Who needs a dependent variable?

I think you might find that guitar strings break very easily. What you can do is find a hobby shop near you; any decent one with a lot of train or RC plane stuff should have little packages of replacement wire for hotwires. It’s the right stuff (Nichrome) and it is cheap for a little 4’ length. … I pay something like 3$ up here.

Having been down the guitar string road I can say with confidence they will not make you sing with glee…

I am using 22guage steel single strand fishing wire available in pretty much any tackle-shop.

Johan, thanks for the tip! I had to go to two different stores to finally find them, but I’m glad I did. The guitar string broke on the first test. I had used it before with a small battery from our house’s alarm system and it almost worked. I was going to try that again but there wasn’t enough juice left in the old battery.

But the advantage to working in a ridiculously crowded basement is that when you ask if there’s anything stuffed in there that would work as a power source, there’s not one, but two! I had seen Stingray’s power source on the Hotwire Power Supply Question thread but wrote it off, assuming it cost an arm and a leg. Not so when you have a much older, grungier looking one. Mine’s even missing the knob on the dial, but a pair of pliers and a line of white paint on the top of the post and it works. It cut pretty well at around 15. The other one is much newer and a different style, but I like the older one more. The dial is more sensitive.

We need a little more practice with the hotwire, but some of these looked good. Is there anyway to stop extreme bowing of the wire? Maybe turning up the power a little more?

The blank was glued and clamped up last night, today I plan on rough shaping it.

Is there anyway to stop extreme bowing of the wire? Maybe turning up the power a little more?

Hey Rachel,

There will always be some bow to the wire, but to minimize it you can do one or more of these three things:

  1. more power to the wire (test so you don’t break it while cutting out a blank, not good)

  2. more pre-tension in the wire so when it heats up and expands, there is still a good bit of tension, but test for breakage like #1

  3. make your cuts slower. This is the safest method, but you can go crazy cutting out a 10’ blank if it takes long enough…


Well after 5 hours I sanded and planed the blank into something that actually looked like a blank. Then I cut out the outline with a jigsaw. Worked like a charm, I was assuming it wouldn’t. It took forever for me to sand down the masonite template I was using, and then once i put it on the blank I found out that it was much, much larger than I was intending. Like an 1 1/2" larger. So I fiddled with the placement and now I have the proper 22" width, of course it’s not 4’ 11 1/2". Which I’m sure will be fine.

One issue is that when I put the fins on the board to try to feel out their placement, they look immense. I don’t want to make new fins but I feel like they need to be scaled down. Otherwise there’s like a foot and a half of fin width on this beast. And on such a small board your feet end up pretty close to each other. One option is just making it a 3 fin bonzer using the larger of the runners I made. It looks a little more normal then. Any ideas for remedying this?

I had the same situation a month ago with the too much fin syndrom

I just cut the base’s of the fins down 1/4 inch or so so the looked proportional to the board

that way the foil is still in the fins

Once I moved some fins around and figured out the proper placement for the fins it didn’t seem like it would make much of a difference if I cut them down. But I might still do it anyway because they’re kind of tall.

So… board shaped. Definitely an interesting experience. The deck concave is about 1/2" deep in the front where your front foot would go, and 1/4" deep in the back. After reading some posts in the archives on concave decks I wanted to make sure there was room for water to escape out the tail so it wouldn’t bog down the board. The post on foot size relating to board size interested me, so when I shaped the deck concave I took his foot size (28 cm) into account. He’s used to concave skateboard decks so it shouldn’t be too much of a difference, but the concave is shaped to allow good heel and toe control and ability to apply weight. Rails are pretty full to keep some flotation in the board. I like to think of the rails as pontoons. With the concave deck it should be fairly easy to put the board on a rail. There’s 1/2" of vee in the tail, combined with 5/8" double concaves and 1/8" side concaves (shaped with an IPA. Use what you know right?). I think it came out pretty good. I have yet to spackle it, so once I do I’ll post more pictures and then start glassing.

It’s definitely been a challenge, but I think one that has made me a better shaper. And it certainly taxed all the knowledge I’ve learned on this site, applying that to what I was asked to make, and making compromises when necessary.

