: RichardMc/Doc

Thanks for the input on the nose block question I posted. But I am a little confused on the jig for cutting the nose. Do you shim the jig to make it level with the floor? If you do, when you attach the raw nose block wouldn’t this change the rocker in the nose or is this corrected when the block is fine shaped on the board.



woops, no - as Jim Phillips described, work from the deck curve, the floor is irrelevant. You want to pretty much be at 90 degrees to the deck curve ( nose-tail, not side-side) at the point where you’ll be cutting it

see if this helps

hope that’s of use


Hey h2ofxk,

Doc’s answer is right on. (Doc, those graphics just keep getting better!)

Remember this whole process is done after the surfboard has been shaped. Think of it this way… Instead of cutting the nose off the end of a surfboard, spoze you were simply cutting the end of a piece of flat plywood. You would just attach a fence strip to run the saw up against in order to get a straight cut. Well it’s the same principal on the deck of the surfboard, it’s just that the deck is crowned or thicker at center instead of dead flat like the plywood. Soooo, just position the cutting jig (a flat piece of plywood with a fence to run the saw against) on top of the surfboard and place shims under each side in order to make the jig “flat” on top of the surfboard.

You’ll pad and clamp the jig to the board so that it won’t rock or move when running the saw on it. A little bundle of door hanging shims purchased from “the depot” are usually uniform in thickness. The trick is to use the same thickness under each side of the jig which is what makes it “flat” (assuming you shaped the surfboard rails uniformly). While at the depot go back in the area where they sell metal tool chests and get one of those little rolls of rubber matts that some mechanics use to line the bottom of cabinet drawers. It’s the same kind of stuff they also sell to go under oriental rugs to keep them from slipping. Anyway that stuff works great for padding the jig on the surfboard. I use it all the time in my woodworking shop to pad finished wood pieces on the workbench (handy stuff).

The process is actually far simpler than it is to explain. Go for it. Just think things through, double check, and have everything right BEFORE you cut. As Jim P. mentioned, “measure twice, cut once”. I measure twice, get ready to cut and measure again. Enjoy the ride!

Thanks, it is much clearer now. As mentioned in the original thread this method will also work for the tail blocks which will help me there too.


A few other things…

The shims can be cut from scrap with a bandsaw. or wood shingles are fine, though they might be a skosh long and need to be cut - or just leave 'em long and your saw will cut 'em.

You may find that a combination square is real handy for a lot of this, both in setting your jig and in figuring where to set it. If it’s set so that it just barely touches the surface of your blank at the forward ( nose) edge of your jig, you can make your jig height ( and angle) pretty much smack on.

damn, that was a lousy explanation - ok, here we go again

The combination square is a handy little devil, makes a quick and dirty gauge and it’s good for a bunch of other things. Check both sides, if you get one side right then chances are it’ll be good for the other side and then you have all the heights already.

Do check, recheck and then check again to be on the safe side. Right now I have a lovely pine mantel in my workshop, leaning against a wall. Perfect in every respect, I did a really nice job… except that it’s 10" off in one dimension… %$#*&^%%%!!! I suppose I could have cut down the brickwork, but…

Uhm, Richard, would a band clamp be the item of choice for holding this whole shebang in place? With a little more of the rubber padding under the strap?

I cheat- I get my carpet padding from what the carpet layers throw away as scrap…it is for them, but the small strips and such are perfect for what I need it for. Or, restaurants use an interesting thin rubber mesh as shelf padding - and pieces get cut to fit.

hope that’s of use


Yo Doctor,

Tried to reply when I came in for lunch, but the computer kept throwing me off. Regarding the use of a band clamp, I spoze that would work. The key to the whole cut thing is to keep the cutting jig or “sawing sled” not only flat on the deck, but to also keep it from moving or rocking when sliding the saw across the top against the fence. I use regular metal woodworking clamps or my old style woodscrew clamps that I’m partial to. I’ll bet you’ve got those too.

The nose is generally 15 1/2" to 18 1/2" wide at about 12" from the tip on long boards (which is what these high-style front bumpers adorn anyway), so a clamp that reaches in 4" to 6" is really all it takes. I place a large scrap of plywood under each side also so as to disperse the clamp mark on the underside of the surfboard. A nice sharp plywood cutting blade in the saw.

