Core blank overview

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Snowboard cores are typically made up of vertically laminated strips of wood about 2cm wide. The core is machined from a “core blank”, which is usually rectangular, longer, wider, and thicker than the final core will be.

Making a core blank is a fairly classic woodworking process, and you should approach it as such. If you’re new to woodworking I have collected a lot of Woodworking Resources to help you get started.

Overview

For snowboard cores I build blanks that are about 13.5” wide, 0.400" thick, and about 6-7’ long. Each blank has 18 strips of poplar running lengthwise. The blank is held together with Polyurethane glue.

The process starts with poplar boards which are a bit over 7’ long, 2.5” wide, and ~3/4" thick. Nine of these boards are glued up into a stack 7’ long, 2.5” wide, and 6.75” thick. The stack is sliced into 4 planks each 7’ long, 6.75” wide, and about 1/2" thick. Two slices are then joined together to make a blank 7’ long, 13.5” wide, and 0.400-0.500" thick.

So, nine boards ⇒ one stack ⇒ four slices ⇒ two blanks. I will use the terms board, stack, slice, and blank to refer to the various stages of construction below.

I usually try to make about ten blanks at a time, so I start with at least 45 poplar boards. (I usually buy closer to 50 because sometimes what looks like a good board at the store doesn’t look so good in your shop!) I find that making many blanks at once is easier than making one at a time. Core blanks are very stable and can sit on the shelf pretty much forever without warping or cracking.

See Also

To-do

  • Drawing of the progression from boards to blanks. Used to have one on the original HMS site… probably re-do it to make it look a bit less ghetto.
  • Pics of each stage, just one per stage.