Sunday, 29 April 2012

Handplane for sale

Selling one of my handplanes on eBay if anybody is interested. This is 27cm paulownia, pine, cedar model, yacht varnish finish.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

'Wan Wan' means woof woof in Japanese

I learnt that from an obscure, hidden Sky TV channel that was trying to teach Japanese. This bodyboard is somewhat of a departure from my previous solid wooden boards in that it's made from tulipwood rather than paulownia. While sharing many of the same characteristics of paulownia it is slightly heavier. 

This board is also slightly thicker than my previous boards, 2.54mm rather than 1.8mm but I've made up for the  reduced flex with a deeper concave. So far this seems a very fast bodyboard.

The bird in the logo is a pied crow incidentaly, taken from a photograph I took on my last holiday in Uganda.

Kokekoko (cock-a-doodle-do)

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Happy Birthday Camera Phone!

Yesterday marked the tenth anniversary of my taking my first photo on a camera phone so thought I'd celebrate it with YouTube, I'm sure the world appreciates this!

Monday, 9 April 2012

New Style Bodyboard (Part 3)

Final part of the trilogy

After the construction disaster of model 2, the third incarnation came hot on its heels. I knew from my experiences with the Lil' Patriot that the board is fast, and where the first two models were aimed around finding some performance in junky messy waves, for this version I wanted high performance. 

Wood veneer clearly didn't work out for me so I kept it simple with this one, 5mm balsa sheets top and bottom. For the first board I used 2.5mm balsa but found this didn't give me much room for manoeuvre when I was fine tuning the final shape, plus the added thickness gives the board a bit more strength, allowing the need for less fibreglass.  

Taking inspiration from the design of my latest hand planes I forewent the round rails of its predecessors and went for sharp, down-turned rails for the back two-thirds of the board with round entry for the front third. Similar to the previous boards I gave the board a convex belly at the nose for easy entry into the water, with a large flat planing area in the middle, leading to a deep, wide single concave at the back through the twin 5 inch keel fins.

Keeping the same balsa-ply fins of the second board, this time I gave the fins more cant and significantly more toe-in, relying on the inherit speed of the board to overcome the increased drag but with hopefully control and performance to spare. 

Haven't had a chance to give her a run yet but she's a sexy little thing so how can it be anything but great!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

New Style Bodyboard (Part 2)

After the success of the first attempt, for the second prototype I wanted to address the main problem with the first board, namely that of the weight. My solution to this was to vacuum press a lovely strip of zebrano wood veneer that I'd managed to procure, to the deck. The result of this experiment could only be described as an unmitigated disaster! Importantly though the lesson I've managed to learn from this is that a cheap ebay vaccum bag (used for storing clothes conveniently in the attic for the winter) and an ill-fitting home vacuum cleaner doesn't make for effective vacuum pressing. Coupled with that a rippled sheet of veneer and a wood that splintered easily meant the end result was horrendous.

A great deal of work and many sand bags later I'd managed to repair the board to an acceptable standard enabling me to finish shaping and laminating. The end result certainly succeeded in my main aim though, it was certainly a good deal lighter than my first board, just a shame I have no plans of using wood veneer again any time soon!

One other positive result of this model was with the balsa keel fins. Rather than simply cutting the fins from a sheet of 5mm balsa and fibreglassing, which took a good many layers of fibreglass to achieve the necessary strength, I opted to make some balsa ply from three sheets of 2.5mm balsa. A great deal stronger meaning a lot less fibreglass.