Surfore's balsa

I finished re-gluing Surfore’s balsa blank back together today after chambering. When I pulled the rubber bands off it and put it on my platform scale, wow, 12-1/2 pounds at 10’4" x 23 1/2" x 3 1/2". I did shapes for Channin out of Costa Rican wood that he had gathered in Gulfito, 23 pounds after chambering

jim what do you think the finished weight of you balsa board will be, what do you think the wieght would be if it was un-chamberd, and if you were to make it out of a foam blank also- id love to shape a balsa board, but im afraid i’d end up with a 40 pound stick-

Jim, Please stop taunting me - you cruel, cruel woodsmith. I’ll see you Wednesday or Thursday. Did you get the fin from Bill? What’s the glassing schedule look like? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Surfore

are there any known places to buy good wood from, that i dont have to be related to the owner. i hear its super hard to get. is there any good websites conserning techniques on how to make balsa boards. i really want to try my hand at wood, see how it is. Also, lets say i buy “weak or not good wood” what will happen after i make it. will it just not be as long lasting. will it crush. what do u wood workers have to say to me?? dj

Here on the west coast, Frost Lumber in San Diego and General Veneer in Los Angeles (more expensive) of the two. You couldn’t find “weak” wood, I picked through the wood on many occasions to come up with the wood for Surfore’s blank. only on 2 sections did I have to “boost” the wood to get the required rocker. All of the planks were 5-1/2" wide and laid on edge (against the natural rocker) and forced straight during gluing by using 2"x4" box steel tubing against one edge for a strongback. I spilt blood on this one today, while swiping away shavings from my blockplane while tuning up the blank before anding, I slid my index finger tip across the blade edge, it was over before it started, nice surgical insision. I packed it with balsa shaving and it clotted in about 15 seconds

“Twelve and a half pounds”: Sounds like some very skilled work and wood selection by Jim. You are a lucky man Surfore. Take care and enjoy your new ride. Patrick

jim, do u know of any places to buy on the east coast. i guess i could always have it shipped. or when i go up to cal this summer i could pick me a blank and then have it shipped. but id hate to pay the shipping charges for such a big board, any recommendations? thanks dj

George Robinson has wood in Melbourne, Fla., but George culls the best wood for himself first and leaves the pickings for the customers. Secondly, unless you have access to a bandsaw, jointer, planer and a good router, if you plan on chambering, you’re just beating your dick into the dirt. The cost of wood is a staggering adventure to wind up with fire wood, it’s not like scrubbing away at a foam blank, it is planer and plane all the way. only the very last step involves sanding and that is to only dress away the residue left from the blockplane fine tune

yeah. ur right. i need to def research it more. but how do blasa makers get started?? jim are there any sites u know of that show how to chamber and shape and everything. if not, i vote u to make a video. tell us allw e need to know about balsa haha dj

On my first and only I just concentrated on slow and careful. Electric planed the rough shape, sharp mini-planed the rest. Sanding was tricky - go the wrong way and fuzz it up… different pieces had grain going different directions. Used a scraper blade with the grain for deck and bottom finishing.

Evolution Surfboards has a video that shows me bandsawing out the rockers, gluing up the sections and routing for chambering. Damascus has plans for an advanced board building video, showing foam pouring, blank cutting,laying out rockers, splitting stringers and gluing up blanks. Building wood blanks, shaping and chambering…but the Master Shapers Series has to show a profit first…and the Master Glassers has to be put to print

where can i find the evolution surf video, id def buy those videos u speak of. dj

Through the Evolution site, I believe the video is “Shape of the future” ?


Andrew & Jim, we’re all looking forward to seeing this one. What weight glass will you lay on it? Please be sure to post some pics. -GH

I’ll have photos of the board (before glassing) in a few days. Glass will be double six deck single six bottom. Jim mentioned to me on the phone today - balsa has to have a cheater coat (or two) of resin directly on the wood before it’s laminated. If not the glass will not bond correctly with the wood and slowly it will come apart.