Post subject: OSin 4807 Swallowtail Surgery Report
Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:22 pm
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 6:46 pm Posts: 2 Location: Portland, OR
OK, there's been a few people inquiring about splitting this particular board and I've finally got some photos that I took of my 178cm OSin 4807 Swallowtail in all it's reborn splitboard glory. As it happens, though, I can't post them on the site here, and I don't have them up on any publicly accessible site that I can link to. If anybody wants I'd be happy to email them directly. If anyone has advice on getting them on a public site somewhere tha'd be great as well.
Anyhow, here's a quick synopsis of the split surgery, and a few things I learned along the way. I did the cut on a table saw. I know the Voile kit instructions talk about using a hand-held circular saw, but I just don't trust the steadiness of my hand, especially on a board that's as pretty as this one is. The last thing I wanted was a wavy, f-ed up cut. I through-drilled the mounting holes for the Touring Brackets first and used these holes to screw the board to a plywood substrate, giving me a nice straight edge. The ships-prow nose and the swallow tail shape of the board made squaring it up on the plywood dead simple. I used a small (7 1/4") thin kerf blade so as to minimize the amount of material lost in the cut. That worked great, but the downside of the small diameter blade was I couldn't get it up high enough to get through that long, tall snout. In addition, there's a steel tip plate on the base side of the board that a table saw or circular saw blade wouldn't have much fun with. I ended up using a 4" hand held grinder with an abrasive cut-off wheel to finish off the tip, which was the diceiest part of the whole process. I have to believe there's a simpler and cleaner way to do this, but it only had to work once and it did. Then I had a stiff drink. Mounting the Chinese Hooks was pretty straightforward. The placement of the front one ends up being right where the concavity of the nose ends, and the rear one goes right at the edge of the swallow tail cut-out. No worries.
The tip clip is a slightly different matter, though, since it has to accommodate that pesky nose concavity. I applied the mounting template sticker as per the instructions, making sure it was lined up exactly and flattened out to the board surface. Then I drilled the holes, being careful to allow for the angle of the board surface at the nose. The trick was in getting the plastic clip itself to bend into the shape of the board. What I ended up doing was to take a saw (I used a small band saw, but a hand held hack saw would work just as well) and cut a shallow kerf through the top surface of the clip, right along the center line, giving it a place to crease itself, as it were. Then I riveted it to one board half as instructed and before clipping it to the other half, I heated it with a heat gun until it was nice and malleable. Once I had the halves together, I clamped the clip down to the board with a small piece of wooden dowel between the clamp and the concave surface of the clip and let it cool. I spread a layer of epoxy on the clip to fill in the kerf cut once it had cooled and assumed its new shape. Worked like a charm. This all might seem a little fussy, but I figured with the length and narrowness of the nose, it needs to have the clip in place securely to prevent it from flopping all over the place. If you wanted extra stability you could take your second clip, since you don't need it for the tail, and install it halfway between the tip and the front Chinese Hook.
The one other issue I had might just be a byproduct of my stance (Goofy F27 degrees, R12 degrees, centered on the factory mounting holes) I realized that the set-back stance of the swallow tail design meant that the front mounting pucks are closer to the touring brackets than on a conventional board. Once I had mounted the slider plates up with my buckle bindings, which hang over the sides of the sliders by a good inch each side, the front one got hung up on the touring bracket when I went to put the thing together in snowboard mode. Fortunately I discovered this in my basement and not on the mountain. Rather than shave material off the bottom of the binding I opted to cut out a 1/8" thick shim plate that I stuck between the slider and the binding. Problem solved. It's something to keep an eye on when setting up your stance and mounting the pucks.
Well, so much for the "quick" synopsis. Suffice it to say that the whole thing went down without any serious mishaps, but it definitely wasn't a "gimme." I'd be happy to answer any more specific questions about the procedure if ya got any. Good luck, and would somebody please send us some damn snow up here in Oregon? We're dyin up here! I went mountain biking over the weekend and barely even got muddy, it's rediculous...
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 4:26 pm Posts: 411 Location: S.F. Bay Area
Montoya, I have a Prior 172st... And I can't say there is an ISSUE without that last clip, but it does seem to contribute a little to the softness of the tail. You can definitely feel a significant flex when your weight goes past your back foot when on edge... Not a big deal, as it's a "soft snow" board and it is does fine in the conditions I ask it to.