Doing things on the cheap

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BAR
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:32 pm

Doing things on the cheap

Post by BAR » Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:31 am

This is my journal on my build thus far. It is a serious wall of text. The TLDR is that I will pull the board out and finish it this weekend. The weekend following I will ride it. I will update after finishing and after first ride.

Unlike many on this site I did not sit on the idea of making a snowboard (or skis) for much more than a few weeks. I tend to make extremely rash decisions but also try to spend almost no money. These two qualities are in constant contention.

I was introduced to the idea from watching the Every Third Thursday episode where they make a board with home depot supplies. This introduced me to the idea of making my own board and after watching several episodes I was sure I had the skills, tools, and capability to make a board. Not only did I think I could make a board well, but I thought that I could do it pretty cheaply too......I'm far enough in at this point to see the stupidity in that thought process.

To start I had to find materials and get them sourced. My wife is even cheaper than I am so I created a estimated budget to convince her that it wouldn't be that expensive. In my defense I honestly thought it wouldn't be at the time. I wanted to buy Canadian where possible and Kindred Snowboards gave was kind enough to sell me all the required materials. The only things I didn't buy from them were the core (which I made myself), and the epoxy as they didn't have any epoxy for unheated pressing. I ended up buying the epoxy from Snowboard Materials. Both of these companies were awesome to deal with.

Onto the design. Long and wide board (164 cm long(measured without camber), 28cm waist), twin tip, blunted ends, Hybrid Camber (rockered tips, camber underfoot). I live in Ontario so powder boards make little sense here, and I despise toe and heel drag.

Now onto the part where you all groan at the thought of this. I wanted to do this board correctly so I was going to do plastic sidewalls, triax fibreglass, full wrap edges. Not going to get super complicated with the board design itself but I wanted all the "standard" technology.

Base material: Worked decently well. Routered out the shape with an MDF mold that I cut out by hand. Next board I will find a more accurate method to do this. Board is not perfectly symmetrical.

Full Wrap Edges: This went terribly. Edges were bent close enough I thought. Then I saw the post akiwi made about his first board. The consensus was that his edges weren't good enough and he had to rip them all off and try again. Mine were notably worse than his. I tore off all my edges and started again. Seeing how accurate I had to be and how long it takes for me to bend edges perfectly around the blunted tips I decided a 3/4 wrap was the way to go. I forgot to take pictures of the better results of the edges but you can see my absolutely brutal first attempt in the following pictures.
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VDS: This worked great. No issues to report with this yet. Will see when it comes out of the press this weekend.

Fibreglass: Same as VDS. Seemed to be without problem. Didn't even trim it which may yet be a mistake.

Sidewalls: First I had to plane these down to size. First thought was to use the planer I had (a Dewalt 3 blade planer). This primarily served as an efficient method of destroying some perfectly good sidewall material. My plan to plane down the core was to glue the sidewalls onto the core and then router them along with the core using a router jig to plane the whole core to size. I set-up the router jig to just plane the sidewalls down to the correct thickness which sort of worked but most certainly did not follow health and safety procedure. Following this they were glued to the core.

Core: This went pretty well at first. The idea was I would have maple in the center for better insert hold and maple on the edges for additional stiffness. Between this I would have poplar. A local supplier had some awesome boards with no knots, or cracks. Really good quality stuff. Glued the core together out of .5" thick strips. Then planed it down and used my offset core mold to router out the sidecut. This ripped the glued maple joint apart at one end. The ripped section was glued back onto the core and left for a day. The following day I climb milled this section with the router instead which worked much better. Once the sidecut offset was cut into the core I glued on the sidewalls with CA. This promptly fell apart so I used more and tried again. This seemed to work better and I went to taper this down.

Tapering: Using my MDF router jig I tapered the core to size. 7.5mm in the center down to 2mm at tip and tail. This worked pretty well until about 3mm thickness where the router ripped the entire sidewall off one end, chewed it up, and spat its mangled carcass out. I had some additional sidewall material I decided I would use to patch this section up so I continued on the other end. On the other end I tapered it down to only 3mm (as far as I got on the other end) in fear of the router wanting second breakfast. Now at this point I had made one smart decision and 2 lazy and cheap decisions. The smart decision was putting a screw in the tip end of the jig's rails to prevent the cradle from going all the way to the hold down screws and destroying the router bit. The 2 lazy and cheap decisions were that my jig was only for one end at a time and not the whole board which meant that if you go too far you can push the router cradle off and onto the core....The second lazy decision was thinking that I wouldn't make that mistake and I only needed a screw in the one end. See the results below. This was the end of core #1
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Core2: I had a slight rethink on this core. I decided I hated sidewall material and I decided to only use maple in the center. This was due to my poplar being 8/4 poplar boards and my Maple being 5/4. The thicker poplar meant I could have a solid singular board throughout the whole sidecut. The only concern here was protecting the core from water damage. As luck would have it I found about 5 different posts by Sammer about this. I will use Boiled Linseed Oil to protect my edges once I cut out the board and finish the edges. You don't have to say it again. Since this core would simply extend to the edges of the board I cut out the sidecut slightly wider than necessary and will remove the additional when I cut off the flashing and finish the board.

