I want to shape my first board and want to know if this can be done without a electric planer. All resource i can find only explain techniques using Skil Planers with reduded length-can these be hired? Are they surf board specific or will a standard wood planer be suitable? I haven’t the cash to buy a planer (and since i am only likely to make a single board at this point it would be foolish!!) so what other methods are suitable? Cheers for any responses guys.

I shaped my first 5 boards using only a surform. It works well but takes a lot longer than if you had a planer. You can purchase one at any hardware store, they are cheap. If it is your first board get the shaping 101 video, it’s a big help. Good luck, Frank.

My first few boards were skinned with a router. With the stringer a little deeper than the foam. After that I used a cheap-o Black and Decker Planer. For your first board I would suggest a surform, sand paper and lots of hand work. Power tools in the hands of beginners tends to lead to over cutting. It is easier to remove foam than add it. Anthony

Howzit, guys…not “shaping specific” per se, but I JUST saw an article in “Fine Homebuilding” (the one currently on the stands) all about PLANERS. geared for wood, but includes several models featured (at LEAST ten to my rec.)-has prices, specs, capabilities. Kind of handy to check over. (see if your library has it in periodicals). “Our” Hitachi came up high on the list for reliability and a good buy for the relatively low price. (a c-note outta the box with no modifications). worth a look see. T.

For one or two boards just get a decent block plane - they can be found on e-bay and garage sales for under 10.00. A sharp blade that is adjusted correctly will skin and shape a close tolerance blank easily enough. A coarse sanding belt cut and glued to a flex block will take it down to where you’ll only need some screen around a soft foam pad to finish it off. Save your money for gas.

Start out the right way. Find a good local shaper, pay homage, watch, learn, and listen. The planner is the only way to go. Maybe you could barrow one for the job. The surform is sure to turn your blank into a joke of a surfboard. Learn the basic fundamentals then go for it.

I did my first 3 with a hand planer, surform, sandpaper, and lots of elbow grease… I think they turned out fine. Not professional by any means, but what do you expect. I still use #2 (mod fish) all the time when it’s sloppy. The biggest flaw I’ve noticed is the lack of duribility in my glass job… but its led me to greatly increase my skill in ding repair. One word of caution is that the surform is very innaccurate and can lead to some serious wobbles… try sticking to the hand planner and sandpaper (sand screen). I think the additional time that your going to spend with the blank (planing and sanding and measuring and planing and sanding… etc) is good on your first few, you’ll notice things you would probably breeze right over with an electric planer.

“Longblocking” with a sanding belt glued to a 1" X 4" X 18" piece of wood will take care of most warbles.

“Harbor Freight Tools” has electric planers for $39.95. Good enough for the first 5-10 boards, probably.

Cheers for the responses guys, Have been trying to find a shaper i can sit in with and watch but there is a distinct lack of them up here in the north east of Scotland!! Have also followed all of your advice and have put 101 on order…will get back to you on any progress.

im in ireland and i run shaping courses, i believe there is a shaper in the newcastle/northumberland area also one in norfolk good luck paul

buy good tools, you can always use it for woodworking or sell it.