Try tweaking a stub template with boardCAD for FREE here

The file is attached. The software here, nice open source project:

All I’ve done is taken the template and scaled it down to 5’1" What changes would you make without altering length if wanting to stay true to the original concept of drive and speed, if any? I’m tempted to start but I thought why not allow people to have a go and see what happens. That’s half the fun of electronic drafting. The boardCAD forum is so quiet, compared to AKU. It would be great to give it some attention

5’1" Mini Simmons

I couldn’t figure out how to form a more cut off stub nose though.

For sending back a .brd file you might need dropbox or Google drive as it’s not allowed as an attachment on swaylocks. Or you could zip it up with the .pdf

was intending to tip… but multiple people rather than a single shaper…

I’m not totally clear on your intent, but you do know there have been a few threads on these “bar of soap” mini-simmons type boards, right?  So there is a lot of info in the archives you would find helpful in designing one.  I can dig up the threads if you’d like.  Like I said, not sure if thats what you’re after.  I don’t play much with computer design, and would have little to contribute on this subject even if I did, so can’t help much with your file, but I hope you get what you need to design your board.

You know, the best computer for surfboard design, is between your ears, not on your desk.       A pencil, tape measure, and square, will get you what you’re after.        Try it.

Agree with Huck and Bill!! and add that what you think looks good on a 14’’ laptop screen is not always what you get after you pay the mighty machine man to cut it.

You’re better off making a template, hand shaping the first one, riding it, figuring out what is wrong with your design, making another one, then at some point when you have an idea about the design trying to put it on your computer.

Jago25_98 you’ve been on swaylocks for 11 years and you’re asking for a free mini simmons design?  You were destined for more than this in life mate, don’t be a pussy, blanks are cheap, have a go!!

Ask the blank company for a ‘fish blank’ and suitable rocker, take all the volume off the bottom, keeping the deck curve because some other legend invented it. Outline, bottom + contours, bottom rail, deck bands, rails, clean up, two or four fins. Glass it, slide around, happy days!!

To get the additional  curve between the wide point and the nose you need to add another control point about 6" or so from the nose.  Similar to how the tail is squash or squared.  

“add control point”  

Thanks for the tips :-) 

When I learn something new I tend to do things the hard way :stuck_out_tongue: The advantage though is that when I finally ‘get it’ I usually get it good. 

True to habit, I always wanted to go high tech from the start. I finally have access to a good toolshop, albeit with a shaping machine. 

Although I have hand tools now (this is why I never did build anything for 11 years, moving around so much!..reading, research, more understanding how to communicate with a shaper)

… I prefer to do things digital if I can. It makes thing harder to learn but you can share what you’re doing online with people and I like that… not just that but you can reproduce it all much easier…

I admit many times I have been tempted to drop it all and switch to manual, especially now I have the tools and space to do it finally.

I have access to a laser cutter which can handle 10mm thick ply up to 1m wide. The stuff you can do is amazing… 

the only problem is that to cut struts and ribs you need a design and that’s where things get difficult… modelling in CAD. There is a hollow board generator (java, offsite hosted so a shame to rely on) but it creates pdf’s designed for hand tools… it has a lot of errors in the vector lines it creates. I then have to convert these plans to dxf through a process of vectorisation… slowing down the point of using such a tool…

So what I might do is semi cop out and switch to a foam core like TimberTek. This way I can pay someone to cut it to spec… although the guy in Hong Kong has been unhelpful so I’ll have to get a visa for China… but it means no hand shaping and I love this… then finish with ply… or some other wood… I really like wood… and even more so now i know I can engrave with this cutter. 

In terms of shape I started again. This time I started with a .brd from grain, shortened to 5’0", widened the tail to same as a board I’ve used, lowered the tail rocker a lot and nose rocker a little and also extended the hard rails. Thoughts please? 


I’ll also be building a cardboard board from Sheldons project. The only problem with this is that I can’t customise the size. The idea to my build is to get something small and easy to transport… yet a wave catching machine for sub shoulder height… I already have a 6’2 for other stuff.

 I work with guys doing 3D printing. This community shares a lot of stuff online with each other. Upload a file, somebody might edit, send back. We don’t really have this in shaping. It would be nice to see a digital design section, rather than .pdfs which have to be traced.

That’s my main motive in this thread - so that people can hopefully find everything they need to shape something by software. 

We are very close to being able to download boards and print them but in reality it’s not quite there, especially in hollow board design. 


The potential workflow that I was hoping for but didn’t quite get, reaosn for digital was:

  1. get a rough template from somebody else. Don’t reinvent the wheel. ( .brd )

  2. Do the tweaks, save file

  3. Use the Hollow Surfboard Generator from JedAil to get a pdf

  4. Convert that pdf to dxf using Vector Magic, scale to match pdf 

  5. Cut the dxf. Could be wood with a laser cutter but can also try any material. A laser cutter has over 100 different material possibilities. CNC adds metal as a possibility. Plastic, perspex, ply… you can use different flex properties in the frame

  6. Now can start gluing the frame together, work as normal

update: Seems a bit sad to bump my own thread but an update why not. 

