Epic Planks rider Danny Arnold recently decided to convert his Epic Planks Stash AMP snowboard into a splitboard. Here is a look at Danny’s journal as he goes through the process:
My first impression when I had my snowboard ready, splitboard kit at my side, and all of the tools ready, was “oh crap”. At first the task seemed to be scary and unrealistic. But you quickly have to get over all that and go for it. The first cut is of course the scariest part, measuring over and over to delay the worst. The rest seemed easy compared to the first cut, because ʻits already cut in half, whats the worst that could happenʼ. The rest seems to go smoothly once you get the hang of drilling huge holes all over your beautiful snowboard.
The first cut is the hardest. Be sure to have a saw that can cut wood as well as metal, or use a hack saw to cut through the edges ahead of time. The cut doesn’t even have to be perfect since the board only has to line up with itself.
At this point the there is no turning back. So the journey continues!
Put a small 45 degree bevel on the new inside edge of the snowboard, top and bottom. Just to make it less brittle to sidewall impact.
The next thing I did was line up the holes with the stickers provided to mount the hardware. It is important when mounting the rotating hooks that you place them correctly depending on the camber and nose/ tail rise of your board. They must be mounted on a flat point about 3 inches back from the beginning on the rise. This way they will be able to rotate out of the way when you do not need them.
Also don’t forget to have your dog help you line up your stance for your bindings, you only get one shot at this so make sure your angles and stance width is perfect!
The Split Hooks are a pretty straightforward drill. The screws need to be countersunk from the bottom. The directions give no good advice to go about this, and neither do I. I just guessed and kept drilling until they sat flush with the base of the board.
Hooks Rotating freely:
The holes for the nose and tail clips are pretty straight forward. (left picture)Just drill the holes using the sticker provided using a 3/16 drill bit. But then it gets weird, with this little seemingly useless piece of hardware only necessary because it wont work properly with out it. (right picture)This piece is only found in DIY split kits, and could be easily avoided by ordering replacement nose/tail clips from Voile, but I was not about to wait around for that and I had a drill at my side. So I went for it.
So with the clip piece provided you must drill a hole 1/8 of an inch down but not all the way through, and then seal the piece in with wood glue along with the rivet. The tricky part is lining it up perfect so it can fit in the hole and on the rivet at the same time.
The rivets provided
come with no tools
and there is no really
good way of getting it
done without the
proper rivet gun. You
kind of just have to
pound it with a
hammer along with something strong and pointy until you say
“huh, I guess that will work”.
Once you have the holes drilled, and have put some wood glue in every hole and mount up the hardware, now you can put it together and see if everything lines up! And luckily it did!
Then the big holes come. The only way to do it is line it up, and go for it. At this point I became confused by the directions which is why I would like to clarify. A 1/8″ drill bit should be used to drill the pilot holes, THEN the 3/4 counter bore from the bottom of the board to sink the inserts, THEN drill the 9/32″ hole that the screw inserts go into. Because I did the 9/32″ hole before the counterbore I was not able to line the counterbore up perfectly, so I had to resort to using a 1 inch counterbore to compensate my inaccurate drilling.
I would almost recommend using 1 inch counterbore to anyone doing their split board at home just because having a little extra room for the inserts is better than not enough. You will be filling it in with p-tex anyways, plus you are drilling huge holes into the bottom of a snowboard so what the heck.
The next step after the holes and counterbores are drilled, is to insert the inserts. Hah! I used wood glue to seal the core before pounding the inserts in, that way if the p-tex was compromised while riding, the core would hopefully remain dry. I then lined up the inserts, and pounded them in real good with a hammer.
View from the bottom, all inserts inserted and ready to be p-texed (left)
This is a view of the inserts from the top, just a little bit peeking over the top sheet to insure a tight fit. (Right)
Another important step is to create a sidewall using epoxy resin. This seals the core from water and hopefully will protect it from impacts. I used some marine epoxy because of its water tight properties, and because there was not much of a selection at my local hardware store. But the key is to seal every bit of wood core and sand it down smooth, and make it look nice in the process. I have used the board quite a bit and have found no problems yet, but I always have some extra epoxy and p-tex on me on trips if something goes wrong.
A few coats will be needed to fully cover every speck of core. Sand it thoroughly to make sure that the board still fits together nice and snug.
The huge 18 holes used to mount the bindings for riding and skinning have to be filled with p-tex. A HUGE amount of it too! I went to my local tune shop to fill the holes and get a nice wax job while I was at it. I recommend going to a shop for this unless you have a large amount of p-tex laying around the house!
A nice hot wax is mandatory at this point, after the board has been bouncing around the garage a few days, it gets almost as dry as a board could get.
NOW the only thing left to do, is slap some bindings on there, and go earn some turns!