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Step 15: Sanding the Surfboard

Once the epoxy for the leash and vent plugs have set it's time to sand the board. This step will be dusty and messy but will give you awesome results if you take your time. To sand a surfboard, you can use a polisher fitted with a sanding pad made specifically for sanding surfboards. This method is quick and provides awesome results but it throws a ton of dust around and if you are going to make surfboards regularly I'd recommend getting one. I am going to use one just to speed up the process of sanding so I can flatten bottom and the high spots of the board, then I am going to switch over to a random orbital sander.

A palm sander is also another option but it will just take longer but it does give excellent results.

Start by sanding the whole board with 120 grit sandpaper. Then start flattening out the board, if the finish is still too rough I'd recommend switching over to a rougher grit of sand paper. Once the surfaces seem flat and even, switch to 150 grit and subsequent finer grits all the way up to 220 grit. When sanding do not stay in one spot, move all over the board, this will minimize the risk of sand throughs and keeps the surfaces even and flat.

Don't sand the rails with power sanders, hand sand those if you are not use to building surfboards because you can burn right through the hotcoat in a hurry if you stay in one spot too long. Blend in the epoxy seam with the rest of the rail.

At the tail of the surfboard, sand the bottom and side rail so there is a nice sharp edge, this is where we left extra epoxy earlier. Switch to a random orbital sander if required as it has more control.

If there are any places that have sand throughs and need to be touched up with epoxy now is the time to fix up those spots. Or if doing glosscoat then the sand throughs are not an issue as they will be covered up later.