Ok so when I made my first board (5’11, 2.5" thick, 20.5" wide, single fin) I bought a white 6" single fin. About 2 days ago I found out by asking a guy at Del Mar that had a single fin board what was a good length of fin for a single fin short board, and he told me the longer the better. So I have decided to make a wood fin, but not the same one you see time after time, its gonna have a resin tint swirl on it. I was first wondering what wood would be the best to make a fin with? Second, Is doing a resin swirl on a fin a good idea? Has anyone done it? and how would I go about doing it?
I bet a resin swirl would look pretty cool on a fin! Unless it clashed with a resin swirl on the board itself… Having everything ‘swirly’ might be a bit much…
My question for you is why you want to put a swirl on a wood fin? If it were me making a wood fin, I love wood and would like to see the grain of the wood, etc, rather than cover it up with tint… Why not lay up a glass fin? After spending your energy foiling a killer wooden fin, I would have a hard time covering up the beautiful grain of the wood with a swirl…
As far as the type of wood, I think it sort of depends on what you want your end product to look like. Some of the guys (Paul Jensen, Bert Burger) have used multiple kinds of wood and put their fins together as pieces to make a cool design and then foiled them from there. Other guys use marine-grade plywood and foil the fins - you get a cool end-grain look from that.
As far as the resin swirl goes, I’m afraid I don’t have eny experience in doing it myself, but there’s loads of info on resin swirls/ acid splash / etc. in the archives. I’m sure the same techniques to put them on the board itself could be used for a fin…
I have made a couple of resin swirl fins that matched the color work on boards I have built.Kind of long winded but here goes…Start with a Generic white premade glass fin,mine was from rainbow.Sand the fin with 100 grit and tape it of around the edge.Set the fin flat on a can or something and cut some glass just like you were going to lay up a board.It will be done the same way as a board but you arent going to flip the laps just let the glass hang.Glass the first side with your resin swirl mix.Trim the tape flush when the resin gells.Flip over the fin and repeat the process.Hot coat one side…flip it and hot coat the other side. Sand it,gloss it,polish it.Its just like glassing a miniature board.I you use the same resin as you did on the board you will have a good color match.If you cant find a white fin you can paint an existing fin white before glassing it.It looks really cool and gives the board a custom touch that you won’t see anywhere else.Actually a Surf Shop in Florida begged me to make them a bunch of them but I am too damn lazy.Maybe one of you can do it for some spare change…you could set up a miniature fin glass shop and glass ten at a pop.I was going to charge $49.95 each.( I like the sound of that…just $49.95!!,Yep…ONLY $49.95 plus shipping and handling.Please allow up to 8 weeks for delivery…This gives you time to have them knocked off in China for 3 bucks each)
There is some profit left if you buy the fin blanks in volume with a sanded surface.Have fun boys. RB