how to fix a ding

I have a small ding on my rail and want advice on fixing it (right). The picture linked below, shows the ding on the rail. The bottom edge of the ding is smooth, while the top edge is protruding a little. The top edge is about 2" long. The ding is about in the center of the rail running lengthwise. I bought a “Ding All super surfboard repair kit” but it was missing the instructions and the sanding pad, so I decided to return it, but in the meantime I thought I’d get some better advice. Their web site suggests cutting the fiberglass up and mixing it in the resin and applying. I think I should be cutting away the ding area and applying cloth patches but don’t know how big an area to prep… thanks --4est

Please refer to link below… Doc says it all.

those are some nice lookin pinlines…

Howzit 4est, I would sand the cracked glass off instead of cutting it out. Sand the area til all the cracked glass is gone, reglass,hot coat,sand and you’re done and back in the water. If you’re using UV resin it should only take about a half an hour to finish. Aloha, Kokua

sanding over cutting, good to know; thanks

Never cut out cloth/glass if you can avoid it. That always, always adds extra work and materials and expense and 99% of the time it looks like hell. Better to fill underneath the old cloth if need be, sand lightly and lightly glass over all. Does a much better job. For your particular crunch, here’s how I’d do it; Sand the ding lightly with 80 or 100 grit sandpaper, enough so you are in past the gloss coat and barely into the cloth. Hand sanding is fine and probably safer unless you are very, very good with a power sander. DO NOT sand through the cloth, and it’s real easy to when you have small cracked glass spots like you do. Better to sand too little now than too much. Clean the dust off, acetone and a white cloth works well for this - don’t use a colored rag 'cos sometimes the acetone will dissolve the dye in the cloth and make one helluva mess. Glass over the area with 4 or 6 os cloth and sanding resin. Use a squeegee, you can fake it with some cardboard or an old phone card, etc. You want to leave enough resin in so it’s translucent and at the same time take out enough so you can see the weave texture of the cloth. You might begin by brushing a little lightly thinned resin into the ding, to re-saturate the crunched cloth, though usually squeegeeing does a good job of that. If there’s a faint depression in the board there, let the cloth and resin fill it. Sand the cloth lightly with that 80-100 grit paper and sand the edges of the cloth to a feather edge, carefully. Again, clean off the dust with acetone and rag. Mask around the area with a good grade of masking tape. Leave room past the cloth, a half inch at least. Brush on sanding resin thinned to about the consistency of light cream or milk with acetone, don’t be afraid to go fairly heavy with it. You want to fill the weave of the cloth plus a little, so you have a combined hotcoat and gloss. The excess will drip off. Use a throwaway chip brush, the kind with natural bristles and an unfinished wood handle, get 'em at your local hardware store. Resin does ugly things to nylon bristle brushes, so don’t use 'em. When the resin has just barely started to gel, pull the tape. That way, the edges of the combined gloss/hotcoat may kinda collapse/feather out which saves you a lot of sanding. When it’s a skosh harder, pull off the drips that have gone past your tape if there are any. At that stage they’ll come off clean and easy. When the resin has dried completely hard, sand the edges only with wet/dry sandpaper - the black stuff - finish off with at least 300 grit and I’d go to 600. Use plenty of water. This is usually pretty good by that stage, polishing lightly with a fiberglass polishing compound is optional. You should now have a nice waterproof, reinforced repair that looks good and maybe even looks invisible, like nothing ever happened. Hope that’s of use doc…

Howzit Doc, Why don’t you sand into the glass? I do it all the time and find I can even do it on painted boards with out ruining the color. By leaving the cracked glass you are just adding a patch and not actually repairing the ding.Aloha, Kokua