Great thread Rachel ,keep it going…MGD works best for me but if you like IPA… Have you tried the Brews from Stone? I love their Pale Ale…Great IPA too…

The curves!!! Shipman would be proud!!! Don’t be afraid to modify the curves after you spackle. After I spackle a blank I wait over night for it to dry. Then I sand with 150 and make sure everything looks OK. Sometimes I modify from there…You have Crazy fins too!

I love threads like this…


dang Rachel

do you look as good as you shape?

appealing curves most definitely, hope your bud appreciates gettin on top of that one.

Makin him wait till after the glass and resin is the tough part.


I much prefer a lager or a wheat ale, but they were all in the fridge so an IPA had to do. Blueberry beer and Newcastle Brown Ale are my favs at the moment. The agreed upon payment for this board is $50 and a 12 of Newcastle, so it’s only fitting that a beer bottle helped shape it.

I spackled it in between glassing and hotcoating another board. I love my modular glassing and shaping racks, but they make it hard to do more than one board at once.

I sanded everything this morning and then started glassing. One layer of 6oz on the bottom. What a pain. Those concaves are tough to work around. I mixed up 6 oz of dark blue, with a little bit of white opaque hoping to hide the eps pukas (didn’t work, next time more white or I need to invest in some black), 6 oz of clear (next time tinted white, it seemed to want to mix into the blue as soon as I poured it), and 3 oz of Light blue (very opaque on the stick but it all mixed together). I poured the dark blue into a larger container first and then poured in the clear and light blue together swirling it around in the bucket. Poured it out on the board trying to imitate the glassers in the Moonlight Glassing video. Made me feel kind of cool for a second. Then squeegeed around trying to fit the curves. 15oz of resin for a 5ft board is a lot, so I was able to do the waterfall rail trick which worked pretty well. I’m a little bummed about the holes in the eps showing up, but I’m pretty sure that anyone who sees this board won’t be paying attention to the color.

The pictures don’t really do it justice unfortunately. It’s a lot brighter and crisper in person. I had to glass the tail a lot like a swallow tail on a fish, with small little glass patches covering where the glass wouldn’t stretch.

I’ve still got plenty of work to do of course. The deck will have the same kind of swirl but with a clear base instead of blue. This time I’ll definitely use a smaller amount of blue. I heated up the resin to do the swirl on the bottom and I think the low viscosity of the resins might have allowed them to mix together much easier and turn a medium blue. Anyone ever noticed this or have thoughts on it?

Outstanding! Build thread of the year so far for sure.

Damn that looks nice…I would guess the heat would definitely allow for more mixing and mingling of the colors. But it also makes the glass so much easier to wet out, and much less bubbles and froth involved… with the 5’ board, the faster cure time probably didn’t bother you…

Again, really cool swirl…may have to try one someday, but I never use just one layer of glass on the bottom…


Thanks for all the kind words guys! I did a swirl inlay on the top too, trying to get a clear base with blue accents. Well even 6oz of clear, 3oz of blue and 1 oz of dark blue is still too much blue! I think next time I need to try a larger amount of clear and 1oz of blues.

After I cut the laps on that and cleaned up the edges with a surform I glassed a layer of clear over that. I’ve been having problems with the laps showing up over dark colors, and I think the problem is Add F. It’s really bugging me that with it things get very frothy very fast, but without it sometimes my lams don’t even cure! It could be that the temp in the room is only 66ish, so I need to find some way to heat things up. If I had room I’d build one of those cure boxes.

Logo sort of centered. I can never get them to stay where I put them when I’m glassing.

Also, a shameless plug in return for a shameless plug. My friend is a member of the Silverfish Longboarding forum (www.silverfishlongboarding.com) and they’re having a contest sponsored by Never Summer trying to determine who is the biggest ASS (All-Season-Shredder). Now personally I call him that for a very different reason but it definitely applies to him. Not only does he surf year-round but he also snowboards and skateboards (builds his own too!). If you happen to already be a member then we would be stoked if you would vote for him (xxguitarist). If you’re not, and you feel like being super generous and registering like I did this morning, that would be great too. Voting thread.

