This is how I made a composite sandwich skateboard. I use a much more involved version of this same process to make surfboards, but I thought the skateboard project would be a little better fit to a first-time builder. This project assumes some familiarity with the use of epoxy and fiberglass, as well as a passing knowledge of vacuum-bagging. You could absolutely do this project without any experience in either of those, it would just take a little bit of research here and online about using those techniques. None of it is rocket science, folks... Of course, neither is rocket science for that matter.
Just about everything used on this board could be substituted with something else, different foam, different wood, carbon fiber, etc... Get creative, that's what you folks here do, right?
1. 1/2' eps foam sheet (styrofoam, found at home depot) 1 lb density
2. fiberglass fabric, 4oz or 6oz. You'll probably only need a couple of yards
3. epoxy resin, shouldn't need much, maybe a quart total. I get mine from surfboard supply companies, the kind I use is called Resin Research, great stuff.
4. sheets of 1/8" balsa, available at any hobby store.
5. sheets of a pretty veneer. I used makore from ebay
6. some bits and pieces of plywood the same thickness as your sheet foam.
7. A higher density foam, backed with stiff wood, for your male mold. I used 3 lb density EPS. You could probably get away with using the blue foam from home depot, but it would be a good idea to cover it with a couple of layers of fiberglass to keep it rigid.
8. some kind of vacuum bagging system. I use the system I have for surfboards (vac pump and large nylon bags), but there are small versions commercially available that are specifically designed for home skateboard makers, Roarockit.com sells a very complete kit. You could also use a Foodsaver. There are very cheap venturi-type vacuum pumps available that attach to a home compressor, you can get them from harbor freight. You could even make a vac pump out of an old fridge compressor or use the instructable here that describes making a vac pump from a 12V tire pump. Bottom line, you need a vacuum pump, but don't let that stop you.
9. Release film, some kind of nylon plastic sheet to wrap up the project before sticking in the vacuum bag.
10. Gloves. Epoxy is sticky.
11. Denatured alcohol to clean stuff up. Epoxy is messy
Thanks to ewilhelm for letting me know its cool to mention specific products and companies here.
DO NOT! DO NOT! DO NOT! DO NOT! DO NOT! DO NOT! DO NOT! DO NOT! DO NOT! DO NOT! DO NOT! DO NOT! DO NOT! DO NOT! DO NOT! DO NOT! DO NOT! DO NOT! DO NOT!
Do NOT use Acetone to clean up Epoxy. Ever.
Do Not Use Acetone To CLean Epoxy.
Acetone gives epoxy a direct route to the bloodstream through the skin, and most instances of epoxy reactions/sensitivity in the surfboard and boatbuilding industries can be traced back to exposure to epoxy-contaminated acetone.
Step 1: Make Your Mold
I used a chunk of styrofoam in 3 pound density to make my male mold. You could really use any number of things for a mold, even another skateboard deck. I even considered using another skateboard to make a mold from plaster. Lots of options here as well.
I figured out the approximate dimensions of the skateboard I wanted, then shaped concave and nose and tail kick into the foam mold. I then covered it with some thick plastic, stretched tight and taped on, to keep the skateboard from sticking to it.
Roarockit.com sells molds, pumps, bags and veneers all together in a skateboard kit ready to go.. It might be a good way to start for someone who doesn't already have this stuff like I did.