For a board like this, laminating is a multi-stage process. I like to do the majority of art and color right on the foam. Once the art is good to go, I do a “skim coat” of thin epoxy resin over the raw foam. This fills in the many small gaps and spaces between the EPS foam beads, and will provide a solid base for the glass coat to lock on to. Once it starts to kick, I’ll lay out any logos or art that I’ve done up on translucent vellum and squegee them flat, ensuring all the air bubbles are out from underneath. Then the glass goes on – while the thin “skim coat” and wet decals are kicking. A nice tight lamination, pulling out from the center to the rails, usually gives a nice flat surface with the cloth well adhered to the blank.
On this board I’ve done a fabric inlay on the nose. Once the fabric is cut out, I pour on the resin, spread it around, give it a minute or two to soak, and squegee it flat. The edges will get covered with pinlines after the lamination.
If I’m doing pinlines, I’ll wait a day or so for the first lamination to cure. I clean the board with denatured alcohol and a tack cloth, and then lightly sand down the area where the pinline will go. Then I mask it off and lay the line using an art brush and good-quality opaque acrylic. I’ll do a thin, quick coat which will seal the edge between the board and the tape, then lay it on thicker. Once complete I pull the tapes, clean up any goofs, and it’s off to the next lam.
Between lams is also a good time to look at the board up close and far away, and see if any changes to the art need to be done. This is the last chance I’ll have to put something under glass (and thus make it a permanent part of the board).
Overall I’m fairly pleased with the end result. There are numerous imperfections that are clear to me, as I’ve hand-crafted every square inch of it from blank to polish. Everyone who’s seen it so far has been impressed; hopefully the customer will be also.