How to Build a Skateboard

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Building his own skateboard is an aspiration that has floated through many a skater's mind, but there is always the question of how to do it. This article will teach you how to make a deck jig and build your own skateboard to any specified dimensions. All that will be left to do is put your image on it and away you go!

Things You'll Need

  • Thin layers of maple lumber
  • Jigsaw
  • C clamps
  • Wood glue
  • Deck tape
  • Skateboard trucks
  • Skateboard wheels

Building the Deck Jig

  • The first step to building your own skateboard is to build a mold on which to clamp your board to give it its shape. Determine the dimensions and specifications of the skateboard you are building and build a mold that mirrors that design. See the illustration for an example.

  • Find a sturdy board or table to screw the hardwood blocks into to make your jig.

  • Size your mold to the skateboard deck design you like (see illustration) and then configure it using strong screws and wood glue.

Board Construction

  • Once you have your board mold made, steam or soak your thin sheets of maple to make them pliable. You want the boards pliable enough to bend without breaking (soaking for several hours or steaming them in a professional steam hood for 45min should do the trick).

  • Dry off your sheets of maple and lay the first layer down on the board. Apply a thin layer of wood glue to the top portion of the board and then lay a second sheet of maple on top of that.

  • Repeat Step 3 seven to nine times. Most commercial skateboards are "8-ply" boards which means they are composed of 8 layers of wood.

  • While the glue is still wet and all of the layers are laying on top of one another, use the C-clamps to clamp the pliable boards down into the deck jig. This could prove difficult if the boards are not pliable anymore, so try to be as quick as possible on the gluing portion of this project.

  • Once the board is securely clamped into the mold, you are done working for approximately a week. After which you will take the board out of the mold, sand it smooth, apply grip tape to the top deck, and put trucks and wheels on the bottom.

  • In order to place the wheels and trucks on straight, measure the middle of the board lengthwise and mark this center line with a pencil. Measure 6 inches from each end of the board and mark this distance with a pencil.

  • Now place the the center of each truck on the point at which these lines make an "X" and screw the truck down flush with the board. Your do-it-yourself skateboard is now ready to take a trip around the neighborhood or paint it up with a design of your own liking.

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