The Agave Project
As many of you know, our good friend Chris Abad suffered a broken neck this past spring. His medical bills are high, and his friends and family decided to put on a golf benefit together at Goat Hill. This would raise more money and bring the Oceanside community together to support a great individual. Jason wanted to auction off something very special at the benefit, something no one else would donate. With about two weeks until the tournament, the Chem crew decided to build an agave surfboard from scratch. This is a very labor intensive process, and by no means are we experts on wood boards. However with such a good crew helping out, we made it happen and we couldn’t be happier with the results. Below is a photo essay shot by Eric Warner (@goneclamming) during the whole process…
The first step to building an agave board is to harvest the agave. It is a delicate balance between agave stalks that either haven’t dried out enough and others that have rotted out. Most of our A+ agave stalks came from a 1/4 mile down the street from Chris’ house.
Jason with the bounty of agave.
After the agave is harvested, the next step was to get it milled. Each side of the agave needs to be squared up so you can glue your blank together. Thank you to JNILSON DESIGNS for helping us mill the wood!
With the wood squared up, we were ready to glue up the blank. Jason had a piece of Brazilian cherry wood he used for the stringer. He planned his rocker into the stringer so we could use that as a template for the surfboard.
The completed blank is held together with clamps while the glue dries. Jason eyes up his tail block.
The finished blank sits on Jason’s shaping rack. Pretty crazy to think a board will be milled out of this mad science experiment.
After the outline has been drawn and cut, Jason starts to plane the blank. Some of the wood’s density is very inconsistent, making planing difficult. Wood chips and dust had infiltrated every part of the factory.
The wood chips pile up as Jason’s outline starts to expose itself. Each piece of the agave has different characteristics. Some pieces were red while others as white as beach sand.
As Jason’s rocker is achieved in the board, he starts to tackle the rails.
Jason was pretty thrilled on the rocker he was able to get out of the agave. “Not all the pieces are perfect, but the rocker is totally there.” The voids in the agave would be floated with resin after the board was finished being shaped.
A close up of the tail block as Jason plane’s the rails.
Jason takes a minute to eye the nose and tail rocker.
Jason making sure his rails are even as the string wood chips pile up.
After the board had been finished being shaped, the board needed to be floated with resin to fill voids in the wood. This was definitely one step we learned the most about. Wood is unpredictable and has a mind of its own.
The floated resin starts to set. The agave looks great, and the Brazilian cherry wood really brings it all together.
Just like a normal board, the agave needs to be glassed. Jammer took his time making sure everything was glassed to perfection.
After the top and bottom had been glassed, glassed on fins were added.
The board was hot coated with a gloss coat and sanded one more time.
Chemistry Collective artist Miki added a little bit of Chem flair on the deck.
A list of everyone of was involved in the production of the agave board.
We brought the finished agave board back to where the wood once grew and was harvested.
Jason with his agave creation.
Chris’ uncle Alex ended up as the winning bidder on the agave board!
Chris, Jason, and the winner of the agave board Alex Abad.
That’s a wrap on our agave project.