How To Make A Skateboard Deck (At Home)
You can easily purchase skateboards in every skateboard shop, but creating a unique one for yourself or someone else will be much more meaningful. So, how to make a skateboard deck? This blog will show you the instruction in detail!
What You Should Know Before Making A Skateboard Deck
A Skateboard Deck Is Made from Seven to Nine Veneers
You might think that a skateboard deck is only a single layer of wood. However, it is made from around seven to nine different pieces of wood sticking together with glue, and people press all of them together to form the deck. A standard deck normally has seven (instead of nine) wooden layers.
The Cost Might Be the Same with Buying A New Standard Deck
According to people who have made skateboard decks themselves, the cost of making a deck might be the same as buying a new standard-quality one. The reason for this is because you have to purchase many tools such as a mold, glue, veneers, and some other materials to make your deck.
Even though the cost of buying and making a new skateboard is the same, some people still prefer a DIY skateboard because it will be more exciting, meaningful, and unique. If you are one of those, let’s move to the next part, where we can discuss the deck-making process in detail!
How to Make a Skateboard Deck: Step-by-Step Instruction
Step 1: Preparation: All Tools and Materials You Will Need
Before jumping into the skateboard deck-making process, you should prepare all the necessary tools and materials for a smooth and easy process. Here are what you will need:
- A mold
- Seven veneers
- Channel irons
- Bandsaw/ jigsaw
- Two pieces of cardboard
Step 2: Make/ Prepare Skateboard Mold
To make your skateboard deck at home, you will first need a mold. As there are different types of skateboards, there are also types of molds that vary in shapes and sizes. This equipment will help you a lot in the process by providing the contour for your deck. Moreover, it can also help with the kicks.
Step 3: Choose Your Favorite Design
As we just mentioned in step 2, you will need to choose a mold that can fit the skateboard shapes and sizes you want. Besides, you can make a few things to make your deck unique, for example, choosing your favorite designs.
The best way to learn how to decorate your skateboard (if you are not good at designing) is to learn from other well-designed ones. You can search for beautiful and creative patterns on the internet and pick the one that suits your style most.
Step 4: Use Your Veneers
This is the most important part, which is why you should do it carefully. As mentioned above, you must prepare seven veneers and stick them together to make one single deck.
To be more specific, there are three plywood classifications: face plywood (the two veneers that are put on the top and the bottom of your deck), center layers, and cross-band. The center layer can be unsanded or sanded plywood; the cross-band ones are normally unsanded.
The thickness of the veneers is also very crucial. Most of the time, the cross-bands should be thin (around 0.050/1.27mm), and the two other veneer types can be both around 0.058/1.47mm.
There is more than one way to arrange these veneers, but here is the basic arrangement:
- First veneer: face
- Second veneer: center layer
- Third veneer: cross-band
- Forth veneer: center layer
- Fif veneer: cross-band
- Sixth veneer: center layer
- Seven (last) veneer: face
Step 5: Stick All Veneers Together with Glue
The only glue you should use here is wood glue (like TiteBond). Why? Because wood glue is made, especially for these kinds of works, it is the only type of glue that can strongly bond the veneers.
Before sticking the veneers, you should pay attention to the sanded and unsanded parts of all of your veneers. In detail, put the sanded side of the face on the floor or concrete while keeping the unsanded side facing up. Apply the glue on the veneer’s unsanded part, then place the center layer on its top.
Continue to apply the glue on the next players following the arrangement we mentioned early: face - center layer - cross-band - center layer - cross band - center layer - face.
Step 6: Press
To protect the deck’s surfaces, you need to prepare two cardboard pieces around three or four inches wider and bigger than your deck. Put the deck in between these two cardboard sheets, then place them between the mold.
Now, it’s time to press. Put the channel irons you’ve prepared in the middle of the mold to press the deck. After that, leave it there for at least eight hours.
Step 7: Work with Your Design
After eight hours, remove it and the cardboard from the frame. Before butting, you can place your design on the deck and then mark the point of your skateboard’s trucks. Subsequently, tape and draw the patterns.
Step 8: Cut the Deck
The last step is to cut the deck in your favorite shape. You can use a jigsaw to cut if you do not have a band saw. However, we suggest you utilize the bandsaw if possible because the cutting lines will be more accurate.
After finishing the cutting, it’s time to curve the deck’s edges with a router or a rasp. Now, drill out the deck’s truck holes and then use a piece of sandpaper or steel wool for sanding your deck until all edges are smooth.
That’s it. You now have a handmade skateboard deck.
Last Opinion on Making Skateboard Deck
When you first try to make your skateboard, there might be some difficulty. However, if you know what tools and materials to use and stick the veneers together, the process will be much easier.
With the information we provided in our eight-step instruction, we hope you already know how to make a skateboard deck from scratch.