Most people now a days enjoy skateboarding either as a sport or for commuting. Market is flooded with different types and designs of skateboard. Yet some people want to make their own as it’s simple and affordable. You might also be wondering how to build a skateboard.
This article will answer those questions. Skateboard are made-up of very simple parts i.e. Deck, trucks, wheels. This will be cheaper as you can buy parts keeping the budget in mind and add details to the board according to personal choice. Making a skateboard at your own do requires effort and time but it’s possible even for beginners.
Numerous website offer different parts of skateboard of varying prices, material and size. When building a skateboard the main focus should be the purpose you are building it for whether street skating or performing tricks. As skateboarding has become immensely popular so wide varieties of boards have emerged.
How to build a longboard is different from how to build an electric skateboard? The design should be made from starting off with the task. The beginners should get knowledge about different parts of skateboard and their function so it’s easy for them while assembling what size and type of part will best suit their purpose.
Table of Contents
- Building/Assembling a Skateboard
Building/Assembling a Skateboard
Materials needed to make a skateboard
Gather all the necessary stuff at one place. Get help from someone expert if you aren’t familiar with wood work. While cutting the shape of deck it is must to follow the drawn outline if the width is cut too narrow or irregular then the whole wooden piece will be useless. With wood cutting its better to have someone nearby so error can be avoided.
- Skateboard parts
- Vacuum bag
- Pressure pump
- Glue roller
- Glue bottle
- Drilling machine
- Skate Tool
Building skateboard at home from scratch will take some time but it’s possible. Wooden decks of different shapes and sizes are cut out and then assembled with other parts purchased from online stores. Wear loose fitting old clothes and goggles to protect eyes before starting off with work. Glue once stuck to clothes will be very hard to remove so it is better to take precautions steps. Next the steps are listed in order. Follow accordingly to achieve desired result at end.
Assembling and Gluing Wooden Layers
Decks are made from multiple layers of wood. Base is made using a thin plywood. The nose and tail ends of a deck are concave so wood is bent into shape. Using a single thick wood for making deck is not preferable as it will damage very quickly. Multiple thin pieces of wood glued and then heavily pressed together form the deck. The number of plywood sheets to be glued together is skaters personal choice.
A deck has two faces the front and back. These two layer of woods can be of high quality so the product can better tolerate the different weather and dirt conditions. In core of a deck two cross band woods are used that make board stable and more weight load can be endured by the board. The decks are the most frequently damaged parts as they crack or chip off either due to rough use or low quality. Try using best quality hard maple wood so the deck can survive moisture and other skating pressures but even with highest quality wood moisture should be avoided at all as water seeps into the wood makes it weak and so it breaks off.
Wondering how many wooden sheets should you glue together? It depends on the flexibility, stability and weight load you want of your board. Mostly 7 plywood sheets are used and average thickness is 7-8 inches. Buy 30”×10” wood. Which wood to use for deck is also a tricky question. Maple and bamboo are also stable and have good durability.
Glue all wooden sheets together in order. First the bottom of face piece is glued to the upward surface of other board. Both surfaces are coated with adequate amount of glue so that the adhesion is good and the board wouldn’t split open after some time. Use a glue roller to evenly apply glue over whole wooden surface. Don’t try to apply glue in patches or on only one side of board. Gluing is most important step if not done properly the wooden pieces will split open after few days and will need another glue round. Apply glue on both faces of wood that will be attached together. Give the glued wooden sheets enough time to stick together. It is must to follow the order for gluing the wooden pieces together.
- First step is the back of deck face and the top on next plywood
- Then deck of above ply wood glued to face other plywood
- Similarly rest of the woods are glued together up-till the base.
- Only the face of base is glued to back of other plywood.
Molding Deck to Desired Shape
Place deck on wooden mold. Use hand clamps to apply pressure and shape the deck as desired. These molds are easy to use although making a wooden mold at home will be huge effort and will be tiring. Other commonly used method for molding the deck is vacuum bag. Deck is placed inside mold and then both are placed inside the vacuum bag. Using a vacuum pump create vacuum inside the bag. Atmospheric pressure outside will press on wooden sheets together and shape them into a skateboard shape. This is an inexpensive method in which Styrofoam mold is used only on one side. Once the required shape is achieved use an old skateboard to cut the wooden deck into desired shape. Line out the shape and use a wood cutter to cut out the shape.
