Wood veneer

Hello Swaylocks! Just had a few questions about using wood veneer.

  1. Does it work alright with PU/PE?

  2. Do I need to remove any foam from under the wood?

  3. What is best to glue it down? Resin? Spray adhesive?

  4. Do I NEED a vacume bag setup?

  5. Cutting/trimming tips and tools

and any other priceless bits of information that Swaylocks is known for!



You should talk to Shwuz,he makes the best looking wood composite veneer boards and lives in your town.


2.Any smooth trasition will do.

3.Depends, on pu/pe gorilla glue.

4.It can be done with water or sand bags and clamps,but vacuum bagging is much easier.

For Gorilla glue you can use a shop vac.

5.Utility knife and #40 grit sand paper.

The archives has tons of info.

Have fun,


THanks for the complete and kind reply. I’m really excited about this project and will give Shwuz a buzz.

If anyone has good veneer pics I would love to see them. !!! Ya’ll have to be at least half as proud of your beautiful veneers as I am of my Frankenstien boards.

Let’s see 'em!!!

techniacally speaking

jarrods boards are not veneer

as the wood is structural

the word veneer implies a “decrorative” purpose

and is incorrect

its kinda like lumping all boards made with epoxy resin into one catorgory

and i personally find it pretty anoying

composite sandwhich boards made with eps and epoxy and balsa as a sandwich panel

cant be compared to a veneer over pu blank

they are entirely different animals

but anyway adios

check out berts famous thread on vac bagging

I did do a few actual veneer boards (shaped 2lb blank, cover with veneer), when I was first starting out vaccing. I pmed adios some tips on that process. While I wouldn’t go back and do it again, I still have one magic fish from that batch. :slight_smile:


…the word veneer implies a “decrorative” purpose

and is incorrect

Not strictly accurate. The layers in plywood are referred to as “veneer” as well, and they are the structure.


This example shows a cherry deck patch. Cut it in with a router to fit. Adds about 4 oz. Polyurathaine gule, just pull it down with masking tape and let it set-up over night. Light, light, light sanding – or you’re ska-roo-d. Glass it. According to some boat designers, it will give you one of the best compressive strenght ratios you can find.

Well, I did do a batch of actual veneer boards back when I was starting out in vac-bagging. They were just shaped 2lb blanks with veneer, glass over/under the wood. It was more pressure-dent resistant than regular glass-over-foam, and a little more impact-resistant. It was not as pressure and ding resistant as the balsa compsands are that I’m making now.

It was kind of a frustrating learning curve, for a variety of reasons, but I still have a fish from that batch which is a magic board, so it is all good.

All that having been said, I am completely in agreement with silly about the annoyance factor when people refer to my current boards as “veneer” boards. In most cases, it is simply a matter of lack of education in the construction method, and a good opening to explain how they are made and the benefits of the tech. In some cases, however, I’ve seen compsands referred to as “veneer boards” by folks who know damn well what they differences are, and who chose to use that term because of the pejorative connotations associated it within the surfer/shaper community. Why folks “in the know” might do that, I couldn’t guess, but some folks are just naturally contrary.

Unfortunately, most “veneer boards” on the market are surftechs. Certainly a poor representaion of the possibilities of that method of construction. To my knowledge, surftechs are glassed boards with a veneer applied, then simply glossed over that. I’ve seen dings on those things, looks like the gloss just shatters and blows the wood…

By applying glass both over and under the veneer, something of a sandwich effect is created (although minimal since the veneer is so very thin), but certainly a better product than the surftech method. I’ve been riding my veneer fish HARD for the three years since I made it (my go-to board) and while it has some dents around the stringer where my knee goes on duckdives, it still has years of life left in it.

Of course, none of my balsa compsands show any wear at all, so that’s something to consider.

But yeah, it is important to make sure that the composite sandwich boards are recognized as a “different animal” from veneer boards, even if they fall into the same category of aesthetic appeal.

Back on track…

I really like that deck patch. Something like that would be the furthest I would go without a vac bag setup. Anything that would require pulling any kind of curves, you’d be so much happier with a vacuum setup and glass/epoxy under the veneer. Or even glass/pu glue if you’re really talented with the pu glue (I’m not!).

hey iam2sam

when i hear the word veneer

i think of speakers

or furniture.

not plywood

unless of course its plywood panel with a “veneer” attached

our boards a composite sandwich

not veneer

the term veneer to describe jarrods boards is incorrect

veneer is sold in thin slices less than a mm

a composite sandwich board uses skins at least 2 times that thickness,even more.with glass underneath

a skin can be made of any lightweight compressive resistant material.

