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All advice welcome on making a wooden SUP

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Created by woodsup A week ago, 18 Nov 2020
woodsup
9 posts
18 Nov 2020 5:56PM
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Hey guys, I'm enjoying reading all the expertise and opinions on this forum and I wondered if you guys can advise me on a few subjects. At the moment I'm in the planning stage of making a wooden SUP. Im collecting a lot of information about heaps of things but first things first;I haven't decided which type of construction it will eventually be (fishbone with or without stringer) but what is clear is that the carbon footprint should be an absolute minimum while constructing the board. That means, only locally sourced wood and cork (I live in Europe so logically Paulownia and ceder wood, Balsa doesn't grow here unfortunately), 50%+ biodegradable resin and currently searching alternatives for the fibreglass.

From the absolute beginning:
* What volume or sizes do you recommend for an all-round SUP adequate for a novice to intermediate supper in the range of 65kg to 85kg?
I was thinking around 155L (length between 10?/11?, width around 30?, thickness??)
* What do you recommend for the thickness of the wood for the top and bottom deck? (glassing not included)

Looking forward to the answers on these questions and I?d love to hear your personal experienced building and/or surfing a wooden SUP.

DB2
60 posts
18 Nov 2020 11:06PM
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Hi Woodsup,

I am in the same boat. Being a model airplane builder, I really like to do my own SUP. I have bought a plan from Sliver, but as time is a problem, I went with a cnc-cut fishbone from Tucker Surf Supply. I found two suppliers for Paulownia here in Germany, one of them being just around the corner. The fishbone is made of 3mm light-ply, the Skin will be 5mm Paulownia for the top and I consider 4mm for the bottom.

155l is a great size, I reckon that'll be 10' something. But it depends on what you are going to do with that board. Do you want to paddle on lakes and flat water? Then I would go for a longer board, as it will have more glide and track better. If wave-riding is part of your fun, then I would tend to the shorter size. I will be building a Stu SUP in 9'6" as I find my 10'6" Longboard quite a handful in head-high steep waves and want something handier :)

BR,

David

tarquin1
523 posts
19 Nov 2020 1:50AM
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You can find European grown Paulownia in Spain and Germany as DB2 says. Where are you? And again as DB2 asks what will you do with the board. Surf, flat?
Definately go with a CNC cut kit to begin. It will save you a load of time.
I am in France and can give you contacts for wood,cork etc.

woodsup
9 posts
19 Nov 2020 1:52AM
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Hi David,

Great you're in the same boat. Our projects will be a blast. Looking forward to see pictures of your progress. The SUP we're gonna build will be more for the sea with the occasional wave. I live in Spain, on the coast. I've found a paulownia wood supplier here who actually has his main base in Germany but the wood is sourced from Spain. I would be more than happy to share his contact with you. About the skin, 5mm for the top seems excessive. Although, who'm I to judge with such little experience? ;)
Have you build one before? Did you use the 5mm top and 4 mm bottom? And what thickness of fiberglass did or are you going to use? I suppose you can play around with less thickness for the decks and a bit more for the fiberglass. I am considering one layer of 6oz for the bottom deck and two layers of 6oz for the top. Although I'm not sure if that is excessive and too much weight.

woodsup
9 posts
19 Nov 2020 2:09AM
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Select to expand quote
tarquin1 said..
You can find European grown Paulownia in Spain and Germany as DB2 says. Where are you? And again as DB2 asks what will you do with the board. Surf, flat?
Definately go with a CNC cut kit to begin. It will save you a load of time.
I am in France and can give you contacts for wood,cork etc.

hi tarqu?n,

the board will be mostly used for small choppy sea water and the occasional small wave. I'm based in Spain but we will make the board in the Netherlands where we have a fully equipped workshop with CNC and wood cutting machines to saw any desired size for the SUP construction. I'm looking into the use of cork but till so far I only found sandwich type boards (laminated on the inside and vacuum pressed if I'm not mistaken) and cork used in the rail. ive found some websites here in Spain and in the Netherlands who sell cork but none of them can advise me on the use of cork for surfboards. I would love to hear your experience and opinion of cork in surfboards and if shipping is not too expensive I would definitely consider ordering from France.

gregjet
QLD, 51 posts
19 Nov 2020 6:02AM
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You don't say what the fibreglass is for. Strength or sealing ( or both). You also don't say what you problem to fibreglass is . Fibreglass is made directly from sand and when it degenerates it goes back to itself. It also doesn't float so won't gum up the oceans. If the problem is the matrix ( epoxy, polyester etc) , you said you are using the new bioresins anyway.
Carbon fibre actually makes a carbon sink. It isn't going to turn into CO2 anytime soon.
There is a fiber made from basalt. But believe it or not that fiber is biodegradable ( it turns into clay, instead of silica like fibreglass). , though it takes a while.
Most of the other fibers are polymer based and are not as biodegradable.
By the way all resin reinforcing fibres can be used ( and should be) for increasing the strength of concrete after use .
Wood is such a beautiful thing for any watercraft though.

tarquin1
523 posts
19 Nov 2020 2:08PM
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This is where I buy my cork.
www.barnacork.com/rollos-de-corcho-de-alta-densidad-2/
I have used it as deck pads,laminated in the rails and vac bagged onto foam blanks. Just seal it with some water based varnish. You can sand it and put more varnish when needed. I have had boards for years and the cork is still OK.
Maybe you should look into buying wood in Germany if you are building in the Netherlands.
Sicomin in France does really good epoxy.








tarquin1
523 posts
19 Nov 2020 2:15PM
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This is an 11ft sup I made. Good allround shape.




woodsup
9 posts
19 Nov 2020 5:21PM
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Select to expand quote
tarquin1 said..
This is where I buy my cork.
www.barnacork.com/rollos-de-corcho-de-alta-densidad-2/
I have used it as deck pads,laminated in the rails and vac bagged onto foam blanks. Just seal it with some water based varnish. You can sand it and put more varnish when needed. I have had boards for years and the cork is still OK.
Maybe you should look into buying wood in Germany if you are building in the Netherlands.
Sicomin in France does really good epoxy.









