surfboard shaping essential tools, what are they?

Any discussion on shaping, designing, repairing and riding surfcraft of any type or shape. Also a good place to ask the 'what board should I buy?' question.

surfboard shaping essential tools, what are they?

Postby fermentingblob » Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:47 pm

Hey, I'm looking to try and start shaping my own board. I see there are kits online from foam ez, greenlight, and other shaping supply stores. Is there a list anywhere on the internet on what you'll need? are some of these tools better purchased from non surf shaper suppliers like the hardware store, craigslist, etc? I'm wondering if I can piece the kit together myself for the same price or less with better quality tools. Thanks for any input, I appreciate it.
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Re: surfboard shaping essential tools, what are they?

Postby Quetonto » Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:44 pm

for a first time build i'd suggest surfsteve.com, he covers a lot. some of it is brilliant and other parts i didn't use (for better or worse?)

He lists a lot of the tools, he's also got a video on youtube which is about an hour long, helped me a lot as seeing stuff made much more sense.

i'll add in my own experiences of what tools i used (or lack of them). I wanted to do it by hand so it may differ to you. I used a hand planer (made for wood working i think), a block planner to take the stringer down (it was dull and would chore into the foam...but actually worked fine for me.) and 80 and maybe 50 grit sandpaper (i'm not too sure ha.) and a ruler with a detachable right angle spirit level (hard to explain, but i used it to measure the thickness). Basically that is it. All these tools were available to me and had to just improvise with what i had, makes it more enjoyable to me, get to be more creative ha, and i wasn't aiming for the perfect board...

hope some of this helps...

i should do my hot coat soon! its been sitting there doing nothing for a month.

Ryan
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Re: surfboard shaping essential tools, what are they?

Postby All I do Is Surf » Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:21 pm

saw this on a web site and thought it might be of some value (quite comprehensive but better to overkill )
There is no one “perfect” list of tools, just like there is no one “perfect” way to build a surfboard. That being said, the following is a list of tools that you need to maximize your chances of getting a good end result.

These shaping tools can be used for both EPS and Polyurethane foam:

Shaping Tools

· Power Planer (optional, not recommended for your first shape)

· Shaping Weight (a small brick with a clean towel or foam wrapped/taped around it will do fine)

· Jig saw with 4”inch blade OR handsaw (to cut outline)

· G-rasp or Shaping Rasp

· Hard Sanding Block (or wood cut approximately 4”x8”x1/2”; use with lower grits)

· Soft Sanding Pad (use with higher grits)

· Small Trim plane (planes stringer in flat areas)

· Spoke shave (planes stringer in curved areas)

· Tigershark Shaping Paper (for rough sanding)

· Medium Grit Sandpaper (60-80 grit for smoothing)

· Sandshark Rail Screen (for smoothing rails)

· Versasquare (clear plastic width measuring and fin placement)

· Tape Measure

· Rocker Stick (long, straight piece of wood/metal to measure rocker)

· Combination Square (for measuring board thickness and rail squareness)

· Yard-stick or 2’+ straight edge (for measuring bottom flatness and/or concaves)

· Shaper's Pencil (for marking measurements on blank)

· Drywall Hand Saw (optional, if you are cutting a swallow tail)

· Round Rasp (optional, for shaping the “butt-crack” of a swallow tail)

· Dust Mask

· Protective Glasses




Glassing Tools

· Resin Spreader (epoxy) or Rubber Squeegee (polyester)

· Clear plastic 1-quart mixing buckets with volume markings

· Mixing sticks (to mix resin and hardener)

· Clear plastic 8oz mixing cups with volume markings (for fin installs)

· Clear plastic 1oz mixing cup with volume markings (for leash plug)

· Sharp, big scissors for cutting fiberglass

· Ink Jet Logo Paper (optional, for printing logos from your computer)

· High-Temp ¾” and 1 ½” Masking Tape (for cut laps, hot coats, and covering fin boxes)

· 4” chip brushes (for hotcoating)

· Masking Paper (optional, if you are doing cutlaps)

· Razor blade or Exacto Knife (optional, if you are doing cutlaps)

