Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Reminding myself of summer

Well weather has gotten damned cold and the first 50 year storm of the season is on the way so now is a good time to knock together a little video of some of my Dreamboat testing from the summer. The more I've used this board the more I've been impressed with it, now she's got some nice winter Langland point waves to look forward to so every cloud has a silver lining I suppose.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Instagram meet Blogger

Just figured out how to link my Instagram account to my Blogger account so you can now see my latest snaps in that handy little box on the right. Technology just keeps finding new ways to astound me. So to celebrate here's a selection of some of my pictures so far. Follow me on @rugerdier there was a reason behind the choice of name at one time. 

Sunday, 12 October 2014

What happens when you double the size of a handplane?

Well the short answer is that it would be debatable as to whether you could call it a handplane. In practical terms though it was a question I thought could be best answered by doubling the size of my handplane. 

Taking the template of my latest handplane design and doubling the proportions in length, width and thickness I came up with this design. Constructed using the Roy Stewart method I utilised in my Coffee Table Sim I learnt from the mistake of last time by filling the hollow chambers with XPS foam, thereby keeping it light but also protecting against the leak issue that did for the coffee table.

Completed this board a few months ago but only recently got around to test driving it and have to say I was more than a little impressed. As opposed to the handplane which allows you lift your upper body out of the water on waves, this little rocket has actual drive, helping you into waves as well as pulling you along when you catch one. Even without flippers I've been able to catch waves, find a line and get pulled all the way into the beach. Seriously blown away and already started work on the sequel, reckon I could always find a spot in the van to keep this little sucker handy.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Welcome back with a pair of handplanes

Okay, I'm well aware I've been dreadful at keeping this blog up to date of late but there is a lot of work to catch up on so I'll start with this pair of handplanes, complete with rather dashing waxed bags made from an equally dashing shirt of mine that I inexplicably bought far too big for myself.

This time I've re-designed my hand strap from the rather low-tech strip of webbing through to the cutting edge implementation of a bicycle inner tube and old wetsuit combo. A marked improvement I think.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Alas Poor Il Joneso Superleggera

It could be fair to say that my first crack at an EPS board has been pretty much a disaster. The intention was to create a ridiculously light summer board based on the Lost Bottom Feeder.

The blank was cut from a huge block of Wickes EPS foam using a hot wire cutter that was far too small. The end result was a slightly wonky surfboard that I couldn't straighten out for fear of removing too much foam. Coated the finished shape with some polyfiller to try and seal it but wary of adding too much weight I probably didn't add enough resulting in the epoxy glass coat sucking in a lot of resin leaving a lot of pin holes. Did I mention that I nearly set the resin on fire as it started overheating in the tub? 

Think I added to much colour to the resin as the final surfboard felt as durable as a sponge. I have absolutely no idea how but I somehow managed to fit the fin plugs with the front two fins pointing towards the nose and the back two pointing away from the nose, I nearly cried. 

Nonetheless I took her out in the water minus the back fins. First couple of waves were fun, she took off easily enough, quite manoeuvrable thanks to the immense cant on the fins, albeit very loose due to the lack of back fins. Of more concern however was the increasing weight it seemed to develop, this was explained when I got out of the sea and saw water pouring out of about a dozen tiny holes on the base of the board. 

I suppose on the plus side it was a miracle she even got into the water and if nothing else I now have a new winter project lined up, Il Joneso Superleggera XT, the EPS/balsa edition, she's going to rock hard.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Fins are too expensive

How do you justify £80 for a set of surfboard fins? FCS and Future seem to manage it but my conscience simply won't let me part with that kind of money. So instead then I've decided to whittle out my own from some wood and fibreglassing them through the wonder of Solarez sun curing resin. This'll be the first time I've tried to make some with FCS plugs so interesting to see how these turn out. Incidentally the pink ones are my interpretation of the Lost Controller fins and the brown and green ones are sneaky little bodyboard fins.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Jonesys Technicolor Dreamboat - The Longboard of Many Colours

So after a couple of weeks of struggle, numerous banged walls/doors and a lot of resin mess I've finally finished the biggest board I've built yet, and bar a few colour changes (would have liked a bit of yellow on the tail also) I have to say I'm quite pleased with the outcome. Now I just need to get it down the beach and start competing for waves with the paddle boarders, bring it on.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Big Board Small Shed

A few years back a 10 foot shaping shed seemed plenty big enough when the biggest boards I made were still under 6 foot. Squeezing a nine foot something longboard into there was quite the Tetris problem, more importantly, trying to get the finished bastard out of there without cracking a rail on the wall was too big am ask, as evidenced by the attractive repair job. 

