New Project Thread

Hello swaylockers, this will be my new thread for my upcoming project! I will be keeping this thread updated through out the entire process. I plan to shape and glass three boards between now and the end of spring. I have previously shaped two boards about 2 years ago. I did those completely by hand and they turned out…rideable haha. This time I will be using all of the right tools.

All three boards will be Polyurethane blanks glassed with epoxy resin. I plan to shape a 5’2" mini simmons, 5’9" shortboard, and a 6’1" shortboard.

Anyways, I just picked up a Hitachi F-30A planer and I’m stoked on it. However, this planer has been sitting around for years from the previous owner and I think the adjustment knob on top is stuck… That knob is supposed to turn and adjust the cutting depth right? Any suggestions on how to get that thing to turn would be greatly appreciated:) Here are some pictures of the new planer

That thing looks brand new!  Nice score.  Some others will undoubtedly have suggestions on how to get it unstuck.  You might consider getting a smaller planer at some point if things get serious.  That’s a beast and most that have them use them to mow longboards (not to be discouraging).  Anyway if you’re looking for some templates/outlines to get you started, check out the link below.  Looking forward to your progress.





I’ll bet the cutting depth is locked into place.  Try loosening the wingnut on the side.  

Also, there have been many threads on how to modify your planer to make it surfboard shaping friendly. Happy hunting.

jjlam awesome template site! I’ll definitely consider using one of those. Yes, I have searched the forum for hours regarding just planers… so much information out there it’s kinda hard to take it all in. I couldn’t really find anything about the Hitachi F-30A planer though. I know Clark Foam was modifying these for a little bit but apparently that was a long time ago and it was for a short period. Gdaddy, that metal L piece and wingnut has no connection to the knob. Is the knob supoosed to be fairly easy to turn? I’m using quite a bit of force and it’s not budging at all.

If it’s stuck force it.  If it frees, problem solved.  If it breaks, no loss, it was broken already.

That was my Dad’s way with tools.

Penetrating oils are a more reasonable step.  Not WD-40.  It attracts dust, and gums up in the long run.  Something silicone based.  let it seep into the space between the knob and the body.   And between the body and shoe.Then graphite powder after you loosened it. 

Heat with a hair dryer also, but not so hot as to melt the plastic.  Heat and cool several cycles on the shoe.

Tequila, a tennis ball for the dog, and a nice hardwood floor.  Life is good.

I already tried squirting some wd40 in it :0  whoops! I guess I’ll try different penetrating oils and if that doesn’t work I’ll have to wait a week before I can get my hands on a hairdryer. You were right on about “life is good” haha but it’s actually rum and a tennis ball for me  :p  I’m in college so my room is a wreck, especially with finals coming up.

Sorry if I sound like an old guy here, with a kid in college myself, but…

Go light on the rum, heavy on the tennis and surfing, and heavier on the studying.  These are some of the best years of your life!  Stay sober and awake for most of it.

Now, tell us more about the board.  where are you shaping it?

Don’t worry I don’t party too much. I find myself studying 90% of the time and my friends always bug me about how much I study… Engineering problems I guess haha. Now back to the board topic. I will be shaping and glassing my boards in a 8’x12’ shed. My landlord is a surfer too and he’s all about letting me clean the shed out and turning it into a shaping bay. I’m going to be building my shaping/glassing stands this coming wednesday most likely so I will post pictures when it’s completed. While we are talking about shaping bays, does anyone know what/where/cost to get the shaping lights? Thanks!

Eight Footers are $40-$60 Ea.  Four footers can be found on sale at Ace occasionally.  So if it saves you any money, link a couple of four footers.  Eight foot is enough.  For the size boards you are doing you could probably get away with a couple of four footers. 

That Hitachi is a good planer, but the Clark Hitachi were made to adjust on the fly by removing the depth adjustment mechanism and replacing it with a customised part.  It’s a very big deal to alter a Hitachi without the proper part.  You’ll probably/eventually get it unstuck and usable, but the depth adjustment will always be stiff.

This isn’t the model that Clark modified. I think deadshaper uses one of these, maybe he’ll chime in.  I got no idea what that wing nut and sliding guage is about. It looks like the front shoe is set at zero, so you should be attempting to twist the knob to the right. 

You might be just as well off with a Harbor Freight $39 planer…

Mcding Clark did modify these actually but for a very short time. Like I said I read every thread on here about the f-30a. It might not be the best planer for the boards I’m doing now but I definitely plan to make some longboards in the future, which the F-30A is great for. I couldn’t pass up on the price and condition of this thing so I took the opportunity to buy it for less than a new hitachi p-20sb planer. The sliding gauge with wingnut is for cutting down the side of wood I believe. Looks like most take it off completely for doing surfboards. So lights are that expensive huh? Never knew those things would cost so much 

The Clark-modified F30 was/is a beast, but I know some good shapers that use them. Ricky Carroll keeps one around for roughing out, and Kirk Brasington did many thousands of short boards with one back when he shaped all the Matt Kechele label boards.

At your experience level, and without the on-the-fly adjustment, you should probably just use it for skinning/foiling and perhaps the primary deckside rail band. As you use it more you’ll get more comfortable. A cheapo small planer for doing secondary rail bands etc. might be worth looking at.

Mikedaniel, are you from brevard county? You’re naming some local shapers haha. I plan on just skinning it pretty much as this will be my third board and I know my skills are limited right now. I’m honestly just stoked that I won’t have tear marks in my finished blank from using a classic hand planer. 

Yep, I’ve lived here 40 years. FIT alumnus too.

Sick! I was born and raised in indialantic but unfortunately go to college in gainesville :0 

The “on the fly” adjustment can be done without.  I think it was Gene Cooper that I read doesn’t adjust on the fly.  Set it at 1/16"  two passes adds to  1/8"  You want to taper a cut?  First pass is one foot long.  Second pass covers the first and goes for two feet.  Third pass is three feet long, and covers the first two passes.  You just did a taper from 0" to 3/16".   Are we counting seconds?  Also, it’s easier to measure the length of a fixed pass than try to adjust on the fly.

At least that’s my take on it.  (And Gene’s too).

While it’s true you “can” do without the on-the-fly adjustment, it’s much better to have it.

I built three Clarks out of two Lowes P20’s that I bought for $59each a few years back.  Luckily I had bought a box full of bodys and misc. parts a few years before .  I’ve yet to see an F 30 that was altered by Clark.  If you got a pic. I’d like to see one.  Is the depth mechanisim the same one they use in the P20??
A wider cut and more power is good but what they did right on that one was put the handle in the right place. Saw a couple on Ebay yesterday.




Here’s the part diagram. I have no idea if it’s the same as the P-20. If you believe this one can be modified with your spare parts I would be interested!