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balance board WIP

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mike s

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my brother wants me to make him a balance board for xmas (he is a longboarder) to improve his balance.
this gives me the opportunity to show him my hobby has its benefits :p

a pic of a balance board so you know what im on about;
http://blog.sportsmith.net/wp-content/u ... C_0405.jpg

so i began with preparing the wood that will be the board
i think it is mahogany..? [have now been told it is sapele]
i had to sand off the previous finish (reclaimed board) and cut to size



i then cut the semi circles on each end
i wasn't happy as i found it hard to get the curves parallel



so then I made a semicircle template out of some scrap plywood and cut around it roughly on the band saw then used a flush-trim router bit to finish it off



then i rounded over the edges on both sides



now it needs a good sand to get it nice and smooth ready for finishing




i will post the next instalment tomorrow
thanks
 

Oryxdesign

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I used to use a piece of 4" soil pipe and a bit of 3/4" ply. Yours is going to be very posh.
 

mike s

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Oryxdesign":2t2exqsr said:
I used to use a piece of 4" soil pipe and a bit of 3/4" ply. Yours is going to be very posh.
i did consider using the cheapest materials possible
but then i thought 'if im going to do it i might aswell do it well'
the mahogany board didnt cost me anything, it might be a waste to use it in such a simple project but i dont often work with big boards and i have plenty of smaller boards for other projects so i might aswell use this piece of wood for this project
 

mike s

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i didn't spend much time working on the project today
but i did get a few things done

i started by cutting a piece of beech to the right dimensions for the fulcrum roller guide


\/


then i chamfered off the corners on one side using the router table (picture shows routing oak)


\/


that's the guide rail made



then i cut 2 strips of oak to the right dimensions for the roller stops



then chamfered the corners using the same router bit as before







i will glue the strips in place after the board is fully sanded

i glued up a piece of beech in between 2 thicker pieces of sapele ready to make the roller



i will post the next instalment tomorrow
thanks
 

BigShot

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Two suggestions...

1> Take a look at the "Indo board"... it doesn't have the guide in the middle so takes more work to balance on. It has the end stops for the safety aspect though. The roller is an cylinder with no centre groove.

2> If you want to show him your hobby as its benefits, make him a longboard from balsa planks (hollow chambers for weight reduction) or make a hollow one out of whatever woods take your fancy. No part of either job should be beyond the skills of a woodworker (when planing down the balsa just remember the old truism, it's easier to take wood off than put it back on) once you've got a good shape to aim for - possible shapes being almost infinate so you'd probably need to involve your brother in that one. Glassing (as most tend to be) can be the tricky part though.

If you fancy trying #2 for him, have a look on the Swaylocks forum - tons of info for the would-be board builder on there.
 

mike s

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bigshot, you got me thinking
instead of putting a single runner down the middle, i could put one on each side so theres a rectangle of runners on the bottom of the board instead of an I shape
this would allow me to make the normal roller by running it down the two runners on each side and also make a seperate roller that goes down lengthways and runs on the shorter two runners at each end to practise the other motion of balance
and then i could even make a ball that runs free in the limitations of the 4 sides of runners.
i hope that makes sense
what are your thoughts?
thanks

:edit: im not sure if any other boards already use this method, i just thought of it without researching
 

BigShot

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While some people use their Indo boards on a ball, most seem to stick with the roller.

I'm not sure you need to consider opening up the opposite axis of motion to him... anyone I've seen using an indo board or other balance board has ended up facing both directions anyway (shoulders parallel with board's centreline and shoulders across it) while up and balancing.

Have you seen one being used?
If not:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlKMaXjvZMA (very good surfer using one - note she faces the nose, the tail and the sides of the board - so working on both "motions of balance")
and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNK0X0vDwfg (instructional video)
will give you a good idea about how they are used.

The "pro model" Indo boards are shaped more like what you have here (end blocks and no longitudinal rail) - used with a roller you get something like this... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qeyf3tCXV9M (note he's turning the board on top of the roller as well as doing the more usual back and forth motions).
They can be used both ways on the roller and no need for side rails. I suspect this would be more versatile than a ball and all 4 edges with rails... which, if used with a roller, would be much more limited in its available movements than a flat-bottomed board.

Since your brother already knows you're making this for him, you might want to ask him what he thinks of the two styles. I suspect he might prefer the Indo style (no longitudinal rail), but either way it'll settle the question and you can forget the other one (for now, at least).

I'd probably get him started with a normal roller and investigate other shapes in cooperation with him if he feels he's ready for something more challenging.
 
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