Recovery Tips and Tricks

I remember BIll Barnfield saying here that good board building required the ability to recover from your mistakes.  It is a constant struggle for me.  Here is my latest:

I was working late one night last week in poor light, spackling a board so I could glass the next morning.  Grabbed my Fast and Final bucket and a separate mixing cup.  I always use a separate cup to mix so I don’t contaminate the source.  I mixed in a little DI water and got it to mayo consistancy using a new Home Depot paint stir stick.  Nice and clean.  Except I didn’t notice in the poor light that the acrylic in the F&F was taking off the orange print from the stir stick and making my white board spotty orange.  After weeping unconsolably for most of the next day, I sanded it off with a foam pad and 120 screen, but still had orange.  More weeping.  Then I remembered a pint of super white gesso I had up on the shelf.  I mixed it 1:1 with the F&F and essentially painted the board with it.  I just finished and I believe it is going to work.  I may have to do another coat, but whew!!  Saved.

Anyone want to “share” a recovery tip?


all the best

the deck on this one was supposed to be clear, but I got some tint on the squeegee, so…

Hey Greg,

One of my favorite boards that I have ever built was spurred into creativity by a goof!  I shaped the board for an opaque glass job and then forgot and shot a bright green tint!  It exposed all of the heavy grit scratches that you would screen out if you were prepping the board for a tint.  It looked awful!  Had to come up with something to bring it back to life…

So the first argyle pigment work was done.  Turned out to be a good thing and I ended up getting a bunch of orders for argyle boards!

It’s not how good you build them, its how good you fix them.



Saves guys!

As for me I never have to “save” my boards they are doomed from to moment I touch em.

I kid, recovery is a kin to invention, if you know what I mean and only you will know!!!

Matt, I certainly know what you mean…

My tip is to keep a fresh bottle of clear/white foaming PU (Gorilla) on hand, for those days when you are distracted in the garage by the girlfriend and template the blank nose for tail and don’t realize it until after starting to cut the outline. You end up with glue lines in the foam, parabolic copolymer mini-stringers if you will, but you get to keep going with the original design.

heres a good one
doing a resin swirl with epoxy. mixed the colors then mixed in the hardener. glassed the board - it was looking good. too bad it never cured…i had used resin again instead of hardener…pulled up the glass and sqeegeed in some clear resin. it became a ‘foam stain’ instead of a colored lamination. suprised that one performed as well as it did - it developed some funky aesthetics over time but my best friend surfed the snot out of it for a year and it held together…

heres another
gloss coating outside close to sunset. can you say alligator skin??? half the bottom had text written on the hotcoat too. had to sand it all off and try again…

more than once i have had to glue a nose or tail tip back on an almost finished shape…

He has offered some amazing and fun stories about this. 

I only know part of the story, but the legendary Ricky Carroll once shaped a balsa only to see termite holes. He added ants in the holes and glassed anyway. 

I had a daymare happen today! I was shaping my board np at all…then I take forgot to leave my soft weight on- the wind picked up and the worst thing happens! My board flys in the air and hits my planer box! All wasn’t lost -as my ding was only 1/8" deep underneath on side rails…so I said I’ll get some spackle! But then I thought to myself why dont I do a roll to vee bottom? I did, and it probably looks a lot more traditional then I expected! :slight_smile:

Reminds me of something that one of the best ship wright carpenters I ever worked with told me.  " Even the best Carpenters make mistakes The true Masters know how to cover up their mistakes." 

Just yesterday, I decided to make another fin-box jig, the old one being broken.


I spent a lot of time taking very precise measurements and routing the new one out of a nice piece of acrylic plastic, then glueing some anti-skid stuff on the back. I was very satisfied with the end product:


That was until I realized that something had gone wrong. Don’t ask me why, I know, “measure ten times, cut once”…


To make things even worse, I realized what was wrong AFTER routing the oversized hole into a brand new board… What to do? Pretend that it was made on purpose, of course!

So I picked up TWO fin-boxes, cut both very cleanly so that joining them would exactly fill the giant length. Glued the two parts with epoxy. And prayed.


Prayer is a good thing. It went like a charm. Now I just need to look serious when I tell the customer: “Look, I put an oversized fin-box in so that you get a much wider area to experiment with the best fin placement…”

And now, I need to fix the new jig…



Hahaha! Brilliant!  Can anyone top that?

Folks, we have a winner!

After making and using a Masonite template, have you ever had the tip of the nose or corners of a sq tail get blunt or rounded?     To keep those tips and corners in good shape, after making the template, use Super Glue to penetrate the Masonite in those areas.    The glue really hardens the template tips, providing longer life in those vulnerable areas.     Comprende?

Im sure some of you have goofed on fin plug installs before. I goofed on the placement of the router jig for the FCS Fusions and almost punched myself. Lol. Instead of lining up the rail marks on the jig to my marks, I accidently lined up the center mark on the jig to my rail dots making the fin line up incorrectly. I then grabbed a scrap foam piece and shaped it down to fit as close to the hole as possible and filled with resin and cabosil. Then rerouted it. Then did this resin swirl to hide the line which now you cant see anything that went wrong.