Okay shameless plugs will cease from now on. Thanks guys!

Hey Rachel,

I like how the top and bottom match well, even if it wasn’t intended…

In order to do the mainly clear but with color swirls pattern, you may want to try this (from Rich Harbour’s forum):

A base color of resin is poured onto the board and the glass is thoroughly wetted out, but the (rail) cloth is not wrapped (yet). The amount of resin used is much more than normal so it will float and mix when additional colors are poured on. When all of the colors are on the board, then it is then spread out and the cloth pulled tight to the foam with the squeegee.

Here’s the board:

My guess is you could start it clear and then put your colors on, but I really don’t know…I do know that I really like the swirl above, though…Stingray made one clear with some red, yellow and black (I think) squiggles in resin on it, with great color separation, it’s in the resin tints and patterns thread…

The froth is the ass kicker with epoxy…I still have yet to do my test to see if I can glass w/o froth…but when I do, I’ll post the results…


That is definitely a sweet board! But Rich is an awesome glasser so that’s understandable. I saw Stingray’s board in that thread and was amazed at the definition and clarity.

I’ll have to try that on my next board (not sure when that will be unfortunately) but my understanding was that with epoxy it’s the first color to hit the glass that stays. So if you wet the whole thing out with clear wouldn’t that be the only defined color that shows? Maybe there is something to the floating idea though. I wonder if you could use a base of unheated resin and then adding colored heated resin the lower viscosity resin will sink through to the glass? Who knows. I just need to shape some more boards to test this out then. I guess it’s a good thing I’ve got 3 more boards in the works.

In response to this…

“but my understanding was that with epoxy it’s the first color to hit the glass that stays. So if you wet the whole thing out with clear wouldn’t that be the only defined color that shows?”…

There are no rules. What ever hits the glass first is a guide line not a rule. I’m not a pro so I don’t follow the rules. You can paint a board with a base color and then swirl over that…Works good…You can throw some color on after the fact or move it around with the squeege. I’ve actually never done an epoxy swirl so this thread has been very helpful to me. All my swirls so far have been with poly…

…And the board I just posted…laminated it with standard clear method…waited 10 min and then poured out the color on top of the wet lam, walked away. I did not squeege or brush the color…No rules…

I hot coated one board without Add F and Two boards with Add F over the holidays. I sanded all three boards on the same day. The board without Additive F was much harder to sand and used more sand paper…

Share the stoke


Well the board is finished! We took it out this afternoon at the local crappy spot because it was the only thing breaking. Decent size closeouts with the occasional face for the most part. I froze to death in a 4/3 with someone else why he was out surfing and toasty. Once I got out of the water I took some video but I haven’t had a chance to edit it. Hopefully we’ll get a little more footage at a better break if we get some waves soon.

First reactions: Oh my god it works! Really well. We’re both very surprised and stoked that it works as well as it does. We had almost written it off as a wallhanger or an overly complicated bodyboard. He was able to adapt to the short length after only a couple waves.

His ride report:

  • paddles quickly

  • really comfy to lie on

  • steeper takeoffs are done with less than 4 paddles but it’ll hang in there for a while if you’re too far out & paddle hard

  • drops are smooth and controlled

  • on bigger waves it drops to the bottom & you bottom turn

  • on less steep faces you could do that but it’s quite willing to pivot while going slow, then trim out and drop allong the face… and yes you can shuffle forwards on it even though it’s only 5 feet

  • didn’t have enough face to really get a hang for its turning charachteristics, but it makes quick, drivey turns up and down the face when you have space to.

  • very smooth feeling board, not the two gears of a fish (at least the one of mine that he has)

  • when going faster it seems to carve, slower its pivoty, and on average speed you can lean it & swing the nose around some

  • generally amazed at how easy it was to ride

  • it goes left better than i do, and does just fine going right too.

And now the before and after shots.



I think he’ll be smiling like that for the next week at least.

Hey, its sunny there. Its snowing (on the foothills) here in SB…

That board looks fun. The swirl has some rythm to it, and the bead on the fin edges looks good.

Nice work, Rachel!

Awesome! So glad everything worked out!