Fig. C: Use long strokes with the rasp to bevel the
foam evenly between the rail bands you drew.
Fig. D: A drywall sanding screen rounds off the rail
bevels nicely. Fig. E: Sealing the EPS foam with light-
for turning), but rounded farther forward (more
6. Blend the deck into the rails,
nose, and tail.
With 60-grit on your 12" block, blend the deck into
the rails and tail. To thin the nose, plane down the
stringer, sand the foam down evenly, then blend.
7. Sand and spackle.
Sand the board with 80-grit on your foam sanding
pad and remove any dust. To seal the EPS foam, mix
lightweight spackle (DAP Fast ’n Final or Custom
Patch-N-Paint) with water to the consistency of thin
mayonnaise, then spackle the board, scrape away
excess, and let it dry (Figure E). This type of spackle
uses silica microcells as filler; pro shapers say it lets
the epoxy resin penetrate and bond with the foam,
but prevents the foam from soaking up too much.
8. Add artwork and fin boxes
Stick down artwork with resin, working out any
bubbles. You can also paint your board using water-based acrylic or latex paints.
Most fin boxes are installed before laminating;
136 Make: Volume 19
weight spackle keeps it from absorbing excess epoxy.
Fig. F: Use a chunk of scrap foam to make a jig for drawing lap lines. Fig. G: Stretch bamboo fabric across the
bottom of the board, and stick it to the tape on the deck.
follow manufacturer’s instructions. Fin placement
depends on board style, so copy a board or consult
Greenlight or swaylocks.com.
9. Laminate the bottom.
Pencil a lap outline on the deck 2½" from the edge,
using a jig of scrap foam (Figure F). Lay down
double-sided tape just inside this lap line; this is
the deck tape.
Stretch bamboo cloth across the bottom, up over
the rails, and down onto the deck tape (Figure G).
Much easier than fiberglass! Pull it tight and smooth,
with no wrinkles on the rails (Figure H). Minimize
overlaps in the tail; you’ll have to sand them out
later. At the tail and nose, where it’s tightest, tape
excess fabric to the deck so it can’t pull away.
Put on 2 pairs of latex gloves, and mix up 9oz
of epoxy resin. The formula is 2 parts resin, 1 part
hardener, and 1ml of Additive F per ounce of hardener. Measure carefully: too little hardener and the
resin won’t set; too much and it’ll get hot and set
in the bucket, “exotherming” in a chain reaction.
Stir well for 1 minute.
CAUTION: Additive F is mostly xylene;
keep it off your skin and don’t breathe it.