In the realm of wooden boat building, Keith’s stand-up paddleboard build serves as both a splendid introduction and a continued exploration of craftsmanship. That said, we’re beyond excited to share the thrilling conclusion of the stand-up paddleboard build series by Keith Mitchell of Shipwright Skills Woodworking (another collaboration with Jarvis Boards). His expertise and shipwright skills shine a light on the artistry of constructing a stand-up paddleboard, creating waves of excitement for both seasoned craftsmen and newcomers alike!
Navigating the Build: A Recap
Before we dive into the final chapter of this remarkable project, we invite you to catch up on Keith’s earlier episodes for a complete narrative of the paddleboard's creation. From inspecting the board's deck to ensuring a flawless finish, Keith explains his processes from start to finish.
Crafting the Perfect Rails: A Fusion of Art and Technique
Keith delves into the delicate process of rail construction, offering insights into two distinct methods – steam bending and laminating. The use of Thixo Epoxy Adhesive proves instrumental, simplifying the gluing process.
Shaping the Essence: Precision in Rail Shaping
Next up is shaping the board's rails, and being the skilled shipwright that he is, Keith demonstrates the use hand tools for precision. The artistry lies in achieving a 90° angle with the flat bottom, a detail that sets the stage for the board's elegance.
Deck Camber and Sculpting the Soul of the Board
Next, he guides us through shaping the deck camber (continuing to show off his use of hand tool skills) ensuring it harmonizes seamlessly with the board's design. In addition, he added the nose and tail blocks, once again bonded with Thixo Epoxy Adhesive. Because Thixo is so thick, he was able to ‘clamp’ the blocks in place with just tape.
‘Thixo is my new favorite thing. Right out of the tube, so easy. No mess, no mixing.’
Fiberglassing: Weaving Strength and Beauty
A pivotal moment arrives as fiberglassing takes center stage. Before he can begin this step, Keith coats the board with Penetrating Epoxy, a very thin epoxy that seals the wood and prevents air bubbles from forming in the fiberglass coats. The meticulous application of TotalBoat High Performance Epoxy and the importance of achieving a dry weave, sets the foundation for a flawless finish. To achieve a beautiful glass finish, Keith prefers to brush on the epoxy, then squeegee it off with a Flexible Spreader. Before the first coat is fully cured, he then applies a second flood coat to ensure the board's durability and hide the weave for visual appeal.
For this step, he does a roll and tip method- first rolling with our Foam Roller Covers, then creating mini epoxy rollers for the tipping by cutting our Foam Roller Covers into thirds and gluing them to a stick. After the hot coat is cured, he moves on to repeat the process on the top side of the board.
Additional little touches: Keith adds leash loops to the board using High Performance Epoxy to glue them down, and adds reinforcement straps with fiberglass. Here he shares another fun tip on how to cut a clean line through fiberglass, by pulling out a couple of threads to create a margin to cut down. And for cutting the fiberglass- our Electric Scissors come to the rescue.
Gleam 2.0: The Final Brushstroke
TotalBoat's Gleam 2.0 Marine Spar Varnish becomes the artist's brush, transforming the paddleboard into a masterpiece. He loves that he can apply several coats in a day- and praises it for its consistency and shine. Keith shares his secrets of sanding and coating, creating a lustrous finish that mirrors the gleam of sunlit waves.
Keith’s artistic journey doesn’t end with the board – it extends to crafting a paddle with a unique kink and blade design. Steam bending, shaping, and meticulous detailing come together to create a paddle that complements the paddleboard's elegance. Thixo Epoxy Adhesive and High Performance Epoxy make another appearance in its construction.
Keith, a true teacher at heart, extends an invitation to viewers to consider embarking on their paddleboard-building journey. The joy and satisfaction we see in Keith derived from this project promise an adventure!