How our Foamie's are made:
1) Sourcing our wood for our boats
We start with the finest locally sourced lumber we can find for your foamie.. We use an assortment of hardwoods that include: Basswood, Tupelo Gum, Sweet Gum, Cedar, Poplar, Cherry, Walnut, Hackberry, and Oak. We always use choice lumber and don't skimp to save money. Our first Basswood was harvested locally from an area farmer who harvested off his property in Canton, NC and had it rough sawn. We also get a variety of hardwoods from a farmer in Blaine who has an old circle mill as well as another farmer in Blaine that has a band saw mill. We also harvest lumber ourselves when we can and have it milled so that we start with a tree that needs to be removed, and are involved in every step through completion of your foamie.
2) Making the Hull
We plane our foamies to the proper thickness where it is then inspected for imperfections and cut into blanks that will later be shaped into foamies. Thicker foamies are made with 2 boards that have been glued together.
The sanding process is quite intensive. All boats are sanded and shaped on a belt sander with 60 Grit after they have been finished cutting. They then hit the 100 grit belt sander where they are all sanded again. Once we are happy with the 100 grit finish, we finish sanding them with 220 grit belt sander making them smooth and soft to touch. Then the 220 process if repeated, but this time by hand sanding down all sharp edges. Making the hull is labor intensive and average me 35 minutes per hull even in a full production run. Custom hulls take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. All the little steps really add up!
2) Making rest of kit
Our foam heads we source from a toy supplier that uses them for a refill them for their foam ball guns. The Bodies, Paddle blades, and arms are water-jetted to our specifications from a domestic supplier out of 6 pound minicell (normal minicell is 2 pound) for utmost durability. The paddle shaft and spine are made from a bamboo chop sticks (switching over to fiberglass rod) that have been break tested. Bodies are assembled with 4 shoulder joints per arm for the strongest foamie design ever.
3) Assembly and Painting
To make our heads we first have to drill a hole on the drill press. Then we paint with 3-4 coats of flesh tone paint. Next we mark for the helmet, and paint the helmet on in several coats. Then we draw in sunglasses and smiley face, and once they are dry paint on the teeth. Not the quickest process, but we are happy with the results.
Foamies have at least 4 coats of Varnish to hold up to the water