How to Build Your First Surfboard
by Stephen Pirsch

Stands and Blocks
Hot coat
Art Work
Gloss Coat
Leash Plug
Material Lists
Resin Amounts
Equipment List
Sm Wave Design
Helpful Links

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 The easiest of all leash plugs is the stick on plug at No drilling or tools are needed with this plug.  Buy the kit with the rope and resin included or just the plug.  The shipping is about two times the cost of one plug so you might want to buy enough for any future boards.  Ofishl sells accessories to make it lockable.  I recommend putting it on after the gloss coat has hardened. 
Do the following:

  1. Put a 2" piece of string through the hole and tie in a knot so it can not hang over the edge.
  2. Using a drill sander and #50 disk, sand the center, bottom of the plug for a few seconds (make it slightly concave) - this will allow you to put it flat on a curved surface. Sand the part of the board it will sit on by hand. 
  3. Brush on a thick layer of resin on the bottom of the plug, or dip the bottom surface of the plug into a cut off paper cup with epoxy in the bottom (a five minute epoxy kit works well for this - do not use Loctite brand - weak).  Stick the plug as far back on the top tail as practical. 
  4. Wipe off any excess resin leaving a little extra around the edge. 
  5. If not using five minute epoxy, tape the plug (keep the tape away from the plug edge) so that it will not slide slowly downward.
  6. If buying only the plug, buy 1/8"(3.2mm) nylon rope (available at Lowe's, etc.).
  7. Cut a few pieces in 8" lengths and burn the ends slightly (some leashes are sold with a rope).   
  8. Remove the string and replace it with the rope.  Tie the loop in a double knot. 

If installing a conventional leash plug/cup, do the following::

  1. After the hot coat, use a 1" or 1&1/8" paddle bit (take leash plug when selecting paddle bit) to drill the hole through the hot coat, into the foam.  A hole saw works better, but is more expensive. 
  2. Mark the paddle bit with tape at the box depth.
  3. Drill slowly, checking for proper depth. 
  4. Try to get it flush with the top of the board. 
  5. Cut one square inch of cloth into shreds and, mix the shreds with about one ounce of catalyzed resin. 
  6. Spread the mix around the hole (not all of it) and insert the plug.  Fill all air spaces with the remaining mix. Re-check before the resin gels, and re-fill if resin has seeped down.
  7. Wipe up any excess.

If shipping is a problem install the lockable do-it-yourself plug below.

  1. After the hot coat, drill 1/2" hole no more than 1" from the middle end of the tail (check to make sure lock will fit) - after the hot coat.
  2. Put duct tape across bottom of hole.
  3. Cut one square inch of fiberglass cloth into small shreds.
  4. Mix one ounce total resin and hardener.
  5. Mix shredded cloth with resin.
  6. Force mix in hole - eraser side of pencil works well as a packer tool.
  7. Wipe up excess  
  8. After resin hardens, sand flush
  9. Drill hardened resin with 1/8" bit, and drill the 1/8" hole with a 3/16" bit.(make sure you do not drill into the foam).
  10. Attach 8" long 1/8"(3.2mm) nylon rope.



2003 by Stephen Pirsch, All Rights Reserved.

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