Setting up a shape room is a lot of work. It’s not the
actual building of the room that’s necessarily all that hard. You buy the
supplies. You set them up. You start shaping. E-Z? Not exactly. Planning and building a shape room takes some time and careful consideration. There are a lot of
factors to consider and many different ways to approach it. This is why we
eventually came to the inevitable conclusion of, “why bother?” Instead of sitting
around letting you scratch your head and get frustrated with blueprinting your
shape room, we decided to call in a little relief from the Pro’s who have
been doing it for a while; the guys who have nailed it down to a science. If you’ve
always assumed that shape rooms came in the same sizes and colors, think
again. Because we got a few answers even we weren’t expecting.
These are the shapers that have opened their doors to let you in!
First things first, what are the most important tools to have in your shape
measuring square. A rocker stick. Sharp tools. A planer, surform, block planes, sanding
blocks, fresh sandpaper, and screen. The blades all need to be kept sharp,
surforms fresh, paper new, screen is the only exception.
sanding block, well used sanding screens, sharp blades, Hitachi Modified Planer, good
pencils, a broom.
them, that’s why I have them all in here.
important to have is a bunch of pictures of perfect waves where you’ve traveled and surfed as well as pictures of ones you are going to go surf.
What height do you set your lights at?
on the width of the room and the height of the shaping stand…it’s geometry. You
want to sent your racks first, then lights because you want your racks high
enough to not destroy your back.
Matt Parker: 56”
set at 4′. I’m 6’0″ tall…make sure you set em at what works for
Rusty: It’s a relationship with how tall the
racks are set and how wide the room is. I’m tall so my racks are set at
42″. My lights are single bulb and are set at 48″ with a shelf over
them to keep the light out of my eyes and focused on the blank, and to place my
high without padding. Lights at 42.5” to bottom 8’ bulb double feature.
What color is your shaping room?
room including the floor is dark blue. In the early days my room was painted
dark green. Never black. Too much contrast and play with the shadows.
like a tennis court, I feel it is a more soothing color than black.
of the barrel J-Bay blue/ green.
room has always been dark red, it was the color or my room growing up and it
feels warm and homey to me which is my most important requirement; I shape on
average 14 boards per week so I spend a lot of time in there and I want to feel
comfortable and mellow – dark red does that for me and offers a really warm
vibe & pretty dramatic lighting for the board.
late ’60’s I was going home stressed and started thinking that the white walls
of my shaping room were not helping matters. So I painted them a soft
blue. Wow, what a difference! I never had seen that color used in
any other shaping room, but blue rooms soon began to show up around the
country. And after my adjustable racks were installed, I painted a
series of black horizontal lines on the room’s end walls that were exactly
where the bottom of the board shows when lifting it up to look for twists.
If you make sure the blank is centered on the rack, twists of 1/8″
or less are visible – and even I find this amazing. This is one of the
better shaping room tricks I can think of, and I never had seen it in any other
shape room when I did it to mine
What are the dimensions of your room?
length and height can vary depending on what type of boards are being shaped but
the width is somewhat critical. It could vary 6″ either way but I find
that any more and the room gets too wide and the shelves and tools
are too far away from my racks and the light starts to diffuse. Any less and the room gets too crowded.
X 16′ X 12′ tall, too small but I built it before SUP.
9’-0” wide and make it at least 16’-0” long and 10’-0” high.
x 15′, like I said its cozy but it definitely gets the job done! I
wouldn’t mind having another foot of width or so, but I’ve always worked in
pretty confined spaces so I don’t mind.
X 11′ wide X 12′ high. I like to be able to flip around boards of all sizes in
How do you contain the mess?
use a shopvac hooked up to my planer and I’d say of an hour spent on a board,
Gerry Lopez: Vacuum
system for planer and sweep up after each board.
I don’t really… I built my floor for both comfort (on the feet) and ease of
cleanup. It is Masonite over a thin foam sheet over concrete. I use a big
squeegee rather than a broom to sweep the floor with. I rather enjoy walking
around in, looking at and remembering all the boards the shavings and dust came
from. Clean and sterile shaping rooms make me nervous like I’m at the doctors
What sort of mouth/eye protection do you use?
and dust mask.
Josh Martin: I
use my eyelashes and eyelid reflexes for eye protection and disposable 3M dust
masks. Ears too get protection in the form of retired fire truck #22 ear muffs
given to my dad by a fireman customer.
guess I have a big face and most of the 3M masks that come with a liner bother
my nose, but I’ve been stoked on the 3M 2300 N95 Moldex mask the past few
Mask with a plastic breather vent.
Do you use a vacuum system or something similar?
and never could get the hang of it. With the current computer system blanks
there is no need.
dust collection system for my Skil.
shop vac into PVC piping the runs up the wall and across the ceiling, then the
slinky hose from there to the planer – I like my vac systems really simple, the
most complex ones I’ve used are the most problematic and least effective – I’d
rather spend my time at the shop shaping instead of clearing out foam dust from
for some strange reason I use a planer.
What, in your opinion, is the most important aspect to consider when it comes
to setting up a new shape room?
Gerry Lopez: All
the above but especially size relative to the boards shaped in it. Space is a
good thing if you have it but correct lightning will make or break your
level true racks, good lighting, flooring, and a kickass sound system. My
choice is a boom box from the 80’s.
Josh Martin: A
stoked mindset and a top light. I spent years shaping in a blue tarp’d off
section of garage with only a top light. Then maybe good racks. Good racks and
a properly used top light will allow you to shape great surfboards.
think space is super important – feeling like you don’t have to restrict your
movement in order to accomplish your task is really big for me. I
recently shaped in a room where the racks were a foot closer to one side of the
shaping room than the other, and being more cramped on one side vs. the other
drove me absolutely insane when I was trying to get 4-5 bards per day done.
the past 10 years I’ve shaped and glassed about 4,000 boards out of
one-room shops where I’d shape, switch out the racks, then glass & sand, so
I don’t mind a good mess when I’m making a board or two; but when you’re really
trying to put out a flawless shape and hone your skills, having a comfortable
work space that feels like your own and is as comfortable as your home makes
for a really focused and clear experience!
|Foam E-Z Shop Vac|