Tom started working at his fathers Company at an early age learning how to build things. "When I moved to Florida I went into the custom cabinet industry finishing furniture and have been doing this for 20 years. But I believe I owe my building skills to my father for his precision and keen eye to detail."
Recently moved to Calabash, NC to have a better quality life for my wife and 2 children. After meeting Dan in the spring of 2007 at Sunset Beach, NC they formed Sunset Beach Surf Club. "Over the winter, due to lack of surf we were looking for something to do and discovered hollow surfboards. It has truly turned into an obsession. In my opinion there's no greater passion than woodworking and surfing."
Tom Allen's background is wood. Master carpenter along with the ability to craft awesome finishes into cabinets that are considered by many in his area as one of the best. Keen eye to design and how to craft clean lines, especially in rails, he brings out the best in our boards.
Dan Johnston has built furniture from woods cut out of friend's yards and milled at home. His wicked 32" Husky chain saw is more motorcycle than saw. Some of the trim woods Blind Dog uses are from his stock pile of oak, walnut, maple and other interesting woods.
Our boards are hollow. Crafted like an airplane wing each is extremely strong and light. We only use epoxy and S-glass. Typically 4 oz since it has the strength of 6 oz regular glass. Nice part about S-glass is how it lays and bends around rails easy to work with, light and strong.
Here is what it takes to make a Hollow Wooden Surfboards:
The board that follows is a 9’11” 3” thick. Spruce, with Cedar and Red Oak trim. Nose is Black Walnut, tail is Australian Lace
Wood. Fin is an FCS 8 1/5” Ezi-Trim. This board is great for nose riding, and is a rocket when blasting through sections. The flat bottom is for speed and the rails are 80/20 to grip into waves.
Much like an airplane wing the idea is strength without weight. Rib and decking construction is akin to "I" beam mechanics – stress distribution across a wide area.
This board is Spruce and Cedar decking. Spruce is a light wood with nice figuring, good for book matching panels. About 20% of panel decking cut is not usable – loose knots, warped, or just damn ugly.
First task is to rip ¼" x 1 ½" strips from 2" x 6" and 2" x8" 10 foot boards. Not one of my fun jobs.
Here's what the bottom deck on this board looked like after gluing ½ of the 27" wide deck: This was then run through a panel sander to bring down to 3/16". Then two sections glued together. Notice that black paint; it was a test to see if I could ebonize the red oak stringer. I use vinegar saturated with iron to stain oak furniture. I didn't like the effect.
Ok, so here's where it all goes together. On the floor is a completed bottom deck. Middle photo is just bringing together decking for one side. While this looks distorted, it's rather symmetrical.
Below, need to make perfect 90 degree rib/spar gluing. On right is gluing rip/spar to bottom decking.
Needed lots of weigh to keep it flat and not twist. Probably 200 pounds distributed on that center spar and ribs.
Upper right: Gluing in the first rail Bottom finished – looking like a board Longboard beer 6-pack side. It is now
a permanent part of this board. J
Without nose and tail work. Not even shaped but still looks good. Nose is Black Walnut, tail is Australian Lace Wood.
NEVER leave the vent plug closed with transporting, storing, sitting on the beach. It must be left open at all times except surfing. Too much air pressure build up will pop joints. If you lose the vent plug, give me a call. Vent plug, threaded screw should be blown clean of sand before you seal the vent. Might get a few o-rings from Lowes or Home Depot and replace it every so often.
Always snug tight the vent plug when heading out. If it’s really hot outside, you probably need to equalize the inside temp between outside air and water temp. Close the vent then dunk the board for a minute then open the vent. You will probably her a rush of air into your board. Hot air when cooled (in this case by the ocean water, contracts), just a something to think about. Try to avoid prolonged exposure to sun. Like any board, and to us humans, sun is nice to get warmed by but not good in big doses.
If you want to keep the luster, use automotive polish/cleaner. Polishing compounds will work and give a nice shine but some are more course than others. Electric buffer can be used, just do not apply heavy pressure, buff lightly.
Epoxy is extremely strong and much more resilient than polyester resin. If you ding it, more than likely it will just be a crack and should not go through to the wood. Just keep an eye on it, if it looks like or you are concerned about it, email me and let's talk.
Any questions, please feel free to contact us.
910 575 6682 BlindDogSurfboards@yahoo.com
Blind Dog is for real. 'Spanky' to his family, he is the sweetest pooch you'd ever want to meet. To him, the world is full of life, sounds, smells, and touch. He's a mutt but are we all too some degree.