When booking the course, he asked us whether it would be possible to have one of our 6’4 Woodburner Fish models with three dark stringers that go from the center of the tail and the two tips of the tail, that all converge at the tip of the nose. Creating two triangles that reflect along the centre line of the board. His inspiration was from some classic 80’s surfboard spray designs and our James thought it would be pretty special to find a way to make this happen out of wood.
We also had the idea to use all poplar (our pale timber) on the inside of the three dark stringers and all cedar (the orange-coloured timber) outside of it to add contrast and accentuate the design.
Initially, the idea seemed quite simple, until we realised what we’d actually need to do to make it a success.
Firstly, our surfboards have a degree of creativity in the shaping, so even though we could take some measurements from the Woodburner we have in the workshop (Ally’s everyday board), there was every chance that the tail tips, or nose tip, may not finish in exactly the same place.
Then we realised that because we normally make the ‘skins’ of our surfboards before glueing the internal frame down, we’d need to know exactly where to place the frame onto our pre-made skin for all the lines to meet at the necessary points.
To overcome this, James decided that it may actually be easier to make the skins without the two angled dark stringers, thinking that then, when the board was made, we could route 5mm slots running from the tips of the tail up to the nose to lay the dark stringers into, to ensure they were in exactly the right place. A scary thing to do with the finished board, but it would give us a little bit of tolerance when it came to the shaping of the nose and tail of the board too.
So, we set about making the skins before Mike and James joined us in the workshop.