So… we’re making a snowboard… to coin a well-used phrase “How hard can that be”… We definitely have the skills here at Mombee, so we just need to find the time away from the day-job and (in Charlie’s case) school to get things under way.
First things first… many thanks to the chaps at Noahs Ark Snowboards near Stroud, who couldn’t have been more helpful as Charlie and me talked through our snowboard design ideas… and max gratitude to Douk Snowboards who provided the base and edge materials, without them we’d never have got this off the ground.
The main decision with the snowboard build was to do everything from scratch, using the rawest possible materials. Obviously the edges and base need to be sourced properly, but the core (the real heart of the snowboard) was to come from a solid piece of wood. In simple terms what you need to do to turn a large plank of wood into a snowboard core is the following:
1 – Source a good quality plank of wood… ours was a 2.5 metre length of rough-sawn seasoned ash from a fantastic local woodmill, Vastern Timber. We went for ash as it’s local and should also give us a good flex in the board we’re making.
2 – Plane the plank… this creates the smooth surfaces that will be glued together once the plank has been stripped into lengths. The planing was relatively easy with a powerplane, albeit time-consuming, but then we never expected this to be a quick job.
3 – Strip the plank into strips… the strip thickness needs to be slightly more than the thickness of the board core, so we went for 9mm. Stripping the plank into strips was another easy, but time-consuming, job with a circular saw.
4 – Sand the strips… the circular saw leaves some rough edges on the strips, so we sanded those away lightly.
5 – Cut the strips… the last job is to cut the strips to the length of the core you’re making. We’re making a 145cm board, so we’ve allowed 10cm in the core, so cut our strips to 155cm.
So that was the wood preparation completed… all looking good… now onto the gluing.