Board thickness and tail block questions...

What works and what doesn't. Share design ideas, references and contacts for paipo board builders.
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Board thickness and tail block questions...


Unread post by scrapster »

Hi All,

I dove into my first paipo making project this past fall--which is also my first serious woodworking project, outside of making skateboard ramps as a kid. It's looking pretty good, but I have a few things I want to check in on. First is the overall board thickness. I've butt joined 5 pieces of wood together with T-88 epoxy (4" wide red cedar on the outer edges, 2"strips of a darker, tighter grained red cedar just inside that, and a 4" wide Doug fir plank in the center). I'm getting a little worried the more I read though, as all the wood has been planed to 1/2". Is that too thin for a paipo? If it's a fatal flaw, I'd like to cut my losses now. BTW, I'm pretty small myself, and will be riding relatively small surf with it,

My other question has to do with tail (and nose) blocks. I have a really nice piece of mahogany that I'd like to use for both, but I'm not sure how to join it. I used bar clamps to secure the rest of the joinery, but none are long enough to run vertically down the board to hold a tail block in place. For my first attempt improvising, I just laid everything on the floor, pushed the tail up against a wall, and then pressed some dumbell weights against the nose area to hold it in place. Didn't work. Over a few hours, one side of the joint for the tail block just separated, so I removed the whole thing before the epoxy finished curing. It snapped off with disconcerting ease too, so I'm thinking this one might be harder to join than the others.

Any tips? THANKS!
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Re: Board thickness and tail block questions...


Unread post by spudnut »

I am no wood worker, but no problem with 1/2" thickness.
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Re: Board thickness and tail block questions...


Unread post by Poobah »

Nose blocks can also be surface mounted on the deck side of the nose. It also doubles as a nose handle. Small C clamps are all you need for that.

I have a couple of 5 foot long pipe clamps that I use for tail blocks. The clamp and pipe are sold separately, so you can make it any length you want. I always do a dry run...without the glue. Sometimes you have to flip the block over to get a good fit. And sometimes flipping doesn't help. Then I sand the wood and/or use a thin wood shim, like a tongue depressor between the clamp and the wood clamping block that pads the tailblock. That's kind of a mouthfull...sorry I don't have a picture.

Usually I glue my tail block before I cut the the template. If you already cut a curved nose, then pipe clamps will be difficult. You might try making a jig out of scrap plywood. Basically you want a rectangle with two large holes. The hook end of your C-clamp or bar clamp need to fit through the holes. The holes are farther apart than the paipo is wide. The paipo hangs off the end of the jig, and the paipo/jig assembly hangs off the edge of the table or workbench. You don't need much clamping pressure for epoxy, but take the time for a dry run without the glue. I hope that helps.
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