that damn crust

ok this should probally be easy,but i havent figured it out yet…that crust on the deck it allways seems to kick my ass…on the bottom i usually peel it off with a small hand plane.and that works great …but on the deck that tears the hell out of the foam underneath and usually dosent get all the crust either…of course theres always the shurfoarm but i dont really like that either…tried a power planer on it but cant find any way to plane the curve of the deck…i can also sand till my arm falls off and thats no good either…i always manage to get it off but, there has got to be a better way…so whats the secret?

I use 16 grit floor sanding paper. You can find it at floor places and my H.Depot sells it in the tool rental center. It will leave scratches in the foam but you’ll sand them out before all is said and done. You can also use 32 grit.


Get comfortable with the surform…It’s turning out to be my best friend. I almost shaped my entire board with it this last time, rail bands and all. I find it easy to use and am very comfortable using it. Plus, it does everything.

The electrical planer it by far the best tool for the job… but you could use your baby block plane to skim the stuff off it takes less off the than the surform and is easier to control. your going to have to learn how use the depth control on your e-planer and learn to set your hand plane blade depths accordingly. I have used a variable sander set at the lowest speed with 80 grit…this works fast but you must to pull with the sander and not push… but yeah a sanding block with the lowest grit will work with lots of energy. some blanks have glue chunks deep into the foam near the stringer…I hate those bastards. I some times I just leave them there or I pick them out and spackle…When hand picking your blank be sure to look for signs of heavy glue residue on the deck at the stringer and avoid unless you like your blanks with glue chunks



Have you tried rotating your elec. planer perpendicular to the blank as you move to the nose? Carefull around the tip! Mike

I usually do that! in the nose area i cut perpendicular to the stringer but i have to stop just before the planer hits the stringer or it will make a mess out of it. Then i just trim the excess stringer with the surform.

I have a sureform with a curved bottom (one side to the other not front to back), it works great. I’ve used it in conjunction with my planer and with out to remove crust. Thank god for garage sales, i scored a ton of different sureforms for $10 at one, some of which I can’t find blades for they are so bizzare.

Hey PillarPoint

Your mention of curved surforms got my attention. I’ve often thought that a curved surform would be a huge help when thinning down the nose. Any chance you could include the manufacturer of some of your curved versions? Pics would be great, too, if you can manage as I have a feeling I might just end up making my own out of wood and then slapping a flat blade on it. thanks a lot for the help . . .

…the surform mentioned is flat, the blade is rolled, so buy a curved one and put it on a regular STANLEY surform…

There are always more than one way to skin a cat. Here is a short curved surform that can be used in the nose rocker area of the deck. It’s also OK for concave areas in general. It cuts on the pull stroke and works OK for concave areas in general…

Electric planers are the ticket, but there are several simple tricks to using them… correctly.

One, shorten the platen or base, this will give some addtional access to the nose deck area. Two, turn the planer so it’s about 30 to 40 degrees off the stringer direction, but still move the planer parallel to the stringer. My chinese knockoff of a Makita does a fine job this way.

Stanley (surform manufacturer) once made a long style surform that was curved from front to back, but I haven’t seen one in decades. You could perhaps mod one yourself.

Your block plane should do the trick, but the blade has to be very sharp. Same comment about angling the tool and moving parallel to the stringer applies.