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Make you own Longboard

By Edited Jul 21, 2016 0 0

This article is about the process that I went through to make my own board, and how you can make your own

My Longboard

Specifics of my board:
42 inches long
11 wide (at the widest)
31 Inches between trucks
2 sheets of 5 ply Baltic Birch
Glued with Super Apoxy glue
Shaped in a wooden form/press
Moderately stiff board, strong.

The deck probably cost me about 65 dollars, the trucks, wheels and bearings were significantly more. It is a beautiful board that is stable and strong but also has a reasonable amount of flex to it. It has front wheel wells and a narrow back end so wheel bite is never a problem. In combination with the wheels and trucks it carves like a lightsaber through a pumpkin. In fact I made some sliding gloves and am already screaming around the tight corners on my beautiful board.

Wood
- Get a 5 x 5' sheet of five ply Baltic birch plywood. Get it from a lumbar store and not home hardware, home hardware will usually sell plywood that has filler in every other layer. This is not any give you the strength or flexibility that you need for a decent long board.
- Cut your sheet into 5 foot wide strips [or however many depending on if you're making more than one longboard].
- Mark the centerline of one strip and draw on the shape of the board that you wish. Don't bother with truck placement just yet. You can use a paper cutout to trace on one side of your board and then flip it over to duplicate it on the other side.
You can test it out by putting some books under each end and jumping on it. It should be extremely flexible, but don't worry, it will stiffen up with the glue.

Build a press
I build the simplest kind of press with just a base and a shaped center spine to bend the board over. If you want to be fancy or give your board a very specific curve you can make ribbed presses and the like.

What you'll need
1x4' solid wood plank is used for the base, don't use chip board; it bends.
2x4, 5' long (acting as a spine stood up on it's side)
12 C clamps (as many as you can manage)
Band saw/ Jig saw
Various planers
Drill + screws

Wood press


Cut a curve into your 2x4 that is about twice the vertical bend/flex that you want. Band/Jigs saw and plane. Make sure your spine is not too shallow in the middle for you want room for your board to flex laterally over the spine before it hits the base. Leave at least 1 inch height in the middle.
Drill on the spine along the middle of wood plank and affix it there. Tah-Dah! Press!

Gluing and Pressing
Spread on your epoxy to the inside of one of your sheets, I used a little piece of sheet metal to scrape it around evenly.
Place your two sheets of plywood on top making sure they are centered and even.
(depending on how quickly the glue says it sets up you may want to do this very quickly)
Attach your C clamps along the sides (you may want to put a wood strip running down each edge to disperse the pressure) and tighten them steadily and evenly. Make sure there is enough lateral bend, but don't break your board either.

c clamps

Leave it to dry in a warm, dry place and for at least twice the time it recommends for the glue to dry. You want to be sure.

Shaping
The rest is pretty simple;
Cut it out. With a jig saw or whatever cut the shape that you want. Plane and file and sand away at it until it's nice and smooth. Paint on your design (or brand it on) and cover it all with acrylic polyurethane
Topside longboard

Congratulations you have a long board deck! Go jump on it! It is ready now for trucks, wheels and griptape
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