How I came to stumble upon how to make a longboard
How to make a longboard? I had absolutely no clue, and the thought never even occurred to me before I randomly stumbled upon a video of someone making their own board on YouTube. I had never skated before, so the motivation for the project was the challenge of the crafting itself.
I decided that I wanted to make a longboard because it gave a lot of freedom and possibilities regarding both shape and size. I wanted the board to be both aesthetic and functional, so I read up on technical specifications before I started to draw the blueprints.
The process of making the board
In short, you make a skateboard by laminating veneer while you press the plates in a mold that gives the board its desired profile (concave and camber). This required me to build a board press, and then I had to find a way to apply sufficient pressure until the glue cured. The latter was easier said than done… The pressing process required the weight of one safe, four tires, a scuba diving bottle, two weight belts and some dumbbells, which in total added up to weight of about 200 kg (440 lbs).
I cut the pressed veneer to the desired board shape. I sanded by hand and drilled holes for the trucks. Getting the trucks perfectly aligned was a lot harder than I had expected, and demanded full concentration and precision.
Decorating the board to make it even more unique
The last step of the process was somehow to decorate the board, which turned out to be a tedious but very fun task. I used Quick Bengalack for the logo and the stripes and sealed the board with West Systems epoxy to give it a smooth finish and to protect the lamination and artwork. The steps of the paint job are described in pictures and text below.
A 99cm/39″ board gives large surface areas on both sides. The grip tape I found was not big enough to cover the entire surface without joints, so I decided to break it up with a pattern. This also allowed me to show the wood grain at the top of the deck.
- Length: 99 cm/39″
- Width: 23 cm/9″
- Thickness: 1,2 cm/0,5″
- Concave: yes
- Camber: yes
- Trucks: (unknown)
- Wheels: Retro Bigzig 75mm
Since this first board, I have made some more, so look out for new posts with pictures and descriptions!