iFoam Questions...

Received an iFoam, high-res cut, 8-0 hybrid shape from Marko today. Machine cut from 9-1 Machine-All 1.9PCF iFoam blank. I’ve scrubbed a number of eps blanks, but this is the first shot at iFoam. Questions:

  1. What do you use to finish it? I tried 40g paper and 60g screen. Stays kinda "fluffy". The screen worked best, but a helluva lot of scrubbing involved and finish still pitted.
  2. How "finished" does it need to be? Will a rougher finish create a better bond?
  3. No sealer coat, right? Doesn't absorb so shouldn't need sealer coat. How dry to you pull it to get the best bond?
  4. Can you air-spry it with acrylic latex before glassing?
  5. I've got to cut-in a swallow tail, but its so rubbery I'm having second thoughts. Any helpful hints for fine-finishing this stuff??


My buddy sanded it to 220.

I’ve sprayed some. Acrylics OK.

Glass as nomal with epoxy.

I finished scrubbing the blank down to 320g screen but the fuzzy texture remained. I tried a Sureform with Microplane blade and it did a better job than any screen or paper. Likewise, a David Combi hand plane, the one with the razor blade, and found that it did a pretty good job with cleaning things up and removing the fuzz. Cutting in the swallow tail was easy, but foiling the tail was not. Prone to pulling out beads, very similar to 1.5PCF eps. Seems like this foam needs to be sliced rather than ground.

My glasser sealed the finished blank with epoxy/micro-ballon slurry and found that contrary to marketing hype, the blank was pretty “thirsty”. He used about 30% more slurry than typically used with 2.0PCF eps. Laminated with 3 layer 4oz deck, and 2 layer 4oz bottom. Bottom ligh-yellow opaque, with clear deck inlay. Bottom lammed out flat, but deck has some small, half-dollar sized, 1/16" high"humps". Hopefully these will sand out.  Fin boxes added, with no issues. Hot-coated bottom, and deck done tomorrow. As is, board (8-0 x 22-3/8 x 3-1/4" 62L) weighs 12lbs. Not near as light as other 8-0 eps/epoxy boards I’ve done, but still no heavier that PE/PU boards. Board will have a sanded gloss-coat finish, so final weigh-in still to come.

At this point, unless this board shows incredible durability with adequate flex, I’m sticking with EPS or PU. Too much trouble for handshaping, not much easier for machine shaping, and lots of questions yet to answer rearding lamination.