Stephan's Keel Fin Epoxy Fish

I’ve been reading this forum for a little more than a year now, a time in which I gathered a lot of great information that helped me to built my first two boards. Thanks for that to everyone! So today I decided to finally post something myself.

The following thread will document a whole project from the start. Threads like oldy’s journey of a quad http://www.swaylocks.com/forum/gforum.cgi?post=261074;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;guest=7123113 have always been my favorite posts, that’s why i decided to do something similar… however i am a lousy amateur compared to most of the people who post on this forum!

so this post will be about my third board, first board that i built for a friend, a 6’ twin keel fish.

As I am from Germany i assumed that I could fill a niche with my thread - i hope to gather some information for German shapers (and Austrian, Swiss, Dutch, Belgian, Danish… shapers) like me who are following the swaylocks forum but might have a hard time finding out which products to use, which tools, and where to get them for a good price…

i hope this will be a fun read for everyone!

On the pic you see the blank and my template.

i used a template Lob has posted a while ago:

http://www.swaylocks.com/forum/gforum.cgi?post=260792;search_string=lob;#260792

I will post it here again without permission, hope that is ok with you, Lob. merci beaucoup!


great post! I’m living in holland and recently finished my #001 (well, actually my 001,002,003 and 004 at the same time together with a friend…) from a 30kg/m3 pre-cut eps blank from atuacores in france. I ordered everything from them: 4 blanks, enough fibreglass, fin/leash plugs, and resoltech epoxy resin. I didn’t have any experience with lay-up composites though, it was covered at school during a materials science course, but never any hands-on experience. I found it very easy to work with. From everythin I’d read on swaylocks and several youtube videos, glassing (with poly that is) seemed very hard to me. I didn’t encounter any problems with epoxy. Plenty of time to work and everything bonded well. I still have to post pictures of my 001 (and 002, 003 and 004) but I’ll have to find my camera first. Anyways, I’m curious about where you got your eps foam block from, and where you got your glass+epoxy…

Quote:

great post! I’m living in holland and recently finished my #001 (well, actually my 001,002,003 and 004 at the same time together with a friend…) from a 30kg/m3 pre-cut eps blank from atuacores in france. I ordered everything from them: 4 blanks, enough fibreglass, fin/leash plugs, and resoltech epoxy resin. I didn’t have any experience with lay-up composites though, it was covered at school during a materials science course, but never any hands-on experience. I found it very easy to work with. From everythin I’d read on swaylocks and several youtube videos, glassing (with poly that is) seemed very hard to me. I didn’t encounter any problems with epoxy. Plenty of time to work and everything bonded well. I still have to post pictures of my 001 (and 002, 003 and 004) but I’ll have to find my camera first. Anyways, I’m curious about where you got your eps foam block from, and where you got your glass+epoxy…

Thanks for your reply. Do you have pics of your board?

The blank is actually the big checkered block the template is lying on in the above picture… This blank was a lucky find. You can’t buy sheets that big at OBI, and if you find some at some buliding center they are around 250 Euros. So atuacore is a good source i would say. However I do appreciate the recycling idea. My first two boards I made of old windsurfboards. Stripped off the laminate, shaped them, glassed with epoxy…

You need to find those really big windsurfboards from the 80ies. That way you have enough lenght. Easy to find, some people are glad when they can get rid of them, becasue they were lying around for years…

here’s some pictures of my first one.


I don’t have photo’s YET, but will post as soon as possible. It’s a 6’3 fish, 2 3/4 thick, 21.25 wide… Took it out for the first time last week, I loved it! The feeling of surfing a board that you built yourself is priceless… I’m superstoked at the moment. It still needs some sanding I guess, but what the hell, it surfs, and I’m going on a trip to central america next month so I might as well leave it as it is and finish it after the trip…

ur board loks good for a first… I’ll have to try glass ons for my next one too!

Ok, so i cut out the template. It’s 6’ x 21" x 2,75.

What do you think, are these numbers suitable for my friend (pretty good surfer, 85kg, mostly for French Atlantic Waves, 1-2m)? It would be great to get some feedback on this…

I used a handsaw (Fuchsschwanz) to cut it out. Leave at least 3 cm so you can make some mistakes. As I build stringerless from a block it is not easy to get an even shape. especially rocker, balance and symmetry are an issue.