Tapering2 : Having learned my lesson from last time I put stops on both ends and profiled my core down. This worked very well due to the lack of plastic sidewalls and the lessons learned previously. Their was unfortunately one more lesson to learn here. I profiled the core to 2mm thick on the ends with the intention of having a small UHMW tip/tail fill just around the outside of the ends as I don't trust the endgrains to be waterproof enough on their own. What happened was that as I profiled the core thinner and thinner the very thin wood began to lift away from the router table surface at the edges without me noticing and I profiled them to 1mm at the edges. Luckily the core was still 2mm in the center so I used a new tip/tail shape to cover my mistake and keep everything clean.
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Insert Holes: I know many people on this site have a jig for this. Before the sidecut was removed I used a square and marked the insert holes by hand. I used the current stance on my board as the centers. Then I went one insert out from that set-up in both directions to make it adjustable if I change my stance. Their were several measurement checks and validations done on these before I drilled them to ensure I had it right. Once they were drilled I counter bored the other side for the backs of the inserts but i forgot to take a picture of this. I don't see a problem doing this by hand again for future boards but I do see potential for core ruining error here so it is probably worth making a jig for this.
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Rabbeting: Kindred Snowboards have been very friendly and helpful whenever I had questions. Due to my issues on the first core I was terrified of rabbeting the core and ruining another but they advised me that I might ruin the entire board if I don't. thought I would just do this with a router and a bit with a bearing. Unfortunately I didn't have a bearing bit with enough offset to go far enough in from the edge of the board to be useful so I thought about it and made a hackjob router table with some MDF and a few sawhorses. I used some screws as the fence by simply putting them where I think they should be and then testing on scrap wood. It worked perfectly and the rabbet came out as expected.
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Press: Sorry everyone...I used a really simple wooden screw press for this. I designed the entire board layout and mold on SolidWorks. From here I printed the camber profile 1:1 and cut it out on an MDF template. I used this to cut the basic shape into 2 X 8 for both the top and bottom. Then using a flush trim router bit that was 2-1/2" long I routed them all out to the same shape and screwed the tops and bottoms together. I used a straight edge to check and with the help of a belt sander got them pretty much perfectly flat. Once this was done I put some spray adhesive on and coated the press in wax paper for release purposes. To keep pressure as even as possible across the whole mold I screwed 2 x 4 beams across the bottom of the mold and left some loose pieces for the top. Finally I got a sheet of siding material that would fit between the top and bottom molds to account for any variation between the two molds to maintain a more consistent pressure. I calculated out what the overall force would need to be for a board of this size at the 14 psi people say they get with a vacuum set-up. It came out to 11,000 lbf so I decided to use 8 wood clamps in total when I pressed. The woodfiller you see there is for a knot that pulled out during routing.
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Visuals: These are fairly straightforward. Plain black base (not trying anything fancy here), clear top sheet, simple black graphics printed on rice paper lain on top of the upper fibreglass layer. I went with a clear top sheet because I wanted to be able to see any flaws. Tip and tail material is white. I hope this isn't my last build and I want to learn as much as possible from this.

Tip and Tail: The fill material I used here was put on with cloth medical tape as was suggested. There were 2 problems I had with this method. Many put it on the top where you can see it. I don't like that at all and so mine needed to be underneath. Second problem was that it stuck to the core and the fill material approximately as well on the front as it did on the back. I knew I needed to use a cloth based tape so instead of looking for an alternative I put some CA on the core and the tip fill material at certain spots and then stuck the tape to that. It worked really well but I do realize I may have intoduced a delamination risk using the CA. Time will tell.

Layup: The final layup was quite straightforward. The graphics were cut out, I did a dry test run and then I disassembled the dry layup. Once I was prepared I got the nerves out and mixed the epoxy. From their the layup went smoothly. Only surprise was how thick epoxy is. If you haven't done it, it acts like liquid honey (or at least this particular epoxy did). It has a 25 min pot life so I set a timer at the moment I mixed the hardener. The dry layup was super critical as I didn't have a moment to spare. I probably didn't have the clamps fully screwed down until 28 mins overall which I hope doesn't cause me any problems. This epoxy recommends 24 hrs to set at room temperature so It got 36 hrs clamped and will get a full week just sitting in the mold before I deflash and finish it. Everything felt tight and like it had solid pressure on it except for one corner. I am hoping that this is only in the corner and that where the board itself is there is good pressure. I will check that for delam carefully once it is removed. The base was coated in the thickest packing tape I could find to prevent epoxy from sticking to it. I look forward to hours of misery pulling it off.

