Surfboard Glassing ..an Opinion

Discussion in 'Surfing' started by Surfnfish, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. Surfnfish

    Surfnfish Well-Known Member

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    For the past several decades worth of surfboards, somewhere around 50-60 or so, my daily drivers and semi's have been glassed with non-E glass. Started off with Warp cloth, then went to S (all modern S cloth is actually S2, as the original S cloth is a 30 year old mil-spec product) cloth, and have never looked back.

    For semi guns typical glass schedule would be 6 bottom, 4/6 top. For daily drivers, 4, 4/4 schedule. The cloth resin saturated during application, then squeegeed 'dry', which produces a lighter, stronger glass job due to the glass retaining more flex, as over saturated glass loses flex. S cloth is also much more dent resistant.

    During all that time, I have yet to snap a board, and buckled one board. I have a 24 year old 'magic' 8'0 semi, glassed with S 6,6/4, very light in hand, been on countless missions from Sf OB to Sunset to Indo to West Oz, has some dents, not a crease in it.

    After moving to Oregon 11 years ago, land of the punchy beachbreak, began moving up in board length to accommodate age and accumulated injuries, settling on two primary daily drivers - an 8'0 5 fin speed egg and a 9'0 5 fin HPLB, have owned several of each, all glassed in S cloth with 4 bottom, 4/4 tops. Not one of them has ever creased, and they have been subjected to all kinds of punishment. One of the 9'0s is now in the hands of a local charger who wins LB contests - he's broken 5 LB's in the past 2 years, uses the one I passed on primarily in the bigger waves he rides, and it's holding strong.

    Bert Burger of Sunnova surfboards, well known aussie composite board builder, did some tests with various cloths, and here's his report:

    tensile strength ; the test peices were stretched till breaking point,clamped securely at each end then continueously loaded with weight till breaking,a large bucket was loaded with bricks till the laminate strap broke.....
    e glass; 13 bricks
    s glass; 17 bricks
    carbon; 18 bricks

    "in flexural strength s glass was the surprise package ,with both glass samples they bent a little more each time weight was added till they finally broke,the s glass kept bending and bending along way before it broke"

    So point of all this? Consider having your lighter weight boards made out of S cloth, and don't be afraid to go light. Aside from logs, few shapes don't respond better when lighter rather then heavier. Cost increase is usually somewhere between $2 to $40 depending on board size.

    And if you prefer stronger, heavier boards, unless using Volan which is pretty much tank cloth, consider having your top deck layer S cloth - the board will end up with a whole lot less dents in it then having an E glass top layer.

    Want a bulletproof board? Do what the Rusty factory does with all it's team boards except for the small wave EPS/epoxy models - PU foam, epoxy resin, S cloth.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
  2. strez

    strez Active Member

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    Hamilton, Massachusetts
    Good food for thought here...

    Thanks for sharing.
     
  3. Dawnpatrol

    Dawnpatrol Well-Known Member

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    PNW
    Yep! S-Glass has been the call for my boards from Day #1. Couldn't agree with ya more Lance on the call.
     
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  4. poidog

    poidog Active Member

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    Buddy of mine, local shaper who doesn't shape anymore, built me some boards with eps/S glass. Bulletproof.
     
  5. SeniorGrom

    SeniorGrom Well-Known Member

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    Wisdom for sure. And remember epoxy is only a resin not a process of building popouts.
     
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  6. dingpatch

    dingpatch Active Member

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    USA Florida
    S is best!

    Now, in regard to Volan and a lot of other, newer, fabrics and such. It is pretty easy to do some casual reading and pick up on the fact that XYZ cloth is way better than ABC fabric. But, a little more investigation will let you know that that sparkly "5.86%" better number is only based on the proper fabric and resin combination being used under all the right circumstances; lamination pressure and temperature cure cycles, and such. Bagging, and with proper temperatures and cure cycles, will always give the best results. Our general, every-day-glassing, problem is that for most intents and purposes our "hand glassing" only yields a 60% resin, 40% cloth/glass ratio by weight; while the optimum strengths per weight ratios that "most" specs are based on is roughly 40% resin, 60% cloth. And, none of the foregoing is of much matter if the fabrics do not have the proper treatments applied for the resins being used (Volan is a treatment put on the glass, the glass itself is not "Volan"), , , , ,. Etc., , , ,. XYZ cloth used with 321 resin may in fact result in a very poor lamination in regard to strength and durability regardless of the lamination process.
     
    JMJackFish likes this.
  7. Surfnfish

    Surfnfish Well-Known Member

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    Feb 6, 2015
    yes..hence the need to squeegee excess resin from the cloth during application, which the vast majority of production glassers won't do due to the extra work/time requirements, not to mention they are usually using the least expensive acceptable resins to keep production costs down.

    And regardless of how well the glass is applied, a bad sander can trash the best applied glass job in mere minutes. Burnished/exposed weave, usually on the bottom lap line = sign of careless sanding = compromised glass job.

    A highly regarded shaper once, "hell, there are a dozen good shapers within ten miles of where I'm standing, and to my knowledge, only one good sander"...
     
    bonzer likes this.
  8. dingpatch

    dingpatch Active Member

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    USA Florida
    Ya, I was never really too concerned with how my boards were made, and for the most part, still not. I get what I want and expect. My "glassing" experience really started when I started buying glass/poly & carbon/epoxy structures for military aircraft. Eye opening. The glass/poly stuff was seemingly pretty straight forward for use on Grumman's line of Navy aircraft. But, my later exposure to the carbon/epoxy world on the Army Kiowa Warrior was very "interesting". Just my first "minimum" order for carbon/epoxy pre-preg material from Hexcel was $250,000.00!! The carbon fiber itself was not too much of a problem, but the epoxy formulation was an old Manned Space Flight spec from McDonnell Douglas. The fab process for the parts was the real eye opener, lay-ups and bagging and such took hours for each part and there were three separate lay-ups and bagging on each part at the sub-contractor in California. I got to rack up lots and lots of air-miles. Oh, and, in regard to "exposed weave", ABSOLUTELY NO EXCEPTIONS! There was no "sanding" involved, but each item went through ultrasound and x-ray. One single "cut Fiber" resulted in total scrap, no "reworks" allowed!
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
    JMJackFish likes this.
  9. SeniorGrom

    SeniorGrom Well-Known Member

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    USA New Jersey
    Interesting. They’re only surfboards so hand lamination may be all that’s necessary. No doubt vacuum bagging and epoxy produces the strongest result. I think Mike Daniels was using the process making Coil Surfboards before he developed extreme epoxy sensitivity and retired from the industry. Good stuff Howard.
     
  10. icecreamheadache

    icecreamheadache Active Member

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    Jan 14, 2006

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