How to Make a Skateboard Mold
Molds are used for shaping deck into different designs. Molds are made from wood, concrete or foam. Simplest form of mold is one used in air press vacuum bag. The mold used for vacuum press is made using Styrofoam. Using old deck draw the profile of the deck onto the foam. Decks are flat in middle and upward curved ends. Trace the deck design on both sides of form and the point where the deck curved upward starting from there draw a horizontal line to top of form. Cut the Styrofoam according to the drawn outline. Use sand paper to smooth out all the edges. Vacuum Bags with pumps are easily available online. This is the cheapest option for pressing the deck at home.
The vacuum bags used for creating mold inside as to mold the deck gets easily damaged often with one time use. Even a single hole in bag ruins the whole bag. Be careful while taking out the molded deck from bag and make every effort to maintain edges of wooden piece away from bag. Try to take help from some one help while working with a vacuum bag so chances of damage can be minimized.
Smoothen Deck Edges
Use a saw to cut off edges. Saw cutting will not give smooth edges but sanding edges can help. Shape the concave into foam and try not to overdo or round its shape.
Be careful with cutting wood if it’s new for you as the shape has to be properly cut any mistake will damage the deck. Smoothen edges using sand paper to avoid cracks.
Next add a personal touch to the board by painting it using your own favorite color and designs. This enhances the visual appeal.
Drilling Holes For Trucks
Drill holes through the deck for trucks. Trucks are metal parts made for attaching the wheels to board and help the skater turn corners. Place your old skate over new one drill the holes four for one truck.
If you don’t have an old board place the truck over board and use a marker to point the four spots for drilling holes.
Assembling Skateboard Parts Together
Assembling skateboard parts is very easy once the functions understood. Skateboard has a few parts which are all available online. Some major parts are:
Deck: The wooden surface used for riding. It’s made from maple wood.
Trucks: Skateboard trucks attach wheels to deck and help turn corners.
Wheels: This is the part which causes all movement. Wheels contact the ground and often accumulate dirt.
Use a grip tape to cover deck surface, giving enhanced stability and protecting wood from damage resulting from wet weather. Grip tapes are for the protection of the surface so make sure to use the best quality one. With increase in skating as how to make a skateboard is frequent so is the quest for best suitable parts. Grip tapes can be reapplied after sometime if the old one tears off or has lost grip. Dirt and weather protection isn’t the only function the grip tapes are used for in fact they are for better stability so beginners can learn with out falling and getting injured.
Get any design of Grip tape and apply it over the upper deck surface once firmly attaches cut off the edges. Make sure there are no air bubbles in between the tape and deck surface. Most grip tapes have small holes for air bubbles to escape if you feel any entrapped air bubble use knife to make a small hole so air escapes.
Trucks are heavy and long lasting. Different truck sizes are used for different boards. High trucks which increase deck height from ground are preferred for long boards. Lower trucks are designed for technical skating as they give more stability but they have higher chance of wheel bite. Decide which truck suits well for your need.
Next select the wheels of your skateboard. Wheels have different designs which will give different experience respectively. For street skating big hard wheels are used. Soft skateboard wheels are big and roll smoothly on ground. Tech skaters use small diameter wheels.
Once the deck is ready, screw the tuck to the board and use Skate tool for this. If you don’t own a Skate tool a screwdriver can be used as well. Fit the trucks and tighten them only as much that the board feels stable during ride. Over tightening damages the board. Wheels are attached to axle of truck. Tighten the axle nut of the wheels using same tools. Let it rest for some time and the skateboard is ready for the first ride.
That’s it folks. You should enjoy riding your skateboard after assembling the parts. And if you want to buy a complete skateboard, you can check out some of the Skateboard Brands to go for.
FAQs About How to Make a Skateboard
How to make a skateboard deck for street skating?
The street skating boards are made using same steps from wood. The difference between a longboard and other skateboard is the length and width of board. Longboards are use for commuting long distance so wider surface area gives stability and makes it easy to turn corners and ride for long. Due to lengthy size the wheels are big and similarly the trucks are high. Longboards or cruisers both are designed for street skating so the size of the board and its shape is personal choice. Cut out the shape that you feel will be good for your riding style.
How to make a skateboard cheaper?
The various parts of the skateboard are available in different price ranges. Prices range according to the quality of product. Thus making a skateboard at home is cheaper than one bought manufactured as it won’t include labor cost and all other fancy features. The other basic parts of the skateboard should be high quality other wise it will break soon and so ruin all the hard work.