I’ve seen the glass, when it’s kinda crunched like in the photo linked below, let go/fall out/break off all of a sudden, and then you’re into foam. And if you’re using a power sander, instant ugly. I try to get off any loose gloss or hotcoat, but I stop there. Better to go light on the sanding and then try to work some resin into those fibers, y’know? That’ll also help with bonding that section to the underlying foam too. If you thin the resin some, it’ll flow right in pretty well. The difference between patching, which you’re doing anyways with some cloth over the area to tie it all together, and removing something - well, I really don’t think it matters so long as nothing’s actually in danger of falling out. Removing the old cloth doesn’t help anything structurally and it does add extra work. hope that makes sense. doc…

Howzit Doc, Makes sense but I feel if I’m going to the trouble to fix a ding I don’t want to still see the cracked glass after I’m done. If a customer picks up a fixed ding and they can still see the cracked glass they will think you just put a patch over it, but if there’s no cracked glass visable they say nice repair and you can charge more $ for it and all it takes is about 5 more mins, of hand sanding to get the crack out. Just the way I do things. Aloha, Kokua

Woops, I guess I explained that badly. What I’m doing is using thinned resin to get into the weave of those crunches once I have sanded away the cracked gloss/hotcoat - when they get that resin in there they go away or get invisible. Then a little cloth over it and it’s done. I find that if I cut down the bristles on a cheapo chip brush to about 5/8" length it can really push in the resin and also will do a nice job on the small patches of cloth you find yourself using on dings, the ones that are too small for a real squeegee. The stiff bristles act to get out excess resin very nicely. hope that’s a better explanation doc…

I still need to read Doc’s how to fix a ding from the archives, but thanks to everyone for the comments here. Looks like I’ll well on my way to understanding the process. I did already learn to use Duct tape instead of UV quick fix; see doc we do learn from your knowledge. thanks --4est

Howzit Forest, Do not use duct tape, it’s not water proof and it leaves hard to remove adhesive when you pull it off. Instead use a surf sticker, they work great and come off easy when you decide to fix the ding. I got 2 big holes in the bottom of 1 of my boards at Scorpion bay and did it this way. When I finally got around to fixing ( 7 monthes later ) there was no problems. Aloha, Kokua

Kokua, you da man bra!

Howzit Forest, apparently you must know me, but to my knowledge the only Forest I know is in the Navy. Is this you or do I know you by another name.Aloha, Kokua

Yo Kokua…the sticker thing is ingenious!You should market them…“Kokua’s Magic Instant Board Repair” put em in a container that looks like a Red Cross Bandage Box.Have all of your Sales Reps deliver them to the Surf Shops in an ambulance…lights flashing…sirene screaming.YeeHah.

I’ll go one further than that; you get a clear sticker material that can be printed or not, cut up into appropriate sized pieces and tucked into bandaid-like plastic boxes ( also screen printed or with a simple printed sticker - see for some ideas and there’s lits of inkjet-printable shipping labels ) that’ll fit into a board bag pocket or glove box - great idea. And as a guy who runs a surf shop, if you could get 'em out the door for, say, $2.50 US a pop in dozens or 20s ( $2 wholesale, $2.50 delivered ) , I think they’d sell like hotcakes ( MSRP of about $4.95 ) as one of those inexpensive items a surf shop likes to have around. Might offer ( a few cents each extra or just a few extra days print time from ordering) to print the surf shop name and number/address on the label someplace. Shops like that. Pretty low investment ( the boxes are about 25 cents each, sticky material ain’t much, labels under a dime, another nickel for inkjet ink and a dime for inkjet printer wear, tear and mortality, razor knife or one of those elementary school paper cutters and you’re done with the investing) and pretty quick turnover. Just about zero inventory space needed and nothing there goes bad. Get an order, pack 'em and put on the stickers, seal with a little Scotch tape and pack and ship. Go for it, come up with a logo and such, I’ll happily buy some for the shop I run. doc…

Howzit Mr. Clean, I like that idea, Think I’ll hire you to do the promotional work. Aloha, Kokua

Howzit Doc, Avery makes a window decal media that would work. What I use is the FCS stickers, I actually give a couple of them to the kids when they pick up their boards. Aloha, Kokua

Aha- and less than a dime apiece. Thanks for the tip, I do believe I’m on it.