Hi everyone ! This is my first Instructable, I hope it's of any use. Please be aware that english is not my main language, so feel free to correct me in the comments.
Since I am the only snowboarder in my family, it was quite annoying to go ski touring with my brother and my dad. I had to use snowshoes and carry my board all the way up, which was, frankly, a bit of a pain. Then I started researching if there are no better options for me and in the end, I found what I was looking for - Splitboards ! These are snowboards that you can split (thanks Captain Obvious) into halves and use like skis to walk up, where you join the halves again and use it like a normal snowboard. I still had an old board which I didn't use anymore standing around in the cellar, so I thought, I could convert it in a Splitboard by myself.
In the following steps I show you how I did it and what experiences I made. Please note that I took the pictures with my mobile phone, therefore they are not always of the best quality. Regarding the duration of this project, it took a while since I didn't work on it continuously and also had to go the army for 5 1/2 months (it's mandatory in my country), where I couldn't work on it. If you really work on it often, say every evening after work, I'd say you'll be done in no more than 2 weeks. I am not responsible if you damage your board !
Step 1: Buying a Splitboard-Kit
So, let's get it started. The first thing I did was to buy a DIY-kit to convert my board. I know there are others around, but I decided to go with the kit from Voile.
Also, I purchased some epoxy and some fiberglass woven tape for the sides. This was an experiment, because I have never used epoxy before.
Step 2: Sawing it into halves
After the kit arrived and after reading the Instructions that came with it carefully, I went on to sawing my board. To be honest, I first felt a bit unwell with the vision of my poor board sawed to pieces. However, after some preparation, it went quite well. I marked the position of the bindings with tape, took them off the board, put tape through the middle so I can mark the center on it - otherwise it would be hard to write on a snowboard. Then I used a circular saw and a pile as guide (make sure it's straight one !). For the metal frame, I used a handsaw.
Step 3: Correcting the gap with epoxy
After holding the pieces together, I noticed there was a gap at one end of the board. This happened because I was going back and forth with the saw at this place. I decided to correct this with epoxy.
To do this, I mixed the epoxy with the hardener as written on the instructions. Then I started to mix sawdust from the board in. When I had a consistency that I thought should do, I filled it in the gap between the board-halves. Before, I had put duct tape to one side of a half and underneath the board to create sort of a mold. After drying, I sanded it all down to the level of the board.
Please be carefull when working with epoxy ! Don't let it get on your hands or in your eyes ! When it gets on your skin, immediately wash it off with warm water and soap ! I used silicone gloves when working with it.
Step 4: Covering the sides with fiberglas tape
Now it was time to cover the sides with the fiberglas tape. I think you could just use some glue and "paint" it on, but I wanted something a bit more durable. Also, I wanted to try how to work with it, as I have never used it before. I placed the woven tape along the edge of the board, fixed it with clamps and mixed the epoxy. Then I started soaking the fiberglas tape in epoxy with a paint-brush. I waited until everything was dry again and simply cut the overlapping rest off with scissors.
Step 5: Drill the holes
The next step was to drill the holes. Luckily, your kit provides you with transparent foil templates which you can glue on your board. Please make sure you work exact in this step. It is essential for the outcome of your project. I guess I rushed it a bit too much there, and in the end I had to deal with some issues that came with that - it didn't perfectly fit. I will put an extract of the instructions here when I find the time. Basically, you glue the adhesive foil template on your board, mark the points that are on the template with an awl and then you drill the holes. Afterwards, you countersink these holes from the other side of the board. Attention: do this slowly ! I pressed down too much when countersinking and the drill went right through the board ! I had to fill it up with the epoxy/sawdust mix again and repeat all the steps. Unfortunately, I don't have that many pictures of this step.
Step 6: A new idea...
So far, so good. I suffered some setbacks in the process of making this splitboard, which I luckily were able to fix with a good amount of time and epoxy. Now, before finalizing it, I had just one issue left: my board didn't look nice anymore ! Due to all the fixing and sanding, the entire surface of the board was scratched, and the fixed parts were brown because of the sawdust. It was then when I decided to paint my board. I wrote some ideas down, started my laptop and worked on a few designs. I wanted a geometrical pattern (since it would be easier to do) in the colours black and gold (because these colours I still had left over from another project). After messing around a bit, I finally came up with something that I liked. For the materials, I still had everything at home:
- self-adhesive foil
- spray cans of Gold and Black
Step 7: Preparation
I sanded the top layer of my board down, first by hand, then with the machine, and then by hand again, until I had a smooth surface. In the meantime, I also cut out the pattern. This was very easy, because the foil already had squares on it, I only had to follow the lines. Then I layed the parts of foil on the board, to look where everything would go, and made notes about the positions.
Step 8: Painting
After the preparations, it was time to spray ! I first sprayed a layer of gold on it, except for the top where I directly sprayed it black. After I sprayed a second layer, I would then use the laquer. For the part in gold, I used a glossy one, on the black part I sprayed a matt laquer on it. Then I put the pattern on it, and sprayed everything black. After another layer of matt laquer when it all was dry again, I simply took the foil away - voila ! I was pretty happy with the outcome !
Step 9: Assembly
Almost done ! I mounted all the parts onto the board. Because I was not working exact enough when drilling the holes, I had to use the electric screw driver to get the screws in ! Luckily, I didn't damage any of my previous work ! Now the screws fit tightly, I will glue the screw threads with epoxy so it becomes bomb-proof and won't fall apart when I'm on the mountain.
Step 10: Result
I'm very happy with the outcome. To be honest, sometimes I wanted to throw the board into the garbage and end the project, because it didn't work as good as I was hoping. This was however my own fault, I should have taken some more time in some of the steps. Luckily, I was able to motivate myself again and finish it ! I hope to write a test review here soon, as I was not outside with it yet.
My improvements for next time (if there will be one):
- Work more concentrated and slowly
- Measure twice before drilling/sawing
The positive points were:
- My creativity when issues arose
- The first time using Epoxy and Fiberglastape successfully
- It worked, after all !
I hope this helps anyone thinking about converting their old board !
Thanks for reading !