Surfing School - Shaping - Shaping Racks
Shaping racks are variously designed, but their function is always the same. They must hold the blank level with the floor in both horizontal and edgewise positions, and at the correct height for the shaper. When the blank is on its edge, it must not wobble when pressure is applied to the blank's deck or edge. This means the racks must be solid on the floor, heavily braced, and absolutely level between uprights. The top design for a common shaping/sanding/repair rack favored by this author is shown in Figure 01. It is waist high, simple and easy to construct, and is commonly used to both shape and/or sand boards.
The inside shape allows the blank to be wedged on edge, and the flat top covered with carpet (or sometimes foam) prevents the blank from sliding when laying flat. Use wood or metal about five inches wide in the two V supports. Brace these supports well so constant pressure and vibration will not cause any separation. If metal legs (most common) are used, bolt the V frame with 2 bolts on each leg.
A 3 inch or 4 inch diameter pipe about waist high works well for the legs. A wide, heavy base, often built with fiberglass and then stuck with resen to the floor, will keep the rack from moving. Some shapers cut a hole in their floor and anchor the racks in concrete. Another good method is to securely mount the posts about five feet apart, down the middle of a four foot by eight foot sheet of 3/4" plywood. The plywood is then covered with an old carpet, as is each rack.
Gluing the carpet down prevents running a risk of having a nail work loose and causing a nick or scratch in the blank. Over the carpeting on the rack, a layer of 3/4" foam rubber is attached. Use glue or masking tape to hold the rubber down as shown in Figure 02.
If only shaping an occasional board, a freestanding rack with 4" by 4" posts can be built. The posts are braced together by two 4" by 4" supports on each side with a 2" by 6" cross brace on the floor with a second cross brace between the racks. This configuration is shown in Figure 03, and can is easy to used for board sanding and repair work. Again, the cross braces must be solid on the floor to prevent it from moving when pressure is applied to the board. Pouring resin over the cross braces will help. Serious shapers often don't like the cross brace design as it can get in the way of your feet when shaping a board quickly. However, most manufactures have a cross brace support around for use by those making repairs.