Surfing School - Glassing Surfboards
Like shaping, there are probably any number of ways to successfully glass a blank. There are also plenty of ways to ruin a blank with an improper glass job. This section describes a very conservative approach to glassing that should eliminate many of the problems a novice glasser will face.
Before glassing, a certain amount of material will be required. Obtain enough cloth to cover the board twice plus about two feet extra of 3 foot wide 6 ounce bleached fiberglass cloth. Bleached cloth disappears with resin, and will prevent the necessity to pinlining on both top and bottom of the board because of two shades of cloth, or the cloth discoloration around a glassed on fin.
A glassing rack design is shown in Figure 01. For glassing, only a small 4" x 6" pad, covered with foam rubber and taped over, touches each end of the board as shown in Figure 02. The board is held just above waist high. This allows plenty of room for the glasser to get under the board when squeegeeing rails. The 2" by 4" stand can be mounted on plywood, or mounted by placing the board inside a 5 gal. bucket and filling with sand.
If fins are to be glassed on, about 1 foot of fiberglass rope per fin is sufficient. Not all of the rope will be used. A roll of 1" wide and a roll of 1/2" wide high temperature masking tape, a single edge razor blade, scissors, a soft squeegee 6" to 8" long and 4" wide, three 2 quart buckets, wood tong depressors for stirring, hardening agent, about 4 to 5 quarts of non-finish (non-hardening) resin, and a 4" wide natural hair brush, and a hand soft bristle wooden handle brush will also be needed. More or less resin is necessary depending on experience. Don't get caught short.
Resin comes in two types, one of which contains wax and hardener and cures to a hard finish. Since finish resin can not be resined over without sanding, non-hardening resin (laminating) is available which will cure to a hard surface but can be resined over with no ill effects. Finish resin will only be used after the fiberglass coating are attached and fins have been mounted.
Don't get the hardening agent mentioned here confused with catalyst. Catalyst is used to make the resin cure. Sometimes catalyst is referred to as hardening agent, but this is not really the same as the hardening agent mentioned here. This hardening agent contains wax products that make the resin cure to a shiny sandable finish.