Thursday, February 24, 2011

Blood and sweat...and more blood

I have been working really hard to get new equipment up and running, new jigs, new workflows etc...As a result of all this 'new' stuff I have been cutting myself a dozen times a day, and literally putting my blood into the skis (dont worry customers, theyre just prototypes!). On the plus side, I feel like I have honed in on the final key factors that will turn out the highest quality skis and snowboards -- little things like routing out a slot for the edge brackets on the core to get perfectly flat bases, or step heating and cooling epoxy to squeeze out every ounce of optimal strength from it. With all these changes, all I really want to do is get back into the rapport I had crunching out skis. But in the meantime, its been interesting to learn new techniques and make some big steps forward. Ive been working with epoxy manufacturers over the phone to hone in on the perfect temperature settings and times for curing epoxies. Our new heater is working really well, and at 250 degrees F, it pushes out skis in 20 minutes...compared to the 24 hour time we had before Im pretty stoked about this! I have also pressed our first bamboo ski made from carmelized stranded bamboo from china...On top of that, literally, I laminated some super exotic amboyana burl which is currently drying with 8 coats of clearcoat topfinish...

Pictures of this week in the life:

Heater holding at 200 degrees

Three blown 80Amp main breakers problem, thanks for the
wrong switches home depot!...Luckily the $250 CNC controller and
Solid State Relays were hooked up ok.

I shorted the circuit accidentally while working in
such a confined space and soldered the switch to
my continuity checker

Everything is working excellent, and I pressed the
first heated pair yesterday at 180 degrees in 45 mins.

Pressing cores is really easy in the new press: here are 12 cores
curing in a block, they will be resawn and planed today after they set up

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