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If you made it all the way to the bottom, well done. This weekend it will be removed, deflashed and finished. I will update once that is done.

BAR

BAR
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:32 pm

Re: Doing things on the cheap

Post by BAR » Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:40 pm

Edited to make pictures work correctly. Does everyone see them now?

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MontuckyMadman
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Re: Doing things on the cheap

Post by MontuckyMadman » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:07 pm

I see um.
Rabbet before you profile.
Masking tape works to attache tip and tail spacer and bonds surprisingly well.
Ur epoxy pot life is literally the time in mass in a pot and will exothermically kick in mass not when its all skimmed out on the board.
Any epoxy mixed correctly will eventually cure even at room temp. Its more about viscosity as you have found out.
sammer wrote: I'm still a tang on top guy.

BAR
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:32 pm

Re: Doing things on the cheap

Post by BAR » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:42 pm

Thanks for the tips. I suppose that makes sense with the pot life. It still felt fine at the end of the layup so i wasnt too concerned. I am scared of the tapering but rabbeting worked fine with my temporary router table even with thin tapered ends. I thought about doing the rabbet pre tapering but took this approach due to my previous issues.

Will ca not bond at all with epoxy? Will that cause issue later? I am totally prepared for my first attempt to not be terribly great. If it was super easy nobody would buy snowboards.

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MontuckyMadman
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Re: Doing things on the cheap

Post by MontuckyMadman » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:44 pm

Well literally every builder who does not have machined cassettes pre bonds edges with ca glue. That's allot of companies. So there's that. Watch a never summer vid.
Excess usage of ca could create a bonding issue.
U should do some sample coupons and lay them up with different types and amounts of glues and see if you can see delams or issues.
Most likely the hardest thing to bond in all of this are the uhmw plastics. Tip spacer/base/sidewall.
Cleanliness and appropriate flame treating are very important.
The one fully clear top i did i used hot glue to stick my tip and tail to my core. Made it flexible for the layup. I used very little. The ca is brittle.
The hot glue will help with your profiling issue you experienced as well.
Your write up is impressive, its almost every problem you can encounter first time around if you are not aware and take time to mitigate these issues.

Allot of builders will staple the tip and tail to the core/sidewall flashed edge outside the layup.
Comes off with the flash.
I would look into another epoxy with different viscosity. I've never seen one that thick for hand wet layup for compression molding. Perhaps it was under 60F in ur layup area?
West system is available almost anywhere and will work for room temp cure and its pretty cheap. It stinks but it works.
sammer wrote: I'm still a tang on top guy.

Head Monkey
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Re: Doing things on the cheap

Post by Head Monkey » Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:48 pm

Nicely done, and a great writeup!! I love it.

For bonding the sidewalls to the core: sand and flame treat the bonding surface, just like you would for the top and bottom before final lamination. I do this, and use Polyurethane glue and it holds my sidewalls to the core quite well. I've got a little info about it here if it helps: http://www.monkeywiki.com/MonkeyWiki/As ... _sidewalls

Agreed with Montucky that you should investigate your epoxy a bit. It's hard to tell just how thin or thick it was from "honey", but I would describe my resin only as the consistency of honey, and the mixed epoxy significantly thinner. Try to keep your epoxy room temperature before using it. Don't heat it, but do keep it in the house. That will help for sure. Don't sweat not getting it under pressure within the pot life; your goal is to spread it all into a thin film within the pot life time. The pot life is typically defined as the time it takes for 100g of mixed epoxy in a cup to set at 70F. Working at a lower temperature adds to this time, and spreading it into a thin file adds quite a lot to this time. Your epoxy may or may not specify a "thin film set time."

Looking forward to the final result!
Everything I know about snowboard building, almost: MonkeyWiki, a guide to snowboard construction
Free open source ski and snowboard CADCAM: MonkeyCAM, snoCAD-X

BAR
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:32 pm

Re: Doing things on the cheap

Post by BAR » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:34 am

So the epoxy I got was from SnowboardMaterials.com and came as a single use kit. I pretty much just trusted it and went for it. There are some big tanks in the background of some of my shots. The farmer who owns this shop (super nice guy) runs an oil recycling business and those oil tanks in the back dump off some serious heat. I think that shop can't be colder than 20 C (which is 68 F) and the epoxy spent almost 24 hrs in the shop to reach ambient temperature before layup. Canadians do everything in Celsius, except for oven temperature, so I never really learned what the Fahrenheit equivalents are and couldn't tell you how many degrees Celsius to cook food at.