That's great! Barna cork is just around the corner, I will definitely pay them a visit. The boards look fantastic. How much hours did you put in the construction and how do they ride?

woodsup
9 posts
19 Nov 2020 5:26PM
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Select to expand quote
tarquin1 said..
This is an 11ft sup I made. Good allround shape.





Looking slick! Is this the one you vacuum bagged on a foam blank? I'm curious how the finish is on the top deck. Do you need to wax the deck or is the cork exposed and therefore give grip? If so, how does it hold up while being bumped and scratched?

woodsup
9 posts
19 Nov 2020 5:53PM
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Select to expand quote
gregjet said..
You don't say what the fibreglass is for. Strength or sealing ( or both). You also don't say what you problem to fibreglass is . Fibreglass is made directly from sand and when it degenerates it goes back to itself. It also doesn't float so won't gum up the oceans. If the problem is the matrix ( epoxy, polyester etc) , you said you are using the new bioresins anyway.
Carbon fibre actually makes a carbon sink. It isn't going to turn into CO2 anytime soon.
There is a fiber made from basalt. But believe it or not that fiber is biodegradable ( it turns into clay, instead of silica like fibreglass). , though it takes a while.
Most of the other fibers are polymer based and are not as biodegradable.
By the way all resin reinforcing fibres can be used ( and should be) for increasing the strength of concrete after use .
Wood is such a beautiful thing for any watercraft though.


Hi gregjet,

the fiberglass is for reenforcement and sealing. I don't particularly have a problem with it but at the moment I am researching everything with an open mind and I read something about the use of hemp instead of fibreglass. My thought is that if there is a product that will produce oxygen it should be considered. Although I have to say that what I read about alternatives isn't very positive, and durability is important as well. i appreciate your input and I'll definitely check out the basalt fibre. Thanks Greg jet!

tarquin1
523 posts
19 Nov 2020 8:59PM
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Yes that one is vac bagged onto a foam blank. Glass and carbon kevlar patches under the standing area.
If you get good quality cork it lasts. I just seal it with water based varnish. When it gets a bit old looking just give it a light sand and another coat. The grip is fine. Havn't surfed it though.

woodsup
9 posts
19 Nov 2020 9:08PM
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DB2 said..
Hi Woodsup,

I am in the same boat. Being a model airplane builder, I really like to do my own SUP. I have bought a plan from Sliver, but as time is a problem, I went with a cnc-cut fishbone from Tucker Surf Supply. I found two suppliers for Paulownia here in Germany, one of them being just around the corner. The fishbone is made of 3mm light-ply, the Skin will be 5mm Paulownia for the top and I consider 4mm for the bottom.

155l is a great size, I reckon that'll be 10' something. But it depends on what you are going to do with that board. Do you want to paddle on lakes and flat water? Then I would go for a longer board, as it will have more glide and track better. If wave-riding is part of your fun, then I would tend to the shorter size. I will be building a Stu SUP in 9'6" as I find my 10'6" Longboard quite a handful in head-high steep waves and want something handier :)

BR,

David


Hi David,
would you be so kind and share your contacts of the two wood suppliers with me? I would like to check if their wood is FSC and/or PEFC certified and check shipping cost greetz,

ps. I commented on your first post but I didn't quote you for if you haven't seen it yet ;)

tarquin1
523 posts
19 Nov 2020 9:33PM
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Ask the type of Paulownia and density. The age of the wood as well. All the European Paulownia I have found is a hybrid and quite young wood. Its getting better though. I suspect if you have access to milling and CNC machines you know more about wood than your average Joe!

woodsup
9 posts
19 Nov 2020 9:57PM
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Select to expand quote
tarquin1 said..
Ask the type of Paulownia and density. The age of the wood as well. All the European Paulownia I have found is a hybrid and quite young wood. Its getting better though. I suspect if you have access to milling and CNC machines you know more about wood than your average Joe!


Good advise! I'll do that. And honestly, my knowledge is exactly like the average Joe, but I'm quick learner ;)
it's my friend who has the knowledge working with wood. But I am doing the ground work for our project. What is your opinion on the quality of Paulownia in relation to the age and density?

I've noticed that "raw" timber (with the bark still attached) is more than half of the price than already sized planks. Obviously the wood still needs to be dried but I am curious about your thoughts

tarquin1
523 posts
20 Nov 2020 2:27AM
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Obviously the younger timber is not as good. It will have more knots and you cant get wider planks. The younger timber also has more plith.
In general the European Paulownia is a hybrid and more dense than the Asian Paulownia. For once you want something from China!
Yes the raw planks are cheap but by the time you count 20-30% waste in milling its not that much cheaper. Paulownia also has a high silica content and bluntens blades quickly. Your friend may not be too happy about that.
Timber that hasn't been dried properly warps a lot and very quick once cut into strips.



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