Somehow though it's emerged unscathed and looks similar enough to the pictures of the Walden Magic for my tastes. Especially pleased considering I just whittled it out from the blank without the aid of a template  or markings, luck rather than judgement probably.


Monday, 26 May 2014

Jonesys longest wave and the start of the longboard

Took a trip to Morocco in March, neatly timed to coincide with possibly the only flat spell in an epic winter. Fortunately on the Thursday I was there the swell picked up enough to warrant giving Immsouane point a look. After a decidedly dodgy descent into the town, engine breaking to compensate for burnt out breaks, we were confronted with 2 foot waves and a healthy crowd of longboarders. Figuring the Jubilee Sim would struggle to compete I decided to rent a longboard from a local shop, a Nat Young designed Bic (putting aside my usual disdain for Bic's). By the time I'd gotten in the water the swell had picked up to head height and the crowd had tripled in size. Nonetheless by sitting a little outside there were plenty of rides to collect of leg shaping length. Finally got to live out my ambition of a wave so long it's easier to come into the beach and walk back to the take-off point. This video is the longest of several minute long rides and pretty much inspired me to get home and build myself a longboard.

I'd already pretty much decided on the artwork long before the board came to mind, being a fan of the work of Two Crows surfboards for a long time, basically going to go wild with some resin tints and see how it goes.

And as for the actual board itself I'm going to try and copy the design aspects of the Walden magic model, he seems to talk a good game and I always like to try something different, what's the worst that could happen?

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Making Some Space With Another Board For Sale

Well I've been a bit slack with the blogging for a while, that darned vicious cycle of not updating but determined to get back in the game and got a lot of updates to catch up on. Now that the days are getting longer and I can get more work done I've decided to make some space in the garage by getting rid of some of my doublers so for anybody interested in a paipo the little yellow balsa number is up on eBay this week! Riding on the back of my new longboard incidentally. 

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Another Cobra Update

I can tend to suffer somewhat from a loss of attention, new ideas can quickly steal my attention away in a strange new direction. This has been the case recently, though the idea is not quite ready to be shared here yet though. Meanwhile the Cobra's have steadily been making progress, albeit slowly thanks in part to the atrocious weather we've had recently.

The frame is now glued down, nose block has been attached and rail strips are progressing nicely and importantly nothing too bad has gone wrong yet! In other news, the Shelby Cobra now has it's engine block painted and installed. Longest I've ever spent on an model kit.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Handplane handbags

Something about the winter that makes building some handplanes far more appealing, it's probably the fact that it takes a lot less time than a surfboard so I don't have to stay out in the cold for so long. I can be a bit of a wimp.

This year, inspired by an article on http://www.korduroy.tv/, I decided to knock up some little waterproof handbags to carry them. This is the first attempt, made out of one of my old shirts; yes I take my fashion very seriously.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Short trip through the Italian and Swiss Alps in a Lotus Elise

Well only four months after my trip to the Alps in the Lotus I've finally pulled all my clips together. If anybody is looking for a trip away from the ocean I can highly recommend bombing around some mountain passes in a sports car!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

First Cobra Update

Progress is slow due to me only working on this board during the weekend, but with my intended completion date being the end of March all is more or less to schedule. Can't really fibreglass until the weather warms up (learned this the hard way) so there is no rush.

The frame has bow been glued together and reinforced with thin balsa strips (to keep the weight down). The strips comprising the base have also been glued together and steam bent to fit the frame. This board has a bit more rocker than my previous hollow boards so it has been a bit more work getting the strips to fit the shape of the frame.

The model Cobra is also coming along well, front and rear suspension have now been painted and assembled.