Epoxy – nada mas

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Using the last of the epoxy we finished all six boards and set them up to dry.

We’ll see how these cure, the last batch cured within 24 hours. I hope/expect the same from this third time around.

We purchased some fine sand paper today and are ready to finish up our first round of boards in order to start making sales.

 

 

Epoxy – Second Round

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Yesterday I sanded the last plank down and prepared it for shaping.

Early this morning I put together some 2×4’s and built a drying rack.

After classes I came home and cut the sixth board into it’s symmetrical egg/oval shape. Then shaped it and cleaned it up. Drilled all three NEW boards (#4,5,6) and then set things up for sealing the boards.

It was the second go around with the epoxy. This time I used the entire allotment and got a fairly thick coat on the three new boards (#4,5,6), a bottom coat on the first long board (#3) and a second top coat on the first short board (#1).

Now they’re all drying. Hopefully cure time will not be quite as long as last time. The drying rack is inside.

Two More Blanks Cut and Done

Monday – January 22, 2007

Put the sign up early this morning and went to school. After lunch we started up again for the day, released our plank from yesterday, cut off the excess and began to press that together for our next board.

Jon came to work today. So that’s good.

Once this plank was set we started milling down our freshly laminated plank.

This part of the process takes the most labor and we’re working on a way to expedite and enhance the process.. but for now it’s just as you see it. By hand.

Again, designed some shapes, cut them out, and perfected them.

That makes 5 boards.

Still waiting on the epoxy to set solid. It should be done by tomorrow, but that makes about four days, which is unacceptable. That’s also on our list for revision.

Second Set… while we wait

Purchased a new set of wood to laminate together.

Maple-Redwood-Purple Heart-Maple-Purple Heart-Redwood-Maple

Glued, Clamped, and Now Set.

—-

The Resin on our first set is still tacky – we’re very curious to find out the final dry time for this stuff… as it’s been almost 48 hours.

We made our shop sign today. Tomorrow, after the snow has all melted and it’s warm again, we’ll put it up in the palapa.

 

Errands and Enthusiasm

We hopped into the car and made a list of needs. First on the list was hardware: trucks, barrings, wheels, grip tape, and risers. Second on the list was more wood of course! Third was resin, or sealant, or something to protect the wood. Fourth, which quickly turned into First, was breakfast. And Fifth was left open for changes that we would encounter as we progressed through the day.

Our first stop at the local skate shop quickly sent us along to another shop, learning that not all shops carry ‘longboard hardware.’ Breakfast burritos where along the way and Starbucks too. We walked into Peter Glen Snow and Skate in time to meet the new employee who knew nothing about skating and the old employee to touted to know everything about skating, neither had a sense of humor, but according to some schools of thought, both had style. In an attempt to test their knowledge and to pick their brains a bit we asked as many questions we could including ones we knew the answer to already. The passed almost every test and we walked out $110 less with our hands full of semi-high end hardware for just one board. … we learned that they sell boards on consignment and that had the glorious effect of lifting our spirits to the next possible degree. Who could have known we’d get so high within so little time.

A quick stop into the local art shop in search of wood left us a little slower in our stride but simultaneously with information to lead us further down our trail of construction.

Woodworks is about 12 miles up the road. If you were to imagine any good in the world that comes from wood, I sure it’s originations are in places like this. Filled with toys, tools, ideas, and passion, it has little to initially bore it’s customers. Jesus would have been just another hack in this place. To the right stood drill presses, band saws, and table saws, shiny, metallic, clean. To the left hung lathes and awls for every size imaginable. Ahead were the isles, so carefully stocked and organized that it was useless to wander through them unless time was your leisure and once you found the isles you needed, no further was you next need that just behind you. This place was amazing. I felt the money pouring out of my wallet, through my pockets, and into their registers… I couldn’t stop it.

We were directed to the back corner of the store where they kept their hardwoods in the sizes and quantities we wanted. Our jaws dropped with the assortment… with the opportunity…. with our vision.

It took some time before I could regain a realistic outlook on life, benching the rotating images of zebra wood, purple heart, and ebony.

