was successfully added to your cart.


B52 Handplane

By | Artwork, Carpentry, Surfing | No Comments
Days like these

Days like these

So far this summer there have been a few days where it isn’t quite surfable with a shortboard but still looking very inviting. Having recently tried out and enjoyed a hand plane i decided to make one…

1. Materials

Local timber yard

Local timber yard

After some research there are many types of timber that are suitable for a handplane from the ultimate Paulownia hardwood (very hard to source and ultra light) to 18mm plywood. Whilst passing an old haunt of my carpentry days ‘Woodstock’ in Falmouth i popped in to check what offcuts they had that could work – i picked up a 400x200x30mm piece of tulip and a similar size beech for £2 each.

2. Design

HandplaneSome research led me to designing two shapes that i called the ‘B-52’ and ‘Zeppelin’. I designed two the two plan shapes in AutoCAD at 1:1 scale so we can print them out on an A1 sheet of paper and use an old boat building technique called ‘Lofting’ to transfer the shape to a hardboard template.

With the PDF file below you can print it out to an A1 sheet (ask a local architects office to print it out for you they will probably charge you £2-3)

Download Handplane A1 PDF Template – Message me if you would like the DWG

You can either ‘loft’ out the dimension which involves measuring out from the crosses on the centre line of the board using the given measurements which will give you a series of dots that you join to create the outline for the shape. Or cut out the shape from the paper and paste/glue to the hardboard to cut out.

The hand grab cut out is optional – ive used the leash strap system instead.


3. Construction

After you have transferred the plan shape hardboard cut it out with a JigsawLofted-Handplane

Cut out the shape leaving the pencil line on the template – its better to hand finish to the line with some sandpaper or a very sharp block plane


The hardboard template. Mark around this on your blank



The Rocker.

This part is optional ive seen many handplanes without the rocker cut or steam bent in and im sure it doesnt make a world of difference if you use a flat piece of ply/timber.

The technique to cut the rocker into the timber i used is called ‘kerfing’ where you use a series of saw cuts to remove the bulk of the timber as illustrated below. You need a sliding bench saw ideally to do this or you could use a circular saw. The idea is to make a series of saw cuts very close together using the depth gauge on the blade and then ‘hammer’ out the pieces then you’ll be left with a rough rocker which you can sand good with an orbital sander.



Sanding out the cuts to produce the rocker


The finished rocker. I had to keep re-applying the template outline as i sanded


Cut out with a jigsaw, and sanded back to the pencil line outline, ready for shaping the rails.


Rails – I used a router to form the shape of the rails until the guide bearing lost contact with the rail – too risky…just use a rolled up piece of sandpaper and your eye..


4. Finishing


Depending on what you used for your blank check what the best waterproofing solution is. For most hardwoods i would say oiling should should be fine. I used some old danish oil used to coat worktops. Apply liberally a first coat and wipe it in ideally with a lint free cloth or whatever you can find an old sock will work 🙂  Allow to dry 24hrs and reapply a second coat. This will also act as a primer for the final coat of varnish.

Decals – I had a sheet of t-shirt transfer paper that i thought might work on the timber before applying a final coat of varnish and it does. Print out your decals as per the paper instructions and apply with a hot iron – obviously make sure you use the protective paper/greaseproof paper.





Varnishing – I used some gloss yacht varnish to achieve a high gloss ‘glass’ finish following the process below

1. Sand all over with 120 grit.

2. Apply base coat of varnish using 25% white spirit solution

3. Sand base coat with 240 grit

4, Apply 1st coat – wait 24hrs to dry and then sand back using 400 grit

5. Apply 3rd and final coat

5. Leash


I used the velcro ankle attachment an old surfboard leash. Secure the leash around your hand, place the strap on the board and mark the screw holes through the strap. I used brass slotted screws with cups. Thats it ready to shred!



By | Arduino, Electronics, Engineering, Surfing, Weather | No Comments

Featured on instructables here http://www.instructables.com/id/WAVEbuoy/

The WAVEbuoy is a arduino lamp connected to the internet that displays the current wave height of any of the National Data Buoy Centre’s wave buoys.

