A lot of snowboard construction involves working with wood. If you want to build your own core blanks, or even finish a shaped core then you should get more familiar with much of woodworking in general. There are a bewildering number of woodworking resources out there, so this page collects some of my favorites which are particularly applicable to snowboard construction.
Many of these references are to articles from Fine Woodworking. This is an excellent magazine, and while it is focused on fine furniture construction there are many articles on machinery, basic technique, and materials that are invaluable for a snowboard builder. I highly recommend a membership to their online site, which is very reasonably priced. You can find all of these articles online in PDF format, and you can even download and keep them for future reference. Alternatively, I’m sure you can find these issues in your local library.
Wood and Wood Science
The definitive work on wood science. No woodworker should be without this book. It covers identification, strength of wood, water content and drying, machining and bending wood, joining, bending, lumber and veneer.
An excellent article on buying wood from a real lumberyard, not Home Depot. Includes measurement (what “4/4” means), grading, different kinds of cuts, etc.
A primer on wood movement:
This is a very good video which is a tour of a small lumber mill. It will give you perspective on how trees get turned into lumber:
This is a really excellent video on how wood is dried, what a wood drying kiln looks like, properly stickering wood to dry, etc.:
Bandsaws and Resawing
Resawing larger stock on a bandsaw is central to efficient core blank construction. The articles here are related to building core blanks and cutting your own veneer for top sheets. These include information on how to setup a bandsaw for this purpose, fences, blade drift, blade selection, etc.
- Bird, L. (2007, January). “Resawing on the Bandsaw” Fine Woodworking, #189, 39-42.
- Volbrecht, R. (1997, January). “Resawing on the Bandsaw” Fine Woodworking, #122, 74-79.
- Coleman, T. (2000, July). “Bandsaw Your Own Veneer” Fine Woodworking, #143, 44-49.
A good article on why a step up in bandsaw size (i.e., larger than the average 14” model) is a good idea.
Glue and Clamping
A good article on the strength of various glues. Includes a bit on their technique for testing which is food for thought for other kinds of testing we often do with ski and snowboard construction techniques.
Clamping technique. Extremely applicable to a wide variety of core construction techniques. Include information on types of clamps, how to apply correct, even pressure, and joint failure.
- Hendrik, V. (2010). “The Secret to Great Glue-Ups” Fine Woodworking, #218, 22-28.
- Rabiej, R. (2007, November). “Get Serious About Clamping” Fine Woodworking, #194, 37-41.
Planers and Jointers
Using planers and jointers. Includes using a planer as a jointer by using a planer sled, which is very similar to the planer sleds that many use to apply a thickness profile to a core.
- Rust, K. (2005, January). “Flatten Boards Without a Jointer” Fine Woodworking, #175, 58-61.
- Rogowski, G. (2002). “The Jointer and Planer Are a Team” Fine Woodworking, #160, 64-67.
Need to add links for the following topics:
- Dust collection in a small shop.
- More on the planer and jointer, including how to setup, avoiding snipe in both, forming square stock from rough lumber, etc.
- Tablesaw, in particular safety.
- Finishes, stains, HVLP sprayers for finishing, rubbing on standard finishes instead of spraying, etc.
- Vacuum bagging as it applies to applying veneer only.