I have an old 60s Duke Kahanamoku board that has a noseblock that is not mitered. It’s applied just as a tailblock, then rounded and shaped at the nose. Not as fancy, but much simpler and still just another way to go about it.

After a couple of decades of shortboards and the abandon of the longboards and all the style that was part of the trip “back in the day”, it’s fun to see such a renewed inerest not only in longboards, but in all the style and ammenities that were pridefully part of the craft back in the 60s (multi stringers, nose and tailblocks, wood skegs, etc.). I know you, Professor J. Phillips and a few others agree, Wood is good. I make wood furniture, walk on wood floors in my home, make wood surfboards, and drive a wood car, so like I say, “It’s all wood”! Enjoy the ride.

Hey, Richard-

I’ve been having some similar fun with ISPs and such… which is okay, it gave me some time to think about this jig and such. Maybe too much -

For instance: if you were working in a production environment ( like the job Jim Phillips was describing at the beginning of this thread ) , could it be set up to have the adjustments built in? Say, three or four machine screws passing through some of the threaded inserts you can buy at your friendly neighborhood hardware store for about fifty cents each? Plus some of those rubber appliance feet and shazam:

you have a quickly adjustable jig.

As a boatbuilder/boat carpenter who sometimes wanders into furniture, cabinet and spar making; You can’t have too many clamps My buddy Danny the Cabinetmaker comes close: his shop looks like a Jorgensen catalog. He must have the GNP of Botswana tied up in assorted and sundry clamps hanging on the walls or in ceiling racks. Clamps of all kinds.

I wonder if ( no diagram especially needed ) if you could make the jig wider than the board, say 24", then run a couple of bolts ( with wingnuts ) down through another piece of ply ( padded, with a strongback so it wouldn’t bend too much ) and you’d have something that’d save you a LOT of time. Have the clamping setup on the same side-side line as the two central adjustment screws, set it in place, tighten it down, adjust angle with the two other screws and bingo, you’re ready to break out the saw. If you could make it adjustable for different angles of your nose blocks, then it’d be pretty doggoned slick. And I think I might be able to figure out a rig for that. …yep

I shoulda been a manufacturing guy…ah well. Now to go pretend to make a living, doing a little reno job in a restaurant. Why is it they always call you two weeks before the grand opening when they have six weeks worth of work??

Now, tell me about this wood car…



Good Doctor,

I’ve been gone for several days, thus the delay in responding to your post. Your ideas for the jig are perfect. The padded adjustable feet and the base underneath threaded to the deck piece would work very well. The only Thing I would add to the setup would be to put a piece of 1/8" masonite on the deck and bottom first so as to disperse the pressure from the feet which would otherwise dent into the foam when clamped down.

I am a one-man shop, far better than the stress of hundreds of employees which I have experienced in the past. I do mainly one piece at a time, which leads to designing and inventing jigs to do the “one job” at hand, which prompted my simple sawing sled jig for noseblocks. Your idea would be perfect for doing “runs” or production work.

The wood car… it’s a restored 48 Chevy woodie wagon - the answer to my 60s dreams and is my middle age crisis trophy.

Keep those grand illustrations you do so well, coming our way!!

Enjoy the ride!

Ah…very good idea, a kinda diamond shaped chunk of masonite or mebbe a piece of scrap formica ( he wrote with formica on his mind, having a restaurant bar and back bar to formica tomorrow morning, a job I am looking forward to not at all 'cos it’s new formica on top of old formica and I already told the owner I’m not gonna stand behind it… in either sense) . Glue the formica to the front and back feet pads ( assuming they’ll turn freely ) and let the side feet kinda float on top of it to deal with the side-side curve.

A '48 woodie…very nice.

I like being ( at times) a small, one man production shop. Seems like I sometimes spend more time figuring out the jigs and fixtures than I do doing the work, though you can see where that would be a good thing. 'Cos if you don’t toss the jigs afterwards, and if there’s a little adjustabilty and versatility built in, well, the next job just got a lot easier. I’ve been known to sit on the couch, ignoring the tv and sketching things for myself to work out different ideas. Anything I show here, well, it’s kind of a spinoff… just thinking through things with a pencil and paper.

Best regards