Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Fiberglass/Watercraft Post

For the first few weeks of the summer, David and I were holed up in the IDC with dreams of... the Charles. Not terribly appetizing to some, but it's the closest body of water to both of our dorms. It's totally been cleared as swimmable, anyway. We'll be fine.

We began by constructing a pair of surfboards from lasercut cardboard and shopbotted a 12.5' paddleboard. When our materials from US composites arrived, we got to work. David's paddleboard was to be glassed with polyester resin, and my surfboard with epoxy resin. Note: Polyester resin smells pretty damn awful, so wear a mask and clothes and shoes you don't care about at all.

Cue photodump!

surfboard pieces organized

The board is amazingly rigid. A friend of mine is working on an algorithm to create the hexagonal pattern for lasercutting based on a solid 3D model.
I forgot to take pictures of the paddleboard without fiberglass over it, but it pretty much looks like foam. It is foam. Yes.

First layer! (actually two layers of glass)
First layer on the surfboard (also two layers)

I think this is a picture of the hot coat.

It's translucent! Also fuck yeah hexagons.

I am currently shopping for electric trolling motors to make some waves. I think I might become the first person to surf on the Charles.

Final layer on the paddle board

Rubber mat and seafaring dog added

The paddle board barely fit in the freight elevator

---awaiting pictures from Tom of us using the board---

Bonus picture of the sunset from the bridge that day