Getting buffed

You wont find me in any gym before dawn but on Friday morning around 5am I was down in the cave hand buffing the clear on each of the boards.

I will usually buff out with a power polisher but being so early and not wanting to have angry nabours I went for the manual method. I will first let the clear set up for as long as possible (one day at least or less if you can get it under some heat). If the clear is still slightly gummy it will not buff out so try to be patient. I apply a good blob of cutting compound and give it a solid rub in with a stiff foam block. This knocks off any dust that landed on your board while it dried and flattens out any light orange peel from to heavy clear application. Let it dry to a haze and then buff out with a new clean cloth.

This is the possible results with the right products, tools and around 4 hours of sanding!

February 27th, 2011

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Wet sanding before a clear skin

This is the post second fill coat finish. still a bit lumpy so you need to now once again flatten it out. This was almost flat so I decided to take the gamble and not use any more epoxy.

I have my fingers crossed that I can flatten this ready for a clear coat with out any more epoxy. I didnt want to risk any burning so I went for a 400 grit wet and dry on a flat stiff (but not solid like wood) foam block.

I like to slowly rotate from strokes at 0,45,90,-45 patterns and sanding until the full surface texture is solidly all the current direction. This helps bring things done evenly

Keep sanding, wiping off then checking for low areas. The next spray coats don’t build much thickness so make sure things are as flat as you can, this board took around an hour and a half by hand.

First clear down, looking not to bad at all! I like to work quickly with well rattled can Don’t be tempted to hold the can close to the work as 3 distanced lighter passes is far better than one thick one with runs!

I misted a second coat down two hours later. Not sure if they will be hard enough to buff out tonight but fingers crossed…. Might have see if i can build a little heater box….

February 23rd, 2011

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Under the Sun Sanding

Finally now waiting for the second hot coat to gel and very excited indeed! After work last night I some how managed to get some thin light brown fabric to lap around a 10mm thick rail…

I like to trim my fabric to size and spend a bit of time working out how to make a single cut at each board rail change. Cut to many times and the ends fray out and can really spoil the finish or pattern.

Its important to time this right as you want to only give it a few hours between laying down the fabric but keeping so that the fabric is touching the core and not floating in resin

you may notice that the fabric is darker so wetted out but still has 70-50% of its texture. To fill in the rests without getting sanding dust specs in your finish you can try this cheeky trick…. Time a second epoxy fill coat after the fabric layer has gone only just stiff.

I like a cooler slower cure for my fill coats so I find it best in summer to lay the fabric down around midnight with a slow hardener and a clear setting epoxy. Then by around 4-5am it has fully tacked off (easily marked by finger nail) and I will brush on an other fill that will fill out around 98% of the remaining lows.

By not leaving it to much past the tack point you make sure the resin that is boning the board, fabric and fill coat will be chemically bonded and save any sanding bits getting trapped in a pocket and ending up in your finish. The above photo is one 13-14 hours after laying the first fabric down with the last few hours under hot sun to make sure its able to be sanded. I like to then hit things by hand with rasps and blocks make sure things come down quickly and evenly with a feel to if your hitting any air pockets or other trouble areas.

Mid way in and most of the taller highs and you can make note of the areas that you should be careful around so I will blast it for a while with a wide disk soft backed power sander to with a med grit. This is were it gets tricky. Most of highs are resin and knock down well and wont cause a blemis, go too deep, hit the fabric and your likely to always look at the board and notice that one small bright, ugly sander burn.

I like to slow the sander down as this lets me removed a more even overall thickness. I also always start any orbital type sander with it lightly held against the work the work, started with out the resistance of the sandpaper on the board they get up to a high rpm and then bite into the board as it first touches down! Try to take it easy, brush the work often as this will help you see the moment you start cutting into the fabric (and often causing  a colour change)

Keep sanding until your happy with your ratio of lows to high spots before going onto your next fill coat. Once your ready to stop sanding it fair if there are ANY shiny spots then hit all of them with a plastic scour pad and some warm water. Dry the board till 100% dry ( Girlfriend’s and flatmate’s hair dryer is often the best tool for this task!) and then lay the next fill coat. Repeat untill you get no shiny patches after then sand and let it cure a day or two before hitting with 1000+ grit and water.

This is where I ended up some time late this afternoon. Stoked I am!!! To get it to a full gloss I expect to lay maybe an other filler coat, spend more time sanding than I did building the structure of the board and also put in some hard yards behind a buffing pad.

