Handplane or Handboard? Part II

So, after hacking away at my handplane shape in Part I, I’m ready to start putting a little shape into this foam.

The basic shape I started with

I started off with 50 grit sandpaper and sanded the edges smooth. Except they didn’t come out as smooth as I thought they would. The foam was rather coarse, so one side would sand well, but the other seemed the slough off easily, which made for a real challenge shaping, especially on this scale (approximately 1 foot square).
I used a sanding block to scrape the bottom, then smooth out where I didn’t quite hit the lines with my initial cut. I went up to 60 grit and really found no difference in the sanding quality, so I stayed with the 60 grit.
Honestly, I eyeballed much of this project. I don’t have shaper’s calipers, just my “calibrated” eyeball. I tried to put some even curves on the rails, and prevent them from being too squared off. I didn’t think too much “hold” was necessary, in fact, I thought the ability to turn would be much more handy.
I also thought that when I block sanded the top and nose, I could sand better by using double stick tape to secure the foam to my working table. Wrong. Although I was happy with the way the nose was coming out, when I carefully lifted the foam off of the table, two little chunks of foam stayed with the tape. Whoops. Luckily, they make a fix for that. Spackle.
Anyway, as I was shaping I decided to make a little well on the deck of the board on the fly that my hand (actually, for me, hands) could rest in below the rails. Here’s some rough shaping I did on the deck:

Rough handwell on the deck

I tried not to get into over shaping, which I can really appreciate now with working with foam.
I did shape my channels into the bottom, as well as putting a little curve into the bottom outline. Here’s the final rough shape- I think:

Top of handplane
Bottom of handplane

Now, I need to apply some spackle to even things out before I glass it. This process feels like icing a cake, but I’m no Pastry Chef. The result was messy, but I was hoping it would even out with some sanding. And maybe a little paint later on. Ok, maybe a lot.
After letting the spackle dry, I tried to sand it smooth, but it just wasn’t happening. I thought that I was hoping for too much out of this coarse foam on this small scale. After I sanded, I put some spackle on little places where it still seemed a bit imperfect.
I think I’m going to have to hand lay up the glass job instead of vaccum bagging it. I’m afraid of the fiberglass wrinkling too much with the channels, and I’d like the control for such a little project.
I’ve got to wait on the additional spackle to dry, then I’m trying the glassing by hand. Fingers crossed.

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