wavy stringers

Anyone else notice how many blanks have a crooked stringer? What do you guys do if anything different when your stringer is off?

Jason, I had one blank that was pretty bad from Clark. The board came out fine, but once I discovered it I had already started shaping. After I realized it was crooked, I couldn’t take any more measurements off the stringer, but instead, had to make some faint center line marks by pulling a string from nose to tail. From now on I inspect the blanks carefully before I accept them to avoid the hassles. Doug

Stringer cuts on urethane blanks are usually cut with a band saw. When the blades get dull the saw tends to wander. Pop a line on with a plumb line tool. It’s funny to remember, “Why the hell won’t the f#*kin’ templates blend the same on each side.” Then you look down the stringer…

Howzit Doug, In the 70’s I spent some time in the shaping room with Louie Strada. The first thing he did with a blank was to use a snap line to check if the stringer was straight.Aloha, Kokua

I did EXACTLY what Greg said. I put my template on the board and couldnt figure out what the hell was wrong. At first i thought my template was screwed. The i looked down the stringer line and saw that it make a left turn.

If you wanna get high-tech, go out and buy one of those laser levels, the ones that shoot a laser line out in one direction. You can shoot the line down the blank from the tail, as a quick check before shaping on every board. it only seems to work on the deck of the blank, mostly on longboards/fish, shortboards have too much rocker. But I find that it is a quick check, even if the stringer is pretty straight, you know where any weirdness is when you are shaping, so it dosn’t screw with you eyes as much. -Carl

The stingers are always off, they are never perfect. Deviations of .350" are pretty common. Very evident when machine shaping. From this I realized that template shapes are much truer if you don’t use the stringer to template. Index the template from just the tips of the shape. Guys that are new to machine shapes always wonder why the machine shapes are off from the stringers. It’s the stringers that are off. If you rely on the stringers for your template layout your outlines will be crooked. I noticed this on most all handshpes.

In the last six months i’ve standardised about 8 shapes for ease of production into full template outlines by using conventional 1/4 and 1/2 templates to draw up a shape purely in 2 D with centerline drawn off a straight edge i know is straight, with 12" @ nose and tail marked off as a horizontal axis wider than the shape will end up, and the same at the midpoint.Drawing out the outline on one side and then tracing accurately and mirroring to the other side worked really well and cut out real neat from MDF board.The fullshape pins down onto the blank well and and saves so much time.Also, it serves as a sort of reliable base “pre-shape” for further custom modifications to nose and tail outlines independant of which way the stringer goes!

I am so amazed at the lack of a chalk line in tools that shapers of today use. I got a batch of Walker returns to do boards for Leucadia Surf Shop. The worst blanks were ones for Weber Performers, the 2" balsa stringer were bowed off to one side by over and inch, the “shaper” at Weber’s had measured off the center of the stick, one side of the outline was nearly straight, while the opposite side was super curvy. The first thing I do with any blank is, look down the stringer, if it is off, snap a line, go off it. You CAN’T assume anything

Thanks Jim, I think ill have to add a chalkline to the “gotta have it” tool list. Templating this last board threw me for a loop or two.

I have a flat piece of masonite I align against the stringers that i know is a good straight edge, that works well too. When i Gte my masonite cut at the lumberyard for templates, I ask them to cut it in 11 inch increments so i end up with a 4 inch "ruler of sorts, they are good for a few things around the shop, ockers the stringer gauge to mark fin toein/out. etc etc etc http://www.surfboardglassing.com

Gotta go witht he Chalk line. So invaluable. And fun to! Drew