Having the right tool for a job helps eliminate wasted hours and frustration. Our goal with “5 Essential Tools” is to have the experts guide us into the specific tools that have allowed them to thrive in their careers.
Roger Hinds embodies the craftsmen archetype. He builds every board by hand. Shaping, laminating, color work, fin setting, sanding, & polishing from start to finish. Over his 40 years of building boards he’s developed strong opinions about tools & techniques but is humble when it comes to learning. Last week he returned from a shaping trip to France where he encountered “the single best polisher” he had ever seen. He mentioned that he’s embraced the new technique and his passion for polishing is at all time high. We caught him between boards and asked which 5 Essential Lamination Tools he can’t live without.
Learn more about Roger Hinds at https://www.rogerhindssurfboards.com/
and follow along @RogerHindsSurfboards
SKILL 100 PLANER
Tools for shaping and tools for lamination are very different. A lot of my tools for shaping are legacy tools that I’ve had for decades, whereas almost all of my lamination tools are disposable. I know we’re focusing this discussion on lamination, but my single most valuable tool still needs to be highlighted. It’s a planer that has played such an important role in my career that he’s known internationally by his name “Billy Baroo” after the famed putter in Caddyshack. The Billy has 20,000 boards under its belt. I have four different Skill 100s that I use but, the Billy Baroo is my workhorse. It’s been around the world with me. It’s so old now that I only use it for special occasions like when I’ve been invited to the Icons of Foam shaping competition at The Boardroom Show. As anyone knows who uses tools for a living, certain tools just work better than others, even if they came off an assembly line. The Billy Baroo just does everything better. I can’t quite define why, but it just does, always. I’d love to use it all the time, but I’m haunted by the thought that maybe it has a finite number of boards in it and I’m deathly afraid to hit that number.
I use a yellow spreader to place the resin, but I couldn’t live without the neoprene squeegee to do the lamination. I buy the biggest one and then just cut it down to 8 or 12 inches. It allows me to really drag and saturate the resin. On abstract color work you’re just directing the color so, the yellow spreader works fine for that purpose but the squeegee really allows the fullest coverage and saturation.
You gotta have tape. It’s not a glamorous tool but, it is an absolutely essential tool. I use it for color work, to keep my sleeves sealed so they don’t drag through resin, to set fins, for a million and one things. I couldn’t live without it.
I go through a lot of them. I’d love to pick shears, but if I can only pick five tools, I’d have to go with razor blades. It allows an unparalleled precision when cutting because the blade is so small and easy to maneuver. I can cut a lap with a razor and I could definitely cut cloth with it if I had to, whereas the shears are only good for big cuts.
I’ve watched people throughout my career laminate without gloves and it’s so hard on your hands and skin. Imagine all the hours of scrubbing I’ve saved by simply wearing gloves. I’ve literally probably saved days’ worth of time and it’s such a simple solution. They are cheap. They are so thin and snug and tactile that it’s no different than being bare-handed. There is no reason to not keep a box of gloves on hand, no pun intended.
And follow along at @FiberglassHawaii