Building a skateboard

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Forum topic by BentheViking posted 11-05-2011 05:28 AM 1638 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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1782 posts in 2835 days

11-05-2011 05:28 AM

Topic tags/keywords: maple birch bandsaw

My 15yo brother has been making longboard skateboards but they’ve been quite crude and I’m trying to use my lumberjocking skills. Just looking for any tips thoughts and ideas anyone might have. He typically just takes maple or birch ply and shapes it but they’ve been rough. He has little money and all the lumber yards near Hartford,ct (or so he says) sell a piece for upwards of 65 bucks. Other speices he can use? He doesn’t have a bandsaw so I don’t think resawing and making his own ply would work

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

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David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3268 days

#1 posted 11-05-2011 06:37 AM

The layers are too thick in regular ply. They also tend to put crap wood with pretty faces on the outside. You want something structural. Minimum acceptable would be some baltic birch ply or something fancy like Okume marine ply but they are too flat.

Skateboard decks are a bit more sophisticated than just a sheet of ply with trucks bolted on if you want something nice. You glue it up on a form and give it shape. Vacuum press is the ideal solution. You want to have a little recurve in it so it is flatter when you stand on it. Kind of like an archery bow does. Otherwise you are standing in a bowl. Sucks for a skateboard. The amount of bow and thickness will depend on the weight of the rider and length of the board. Start with dimensions of what is available commercially and adjust from there. You might also consider a light fiberglass or carbon fiber in the mix if you want to get fancy with it.

You could make some ply by picking up veneer and laying up your own ply but that would be more appropriate for a deck for a regular skateboard that has more shape to it. Longboards tend to be pretty flat.

What I would suggest for a cheap solution is to pick up a sheet of door skin (1/8 ) ply- they are about $10-$15 a sheet and chop it into small pieces and glue them up to the final thickness you want for the board. It is still thin enough to get some shape when gluing up.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

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