So… at the end of the day I still didn’t achieve a finished board yet. Every time I get somewhere with it I start to relise the drawbacks of the build method and I stop. I decided to try a few build methods. Here’s what happened:

Wood: Got the furthest with this. Basically what I found is that cutting by hand and getting it all to match up is very difficult. You end up with gaps. Now… that’s not a big real… you can fill with PL Premium (not gorilla glue as very weak)… or epoxy. I basically got to a point where I wasn’t happy with the quality and I was running out of workshop time. I also didn’t like the wieght. I knew it would be heavy but the first build was messy and so added a lot of wieght. I was following a pattern generator and I didn’t like the limitations of that either. Photo to follow. 

Cardboard: Cutting it all out was fairly easy… but very slow. Took me 3 days. The thing caught fire once. Couldn’t get it to engrave the pieces so I had to write them on every time. Got it all cut out and relised ‘wow, this is actually a lot heavier than expected!’… also some missing pieces and a massive jigsaw… I then found out that expoxy in Hong Kong is massively more expensive than the rest of the world… I had to shelve it. 

Layered ply: Cutting this out is easy with a machine. Great! But designing it on the computer is actually very hard. The workflow is simple… the devil is in the detail… learning CAD from the very start is not easy. It is very rewarding at the end when you get to just slot pieces of wood together though. There is then CNC milling to consider which is interesting but a whole new ballgame again… don’t want to mess up a drill bit in the process… 

Compsand and foam: In australia workshop time is expensive but shape machine is cheap… so I didn’t get to try this one yet… but it seems like a good path to try. Probably will go this route is an experiment with chopping a cheap board into a travel board works out… even though I really hate foam. 

Of all I think cutting wood / small pieces with a machine and then assembling by hand is the most promising build method. For this though the whole thing needs to be designed in CAD. Not a walk in the park. The hollow template maker only outputs to a physical printer. There is a bug with java that stops it generating a pdf that can be machine cut. Shame! So instead you have to draw it yourself and learn CAD. Still, I managed to go from AKU to Solidworks. Onshape is a nice free online alternative to Solidworks. 

It would be really nice to have some fellow friends following along on this journey. Learning it all alone is quite lonely and slow. I wonder if there should be a separate forum… perhaps the BoardCAD forum… if only it was busier. I understand hand tools are more rewarding but I think it’s possible to have advantage of both worlds. 

There’s been a bit of a divide between people offering to shape a whole board and doing it all oneself. I don’t really want either, I want something inbetween when getting started. I think this is pretty common - the surfer wanting to get involved in the creative process. Australia has been more assessible in that regard. You can get a board shaped by machine pretty easy and then send it to get glassed. Also guys going workshops whch is great too. Building in wood is much easier in terms of finding help. 

3D slices for CNC is pretty interesting for those of us with smaller CNC machines!

slicing is easyhollowing becomes easy

seems better than the wooden hand attempt… even if it is real :D 

hopefully I can mix the best of both worlds 

I’ll just diary here with edit to avoid bump: 

As you can see I like speed. 

board file:

Lock down. lame. If I had the power this stuff would get locked downed right away. Lock down now,

Hi Jago-

Take my opinions for what little they’re worth.

The last link in your post is a log-on link for Google Drives or something, please edit it out.

I like the pic where you are starting to build the wooden board. See it through, glass it, get it wet, have more ideas, make more boards…getting one done is a confidence-booster and idea generator, and for a beginner like me another chance to practice/improve basic skills.

It seem like what you are saying throughout the thread is that:

-you want a kit, not a finished board, using 3D board design and some level of CNC, and

-you want to find some other people to do this with too

Does that sound right?

To get other people on the bandwagon you will most likely have to get one done yourself and demonstrate its level of feasibilty.

In your case, have you thought about keeping the design 3D and having the pieces ‘sushi cut’ out of foam or wood? It seems like using the HBTM program is going backwards when your board is already 3D in BoardCAD and your intention is to use some sort of CNC to make the pieces. You could also do your ‘sushi-cuts’ with CNC’d 2D templates and a hand-held hot wire if you were using EPS. The trick would be keeping it lined up during assembly.

Then again, a typical pair of rocker templates, hot wire, and an outline template would make quick work of this board out of EPS.  Just sayin’ because that works for me.

Jag, still haven’t finished your board?  All that high tech and no finished board?  Is the tech simplifying or complicating the process? Or, you just like it? I don’t get it.  The joy comes from surfing a board you made with your own hands.  Get’r done. Report back. Build another,etc.  

That was funny Ray.  Mike