DAILY BUILDERS TIP
Did you know that Sugar Maple, grown in northern Canada is the best skateboard building material available? It is 10% stronger than maple grown in the North Eastern States. It is all because of our longer, colder Canadian winters.
If it's snowing in your part of the country and you can't longboard ..... BUILD THEM!
Try out a cabinet scraper for taking glue and paint off of a deck.
Be prepared! When laminating any skateboard remember to have all your tools at hand. All glues have a wet time. Some are longer than others. Titebond III has one of the longest wet times, 9 minutes as opposed to 4 or 5 for regular water based woodworking glues. That extra 4 minutes makes a big difference when gluing up a deck.
For dancers that are longer than 48" you can offset 1/16" maple veneers as you laminate your deck. Butting them end to end works great. Make sure the offset of veneers is at least 16" apart.
Use a vacuum cleaner to evacuate most of the air from a TAP bag before using the manual pump.
Always use the same paint brand when painting your deck. Different paint brands are sometimes incompatible with one another.
After purchasing veneers by mail, let your veneers acclimatize to the moisture content of your shop for a couple of days before laminating them into a deck.
Keep unfinished decks out of anywhere there is a lot of heat. The outer layers are prone to cracking. Apply a sealer coat ASAP after sanding your deck.
After using your glue filled roller. Do not wash it out. Place it in a ziplok bag. It will last for weeks and be charged with glue for your next build.
Water based glue makes maple veneer more flexible. Applying water to tight bends on the top and bottom of the outer two layers will make it easier to achieve tighter bends.
Apply clear packing tape onto your foam mold to protect it from glue while pressing.
I am a High School Teacher and I have just started helping my student’s making longboards. I started this project just a few weeks ago now. Today, my first student pressed their first longboard. I have this whole entire curriculum written out, it’s being revised slightly as I run into a few minor snags, but its for setting up and cutting out molds on a ShopBot to use to press longboards. The model I have created is for a 41 in W-shape deck with dropthrough trucks. I was wondering if this is something you want to post links to on your website or if they are files you want to use yourselves. The link below is to my GrabCad page where I have all of the files one would need to cut the molds I have created.
It’s a 41 in W-shape longboard. The trucks are setup for dropthrough style. The radii of the mold are offset for a 0.5 in deck. This mold is setup and the instructions are for a press, not a vacuum bag, but this is something that could easily be modified to accommodate a vacuum bag. I haven’t found many W-shape boards for under the $125 – $150 price range and my student’s will be making these for about $40. A fiberglass reinforced deck for $40?! Nuts, right! My student’s are already huge fans of the board. I have shown it to a semi-professional longboarder and he was instantly impressed after stepping on it. That is really just me getting lucky with my model and I really won’t take much credit.
I don’t know if you are familiar with GrabCad but it’s a free website to use, download from, upload to and share CAD files and renderings. It is a legit website too. There is no money to be made unfortunately, at least not that I have found. It’s for DIYers to communicate and share files, collaborate, and brag on. Technology teachers are also hopping on to share projects, much like myself. All the files and toolpaths are included on the page for free.
I’m a high school Applied Technology teacher who spends way too much time at his job. I’m not getting anything out of this other than the happy feeling of bringing something to students they would otherwise may not be able to afford, don’t have the ability to do on their own, or never thought they could do. This give students the opportunity to use tools and gets them outside. I want students to be able to find something they can get into easily and that is also affordable. I do understand that, unfortunately, not every school has a ShopBot or other CNC machine, but this is a good jumping off point for those that do.
I hope this helps you guys on your conquest of skateboards for all!