the theory of a compsand allows for a low density core for a “flexible panel”

so that rules out PU blanks

they could be called a veneer board

its completely pointless using veneer type skins other than for decorative purposes

they may be dent resistant but they will still break as easily as the next board

i dont call a fish a mal

a polyester an epoxy

or a sandwich board a veneer board

they dont call corecell foam veneer

so you wouldnt describe firewire as a foam veneer board

however its similar construction to a compsand

just like it shits me to tears when people lump all epoxy boards into one basket

kiwis call swallow tail thrusters “fish”

how annoying is that

the only misleading desrciption in surfing i can handle is of coarse


When people ask if a board is veneer what they are actually asking if it is a solid/chambered wood or a “Layer of wood on foam”. What’s the big deal.

Not everyone is as sophisicated as vacuum baggers. Give him a break.

Last I checked with the dictionary regarding the word “composite”, any surfboard hand layed, veneered or the holy grail of composite sandwich are all composite boards technically speaking.

Surftechs to include the wood veneered are more of a composite board than most any hobbiest will ever reach. Yes the wood is the last part of the composite prior to the polyester gloss coat but, it is no less the composite than any one of your 20 or so boards you have built. Look at the cross section of any surftech and prepare to be impressed by the construction. I would love to match the strength of any surftech over any composite you can build.

Keep up the good work on you veneer boards there,

Are all vacuum baggers that sensitive about the woord veneer???

Thanks for the info, it’s great to know for future reference.


im surprised you picked up on this thread

and feel a little bit of animosity from you

is there a problem?

nobody calls a hollow wood board a veneer board



its a hollow wood

my composite boards and Jarrods for that matter, as refered to in this thread

,are not veneer boards.

the skin is a dominant structural component

just like a hollow wood board

the eps is a substitute for the frame and is in fact “more hollow”

i suggest you try to build a house out of “veneer” and see how it goes

or a yacht

you dont see to many veneer yachts sailing around

i honestly just want new builders to “understand” this really simple concept

for there own benefit

its called being helpful

check Joes vac pump thread for an example of being helpful OTAY

seems like anyone that posts any useful info on sways these days gets cut down

does anyone ever wonder why compsand builders are not posting info??

if you havent figured this out yet

forget about building and understanding compsand construction.

i havent seen the new surftechs

but impressions of the older ones (and there millions in R and D and designs) are not high

the fairing bog under the paint of one i repaired turned me off

also i wasnt impressed with there stiffness

there newer marketing claims to have sorted this problem

but still

id have to say that surftechs seem to be pretty good

we were going easy on this homemade compsand “reject board”

ive seen him jump on that board way harder

its the second board hes ever built under my guidance

it originally weighed in at 2.3 kg i think

it is a reject in cosmetics and rail shape (due to his lack of experience)

the board still goes very well however

there was no dents or damage from this type of abuse


can you do this to surftechs?

the board however got damaged on the rocks over at taranaki last weekend

it will be repaired easily

i dont deny im a backyarder

and even not that clever about numbers and such

but i think after 2 years of experimenting

including 3 hours a night research

and the countless advice from fellow builders

im in a fair position to say that Jarrods boards are not “Veneer”

and if anyone wants any advice on vac bagging

i may be able to help in some small way

Wow you seem really THINNED SKINNED on this subject. Are you veneered???

Go to the doctor as soon as possible cuz you may have veneerial disease my friend.

I have wondered why randy french doesn’t post info too. The ultimate compsand builder(not sure if that is even a word) applying heat, pressure, and percise layers of goodies for the ultimate unvented composite surfboard.

Foam, hand laid fiberglass and resin= composite construction by the pure definition of the word. Look it up. Words have meanings and bastardizing the word composite just seems silly to me. So pick a new word to describe your ultimate building technique so the confusion no longer abounds with us common folk with a dictionary.

I will let you get back to your 3 hours of research.

PS my vote for the discriptive word would be Veneercomp.





maybe just a cool surfboard.

BTW is that a veneer or solid balsa?


now we are clear on what veneer is

to do a cosmetic veneer on a board

i reckon maybe an industrial contact adhesive would be worth a test panel or two adios.

you could get away with a vacuum cleaner for cheap bagging setup if you used a fast setting glue

perhaps 5min epoxy or elmers

i wouldnt use GG personally

i think Oneula has done a few

prolly just epoxy would be the best bet

has anyone tried doing cutlaps with veneer for the inlay look

maybe you could run some tape then trim it off

then feather the edge


Wow you seem really THINNED SKINNED on this subject. Are you veneered???