I didn't realize that the thin film set time was different from the pot life time. That's some useful information for the future. 25 minutes would have been near impossible for me without a practice run so a few extra minutes would certainly help.

I was thinking of using West Systems epoxies for my next build. Although I am really happy with the customer service from SnowboardMaterials, shipping internationally is expensive so being able to buy within Canada will really keep my costs down. I assume you just use the 105 Epoxy Resin with the 206 hardener.

I probably should have done some test epoxy layups but with a large board and heavy fibreglass (22oz Triaxial) I had almost none to spare at the end. Since I had so much fun on this build, the next build I will buy materials in bulk which will keep long term costs down and give me room for testing.

Hot glue and polyurethane glue are on my list of changes for the next build. It's amazing how much better the second attempt at any of these tasks go. One small change can make astronomical differences. After this board is finished the next task is convincing my wife that her board needs an update :D

BAR
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:32 pm

Re: Doing things on the cheap

Post by BAR » Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:33 am

Pulled my board out of the press this weekend and I'm pretty happy with the results. I have a few issues but nothing that will make it unrideable.

The result out of the press. The white stuff on the bottom is wax paper (which was my mold release)and the board released perfectly. The bottom of the board was covered with 3M Scotch Heavy Duty Shipping Tape and this also came off very easily. Took me 15 minutes to get it all off.
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Once it was out I used a steel jigsaw blade and cut out the perimeter. Blade cut flawlessly and quickly but it was pretty worn out when I was done. I used a handheld belt sander and cleaned up the edges and sides. The belt sander was also used to put a taper on the wooden sidewalls, which were then promptly sanded to a very fine finish.

The graphics worked perfectly (laser printed mulberry paper between top sheet and fibreglass). The WS logo (Winter Solistice) in the center is what I will put on all my work (call it a brand if you like). Although I plan to make more boards, this is a hobby, not a business so brand feels a bit strong. Finished product below.
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The camber and flex came out almost exactly as I wanted. The rockered tips were a little under the intended design but they are still enough to raise the contact points out of the snow. The edges look awesome on the finished board. Ripping them off and redoing them was totally the right call and the next board I do I will spend even more time on this step. Nice edges make a board look really good.

Now onto the issues. First issue is a bubble and a dry spot on the fibreglass below the top sheet. Not sure what caused this but my guess is uneven pressure. Bubble is in the center, dry spot on the right. I really would like to get a vacuum press setup for the next board I make as this should solve a lot of my uneven pressure issues and will also help me with pressing the board completely flat. What I did worked well enough for my first go but I won't be happy if my second board has the same issues.
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Second Issue is that the base is not perfectly flat. The board got ground at a local shop (Gates and Boards in Barrie) and they did a great job all things considered. They said they could likely take off more if I wanted, but I told them that it's OK as is. If I want more off I can do that later but I can't add it later.

There is a small section where the tip material got under the core. This spot was cut super accurately to the core and the other end wasn't. Ironically I prefer the results of the less accurate end so the next board I make I will try to leave a bit more wiggle room with the tip tail spacer. The core riding up onto the tip fill material shouldn't be an issue as everything appears to have filled very well with epoxy and the bubbles were on the other end and not here, so I don't think this contributed to that.

Finally I found a small bubble on my base after the grind. I don't believe it was there pre grinding but I could be wrong. I will drill and fill it this week before my first ride. It looks pretty insignificant all things considered and could probably be ridden as is but after all this work I would like to fix it.

The bubble and dry spot on top I will just leave as is and monitor for delamination. If they work fine with no issues I will just leave them there.

As promised above I have also included pictures of my tapering setup.
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sammer
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Re: Doing things on the cheap

Post by sammer » Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:07 pm

Nice write-up and first board.

I used West epoxy for my first few builds, not the cheapest or the best but it is readily available and will work fine.
I'm curious to see how your poplar sidewalls hold up to the rigors of Onterrible ski conditions. I would think you would want something a little harder under your edges, but have been wrong before.
Don't mask your base, the epoxy that sneaks under will grind off.
Edges need to be bent perfectly, close enough doesn't cut it. Ca glue will hold them if they are bent right.

Good on you for just going for it.
Keep up the detailed posts, and good luck on your next build.

You thought this would be cheap, ha ha ha.
It's only just beginning.

sam
You don't even have a legit signature, nothing to reveal who you are and what you do...

Best of luck to you. (uneva)

BAR
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:32 pm

Re: Doing things on the cheap

Post by BAR » Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:50 am

Just rode this board and put up a post on that here http://www.skibuilders.com/phpBB2/view ... 13&t=5421

TLDR : I'm really happy with how it rides and will try to solve the flaws in the build so it lasts for a while.

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