It is possible to make a longboard deck for a skateboard by gluing sheets of veneer together, but this method requires a skateboard mould and press capable of producing at least five tons of pressure. Fortunately, a longboard deck can also be made at home from an uncut longboard blank. An uncut blank is a piece of plywood roughly the same dimensions as a finished longboard deck. Uncut blanks are available for purchase with or without moulded features such as a kick tail. Making a longboard deck from an uncut longboard blank is not difficult if you follow a few basic steps.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Uncut longboard blank
- Drill press or power drill
- 3/16-inch drill bit
- Sand paper
- Sanding block or power sander
- Tape measure
- Grip tape
- Jigsaw or band saw
- Wood sealer
Make a template. The template should be the exact shape and size of your finished longboard, cut in half lengthwise. Draw a centerline down the centre of your uncut blank, from end to end lengthwise, or from nose to tail.
Trace the shape of the deck. Place the straight side of your template along the centre line of the deck and trace the outer edge. Remove the template, flip it over, line up the straight edge, and trace the other side of your longboard. Using the template will help keep the shape of your deck symmetrical.
Drill holes for the trucks. Trucks are mounted to the underside of the longboard deck and they hold the axle and wheels of the skateboard. The trucks must be mounted precisely over the centerline. Use a template, an existing deck, or a set of trucks to mark where you will drill the holes. Use a drill press or power drill with a 3/16-inch bit to drill the holes.
Cut out the deck. Use a band saw or a jigsaw to cut your longboard deck from the blank. Cut approximately 1/8th-inch wide of the outline you traced.
Sand the deck. Use coarse sandpaper and a sanding block or power sander to round the edges of your deck. Sand with the grain of the wood as you work toward the outline you traced. Use medium sandpaper to smooth and refine the edges. Sand the entire surface of the deck to make it smooth.
Apply wood sealer. Brush on a coat of wood sealer to protect the deck. Follow the directions on the wood sealer to ensure proper use.
Apply grip tape. When the sealer is completely dry, lightly sand the top of the deck to help grip tape adhere. Apply the grip tape slowly. Unpeel and adhere only a little bit at a time as you work from one end of the board to the other.
The Longboard Deck
Tips and warnings
- Cardboard makes a good template because it is rigid.
- If you paint graphics on your deck, be sure to use paint that has the same base as the wood sealer you used.
- Use eye protection when using power tools.
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