I had scribbled some ideas for names on a piece of paper earlier that morning.
The drive back from WoodWorks filled us with inspiration and a name had arrived. We got back to the palapa and as if by fate paper was strewn across the ground and the names I had put there were face down in the dirt. Names that would never make it to the boards, “Mizell Designs,” “101 boards,” “Palapa Built,” “JPM Boards,” all deceased. The drive home had given ample time to explore new names and from my mind was dug up “Boojum.” Boojum, the tree of the Sonoran Desert, of the middle land of baja surf, one prize within the University of Arizona’s Cactus Garden. Boojum’s subtly exist in many manners in my life as a positive yet reserved. Always appreciated, available if searched for, missed if gone. And so now it is the choice for the board company and will Boojum’s will enjoy some exposure.

Back home we started moving on the boards again. We positioned the trucks and drilled the boards. Designed the logo for Boojum Boards and signed each one.

We mixed and applied our expoy resin.


And now we play the waiting game… They sure are pretty while they’re drying.

 

From One Comes Three

I couldn’t sleep that night.

I woke up at 5, 6, 6:30, 7, 7:30, and finally got out of the shower by 8:00 AM. The sun was already out and it was important that I continued the momentum of the previous night. I pulled out the jig and the sander and plugged in.

The first board had left the image of the tail for the next board, a concave tail that struck me as an interesting design. I left it, abandoning our initial idea for two short rounded boards. I traced , straddled, and cut the second nose and within half an hour I had a second blank in my hand. Setting the belt sander between saw horses I was able to lock it on and work it like a table grinder. Starting with the new blank, as the #1 board was smoothed the night before, I worked the board down and brought the nose and tail into near perfection.

Will arrived just as I was finishing.

With will in agreement, I pulled the pencil across the remainder of the wood and gave the image of the ‘longboard’ tail some substance: a classic pin tail. This time with Will available to hold the board I didn’t have to be so precarious with my positioning as we parturitioned the board into the world. After it was sanded it was quite difficult to restrain the degree to which I wanted to giggle. I might have let some slip.

Now we were serious. Now we needed hardware, we needed sealant, we needed a better idea of what was next.

 

 

First Blank

Same night, we continue on.

The jig saw started to cut. Will and I were anxious… was this the next step? Had we forgotten something? Oh lord I hope not. Now we’re committed, now we’ve done it, now there… now we’ve got two pieces. Oh that’s not good. That side looks good. That side needs some work. What have we done.

We made our first cut and the board fell into my hand. The stiff edge giving my had just one more splinter to the palm – that makes five. The saw’s motor slowed and I unplugged it and carefully put it to rest. While I hadn’t had the steadiest hand it had preformed perfectly at it’s debut.

The we had a front edge now. The left side was lacking the fluidity of a finished product, but the right side showed promise and encouraged us to hone the look of the left. We re-cut the nose, removing about five centimeters. This time we used a pattern that we created and traced onto the board.

Will sat down and he held the belt sander in his lap and I took the board to the belt to round the edges off the blank. Cut, smoothed, and happy. Here’s to our first blank. Now let’s find a name.

 

 

Lesson Learned.

The following night I found myself in possession of a brand new $90 belt sander. It was necessary to get the job done. A Makita, I felt like it was something I could trust…I wasn’t, but that comes later.

The wood I had purchased was irregular and therefore when sitting flush on one side, it had 1/8th inch differences on the other. Further Redwood to Maple is as old tomato to overcooked meatloaf. It was quite frustrating attempting to sand a reasonably hard wood while it was parred with a quite soft and delicate partner. Alas, I started away at it and by the end of the first night was able to encourage Will to join in on the fun the following day.


By way of a “coarse planer” (it’s got a real name…) a belt sander, and lots of elbow grease, we accomplished our task of making the plank look like a legitimately laminated piece of wood, sans variation in width and no seams.

Finding that my original belt sander had not the gusto to continue on after 3 hours of sanding and that our new saw horse was already broken, we promply returned to the Home Depot and acquired a new horse and upgraded our belt sander to a 3×21 RIGID with variable speed and some gusto. Now we were cooking with gas. With our new 36 grit belts we had that plank under our control!

So we worked deep into the darkness of evening.

Impossible to stop now, we kept on cooking along and moved directly into designing and cutting our first blank.

By now the stress of finding a name for these boards had begun to rise to a level of urgency.

 

4" Surfboards -> 22" Skateboards

I was eager to continue on, so I did.

January 17th, 2007 I threw in the towel and spent roughly $80. Wood ran about $35 and four clamps cost about $45. I felt like I’d sunk all my resources into this and so it had better turn out.

I laid the wood out and pulled out my glue, …tested the technique, … and smashed it all together … and waited. Meanwhile I told everyone I could that I had started the process and they should be happy for me. Some people were.