Hot tips for the perfect glue up

Hot tips for the perfect glue up

We use 3 different type of glues for the assembly of the humble but mighty, hollow wooden surfboard. 

Let’s look into each one.. 

The hot glue gun is a powerful little tool, allowing us to easily and quickly add small parts together, like the wooden tabs at the end of the internal rails.

You may choose to use hot glue to secure your ribs to the rails, before securing with the nail gun. At a minimum, we do recommend using hot glue to secure the last 2 - 3 ribs at each end for extra strength, before the nose and tail blocks have been added. 

Next we dip into the West System 105 Epoxy to attach the next 2 rails to the frame on each side. Working the glue in a dispenser bottle (an old tomato sauce bottle does the trick) we apply a thin bead to all faces of the rails that will be meeting, then brushing out this glue with a paint brush. To secure all rails together while the glue goes off, clamp them together with pegs or mini clamps, with about 40-50mm spacing. The West System 105 is also used to laminate the fiberglass cloth onto the skins, spread out with a squeegee or spatula, as well as securing the skins to the frame before it gets bound with tape. When you purchase one of our surf kits, we will give you a mixing ratio guide so you know how much to mix up for the specific size of your board. 

The West System 105 Epoxy is suitable for marine exposure and is a popular choice amongst boat repairing and building. When working with 2 part glues with hardeners, always mix thoroughly and use the recommended mixing ratios. 

Next up in the line is the Techniglue Resin & Hardener - a structural epoxy adhesive which is an excellent gap filler, offering very high strength. We use this glue to adhere the nose and tail blocks in (then bound tightly in place with tape) as well as using it to gusset where the ribs meet the rails to provide extra strength. The Techniglue is also used to secure the timber box for the fin boxes. 

These combination of glues and adhesives make for an incredibly strong and durable board. We’ve been using these specific boards for years with great success and reliability. 

Remember glue can be messy and these glues should be worked with in caution, wearing PPE like safety glasses and gloves. We always recommend doing a dry run before getting the glue involved so you are confident in the assembly before getting messy. 

Here’s to a successful glue up!