I am new to building boards and new to composites too, so I decided to build myself one wakeboard. Idea and materials came to me one year ago but did not make time to build board in summer 2016 I only made rocker table back then. I got some really good informations how to build the wakeboard from forum member Zob , so thanks a lot Zob ( that was one year ago.)
First things first I was searching forums for ski, and kite/wake board building for like 3 years now. I decided to buy paulownia cores and searched the internet. I found one company that specializes in making cores from paulownia like 40 mins away with the car. I got paulownia wood cores for wakeboard for fair price, when i got there forklift was lifting like 2 packets of paulownia cores (like 100cores) on the truck, serious business.
I just got three of them.
My build plan is- Ptex 0.8mm, Woven 22oz Tri-axial Glass , paulownia core, Woven 22oz Tri-axial Glass, TPU/ABS Topsheet.
First I draw the board in drawing program and printed out the plan. Than I made a model of shape from paulownia wood. After shaping by hand i copied one core to another with router and copy router bit.
Than I made heating chamber for attaching sidewalls to the core. Sidewalls bonded really well with the core. I sanded and heat treat them. One picture in the "oven".
I made a planning table for the router. I managed to make the middle of the board 10,5mm thick and tips are 6,5mm. Took me a long time for precise routing.
Than I sanded it by hand to get the smooth finish as you can see 1/3 of the board is sanded and other half is not.
Then I routed out fin holes.
After I poured pigmented epoxy in fin holes I made holes for inserts too. I poured epoxy with inserts in too.
Than I made vacuum press together. I have vacuum tank and three fridge compressors, to run each for three hours ( safe backup). Rocker table i had from one year before. I set rocker to 12cm from middle to the top because I planned 50% spring back off the board. Firstly I laminated bottom of the board. One that picture ptex is secured in with a little bit of duct tape and fiberglass is all wet with epoxy.
Everything went smooth and good ( for beginner), I was all hyped than worst fear came true.
Here looks all fine in the press.
Shock after 24hours of vacuum - 12hour was set on 50°C .Really frustrating. In 1second I lost all the motivation, I know that it is the first board and can not be perfect but why this happened. Thank god its not too much air gaped so it is still possible to ride it, but with bitter taste. How did that happen??? Board was laminated better then I expected only that 25cm of the board is total disaster (waves)??? Does anybody know why did that happen?
But only the bottom was laminated and I ended with 100% right rocker of 6cm that i predicted. I was really stoked about that amount of rocker with only bottom side laminated. Is not the top side of the lamination the key to rocker not the bottom one? So why I ended with so much (really good) rocker???
Now I have two questions does anybody know why waves happened in the bottom side. I made a mistake and vacuum hose was pulling in much bubbles of epoxy and epoxy itself, didnt know that it will pump epoxy like crazy . It was pulling a lot of air from the epoxy is this normal? I tripple checked for any holes or leakage in the vacuum foil and didnt found any and pump was drawing good vacuum too... What i did wrong here? How to prevent epoxy from going into vacuum hose???
Other question is if I have now enough rocker with only bottom side laminated how to laminate the top side to not increase any of rocker??? Do I lower the rocker table to 6cm of rocker to fit the current state of board and laminate it like that and it will stay at 6cm? I have really no idea. I am afraid to put it back in in 12cm of rocker table and than i would get no needed more rocker or what?
I will try to finish the board and test ride it, hope that waves on bottom side do not have too much effect
But still do not wanna to throw away my first board, I putted a lot of effort in it and I am learning and make mistakes.
Have a nice day!