Hollow wood boards require internal blocking in order to a install handle, fin, leash plug & vent. The blocking is required since the board is hollow. The internal blocking’s location has to be planned for and installed before the top skin goes on completing the blank.
It is important to hit the internal blocking but it is very hard to take measurements as the board is yet to be shaped. Imagine trying to take accurate measurements on a banana. Once you have all your measurements double-checked, peal the banana. You now realize that none of the careful measurements are of any use. This is essentially what happens if you try to use a tape measure on a paddle board.
Fishbone Frame Glued to Bottom Skin
Plastic SUP Handle
2″ Spring Clamps, Homemade drainage clamps, or something similar to clamp the strips
Drill & Bit
Rare Earth Magnet
1/4″ 20 Bolt
Steps: Installing a Paddleboard Handle
Sliver Paddleboards locates our SUP handles with the help of a rare earth magnet:
The first step is to install blocking for the handle. This blocking is just a little deeper than the handle that is going to be installed. In this case the blocking has been extended in length to reach cross ribs.
The next step is to install something for the magnet to find. We are using this 1/4″ bolt. The piece of tape on the drill bit is a simple depth gauge so we don’t drill too far.
The temporary bolt is countersunk into the blocking with enough room for a socket. This entire area is removed later for the handle.
A piece of tape keeps glue from sealing the bolt in place and makes it easier to remove the top decking that will cover the bolt.
The bolt remains hidden in the board until it is needed…
The top skin is installed; the board is shaped, sanded, and glassed before we install the handle. We locate our hidden bolt with the help of a rare earth magnet. No measuring required and more importantly, no chance of mistakes! We drill a hole on either side of the magnet and with a couple of strokes of a Japanese saw we remove the top deck that covers the bolt.
Once the bolt is removed and back in our pocket we can use our router jig to route the hole for the handle. Our shop made jig produces a perfect fit for the handle. The handle is installed with epoxy before the boards final gloss coat of epoxy.