Fin/Leash Plug Install Tools

· Trim Router

· Power Drill

· Forstner or Holesaw Bit

·· Resin Thickening Additive (Cab-O-sil)

· White and/or black resin pigment (optional but looks slick)

· Fin Install Kit (Each fin system manufacturer offers its own specialized install kit)

Sanding Tools

· Variable Speed Sander/Polisher

· Hard or Medium Sanding Pad (for grinding fin boxes/leash plugs)

· Soft Sanding Pad (for sanding hot coat)

· 80 Grit Adhesive Sanding Disc or sandpaper for hard disc

· Cloth Backed Sandpaper (120, 150, 220, 400)


· Spray Adhesive (optional, if cutting/sticking sandpaper on disc)

· Foam Sanding Pad



Gloss/Polish Tools

· Variable Speed Sander/Polisher (same as used for sanding boards)

· Wool Compounding Bonnet w/backing disc

· Foam Polishing Pad or Polishing Bonnet w/backing disc

· Cutting Compound
Surfboard Polish

· Foam Sanding Pad

· Very High Grit Wet/Dry Sandpaper (600, 800, 1000, 1,500, 2,000)

· Micro-Fiber Cloth
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Re: surfboard shaping essential tools, what are they?

Postby WeAreMemories » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:43 am

Thinking about a power planer; I will only be making a few boards, not pro. Looking to get a power planer, have been reading lots etc. However, what would you say is the max. cut depth you would look for when choosing a planer. Bearing in mind, my budget will be less than £50 new or second hand. Any recommendations?
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Re: surfboard shaping essential tools, what are they?

Postby Philshoz » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:15 am

WeAreMemories wrote:Thinking about a power planer; I will only be making a few boards, not pro. Looking to get a power planer, have been reading lots etc. However, what would you say is the max. cut depth you would look for when choosing a planer. Bearing in mind, my budget will be less than £50 new or second hand. Any recommendations?


The cheapest planer will do a good enough job on a home build IMHO. You can adjust it to cut a very small amount at a time.

http://www.toolstation.com/shop/Power+T ... ner/p35770
http://www.screwfix.com/p/energer-enb46 ... 240v/67527

Good luck and post up the finished board.
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Re: surfboard shaping essential tools, what are they?

Postby WeAreMemories » Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:29 pm

Philshoz wrote:
WeAreMemories wrote:Thinking about a power planer; I will only be making a few boards, not pro. Looking to get a power planer, have been reading lots etc. However, what would you say is the max. cut depth you would look for when choosing a planer. Bearing in mind, my budget will be less than £50 new or second hand. Any recommendations?


The cheapest planer will do a good enough job on a home build IMHO. You can adjust it to cut a very small amount at a time.

http://www.toolstation.com/shop/Power+T ... ner/p35770
http://www.screwfix.com/p/energer-enb46 ... 240v/67527

Good luck and post up the finished board.


I got the Silverline Silverstorm sander/polisher, so may look at their planer. The sander from Tesco direct with a few coupons/loyalty card points it worked out a bargain with 3 year warranty.
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Re: surfboard shaping essential tools, what are they?

Postby tynemouthmatt » Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:03 pm

I used a silverline sander/polisher on all my boards (~100 - lost count).

They blew up fairly regularly but warranty covered it so never upgraded.

Same with cheap planers, work fine although awkward for on the fly adjustment, averaged about a year out of one.

My most used tool was a 4 1/2" surform.
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Re: surfboard shaping essential tools, what are they?

Postby gavtheoldskater » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:09 pm

i found a greenlight versa square (or any other type) indespensable. i didnt have any callipers but i definitely want to get some for the next build.

definitely a good plane to take down the stringer, something i need to get myself as the one i used was not so good.

surforms are brilliant, i used mine a great deal on the rails when i reckon i'd pushed my luck enough with a planer. cheap as chips from car boots too.

make a fred tool, couple of surform blades from screwfix and some old wood. great tool.

lighting, definitely consider that.

for glassing the number 1 tool is masking tape and a box of gloves.
a world of waves and a world of ways to ride them!
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