I MADE A SKATEBOARD

STUDIO

 

STEP 1:

Get wood. I bought pre-cut sheets from the Wood Veneer Hub. Make sure the wood isn’t too smooth (read STEP 1) and that it’s high quality wood, preferably US or Canadian maple wood, as you don’t want your board snapping after 1 ollie.

 

 

STEP 2:

Aligning the right layers. To make the perfect skateboard you need a sandwich of 7 1.5mm layers of maple wood. 5 layers have the wood grain going parallel to the board and 2 layers with the wood grain going perpendicular, This provides more strength on the skateboard from all the impacts, the pressure is spread in 2 opposite direction instead of one preventing easy breaking. So to simply align the layers: 2 parallel wood grain – 1 perpendicular – 1 parallel – 1 perpendicular – 2 parallel. This is the best combination.

 

You want your wood to be a bit rough so that all the glue is caught and doesn’t slide away. Once that is done, apply high-quality wood glue and spread enough across the whole surface of each layer and align each glued layer together. Don’t put too much glue as you don’t want any puddles as this will create bumps during the moulding process. If you don’t apply enough you will see your board separate once the glue dries and you need to start STEP 1 all over again.

 

 

STEP 3:

Turn on the machine and place the sandwich in the plastic bag with attached nozzle to the machine.  Align the sandwich on the mould and seal the bag. Clamp the edges of the moulds wooden frame to keep it in place to prevent the skateboard from moving. Let the machine do its thing and after 1 hour the skateboard should be moulded, turn off the machine. Leave it in the bag for 3 hours like that you’re sure all the glue has dried and stuck the layers together.

 

 

STEP 4:

Check the skateboard and see if they’re any cracks that need to be fixed, usually check this before you glue the skateboard together, but didn’t think much about it and had to fix the problem after causing delays. A ridge formed on the tail of the skateboard. To fix this, cut it down the middle and along the edges of the bump and remove the pieces. Clean the bottom and cut new shapes to fit the hole. Glue the pieces in place. We want to clamp the piece in place and leave it for an hour so we’re sure it’s stuck. Then, place two pieces of plastic and a wooden blocks on both sides of the tail to prevent the clamp from damaging the board. We’re using high grade clamps to hold it down together.

 

STEP 5:

If your skateboard shows signs of splits on the sides, this means you didn’t spread the glue all the way to the edges and now there are air pockets so more glue needs to be applied. To avoid this reread STEP 1, my wood was too smooth and the glue couldn’t stick more effectively on the wood.

To fix this, I forced the sandwich open a little with a chisel to apply more glue into the gaps. With the high-quality wood glue, pour and shove in the glue with the chisel. If you just apply it over the top with your finger it may look filled, but you need to really get it in there. Another good way is too push the glue down with perpendicular motions with your finger instead of following the lining of the board. Once all your gaps are filled, clamp down the board and let it dry for an hour.

 

STEP 6:

Trim off the edges of your board to create the rounded shape using a bandsaw and a band sander. Then using a wood polisher, sand off the rough bits on the back of the board to create a smooth finish to spray paint the design later on. DO NOT SAND THE SIDES JUST YET, VERY IMPORTANT.

 

 

STEP 7:

To drill the holes we used this pre-made cut-out. The holes are protected by metal screws to not only keep the drill straight but to not ruin the cut-out. The best way to make sure your holes will be aligned in the right place on the skateboard is to draw a line in the middle, but it has to be the exact middle. This is why you don’t sand the sides just yet to give you the most accurate measurements when drawing the line. For the holes don’t place the cutout too close to the tail and nose of the board, because you don’t want the trucks to hang off, make sure the holes closest to the tail and nose are on the flat part right after the curve.

Take time to align the cut-out and once you are sure that it’s exactly in the middle, clamp it down or have a friend hold it firmly, the latter option is easier. Drill the holes quickly at a 90 degree angle, don’t forget to keep drilling when you pull out or you might break the hole.

 

Once you have made all the holes, switch the drill head for a countersink and drill at a 90 degree angle. The head of the screw should fit comfortably in and shouldn’t stick out, so make sure you drill deep enough.

 

 

 

STEP 7:

With a smooth piece of sandpaper, sand down the edges to create a soft rounded shape. take your time doing this going over again and again until you no longer feel any pieces sticking out. The best way I found to do this was to wrap the piece around the edge and just pass it over again and again, like washing a car. Don’t be afraid to apply pressure.

 

 

 

STEP 8:

Draw out your whole design on a sheet of paper creating a master layer, I suggest colour coding it so you’re sure where each section needs to be traced for each layer of your design. Easy to miss a detail when you work in black and white.

Make the design a bit larger than the back of the deck so you’re sure the design will cover the whole surface, including the rounded edges. I didn’t do this so my edges look unprofessional.

Depending on your design just trace over the section you need on your master layer with the drafting film. Then using a craft knife, cut out the section carefully. It’s easy to get lazy and not follow the design exactly. I did this and it just didn’t look good, even if your design calls to look sloppy, messy or off, it’s best to follow the line. Double check each layer with the master layer to make sure your design fits.

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STEP 9:

In a well ventilated area SECURE THE DRAFTING FILM IN PLACE USING WEIGHTS, TAPE ETC. This is crucial, I worked outside and the wind continuously picked up the drafting film and it created a space between the film and the skateboard. You will end up with lots of tiny dots of the edges of each layer. Your design you won’t be clean (unless you want that style). When you spray SHAKE WELL or else you will have a blotchy spot full of foamy bubbles, this happened to me as well. Don’t spray too close to the board and do it in bursts, spray an area then stop, immediately spray the rest. Make sure you spray all over, because you will lose time if you miss a spot. Give each layer enough time to dry and make sure to peel the drafting film carefully to not peel the colour away.

 

CONGRATULATION YOU HAVE MADE A SKATEBOARD!

 

 

 

STEP 10 (OPTIONAL):

If you want to actually skate on your skateboard, I recommend varnishing your design to protect it. It will also make your deck slide better and prevent accidents. It’s up to you if you want to use a matte, semi-glossy to gloss finish. Make sure to paint several layers, preferably 3, and give it enough time to dry in between each. Now that it’s dry, screw on your trucks and wheels, slap on some grip-tape and enjoy your one of a kind skateboard.

 

 

 

 

Published by Marco-Antonio Grubben

IVM 2018-2022

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