Fingerboard ramps are just like skateboard ramps, except much smaller. There are kickers, which are designed to help you clear long-distance gaps; launch ramps, which send your fingerboard soaring up into the air; and quarter pipes and half pipes, or ramps that allow you to go up in the air, perform a trick and then land back down on the ramp and keep riding. You can buy plastic fingerboard ramps in toy stores, but why not learn to make a wooden one and customise it to your own preferences?
Draw a straight line for the ramp's incline from the bottom corner to the opposite side of a 4-by-4-by-4-inch block of wood.
Set the wood on the surface of a band saw with your drawing facing up. Carefully guide the wood through the blade following the line. Discard the extra wood.
Fold a piece of medium-grit sandpaper in half, twice, and use it to smooth out the incline and remove any rough patches or nicks left over from the band saw cut. Use short, circular motions and sand evenly to avoid warping the incline.
Draw a line that gently curves up from the bottom corner to the opposite edge of a 4-by-4-by-4-inch block of wood.
Take the wood to a band saw and cut along your curved line closely. Discard the extra wood.
Use a medium-grit sandpaper to smooth out the incline using short, circular motions.
Set a compass to 6 inches and draw a circle on a large piece of paper. Draw a straight line going through the centre of it, both vertically and horizontally. Cut out one-fourth of the circle.
Hold the cutout against the 8-inch face of a 6-by-6-by-8-inch block of wood. Align the corner of the cutout with one of the top corners of the wood and trace the outline of the arch onto the block with a pencil.
Bring the block of wood to the band saw and lay it down with your drawing facing up. Gently guide it through the blade and follow the curve of your line. Discard the extra wood.
Clean up your cut with some medium-grit sandpaper using short, circular motions.
Set a compass to 7 inches and draw a 14-inch circle on a large piece of paper. Cut the circle out and cut it in half.
Align the flat edge of the half-circle with the top edge of the 16-inch side of an 8-by-8-by-16-inch block of wood, leaving exactly 1 inch of space on either side of the template. Trace the arch of the half circle onto the block of wood with a pencil.
Set the wood on the band saw with your drawing facing up and cut along the curve of your line. Cut half at a time if it's too bulky and discard the extra wood.
Smooth out the ramp with a piece of medium-grit sandpaper.
For cutting tight curves on launch ramps, quarter pipes and half pipes, use relief cuts. Cut slices about every inch on the unused portion of the wood until they reach your outline . Break or cut off each individual notch and then clean up what's left over with the band saw. When making a kicker, the ideal incline is anywhere between 30 and 40 degrees. The steeper the incline, the higher the fingerboard jumps. Launch ramps send you soaring into the air because of the lip at the end of the ramp. Make the lip steep for maximum fingerboard launching. If you want your fingerboard to go farther rather than higher, make the lip shallow. Customise your fingerboard ramp with acrylic paint and stickers. Apply three to four thin layers and allow about 15 minutes of dry time between each coat. Add your favourite skateboarding stickers to it when the paint dries.
Always wear the appropriate personal protection equipment and take the necessary precautions when operating a band saw.