A skateboard deck is created by gluing together seven sheets on thinly cut pieces of wood, called veneers. Once the sheets of veneer are cut, they are glued together and placed in a press while they take shape and form a skateboard deck. Apart from the wood supplies, you will need a few electric tools and glue to complete your skate deck.
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Veneer is a thinly cut, flexible sheet wood. Seven layers of veneer are required to build a skateboard deck. Use only 100 per cent maple wood to create a quality skateboard with good "pop". Flex, or pop, is the proper tension and stiffness of wood. Having good, strong maple wood will help you perform tricks easier. The thickness of veneer varies depending on the style of the board you are making, but generally should be 1/16-1/18 of an inch thick.
Wood glue is used to attach the seven pieces of veneer to make a skate deck. Choosing glue that will hold the layers of veneer together and withstand severe use is vital to successfully creating a skateboard. Polyvinyl Assembly Adhesives, known as PVAs, are two part glues designed specifically for skateboarding and work best. Two part glues consist of the glue and a catalyst, or hardener. You must add the catalyst to the glue and mix before using the glue. The catalyst causes a reaction in the glue after about twenty minutes, after which you can no longer handle the glue. Once the reaction takes effect, the glue stiffens and solidifies.
Skateboard Press and Extra Skate Decks
A skateboard press is necessary to mould the shape of your skateboard. A skateboard press can be made out of two-by-fours assembled to make a box. The press must have a flat base and a flat roof, which will be used to hold the veneer together. Place your unshaped skate deck between two identical skateboard decks and place on the base of the press. Place a car jack directly onto the decks and crank it until it reaches the roof of the press. Leave the deck in the mould for 24 hours, allowing it to take shape.
A jigsaw is necessary to cut out the shape of the skateboard once the sheets of veneer are glued together. A generic shape can be used initially, but once the skate deck is moulded you need to use the jigsaw again. Cut out the definite shape of the skateboard, 30 to 32 inches long by 7 1/2 to 8 inches wide. You also need a drill to make holes in the deck to hold the hardware in place. The hardware consists of four nuts and bolts for both the front and back trucks.
Skateboard Wheels and Trucks
To complete your skateboard, you will need trucks and wheels. Choose your trucks and wheels depending on your skateboarding style. If you want heavy, durable trucks, choose brands like Independent, Royal or Fury. If you are into technical street skating and prefer lighter trucks, use brands such as Destructo, Krux, Phantom or Thunder. Likewise, if you are into skating half pipes, choose bigger wheels (55mm and 65mm in diameter). If you are more of a technical skater, choose smaller wheels (50mm and 55mm in diameter).
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