So, after setting this badboy up in front of the house hogs and just admiring it for more than 3 dozen minutes I've decided to do what's right and what's best.
The board is going to be staying in Maine, so the ball can get rolling on the original intent of it's birth. The guys here at Grain have offered to do the glass job on it, as they are masters and I have very little experience in this beast of the shaping process. Resin bridge for the leash across the buttcrack, glass on fins, and a gore-tex vent to allow this hollow little toy to breathe are going to be taken care of in-house.
It's still early and I have a lot of work left on it. As you can see from the pictures, the rails are still bulky. For the next 24 hours I'm going to throw my dust mask on and vee out the concave bottom of the deck, roll in some tight rails and bring down the chunk, yo.
It's going to be a touching goodbye and I wish I could bring it home to show off. But that's just for my own ego. This project is specifically about nullifying ego and helping for the sake of people needing help.
I'll post once more before I fly out of Portland, ME tomorrow, but enjoy the goodies for now.
This 5'4 beasty has her top planks lam'd on and is patiently undergoing the handplaning of some Lis-correct hard to rolled rails from bottom to top.
Again, sorry to keep things underwraps but this board has a very special meaning to the East'rn seabord surf community. More news will follow once I get something down for both SBC Surf and the Surfer's Path.
Many thanks to Grain Surfboards and the Kelly family for letting me do my dance in this foresaken debacle we refer to as life.
The construction element nearly finished, I'm onto shaping the rails and fairing out the lands for a half lap joint with the planks. Holding Brad Anderson hand foiled Gephardt fins.
Just a baby at 5'4", barely spanning the gap of a traditional shaper's stand. Ultra bouyant (wood and air), a little extra weight (epoxy), and some beefed up volume through width mean this puppy can be surfed quite a bit shorter than your reggie slab of bacon yo.
Spokeshave, solitude, and blasting music
Bookmatched bottom planks, single concave.
Getting pretty fucking close to symmetrical.
My favourite part of looking at Fish boards, checking out the asscrack. This one has some sweet brown and golden Hawaiian Koa wood laminated between blond cedar, sloping up into bookmatched vertically grained pink Douglas Fir.
Pretty damned light so far. The white cedar from the Northeast is considered the premier small craft planking wood for boat builders internationally. Picking up slabs of this stuff is surprising, much like handling balsa. They're densities and weights differ by about only 15 percent. The epoxy will take care of that unfortunately.
Fun little board
Glue, steam, clamps, and wood; no nails required.
I want to tongue that bum
Bird's Eye View - The Barn Studio
Hullo from Coffee Break 3 of 11
Inside of the bottom planks, rough cut; Top plank centers glued up and ready for more
Top Planks, Bookmatched and inlaid with care and lots of fucking glue. Mean growlers in this bad boy yo.
Hanging disassembled rocker tables - the key to creating a perfect board out of 1/4 inch material. No room for error.
The Chine Logs and Jap Saw. Forming the outline of the board very early in the process takes a few sets of eyes, an iron, soggy towels, and a lot of patience.
Steam bent and laminated; chine logs and starter strips awaiting the rest.
Personal invention - Custom Death Star Jig for Rainbow Tail Blocks. Boiled Cedar bends so nice.
The underbelly of the Beast. The matching jig is gluing up the other tail block for a real stripy buttcrack on this pescado peligroso.
11 pm and the day is nearly done. Can you see it yet?
I'm hand shaping a special board in collaboration with Brad and Mike at Grain Surfboards, out in their New England barn over the next week. It's a 5'4" Waka, a Steve Lis style fish; constructed with Northeastern White Cedar and some burled American Black Walnut Nakashima-inspired butterfly keys. More news to come on this particular board.
But for now, please enjoy some shots of the detailed work I put in today; grading, selecting, and beginning the glue up of the elegantly bookmatched planks. The bottom picture is of Brad applying a Grain logo to the custom built rocker table/shaping stand of a new model for Dave Rastovich. Pipeline butterstick. Check out www.grainsurfboards.com for more information and pics of the Rasta board.
There is a microscopic spider which exists only on the human forehead. It is safe to say, that her perception of reality is limited to the domain that she evolved within. This microscopic spider believes that one single habitable landscape exists in the entire Universe. She would not be able to survive the harsh conditions of say, the nose. Never will the arachnid be able to comprehend the tangibility of an earlobe because it is so radically beyond the limits of reality. Spider loves forehead.
This profundity of our short-sight is a global trait amongst all organic life. Where are we right now? We are on no nose, we have not sought nose. Even in our domain, we are unaware of the remaining 9/10ths or so of other life forms on Planet Earth that remain undiscovered. We are unable to even conceptualize them. Just as we are incapable of sensing the other 99.9% of what is occurring around us right now. Like those radiowaves running through walls and cars and us. And that construct of duration that pulls us ever forward, and never back. That string theory under your foot. Those 7 other dimensions beyond your mirror. We can grasp only theories at this point. But what about the constructs and realities and facts which extend beyond what our brains can compute? How do all the other senses work? What do you experience? How narrow, the parameters of sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste.