This lamp is currently connected to the Sevenstones Lightship buoy that gives an indication of swell approaching Cornwall in the UK. The lamp can also be connected to any surfing location covered by magicseaweed.com

RED – High surf alert

GREEN – Medium swell

BLUE – Low swell

Parts needed:

  • Arduino UNO & Ethernet shield
  • Light bulb like this one Link
  • 3 Colour RGB SMD LED Module Link
  • Breadboard
  • Jumper wires

The case….its up to you how you encase it. Im a carpenter by trade and i had the ability to use some scrap pieces of oak. You could house it in all sorts of ready made boxes or lamps. The white dome on top is a light bulb that i have cut in half.


By | Arduino, Electronics, Engineering, Surfing | No Comments

SURFalert is my first standalone Arduino project to help visualise a surf forecast for any location covered by Magicseaweed. The standalone system (doesn’t need to be connected to a computer) uses a open source Arduino controller and Ethernet shield to connect to the internet parse some XML data and display the current and forecasted conditions using a series of different coloured LEDs.


By | Electronics, Engineering, Surfing | No Comments

WAVEcopter is a fully waterproof multicopter frame that I have constructed mostly from readily available and cheap electrical parts. My reasons for building it were to gain a new perspective on surfing photography, do aerial surveying of event sites, and to satisfy my general fascination with robotics and aviation.

Earth Swell Model

By | Surfing, Weather | No Comments

This is a great open source project ive been following since it started. I contacted them last year asking if they could overlay swell data from decoding GRIB files from the NOAA Wavewatch 3 model. Looks like they have now sussed it out.

Its mesmerising to watch huge swells animating their way around the globe.


Swell Dials

By | Arduino, Electronics, Engineering, Programming, Surfing | No Comments

This is an arduino project to visualise ocean data wave height/swell period & local wind from any surfing location on magicseaweed

Simple Client Parsing sketch
 Arduino 1.0 version
#include <String.h>
#include <SPI.h>
#include <Ethernet.h>
#include <Servo.h>
Servo swell;
Servo period;
Servo wind;
byte mac[] = { 
  0xDE, 0xAD, 0xBE, 0xEF, 0xFE, 0xED };
char serverName[] = "festivalnet.co.uk";
EthernetClient client;
int swellval,periodval;
String readString = String(3);
void setup()
  if(Ethernet.begin(mac) == 0) { // start ethernet using mac & IP address
    while(true) // no point in carrying on, so stay in endless loop:
  delay(2000); // give the Ethernet shield 2 second to initialize
void loop()
  client.println("Refresh: 86400");
  if (client.connect(serverName, 80)>0) {
    client.println("GET http://magicseaweed.com/syndicate/rss/index.php?id=1&unit=uk ");//If a connection is made get in the desired page
    //client.println("GET http://festivalnet.co.uk/surf.rss");
  if (client.connected()) {
    if(client.find("Swell :: ")){//look for first rating and store the result to day1
      swellval = client.parseInt();
      swellval = map(swellval,0,12,0,180);
    if(client.find("@ "))
    {//look for second rating and store the result to day2
      periodval = client.parseInt();
      periodval = map(periodval,0,14,0,180);
    {//look for third rating and store the result to day3
      char c = client.read();
          if (readString.indexOf("NNE")>=0)
          if (readString.indexOf("NE")>=0)
          if (readString.indexOf("ENE")>=0)
          if (readString.indexOf("E")>=0)
          if (readString.indexOf("ESE")>=0)
          if (readString.indexOf("SE")>=0)
          if (readString.indexOf("SSE")>=0)
          if (readString.indexOf("S")>=0)
          if (readString.indexOf("SSW")>=0)
          if (readString.indexOf("SW")>=0)
          if (readString.indexOf("WSW")>=0)
          if (readString.indexOf("W")>=0)
          if (readString.indexOf("WNW")>=0)
          if (readString.indexOf("NW")>=0)
          if (readString.indexOf("NNW")>=0)
          if (readString.indexOf("N")>=0)
    else {
      client.stop();//else disconnect


Here is the illustrator file for the gauges that im planning to be laser engraved https://www.dropbox.com/s/kqlo390j8pi5dgo/guages.ai?dl=0

To test the design I printed the dials onto t-shirt transfer paper and ironed them on to some 18mm MDF that i had lying around.


I also added a LED to blink once optimum surfing conditions are happening


Rear view of the mdf showing cutouts for the 3 x Tower Pro micro 9g servos, the wind direction indicator is a FSR90 continuous servo to allow 360 rotation.


It is still in development and ill update progress here