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Old     (cowwboy)      Join Date: Jul 2008       01-26-2011, 6:02 AM Reply   
I've been looking for foam and got a quote locally for 2' eps 4' x 8' x 20" for $278.00
Does that sound about right? Also what sizes are normal blanks?
I looked in some old posts and found a company selling blanks for 25 that didn't have uv protectant or something in it. Also where would be a good source for fin box's and fins?
Not looking for the best right now mostly trying my first board or two.
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       01-26-2011, 8:16 AM Reply   
That's a pretty good price for 2# EPS, if they are virgin beads and not reground material. You should be able to net close to 15 blanks (5' x 2' x 4") out of that. The size of the blanks and in your case the billet you'll start with is really dependent upon your final shape. If you assume a board that's less than 5' in length and less than 2' wide, you've got LOTS of foam! If you are doing stringerless that about $19 a shape. I have used 4' x 8' sheets and I cut them into thirds. Two 5' x 2' pieces and then the leftover 4' x 3' scrap I can get a blank out of it by cutting diagonally.

I've sourced fins and boxes from two sources. Foam EZ - they are super pricey, but always on top of things and very helpful. Fiberglass Supply - more reasonably priced, but not always on top of things - "like wow duuuudddde, sorry I forgot all about that". Both carry Futures, FCS, Probox, etc.

What are you planning to build?
Old     (cowwboy)      Join Date: Jul 2008       01-26-2011, 10:02 AM Reply   
I am honestly wanting to just play arounjd and see what I like.
I have a lf custom and my buddy has a skim style board, so probobly be taking rough outlines from them and start trying different theories.
I honestly want to make one for ****s and grins that will look like a go fast cat.
But that will probobly be after my first few normal boards.

What is the difference in the fin box brands?

on some of your posts I thought I read of you talking about using a filler after the board is shaped before you glass it?
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       01-26-2011, 10:43 AM Reply   
Sounds like fun. You'll have a ton of foam to play with!

On the fins, they each have their own hype - stronger, easier to install, cheaper. What I have always felt is find a fin template you really like and then use those boxes. We really like the Futures 3/2/1's so I mostly use those boxes. FCS has a huge selection of fins and a lot of their cheaper fins work really well. On the Futures the cheaper fins, IMO, don't always work that great. I guess it just comes down to personal preference.

I do sandwich builds anymore and the EPS foam I use is 1#, super light and porous...also pretty inconsistent across the length of the blank. I seal that with fast n' final light weight spackle. During shaping it's easy to pull out beads and you end up with 'pukas' - the gap where a bead should have been. That's prime for resin pooling, where the epoxy drips off your cloth and fills the gap, which then leaves a dry spot, or when you go to laminate it fills up so you have to use more epoxy. Also, if there's nothing supporting the lamination it's a good place for a delam to start.

On 2# you probably don't need to seal it, the 1 pound that I use is more air than foam, it can use some help. Mostly what sealing does is keep the resin from penetrating into the foam (especially the gaps), thereby giving you a consistent result and "sometimes" lighter weight and for cosmetics - no visible gaps. We also have to worry about heat and outgassing. It gets so hot behind the boat and anything trapped under your lamination will expand, possibly creating a delam. I think it was Greg Loher of Resin Research that said: "Sealing is a 5 minute job that offers better cosmetics and consistent results. It's so simple and easy and eliminates so many potential problems it just seems to me to be a no brainer."

Like I mentioned I use light weight spackle, but others use epoxy and microballoons and I've heard that some even have used white glue (and I've also heard that was crap ). I know the folks at sFoam did a good write up of sealing with epoxy and microb's. On sway's it's all over the place with sealing and not sealing and what folks use.
Old     (Chaos)      Join Date: Apr 2010       01-31-2011, 11:41 AM Reply   
I think Jeff covered most of it, but you might want to also try, ( they carry every thing you may want, even cut block (24" wide) 2pcf EPS blanks. Retail prices are pretty good, some materials are less from fiberglasssupply. Foamez is a good supplier for home builders (or if you live in the area), but wow are they expensive, IMO...... If you have room to store billets, cutting your own blanks is probably the most cost effective for raw materials... it is less cost effective, when you consider your time and effort. Billets vary considerably in quality (from a surfboard building perspective), they tend to vary in density, bead size, and particulary bonding or fusion of the individual beads based on the steam expanding process. We were cutting billets in the 90's largely to build better boards and out of frustration with clark.... however, now there are a few companies that offer pressure fused blanks that are more similar to typical close to shape blanks and modern CNC machines make tweaking and replicating designs effortless..... Also a good hot wire cutter or bow will cost you, unless you tend engineer up your own, then you can save probably $100.

I can cut you a deal on fins/boxes/plugs and goretex vents, etc if you need.

Sealers are great.... but have drawbacks. An epoxy seal is more durable, but if not careful you may end up with high spots that will otherwise marr a clean/clear finish board. Keeping in mind than foam and resin sand at much different rates..... Light weight spakle is awesome (at first), blends great, smoothes everything out, but there is a fair amount of shrinkage while drying (may require more than one coat). Most manufacturers only use spackle to fill bad gashes or if an EPS board needs a spot on spray paint job.... (Polystyrene does not paint clean and nice like Polyurethane, when it comes to water based acrylics, spackle helps but may again leave a less than desirable finish). Light weight spackle also tends to yellow over time, this is compounded (visually) when cheaper resins are used. Some go ahead paint the whole blank white to blend the colors after spackle (white paint is not the same as white foam for a finished board).

If you plan to have a mostly white board (raw foam), then learning to shape and finish it without needing a filler/sealer is ideal.. but not always easy with EPS... it is all about pull versus push and whether to sand versus tear/rip.... you will want to take it down to a 220 grit if painting or to really smooth it out...

Next we can discuss the wild array of fabrics, and laminating materials...... oh the fun....
Old     (cowwboy)      Join Date: Jul 2008       02-03-2011, 8:17 AM Reply   
I'll prob use s or e glass and west system as they are easy to get or bumm some off of my buddy.
I'm planning on vacum bagging them to help with conformatiy.
I did the stringers on my supra and built a lot of speaker enclosures. Just never done anything this thin or light.
I do plan on making my own hot wire. I've done one before for seat foam so shouldn't be much different.


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