly fore and aft.

Notice the nose where the stringers come together. Loehr’s boards have the two stringer meeting about 2 inches from the nose then coming together and running to the nose from there. I have been having the two stringer pieces come together right the nose and shaping from there. Loehr’s way give you more foam at the nose to shape. My way has you shaping the stringers at the nose. This can be a problem with narrow nose boards, less with full noses.

Repeat all this on the other side, then cut the board outline as usual.

If your pieces have been glued accurately, you will be ready to shape after a minor amount of blank trueing. If not, you will need to spend a bit more time. My early boards were off a bit, but with practice you can get very close.

You may need a little spackle (yes, creeping evil) to fill in along the stringer where there are small gaps. Don’t sweat it.

I’ve probably left a few thinks out, but this should get you down the road a bit.

All done:

Here is an old one done with balsa stringers.

Here is how it looks from the deck:

Questions? Have your girl call my girl.


Here is an old one done with balsa stringers.

outstanding!!! That is frigging’ amazing!

Thank you so much for this little nugget of info. Should iron out alot of “I wonders”, for some of us playing around with ideas…

Very nice, thanks for sharing.

WOW! the only question i have is how do you know exactly where to put the stringers? i understand that there is more space between the stringer and the rail in the middle of the board than at the nose and tail. great work tho.


For the Jesus stringered fish I worked out an eye ball approximation of the needed arc then played around with it until I came up with the formula: the radius of the stringer arc is twice the length of the board. I took a long pole and measured the needed length, taped a pencil to it and scribed an arc on a sheet of door skin. Cut that out and used it for the stringer template.

I studied the fish symbol for days trying to figure out if it was an arc from a circle or just a parabola or what. It’s an arc from a circle. Simple.

On the basic perimeter stringer board I just eye balled it with a larger outline template.

Good luck with it.

what did you use to cut the foam?

I’ve cut it with a jig saw and a hand saw. The hand saw works best for me because it doesn’t wobble on the bottom as much. You will have to be very careful with either and not push the saw blade to either side as you cut because it make the cut on the bottom wobble.

I’m going back to the hot wire idea and building another device (V2).

Wow. Thanks so much for sharing!!! If you can, keep us posted on your v2 hotwire machine.

Your threads are great, Greg. Awesome pics and documentation.


Very well done, Greg. Symbolic, as well as functional. Not easily done.

Thank you for sharing all that great info. I don’t know why I got stuck on the idea of having to use polyurethane glue for the stringer. The epoxy mix is brilliant! So much easier to deal with.

I did mine on a Marko blank, so I didn’t have that straight edge that you do. I think thats where the rubber innertubes are a bit better than the fixed clamps.

I just vacuum bagged a piece of 1/8" Corecell onto the deck. I’ll try to post some pictures. It’s my stab at the firewire, perimeter thing.

Some of the Firewire guys might get a laugh out of my attempt. I did a few first time stupid mistakes that are a bit funny. Pictures to follow.

here is one i made using pretty much the same method

i used a circular saw freehand - works well for most of the board but starts ‘kicking back’ near the end curve - needed to do some reshaping to get it right.

next time i am going to make a template for my stringer cut and butt a jigsaw up against the edge to follow the curve.

this is 2# foam with 1/8 pvc stringers - very flexible - albout as flexy as a stringerless in the vertical plane but very stiff when trying to twist - cant wait to try it out!

nice one greg

Thanks for the great post, I do my blanks mostly the same way, but being impatient have always tried to glue both stringers in at the same time. One at a time = genius! so much easier. dude do i feel dumb right now.

That fish is beautiful. one of the coolest looking boards I’ve ever seen.