What we know is that our IQ (as meaningless a construct and measurement that it is, on a micro-hypothetical level) tells the human race that we are about 10 times smarter than many other mammals. Possibly dumber than a few. And that we are about 130 quotient points smarter than we were 3 million years ago. Evolution literally crawls along at the pace of 1 millimeter every eon when you combine the changes running through each and every living creature in this godforsaken Kingdom. She is a doe-eyed heffer in no rush. Yet, she has done her job, as we have done ours to some certain oxymoronic level of flawed perfection.
But we are growing smarter, three points every decade now to be specific. And do you know what you would have if you added together the IQ points of the entire race?
You would get somewhere in the neighbourhood of a tenth of the amount of cells in a single droplet of water. And my point is not to discredit our ingenuity or neuropsychological structure. I am writing this right now, able to extricate conscious thought and the thing allowing me to do it, from one another. I can look at my brain, through words, using my brain! No other animal can do this neat trick. We are fairly marvelous creatures of sentient and whimsical capabilities. But we have devastating limitations.
We are turned into cross-eyed babblemouthed freaks by our own egos. Every single one of us feels like the main character in the most beautifully crushing drama in the history of time. Just as a wave would feel its dutiful mission to cross the Oceans on its own, to crash in fleeting symbolism on a beach in Puerto Vallarta amongst soft North Americans in handsomely grotesque bathing costumes. We do not truly grasp that we are mere undulations of something much larger. We don’t identify with the Connectivity of Species. A wave has about as much awareness of the lunar and solar energies that create it as it does that there are more waves behind it and in front of it, part of it for infinity. Nor can we grasp at our own connections with each other and mechanical forces. We just steer fingers and legs and mouths along, never really confronting who is driving. That we are a movement of Ocean.
And where does the wave go? The water stays, we know that. But what about that wave as a tangible phenomenon? Does it leave its watermark before retreat, percolating effervescently on thirsty sand? Erased without due grace or penance. Is it the same for humans? Is there not even dark nor light nor remembrance nor sound nor any single fucking thing at all after we die? Can you even conceptualize nothingness? Or do we change? Do our cells grow to become forehead dwelling arachnids?
Or do we become something larger? The Universe is our second major limitation. Because we believe it is All and we believe it is True. But the most insight I can share with you is that the Universe is as infinitely small as it is large. It extends to infinity in both directions. And usually I am about as prolific as a hovercraft, but there is no such thing as the Smallest or the Largest.
The atom is the smallest thing known to mankind? Ha. I choose not to believe this, logic is empowering. What about the nucleus or proton or neutron of an atom? If I admit that the atom is the smallest element in the Universe then I am admitting to being a lowly object of existence. I prefer to imagine that I lie somewhere in the middle and my parameters of Existence and All expound outwards in both directions. What I am beginning to grasp about the Universe extending in every direction is that I am like a fleck of paint on a wall. All that I can conceptualize is within my realm of colour. All I am truly aware of is on my plane.
But what I am trying to understand is that I am in the middle of the Central Nervous System of organic life. There are infinite layers of paint over me and below me as well. And they are coloured and sized in concepts that we have not yet understood or seen. They use different logic. They exist within different parameters of different Universes. They may have spiders in love with their foreheads. They may not. Our entire Universe may be the heart of that spider. It may not.
And this brings me onto the case of Love. Feelings and Events that are unbound by time and space. They are phenomena that literally collapse our constructs, our logic, our perception of reality.
Love is the feeling that binds the human race together, it is the word that describes the Miracle of when two bodies feel entirely united. It is when conscious thought and the parameters and ends of your body literally crumble away and you extend and melt into somebody.
I have only experienced this once before. Which is all that it can ever be, it is all that it needs to be. It is perfect. It is shattering. True Love, from the inaugural miraculous experience, lasts beyond what we know of life. It defines the Universe as indefinable.
"The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists." - Dickens
The George Nakashima inspired console table and bench was custom made with hand tools. The tabletop is Western Broadleaf Maple, salvaged from a bog out in Cowichan Lake on Vancouver Island. The wood was purchased from Lorne and Dale at the wood salvaging company Legacy Woodcrafts. They have a large selection of maple slabs which have been drying for a number of years now, as they produce luthier and musical grade lumber for local woodworkers. The tressle style slab legs were pieces from the same tree and are full of interesting curl, spalt, and burl. For Japanese style joined underframing and the through tenon brace & shelf, we used a rare piece of Clear Vertical Grain Alaskan Yellow Cedar and some Oregon Black Walnut, which is seen in the butterfly keys as well. The Butterfly keys maintain an 1/8th inch gap running down the length of the 7 foot long by 2 foot wide table, for expansion and contraction through the seasons.
The whole piece is finished in 5 coats of a custom blend of mineral spirits, rub on lo-gloss polyurethane, and 100% pure walnut oil. Finally it is given a hand applied museum grade blend of carnuba and beeswax conservators polish for sheen and protection.