Fibreglass skateboards have been around for almost forty years. A fibreglass skateboard deck is strong, light and very durable. Making your own takes a little knowledge, not a whole lot of skill and a few tools. Fibreglass skateboards are great to ride but you need to take some precautions when working with fibreglass. Just remember whenever working with fibreglass and other resins to always work in a well ventilated area. And you might want to wear long sleeves and trousers--nothing itches like fibreglass dust! A ventilated face mask and safety glasses are also mandatory.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Things you need
- Roller brush
- 300 inches of 12-inch wide unidirectional fibreglass cloth (available from any marine supply store)
- Polyester resin
- Resin hardener
- Large weighted press surface (bricks and a 12-inch wide board).
- Bandsaw, jigsaw or rotary cutter
- Sander or sandpaper
- Grease pencil
Cut the fibreglass cloth into 10 30-inch lengths.
Mix the polyester resin and hardener in the directed proportions. Resin/hardener compounds are mixed in different proportions depending on the humidity and temperature. Manufacturers include a table for proper mixing ratios.
Lay out one piece of fibreglass cloth on a long length of waxed paper on a solid work surface.
Work quickly to add a thin layer of resin to the top of the fibreglass cloth. Determine the direction of the weave in the cloth.
Lay down another layer of fibreglass cloth on the resin-coated first layer with the weave in the opposite direction. Add another layer of hardened polyester resin to this layer.
Repeat the cloth-and-resin application with all eight remaining pieces of fibreglass cloth and alternate the weave direction with each layer.
Laying up the board
After adding the final layer of fibreglass, finish the stack of fibreglass/resin layering with a final layer of resin on top.
Place a sheet of waxed paper on top of the 10-layer stack of fibreglass on the uncured resin. Then cover it with a length of board long enough and wide enough to cover the entire stack.
Add several bricks on top of the board to press the fibreglass stack and allow the polyester resin to cure for 24 hours. This will ensure a good cure no matter the temperature or humidity. The waxed paper will not stick to the resin when it is cured.
Remove the bricks, board and waxed paper from the fibreglass.
Use the grease pencil to trace the shape you desire for your skateboard on the fibreglass plank. Then cut your pattern out with a saw.
Use the sander or sandpaper to bevel or round the edge of the plank.
Mix a small amount of polyester resin and hardener.
Use the roller to apply a layer of the polyester resin to the freshly sanded sides (or rails) of the fibreglass plank.
Allow the polyester resin to cure for 24 hours.
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