Dr. D asked me to look into building a wooden diving board yesterday. I started by reviewing a bunch of patent documents online as well as the info at woodendivingboards.com. Here's what I came up with.
Estimated Cost to Build (Materials only)
Time to Build
Approximate Finished Dimensions
93" length x 17" width x 3" thickness
13 parts to fabricate + drill holes + epoxy lamination + plane flat + add epoxy hardware + sand smooth + varnish + connect wood parts + install wood assembly on base + transport to site + install at site + get paid.
Top Planks: (3) 93" x 3/4" x ~5-1/2" --> edge join with epoxy w/ spline or biscuits(?)
Middle Planks: (2) ~89" x 3/4" x ~5-1/2" --> edge join with epoxy w/ spline or biscuits(?)
Support Stack A: (3) ~30" x 3/4" x 3" --> epoxy and screw Stack A to Stack B parts
Support Stack B: (3) ~30" x 3/4" x 3" with 30-deg beveled nose
End Caps on Top Plank: (2) 18" x 3/4" x 1-1/4" --> Epoxy and screw to end grain
(7) 1" x 6" x 8' ipe boards
$400 @ $5.75/lineal foot for 1x6 decking (3/4")
Ipe (pronounced ee-pay) is a tropical hardwood almost always sold as decking in the US, sometimes as "ironwood".
West System G/flex 650 Toughened Epoxy (32 oz. bottles, 2-part mix).
Steel Base Unit
Custom fabricated steel or order unit online. Mounting hole configuration is important.
Epifanes "Wood Finish Gloss" or "High Gloss Clear Varnish"; follow thinning/application/sanding/dry time instructions on can. There are other glossy spar varnishes out there that would work fine, too. $60-100 (1-2 quarts)
Route several 3/16" groves in parallel arcs across the nose; use a template. Alternatively, wrap sailing cord or add silica sand to finish for traction.
UV Fabric Cover
Look for Draylon fabric with high UV protection (sail cover fabric); lots of cheap diving board covers online or have a nice one made at a sail shop.
$100-300 depending on distance. From Alaska to Washington its $280.00 by Ground.
Q: "What's the best method for joining ipe using West System epoxy?"
A: "For prepping to bond, wipe down with acetone to remove the oil on the surface then sand with 60 or 80 grit sandpaper to open up the wood pores wipe with acetone then put on the G/flex on both surfaces. Put together with light clamp pressure just to hold it in place."
- Greg Bull, Gougeon Brothers, Inc. (June 2016 via email)
Bond most of the hardware in the countersunk holes in wood with epoxy - See West System pamphlet for instructions - or just put G/flex epoxy in the holes, wait a few minutes, then add hardware.