Wednesday, December 26, 2007



I have been working on that biplane for at least two weeks, almost every nights. I gave it to my son for his second Christmas.

It is made out of the following woods:

Sunday, December 23, 2007


My son's surfboard

It has been 5 months I didn't write anything. Explanations for my silence are to be found in my change of job 5months ago, adaptation to a new environment, and most important some changes in my family life...

This being said, I will write today about a mini surfboard I am making for my son. It will hopefully be ready for when nice weather is back here in Taiwan. I might as well give it to him tomorrow for christmas, he won't be able to use it so soon which will leave me time to complete it.

The board is made out of a wood found in Taiwan and China, called 梧桐 (wu2 tong2, wutong), scientific name: Firmiana platanifolia. It is very close to kiri wood, light but strong.
One of my japanese friend to whom I've shown a sample said it is "Taiwanese kiri".
Here are some photos, a bit dark because I worked a lot in the evening.

The raw material, a plank of wutong wood about 4cm thick, to be cleaned up and plane.
A plane with a large mouth and low angle (<40deg) is mandatory here.

The board takes shape, after a lot of spokeshave work and sawing (hand tools, no power in the evening in my community because noisy).
The plane with the sticker is a hidarikanji, set for finishing.

My dog Lemon gives another idea of the scale of the surfboard, completing previous photo with the planes as reference.

The fin is teak wood. On this photo it is just set on top, no fixation.

I have now mortised the board so that the fin can fit in, and will probably have to use a screw so that it can be easily removed for transportation.
Next steps are to oil it, many layers of tung oil and have fun!
The fin is teak wood. On this photo it is just set on top, no fixation.

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