My First Paipo

What works and what doesn't. Share design ideas, references and contacts for paipo board builders.
Forum Grommet
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My First Paipo


Unread post by GrumpyGator »

My 12 yo son and I spend quite a bit of time surfing and bodyboarding. For me, bodyboarding is much easier on bad knees. I also spend a great deal of time working with wood, tables, benches, swings, wall hangings, etc... I stumbled onto this site and after the last four or five days, I may have an addiction problem.

This is my first paipo. I wanted to keep it simple to start with. I still made mistakes, mainly choosing Luan that was way too thick (.7"). Even my belt sander with 34 grit couldn't make a dent. I ended up going back and buying 5mm Luan that I glued together with Titebond 2 added clamps and about 300 lbs of weight. I attempted a small amount of rocker in the nose, roughly .5" , during the glue process. It settled into about .25" after all was said and done. She's got 6 coats of SPAR urethane on the deck and bottom. The design is just a copy of a foam sponge we have at the house. The dimensions are 43" x 20".

I'm already planning on starting another very soon.

One question for the experienced builders out there. I'm used to using water based urethane for indoor furniture. It's fairly thin and easy to control with a bristle or foam brush. The 220 grit between coats usually results in pretty good finish. The SPAR urethane is like syrup. I'm assuming those that use it for sealing their paipo thin it? If so, at what ratio and how many extra coats?

Second question, wax works well but cork on the deck would be visually pleasing. Is it worth the hassle of sealing, etc?
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Big Wave Charger
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Re: My First Paipo


Unread post by Poobah »

I'm a big fan of Minwax fast-drying polyurethane. It's oil based, but fast enough for 2 coats per day...depending on your weather. It's clear. It's interior, but I never leave my paipo tied up to a dock in a marina.

I glue the cork to bare plywood with Titebond II at the very beginning of a project, before I jigsaw the template. Since your board is already varnished, just go with a wax deck for now.

You could use some of that thicker luan to make a surface-mounted nose block. It allows for a little sanded nose kick. The handle is useful for both riding and duck diving.
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Big Wave Charger
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Re: My First Paipo


Unread post by Nels »

Amen in the Minwax - if worst comes to worst you just wash and dry the board and reapply. I used Spar Urethane Varnish for a handboard I made last summer and it has proven pretty bombproof but I didn't like the way it looked over the painted surfaces so Minwaxed the second handboard, and it's done fine ...both have, one year on.
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