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Would you like to shape your own surfboard but hate all the glassing stuff? Send us your design or pick one of our models and we’ll send you the blank, toghether with a shaping template, which will allow you to control in every moment and in every corner how far down you can sand. There is no better feeling than surfing a board you've shaped!

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FLAMA'S DIY SHAPING TEMPLATE

DANGER ZONE:
This is how we refer to the joint between the deck and rails, the most important and delicate element to take into account during the whole shaping process.
The Danger Zone is shown in the shaping template as a thick dotted line (orange here). Both deck and bottom skins have a bamboo veneer (the darker line you see below the skins) on the inner side. While shaping you will see how this dark joint advances inwards. Use it as a reference and make frequent use of the shaping template to verify the Danger Zone line and how close you are from it. The bamboo joint should never go beyond the Danger Zone line, as it would weaken this part of the board or even parforate the skin.

Deck&bottom skins:
We use a paulownia+bamboo veneer ply for the deck and bottom skins. The bamboo layer is on the inner side and seals whatever type of pore that might be in the exterior layer.  

Bottom:
Take in mind that by sanding the whole bottom of a 6’0 board you can reduce the weight of the board about 150gr. Anyway, we recommend a minimum thickness of 6mm.

Deck:
We don’t recommend reducing the deck thickness too much, so it can withstand the impact of your feet and last longer. For the same reason a flatter deck is preferable than an accentuated dome.

Concaves and channels:
We don’t recommend making concaves or channels more than 6mm deep.

Fins:
The shaping template shows the fin placement, but if you prefer a different placement be sure of the limits you have, as you need solid wood under the surface (see the illustrations) for both fixed and removable systems.

Leash plug and pressure vent:
The placement for both is shown in the shaping template.

Sealing joint pores, knots and scratches: Before applying the final wood treatment it’s advisable to check carefully all the joints, specially lid edges. We use polyurethane glue, and because it expands there might be some open pores. You can seal these pores (in particular along the deck’s lid edge) using wood paste filler for carpentry, which will also be useful for filling other wood imperfections.

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TOOLS AND GADGETS

The main tools for shaping a Flama blank are pretty the same ones used to shape foam. The main difference is that wood is harder to sand than foam, it has different densities and it’s never the same.

Electric planner:
You can do most of the job with a shaping planner, but be careful if you're not used to the tool! If you're not, cut the first rail bands with it to foil down the rails. Then go for the manual planer.

Hand planer:
This is a very useful tool. You can fine tune the rails, but with a sharp one you can also shape concaves and all sorts of features.

Disc sander:
We recommend using only hard discs for sanding the deck and bottom, because soft discs adapt to the different densities of the wood creating a wavy surface. You can use the soft disc for the final sanding with 240/400gr sandpaper.

Manual sanding:
Of course you’re going to use a good variety of sandpaper grains. We recommend using the special sandpaper for belt sanders –a semi rigid seamless loop of sandpaper– in order to use it as a shaping gauze for fine-tuning the rails. Get a 3”x21” sanding belt (most common size, but any other can be good too) and make a cut so you get a 42” long sandpaper. Now try to figure out how to work with this brand new tool. It’s good exercise! 

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Wood treatment and other products

You can use lin-seed oil or lanoline, of course, but we recommend using standard wood floor varnish as a finish. It's cheap, easy to apply, it admits recoating and is durable, while natural oils need to be applied frequently.

Wood preserver:
In order to protect the wood from instects, UV rays and fungus.

D4 Poliurethane glue:
Useful to make repairs.

Silicone:
Mainly used to glue and seal the pressure vent. 

Polyester mastic: if you don’t have at hand polyester resin, this kind of product works well for sealing little scratches and holes, sticking bamboo fins or installing fin plugs. It’s ready to use and it can be dyed with pigments. 

Wood filler: ready to use, comes in various colors and it’s very easy to use. Very useful for sealing pores, knots or dings.