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alaia building and shaping

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alaia building and shaping

Postby fossilgrom » Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:55 pm

I have made 5 so far with varying degrees of success. If there is some interest in this, I'll share what I have learned so far. I'm making another one now - 6 oh by about 17" wide. These things really are fun to ride and cheap to make. So...I guess, ask questions.

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Postby andyjade » Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:23 am

I'll bite. Can you toss out a basic step by step plan that you've come to follow? Yours are pretty cool lookin, and seem like a blast....
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Postby fossilgrom » Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:30 am

I guess I'll start with some basics that I've found work.

Materials:

1. I've been using cedar - clear grain is best. Try to avoid knots as they are a bi tch to shape around. 1x6 to 1x12. I've been using a 1x8 center and 1x6 on the sides.

2. Gorilla Glue works good for joining - get the water proof stuff. I have been keying the joints on my table saw with some 1/8" birch plywood (about 1 1/2" strip), but you could probably get away with a simple butt joint as gorilla glue is pretty strong shite.

3. You could do the whole thing with hand tools, but a belt sander, orbital sander, jig saw and table saw are real handy. You'll need sandpaper from 80 grit to about 220 grit.

4. for finish use a 50/50 mixture of boiled linseed oil and turpentine.

Design:

1. Flex - the boards have no rocker so the flex is the rocker. Riding prone you push down on the nose to give the board reverse rocker when catching the wave. As you make the drop you pull back on the nose giving you entry rocker. As you trim you can flatten the rocker again for speed. You should make the board thin enough that you can flex it, but not so thin it will break easily - less than 3/4" to about 1/2 inch thick.

2. Rails - It looks like a lot of people are using kinda knifey rails. I looked hard at pictures of what the Wegener Bros are doing. They appear to be leaving a hard rail all the way around top and bottom. The rail is about 3/8" thick and slightly turned under like this _) . My best handling boards have this type rail so I think I'm close.

3. Bottom - It appears that flat to concave works best, but you should leave about a 3 to 4 inch rolled taper to the rail. I tried some vee bottoms and full rolled bottoms, but they felt slower and not as fun. My best handling board so far has a slight concave through tha back half to almost flat in front and rolls off to the rails.

4. Outline template - I've found a parabolic shape seems to work better than a simple rounded nose. I think the changing curve helps the board turn better. I'm an engineer so I have access to autocad and can draw up templates and plot them out. Just draw a surfboard shape that appeals to you and keep it symetric. One thing I have found is the shorter they are the better they work - 6 to 7 feet long, 15 to 18 inches wide seems to work.

Construction and Shaping:

1. Get your wood and glue up your blank. I used some 2x6s with clamps to hold them flat and them used straps to clamp the 1xs together on edge.

2. Rough sand the blank to get rid of glue etc. Draw out your outline from your template and cut it out.

3. Rough shape the rails edge I used a belt sander to do this.

4. Shape in your concave and rail roll. I did this by eye keeping both side as even as possible. I found those chese grader rasps work well for shaping, but you can also use a plane or belt sander.

5. Once you got it looking like you want it, sand it smooth as you can down to 220 grit.

6. oil that thing.

7. go surfing.

Total cost for your first one will be about $100. The price goes down after that cuz you'll have the tools, glue etc.
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Postby andyjade » Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:27 am

Cool, thanks for the info. That all seems pretty straightforward, so don't let my short response seem like a blow off. You provided everything.

So, what's your favorite size for prone? And for using swim fins?
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Postby fossilgrom » Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:35 am

I think that 6 to 7 foot will work good for both standup and prone. When riding the alaia prone it allows you to get your whole body on the board (unlike a boogie board) so there is no drag from your body hanging behind the board. Yes I use fins, but you could probably get good enough after awhile you would not need them - then start working on standing up.

The cool thing about these boards is that you can lean into the face and the rail bites and it feels like there is a fin. If you lean away and release the rail, the board will slide sideways at high speed - great fun. 360s on the wave face should be no problem with some practice.
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Postby andyjade » Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:45 am

Yeah, screw the naysayers, this sounds like a lot of fun. I imagine it can open a lot of doors as far as new places and conditions are concerned. I am stoked to try this....
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Postby andyjade » Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:54 am

Swaylocks dudes seem to poopoo Gorilla Glue. Ever had any issues with your bonds breaking under stress?
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Postby fossilgrom » Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:58 pm

Yeah I read that too. The stuff seems to work fine for me - no problems so far.
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Postby Moe » Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:55 pm

fossil,
I saw you out with those the other day. They look like alot of fun and turned out great.
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Postby fossilgrom » Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:14 pm

Cool. They are fun. Next time introduce yourself. I'd like to meet you.
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Gorilla Glue

Postby Bones » Mon Sep 21, 2009 8:13 pm

Hmm. I've actually heard the opposite about Gorila Glue on Sways. Especially the white.
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Postby fossilgrom » Mon Sep 21, 2009 8:30 pm

I have been using the waterproof stuff. It works great. In fact I had a pop out boardworks log I snapped in half about a year ago. It had been sitting in my yard for awhile. I made some stringers from plywood and glued it back together with gorilla glue the other day. It's as good as new.
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Postby andyjade » Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:38 am

Yeah, it seems the opinions vary a lot over there. Glad to hear it works for you. I'm planning on using it. Whenever I get around to making one of these.
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Postby speelyei » Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:22 am

I wanna build one. One of these days I'm gonna swing by your place, I swear FG. Trabajo y mi familia is keepin me occupied...
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Postby estimated eyes » Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:44 am

FG... have any pics?
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