I can’t say I was sure this board would be done in time but got the feeling this board is going to be something very special.

February 22nd, 2011

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Reuniting old friends

A very good friend of mine and one of the first Uglie Carnie Customers will be soon reunited with a board he once owned long ago. It was the first real foam core I built but due to having no internal composite structure in the core this board life was much shorter than the foamies that came after it.

Late nights and early mornings have been worth it as this board comes once again into the refinish stages.

Later tonight the Chubbie Mistress original will go in for a quick sand to knock the fabric texture down and then a last hotcoat before being buffed out tomorrow. Stay posted for photos later today!

February 22nd, 2011

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Five is the magic number

Slight change in direction and while three axis sounds like fun…

After messing about with some cad drawings I think that maybe five is the magic number!

This mini mill will start of with the stock three, then I will add the 4th as a driven rotary table mounted on the milling bed either vertically or flat on its back. Once I have this set up and dialed in I will need to add an other motor drive to the controller and a second rotational axis where the spindle mounts.

February 18th, 2011

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Smelly Etching!

drummer v0.1 being etched!

Designed by Richard from

After a few attempts I finally dropped a decent etching mask down and even think I managed to drill out all of the holes.

Posting it down to Richard tomorrow and cant wait to see it populated with parts!

February 6th, 2011

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Black Eye Race Timers

Dreamed, designed, prototyped, built and tested…..

This is the final prototype of a wireless timing system. It works using a set of tweeked walkie talkies so your start line can be as far as 1-1.5 km from the finish!

Duel lane: The smaller box has a big red button for starting the race and sounding a LOUD buzzer and the timer box is at the finish with both track switches plugged in to it.
Single Lane: I like to run the timer box at the start line with one track switch plugged in and the big red button box at the finish with the other track switch plugged in. This method means that one rider can reset their time, lay down a run, HEAR they have crossed the finish as the buzzer sounds and but have to return to the start to get their time.

This is a pcb that did not make it past quality control before being set to the etching tanks, printing fine traces is tricky and making sure every trace is good before removing all that copper is even harder!

Here is what it looks like with less copper and more components! There is definatly going to be a small error in all displayed times due to transmission time but both lanes are always within 0.05 of a second to each other so lane to lane it is very fair.

Any questions or comments?

January 31st, 2011

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Robot Brain

I have lost count of the number of wires this 4 axis cnc controller has but as you can see they are starting to look like less of a birds nest!

Above is soon to be replaced 24vdc supply, relays, drive power supply, spindle controller and a motherboard for the 4 stepper drives.

On the Left is a 2.2kw VFD to power my spindle, a bank of fuses, soft start timer to short out the current limiting resistor and  a bleed resistor. The transformer is huge 1000va beast to feed the steppers with the juice they will need.

Many hours were spent making custom shielded cables and then working out how to ground the many different systems together without forming any ground loops.

Each drive has its own heatsink and fan that….

Pulls the cooler air from the rear of the large cabinet. As I plan to cut a lot of carbon I hope to have this system in a sealed enclosure, hopefully the fans create enough air flow to use the large surface area of the steel enclosure to dump the heat.

So some big buttons, a few lights and a joy stick complete the package!

December 24th, 2010

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Rocking Constitution Hill

Constitution Hill is amazingly fun. Steep and corners mix together to make a drifting paradise.

Clive, Tom, Sam and myself taking an afternoon to enjoy one of the many different lines this hill offers.

November 5th, 2010

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Black Eye Racing

Been a busy few weeks that started by using my face as a brake at the local style jam  Slope of Style….

After a few days of healing Olly, Joe and myself headed out for our first hoon on a real set of slalom cones. Had a blast but was left wondering how fast we were going.

I decided that it was about time Uglie Carnie built a race timer! I wanted something that was :

1) Wireless with a 1-2km range

2) Simple to use

3) Rechageable

4) Robust

5) Can start either a DH race with a buzzer OR a slalom run when a rider rolls over the start tape switch.

Finished prototype start gate:

The system works very well and gives all riders, relative to each other very accurate times. The track switch plugs in using heavy duty cable and large solid 6.5mm PA style connectors. The tape is very sensitive and has circuity to account for the front and rear wheels rolling over the switch. The 90db start buzzer can be turned off if you are using the tape switch to start the clock or left on to give an audible confirmation of the clock starting. The system should plug into most walkie-talkies and will transmit the required start commands so long as there is reception. The charger plugs into the rear of the unit and should last a few days of use between charges.

October 12th, 2010

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