Go to the doctor as soon as possible cuz you may have veneerial disease my friend.

I have wondered why randy french doesn’t post info too. The ultimate compsand builder(not sure if that is even a word) applying heat, pressure, and percise layers of goodies for the ultimate unvented composite surfboard.

Foam, hand laid fiberglass and resin= composite construction by the pure definition of the word. Look it up. Words have meanings and bastardizing the word composite just seems silly to me. So pick a new word to describe your ultimate building technique so the confusion no longer abounds with us common folk with a dictionary.


OTAY I used to think you were a surftech troll and just a gomer all around, but the more you post the more I kick myself for jumping to conclusions. Sorry dude. There. Your worries are put to rest. You have my approval and can finally sleep nights.

That being said I would take one of silly’s boards ANY DAY over a surftech. That statement and $1.25 will get you a cup of coffee, just like many of the other statements in this thread. In fact this forum is full of statements like that, but speculation and constant bickering over design issues is what keeps it from stagnating.

If I remember correctly many people had a part in the name compsand for the style of board being discussed here. It was first used by a forum member “Wildy” to refer to the style of boards Bert was making here: http://www.swaylocks.com/forum/gforum.cgi?post=229968;search_string=compsand;#229968 since then many people have picked up on the term, and it has now become the reference to boards using a structural skin. Not for aesthetic appeal, though balsa between fiberglass does have it’s upside :0)

Keep in mind we’re referring to the skins here:

Veneer - noun - A thin layer of wood or other material for facing or inlaying wood.

composite - noun - A complex material, such as wood or fiberglass, in which two or more distinct, structurally complementary substances, especially metals, ceramics, glasses, and polymers, combine to produce structural or functional properties not present in any individual component.

Silly was just trying to help someone out on terminology, maybe help the guy save face in a future conversation with someone who knows what they’re talking about. I recommend you enjoy this video clip from the movie “Me, Myself and Irene” that is both funny and relevant to the present situation and the future scenario I just discussed.


thanks fosta

although i think id take one of jarrods or Sabs before one of mine if i were you!

but then again, 2 latest are looking hot!

Sorry OTAY,

But sandwich construction is very well documented…

And it’s place in design of composite products is firmly cemented.

Trying to talk it away as nothing may lead to a feeling of foolishness…

How you interpret the words is up to you, but information such as being given in this thread can help educate “common folk with a dictionary”.

You cry out against “basdardizing the word composite” yet choose to take issue with others who help clarify the correct use of the word “veneer”, and how it applies to surfboards? maybe thats a little hypocritical?

There is a difference between surfboard construction styles, like it or not, so to ignore those differences may also lead to a red face.

A major reason that your average board builder is not well versed in the tech is due to the kind of scrambled information as found in your posts.

Heres a tip, a quick google search or Sways archive search will quickly bring you up to speed, and allow you to argue your case more accurately, so you can hopefully avoid revealing to others the areas where your knowledge is lacking.

I, for one, am trying to reading every word on the compsand subject, as I’m pretty keen on being aware of the difference.

Don’t get left behind.



Hey Adios,

No, you don’t need a vacuum bag setup, but if you get one, I swear you won’t regret it!

Give it a try, it opens up a whole new world.

Thats why it’s no suprise that many people don’t understand, how can you know 'til you’ve tried it!

Every tried convincing a non-surfer just how insane this sport is?

I’ve been fooling around with contact adhesives, and I think you could stick some sandwich skins on with it, like Silly mentioned.

Might be fiddly, but if you could get them on right I think it would be strong enough.

Think about getting a vac pump, I got my first one out of a fridge, the whole fridge cost me $1. No joke!

If you get one, we’ll help you set it up.

you could be vacuuming happily for under US$40.


No I am sorry KKK,

words do mean things.

I understand composite building techniques. I was playing with divinylcell when you where probably in diapers.

I will make my own new words here…the “snobberisity” of the post to a guy just wanting some info to build a composite board was that of “ballbustingational” proportions from those who probably where just like the initial poster only a few years ago.

My questions to the self proclaimed experts is why do they do hand lay ups for the outer part of the “composite” when the other composite manufacturers do it as a single step with heat and pressure???

Can it truly be a “composite” per the strict confused definition you all use if the last layer is staged and layed up by hand. (comments made cuz I saw the living room glassing photos)

Maybe you KKK can help me with this concern since you have a tight hold on the facts.

I honestly say I don’t mind getting left behind on the process you are advocating. That is 2 steps backwards from 20 years ago.

You guys give a whole new meaning to retro.

whatever man

thanks for all the tips btw

im sure theres plenty out there in sways that have benefited from your expertise