OK, here I go with another build thread. Actually, I think this is my first real build thread on Swaylocks, IIRC. I did post pics of my other builds, but pretty sure they were all "after the fact", so to speak. This will be recorded in real time, meaning as I progress, I'll post pics.
One of the reasons I have been a bit hesitant to do it this way, is that my methods are pretty radically different from most guys here (read: archaic!), so I'm not sure how much interest there is in seeing how I do it. Plus, I'm a newbie and my methods are a bit improvisational (6 boards from scratch: four wood; one wood and foam; and one foam, - plus one rebuild after being broken in half, a little over one year doing this), and there are so many pro's and experienced builders here, that I'm a bit out of my league. Further, I always feel like I'm gonna screw a board up before I finish, and in fact I feel like trashing the project and starting over at some point of every board I've built so far.
And wood boards weigh more. Mine do, anyway. Like in the 15 lb. range, which is fine for me. Its not that I want all my boards to weigh more, but it doesn't bother me, I'm comfortable surfing them, catch plenty of waves, and have great fun. Just a recreational surfer. So be forewarned - the hardcore high performance "under 6 ft., under 6 lbs." builders / surfers among you can probably just skip this thread without missing anything of any great interest LOL.
Since my methods have been developed for how I work, they aren't really cost effective production methods by a long shot. A recent post on another thread talked about a 6 hr. board, design to finish. I might have 6 hours into a board before I even cut my first piece of wood! Sometimes watching one of my wood boards progress can be like watching grass grow. But be that as it may, I'm gonna try to see this one through, pic by pic, with details for anyone who cares, so I'm sure it'll be kinda tedious reading, because its kinda tedious doing! Not a WoodOgre caliber build, because my woodworking skills are not at that level, but hopefully not a complete disaster either.
A couple things I am always trying to balance: experimental and proven, planned and spontaneous. Experimental because I've never seen anyone who builds the way I do (although there are a few, like Danny Hess, who have some similarities in the way he does the rails first), and I'm always, by nature, wanting to try new ideas and methods. But proven, because I believe anything worthwhile, no matter how new or different (is there anything really new anyway?) has to be built on a foundation of proven methods and techniques. Planned, because hollow wood boards take a LOT of advance planning, seeing as how they're built up, piece by piece, not shaped down, as it were. But spontaneous because I resist having everything preplanned and predetermined, as the artist in me wants (needs) there to be some creative spontaneity involved.
I don't use a computer for designing or cutting. I have nothing against computer designed or cut boards, they have their place, but just don't fit in with my current methodology. I know one poster who took offense at me saying that, and to this day thinks I was insulting him. But I'm just explaining what I do, no offense to anyone else or other methods, its all good in the end. I will be the first to admit you would go broke fast if you had to make a living doing boards my way, its just what works for me at this stage, I'm sure I'll change my methods as time goes on. And these are just water toys, really.
This project is a bit of a stretch for me, in several ways. One, at 9' 6" its 2 feet longer than anything I've ever attempted to build from scratch. Two, its a tribute to the 70's era Lopez Lightning Bolt guns - not an actual reproduction per se, but still, it needs to be true to the boards that inspired it. Three, its for a client, so I don't have the same level of creative flexibility I normally would. But I'm grateful for the opportunity to be making my first board for someone else - a milestone for me!