We are going to need to throw out a bunch of terms as we go along, but what we are planning to detail is the construction of a wakesurf board mold, using an existing wakesurf board as the original plug. Now a PLUG in molding terms is a replica of the final product, that is used to create female shells from. We are using James’ wakesurf board from the ’11 season, but often in a production environment, the mold makers will create a fresh plug from plastic, foam, or fiberglass. An actual wakesurf board is a perfect plug, because we want to duplicate that anyway!
Now there is a LOT of preparation to make a used board suitable as a plug. The reason is that EVERY single cotton-picking detail will transfer from the surface of the board to the surface of the mold. If there is a scratch on the deck, that will become part of the mold and then every board made in the mold will have that scratch! Also, when we remove the traction, there is a layer of sticky, gummy adhesive and that has to come off. This is probably one of the toughest parts of the job! We use Goof Off, but there are any number of products that can be used to remove the residual adhesive. You just want to clean up the surface to as smooth and defect-free as possible. Anything like a gouge, needs to be repaired, because the mold most likely will get stuck on that sort of defect. Clean, and defect free is the order of the day.
So we set out to clean up the goo
The goof off doesn’t liquify the residual adhesive, instead it just softens it up so that you can rub it off with a rag, or scrape it with a razor blade. We use a blade from a razor knife and, slide it across the surface of the wakesurf board at about a 45 degree angle to scrape up as much of the slime as possible.
James’ board has a number of sponsor stickers on the bottom, so we also have to remove those. Some of them can we removed simly by sliding the razor blade under, the goof off or some acetone can also do wonders. Mostly it’s just elbow grease and time.
And here it is all cleaned up! It’s funny, you can see where the sponsor stickers were on the bottom. We then wipe the whole surface down with acetone, we are trying to clean up dirt, grime, glue or anything that would mess up the surface of the wakesurf board.
Now if we had any issue with the surface, we’d repair those with bondo or something similar, snading and polishing until it matched the surrounding surface of the wakesurf board. It doesn’t need to be the same color, but the finish quality should be the same.
The next step will be to construct a solid framework for the plug so that we can lay up layers and layers of fiberglass that will be the mold itself. Thanks so much for following along! Also thank you to everyone that rooted for James Walker in his win at the 10K Lakes Open!