Tiny Bubbles...and no, not the Don Ho variety

It has arrived: my uber-spacey, speed demon, section master 9’0" longboard/gun hybrid reef break vehicle.

Unfortunately, so has the dreaded demon bubbles…little pinhole sized ones that are in the glass, and go right down to the cloth/blank (not cosmetic). Right where the shaper signed his name (into the blank) there are about 10-12 of these apparitions. Then there are a few up by the nose. The board is double 8 ounce Volan with a blue resin tint. The board is new, never left in a car or sun, never touched water.

Yet.

Is this a hotcoat problem? What caused it? I’ve heard of blow-through before, but couldn’t find much on the archives. Can the glasser re-hotcoat the glass, or is this a patch job. Again, the holes are tiny pinholes, but I didn’t want to take out the board and have water get under the glass, seeing it’s new. Tempting, though. I didn’t want to make a big deal of it, but at over 900 bucks, I just want to make sure everything is bueno.

Thanks in advance for your help!!!

Howzit zed, Do the bubbles follow the signature? if that is the case it’s because the glasser didn’t apply a little extra resin over the signature which would have filled in the air. Same thing happens where the shaper puts the dots for the fin placement. I always check those areas and anywhere there’s a hole or groove in the blank. Aloha, Kokua

Kokua, you got it…follows the signature, which is fairly deep (actually engraved vs. penciled in). Tilt the board and you can see the indenture. However, there are a few other bubbles in the glass job. Is this a hotcoat issue??? Not squeegeed??? I’m just wondering if it goes back to the glassers what they’ll do…

But I’m stoked on the board…a razor blade for a longboard/gun shape…downrail saber wave rocket…yeeeeehaaaaa!!!

Howzit zed, Air bubbles are not a hot coat issue, they happen during the lamination process. Some are from not enough resin which you can usually fix with some thinned out resin but air bubbles that are trapped in to much resin are there forever. but since those are encased in resin you don’t have to worry about them taking water. That’s what makes for a good glasser, not to much resin but not to dry of a lamination either. A lot of people can just put resin on a blank and take off the excess but the trick is knowing just the right amount. It also depends on how well the fiberglass is cut on the first layer on the deck, glassers who cut at mid rail may get bubbles where the glass ends. But what the heck it might float better with those bubbles, ha, ha. Aloha, Kokua

Kokua, How do you fix the tiny holes once you get them. They seem to stay forever once you get them. No matter how many times you hotcoat over them they always return! Any permanent fix?

Howzit Gregg, First you have to determine if the bubbles are from not enough resin or to much resin. You can’t do anything if it’s to much resin since the bubbles are trapped in the resin. If it’s caused from a dry lamination, you can try poking into the bubbles with a needle and using thinned resin to fill. If they 're real tiny bubbles I wouldn’t even worry about them. Chances are every board has some bubbles but it takes a trained eye to see them. Aloha,Kokua

Are you thinning the resin with Styrene? I have heard some people use acetone? I have also heard some people use super glue to plug up the little buggers? Whats the best way?

I agree with Kokua.We used to call these tiny bubbles “Pin Air” and it can happen to the best of glassers especially with double heavy cloth.It is not something to worry over…just part of having a hand crafted product.If you look real close you will probably find a bit of pin air in most boards. RB

Howzit Gregg, I use styrene for thinning resin, but it’s your project so the decision is yours. Aloha, Kokua

Howzit Mr. Clean, You hit the nail on the head about pin air in most boards. We know where to look to find them. Aloha, Kokua