With fish designs i found that it helps to leave the deck totally untouched and even at first - that way I can always measure thickness and foil and make sure the whole board does not become twisted like a cow’s tail.

Tools: Surform file (OBI).

Sandpaper attached to a large piece of wood with a handbar, 30cm x 20 cm.

40 grit.

calliper gauge (Schieblehre):

self made.

will post pics soon

I started to bevel the rails. The Steve Lis rails were a rough guide for doing that. first picture, just starting…

Thought I post pictures of the tools that I have built. They look funny but work ok.

Calliper/ Schieblehre

big sanding block


I started to make the fins. the 8mm plywood I got from the building centre turned out to be of somewhat minor quality when i foiled the fins. the layers were not even, there was a crack in one of the layers… however stephan suggested that he wanted coloured fins so i thought i use them anyway and dye them with resin tint.

and glass them with tinted resin later, so they would get a real deep colour that hopefully hides the flaws… unfortunately i only took pictures of the unfoiled sides…

the epoxy i am using is from bacuplast.de:

Epoxyd-Laminierharz-System EP 210/EPH 414-1 they don’t offer any colors or tints however. my tint is from a friend who works for a colour manufacturer. it looks great but it is not made for epoxy. there are some solvents in it, which makes it not ideal for the resin so i was told by bacuplast… i used it anyway on samples and the resin does get hard. i also laminated (glassed) a sample with it. but i don’t know if i weaken the bond or the overall strength of the laminate with the tint…

what do you think? should i use it for the whole board as intended?


Aaaargh. I was not satisfied with the fins at all. the plywood looked no good. it seemd to be not srong at all. and I also did not like the tint. so i went to a local carpenter and got 9mm plywood and shaped another set of fins. i will not put colour on those…

after glassing the foiled side with 3 layers of 165gr glass:

Finally the epoxy color arrived! It’s a strong fire truck red and i like it and first thing I did was go into the shed and start laminating. I started with the bottom, 2 layers of 165gr glass.

I needed more resin than I thought, maybe that’s because I did not seal the foam. It also started off pretty weird because there were a lot of bubbles. and then i had to mix more because i ran out of resin and i got a little nervous. but i managed to work out the bubbles and it looks alright now.

I am stoked!!!

I have a question: when do you guys put on the extra piece of cloth under the fins? should i apply it now or first turn around and glass the deck?!


Either butterfly cut the second lap, so you leave extra cloth where the fins are going to go or do them after the second side as they will interfere with the lap otherwise. If I do them the second way, I only take them up to the lap line.

I always add and sand the edges of fin patches before the fill coat.

that’s some great advice, woody_waverider. I haven’t read anything about the butterfly cut, but it’s a simple and great solution. i wish there were some shapers around here whom I could watch and ask for advice, but there are none. swaylocks is the only place where i can do that.

Thanks!

No Worries KM,

I learnt most of what I know from sways and by making boards.

just had a thought though, if your adding tint to the second side, add the patches after you glass the deck and use clear resin.

If you do the butterfly thing with tinted resin then they will show up darker like the laps as there is a bouble layer of coth.

I did a single fin with a dimond shapped fin patch under the first layer of glass with a tint so it would show up darker like the rails.

I might get away with it as the color i am using is highly opaque, i guess it will not show at all.

i tried a tint on my last one. it looks ok but far from perfect. this one is for a friend so I thought I go with an opaque color.

I have another question :slight_smile:

i plan on doing pinlines with acrylic paint (artist paint). on the sanded hotcoat, under the gloss coat. I use epoxy.

problem is, last time i did that there were dry spots on the pinline, the resin pooled around those spots. any thoughts on how to avoid this? help greatly appreciated!

merci,

KM

hey man,

for pinlines i use poster paint, also called tempera. it dries totally opaque, and is water based. it absorbs some resin when you gloss, so you don’t get funny lumps, and dry spots. plus it wipes off with a wet rag if you don’t like the line after you pull the tape…

good luck

Hey nativeson!

I will try poster paint I think, thanks for the advice. I had read some posts that recommended acrylic. the acrylic I used felt kind of oily though. maybe the resin did not like that…

I will do a test today with poster paint and post results later… it’s cool to get input from you guys so immediately…

cheers!