"Building your own paddleboard with paper plans adds a few steps but if you are careful the finished product is just as good as the CNC fishbone kits"
Paper Plans - Instructions
Sliver Paddleboards started building boards with paper plans and continued to use them for custom boards until I had in-house CNC capabilities. The CNC fishbone kits are much quicker to use but all of the work in this step is hidden inside the finished board so this is a great option for many builders.
The paddleboard plans include full sized templates for every piece that makes up the internal fishbone skeleton. The paper plans are clearly marked with hole locations and notch depths to ensure everything fits perfectly. The cutouts that are shown on the plans are the material that is removed with the CNC fishbone and the 1/4" plywood that the kits are made from. Adjust the hole sizes as needed for your material and tools being used.
6" Plastic Squeegee
Drill press with Forstner bit Bits
- Cut out all the templates with scissors leaving them about 1/4" oversized. You want to end up with individual ribs and the spar.
- Arrange all the templates on the plywood leaving enough room of you to cut between them. Leave approximately 1/4"-1/2" depending on tool you are cutting them out with.
- Lift one piece at a time and spray a light layer of spray glue on plywood.
- Lay paper template in the fresh glue.
- Lightly smooth the template with plastic scraper or block of wood. This is to make sure the paper is flat and adheres well without any wrinkles.
- Glue the remaining templates.
- Using a bandsaw or jigsaw cut each template a little oversized making sure you are not too close to the lines. The goal is to leave some white paper on the outside of the black lines. In the shop we use a bandsaw and leave and extra 1/16" of an inch.
- Sand the templates back to the black line with an electric sander. The goal is to remove all the excess and leave the line just visible. In the shop I use a homemade edge sander that is basically a belt sander with a table.
- (optional) Drill the lightening holes to save weight from the fishbone frames. You can either drill holes in the four corners and link them with a jigsaw or use forstner bits with a drill press to make round holes.
- Cut the notches for the center spline and the notches for your first starter strip at the bottom of the rail. The notches should be friction fits so you are best to leave the lines and then adjust with sandpaper if needed.
- With a small piece of scrap plywood test each notch and adjust with sandpaper if necessary.
- Glue the two halves of your center spline together with some of the left over plywood. This area will end up being the location of the handle.
- Assemble your completed fishbone.