Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Farewell Paddle

First coat of epoxy:

A few more coats:

Saturday, November 14, 2009


For Mighty Mo:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hand Planes

Another example of scrap use. These were scraps from the Omilu alaia (the pieces cut out of the sides), glued together with a nice redwood stringer:

For the finish I experiemented with some clear wood dyes - very simple and easy to use water-based formulas shot with a small spraygun in many thin coats. I'm pretty happy with how they came out.

Haven't tried them in anything big yet, but the seem to work well - particularly using one hand to paddle into the wave.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Kid's Boards

I build them just like my adult boards - hollow with an internal frame and solid wood planked decks - but with a 1/8" ply bottom, which I then paint white and let the kids decorate it (okay, I help with the paint job a little...).

Angelyne's swizzle stick:

Catherine's 60% 9'4". This one's a beauty - concave-to-vee bottom, nice rails, FCS fins...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Alaia Clock

Here's somehting different for retirement, change-of-command or promotion gifts. It's a clock/weather station made just like a full-sized alaia.

It's made of mahogany, fir and a redwood stringer - all scraps I had in the bin from previous projects. Here they are glued and clamped.

Once set, I cut the outline, did a bit of shaping on the rails, and cut the holes for the inserts (from the top down: tide clock, regular clock, thermometer, humidity meter, barometer). The clocks can be rotated so the board can be mounted at any angle, vertical or horizontal.

Although it's in an alaia shape, it can be done in just about any shape, out of a variety of wood, natural or dyed/stained in any shade. Definetely a nice, nautical/surf-themed gift idea.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Stand-Up Paddles

These can be made with a variety of woods. Fir, pine, maple and mahogany are all available and specialty woods can be ordered as well.

Shafts are available in any length and can be straight, bent or double-bend. The bent and double bend shafts are two or three layers of wood, and I can set the jig for most reasonable bends.

They are heavier than commercial aluminum or carbon fiber paddles. They do have a much more natural flex to them, and in my opinion feel better in the hand.

Like everything I make, each one is unique and made one at a time.

Here's a clip of this morning's SUP session with one of my paddles and a Naish 11'4. The thingy on the paddle where the shaft meets the blade is my gopro camera mount.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

An Alaia in Three Minutes

Actually it took a bit longer - about two hours or so, on two days. I got a few nice paulownia blanks from the Wegeners in California, and this is the first board from them. Paulownia is light- about half the weight of pine, with equivalent strength. It also works very nicely, with a decent grain structure that lends itself to the hand plane nicely, with the exception of some wandering grain.

It will be interesting to see how it holds up in the juice - it is much more flexible than my pine alaias, and I'm a bit worried about lengthwise splitting - but since it's wood, I can always re-join it and reinforce with stringers or glass if needed.

For the finish I used a simple water-based dye solution, which the wood took up nicely. It's easy to work with, has no harmful fumes or solids, with virtually no clean up. I wanted to try something colorful and I think this "omilu" design worked well.

Here's the bottom, with green dye rails, a bit of red dye down the center, and very subtly masked leaves with blue dye underneath it all:

Here's the top, blue down the center, green rails and the omilu below the logo:

The art:

And the original: