Wednesday, February 18, 2009

NINE LIGHTS "OPEN FACE SANDWICH" #3

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Jeff Beck, hiding behind the latest Nine Lights "Open Face Sandwich" board he recently hand made for me, 5'6" x 15" x 20" x 16" x 2.1/4":
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The board is made of stringerless EPS foam that is shaped, an 1/8" of balsa wood skin is then vacuumed to the deck, rails are foiled out of balsa wood, a tail block is added, and the bottom is left as the solid shaped foam. Glassed with epoxy, pigmented white over the foam bottom.
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It's basically the full Composite Sandwich (wood skin deck, wood skin bottom, wood rails) construction that Jeff builds most of his boards as, minus the wood skin on the bottom of the board. Per my request, Jeff started making the Open Face boards for me a year ago, when we discovered that the full composite boards felt more rigid than I preferred under my 140-ish Lb. weight.
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The Open Face construction makes for:
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• A board with familiar flex of a conventional stringered foam board.
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• Much stronger deck and rails than conventional board construction. I already slammed my knee hard into the deck while eating shit— Instantly pictured the worst when it happened. But looking at the deck, post slam, I can't tell where my knee came down on it. Jeff has boards that are years old without any foot pressure dents in them.
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• A light weight board— R. Kenvin was checking this board out recently and the first thing he commented on, when he picked it up, was its nice light weight.
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Additional links:
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Photo Documentation of full Composite Sandwich construction, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
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Open Face Sandwich #2 w/ flex-tail.
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5 comments:

Dr. Robert said...

wow..really fascinating.

I went through the photo documentation.. and while a picture is worth a thousand words..here's some maybe silly or obvious questions..

how are the balsa rails attached?
is there/can there be enough to really foil the rails if desired?
are you using 4oz glass for final glassing step?
whats the final weight..and does light ever get too..light..(as it does on longboards)?
apart from the rails..I would guess any number of different wood veneers could be used for the deck and bottom..?

very trippy..what is the difference you perceive between riding this and a regular foam board of the same dimensions?

when are you guys putting a bonzer together?

Peace and..hats off!

copperdove said...

Hi Dr Robert,

I'm glad you like the board. Sorry it took me a while to post a reply. My wife and I just had a baby and are getting settled. Hope these answers can help.

The balsa rails are attached with an industrial contact cement one layer at a time.

There definitely can be enough wood to foil the rail. I did a hull style longboard (ninelightssurfboards.wordpress.com/2008/11/02/sacred-crafts/) a while back with really pinched rails and had no problems.

Yep, almost all of my shortboards are glassed with 4 oz. and epoxy.

Final weight for shortboards start at around 5 1/2 lbs. It can go lighter, but you probably wouldn't want to, and heavier depending on how it's glassed. I usually glass my log style longboards with double 6 oz. and polyester resin to get a more traditional weight. I should also say , all the boards are internally glassed too, so the weight can be changed with different internal lay-ups.

Also yep, besides balsa, I have used redwood, red cedar, poplar, and agave for the wood paneling. Any wood that is relatively light and rot resistant will work.

The ride quality is really similar to a regular foam board with the openface models. The full compsand boards are a little stiffer, but just as lively.

As for bonzers, I really want to make myself a version of the Campbells Octafish (bonzer5.com/boards/) , so hopefully I'll have pics of that soon. Also check out this ninelightssurfboards.wordpress.com/2007/12/24/hi-five/

R.T. said...

Hello Dr.,
I have a regular foam board of the exact same shape as the Open Face #3. The OF#3 feels pleasingly like a regular foam & stringer built board— the OF#3 board feels responsive in its flex, but not so flexy that it calls odd attention to itself while riding it. Two weeks ago i ate shit on it, slammed my knee hard where deck starts to foil into rail and not even a pressure ding or shatter, can't tell exactly where it got hit. that amount of strength along with familiar flex performance of a regular foam board is a stoker.

Dr. Robert said...

copperdove and rt..

thanks for the info'..and congratulations to Jeff and his wife on the new addition to your family!

Like I said..this is a really intriguing process..I 've been aware of the "sandwich" constuction only vaguely..I knew about the Simmons era styrofoam/balsa stuff etc,but thats about it.

Apart from the beauty of the finished board..the greeness of the materials, increased strenth,and flex potential is definitely something to be desired.

Stoked you guys are on it and the RT backside sequence at Cabinessence was great timing and pretty much says it all.

Jeff, I'll be in touch.Thanks again.

P.S. love your guitar work too.

R.T. said...

Thanks, Dr.

Yep, along with his board making, Jeff's guitar ripping is not to be overlooked.