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Composite sandwich skateboard

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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?

Materials needed:
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.

EVER.

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.

 
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Just PERFECT!!!
Raydoom3 years ago
PLEAASEE TELL ME WERE U GOT THEM WHEELS !!!
Google "off road skateboard wheels"
thanks
I've been looking for wheels like those for years. Where did you get them?
GOOGLE - "off road skateboard wheels"
freeza362 years ago
What type of wheels are those?
Google "off road skateboard wheels" many online stores and manufacturers will appear.
ohhh man, this is too beautiful dude. you should make a longboard next time you feel like buildin a board, i bet it'd be beautiful too
pretty awesome, is there any way to make the board just as durable, but with thinner layers...how well does carbon fiber work for these projects?
I have no idea about carbon fiber in this proccess, but I do know that carbon fiber can be used to make skateboards(my element fiberlight is a combination of fiberglass, carbon fiber, and wood)
You apply carbon fiber, pretty much the same way as fiberglass... but more expensive.
well not really. They make bikes out of the stuff, and it would be nearly impossible to actually make a board out of it without a giant company backing you. Besides, it wouldn't be able to handle the abuse. Just because they use it in formula one cars doesn't mean it's up to being scraped, bashed, and stood on.
I've personally made 2 boards out of carbon and one with carbon stringers (trying to recreate the Carbon Mummy). From my experience carbon is great in the flex capabilities and is much more resistant to being scraped, bashed, and stood on than any glass board I have made. Like glass, the compression and tensile strengths of carbon are about equal. Carbon is just much stronger in these categories than glass. I have an 'in' on carbon, but if you can afford it, it will make a much stronger/lighter board.

P.S. I will probably post my first instructable on making one of these boards from scratch including veneers.
psychsurf (author)  mrdepo963 years ago
Actually, people do make carbon fiber skateboards at home, the process is very similar to this one. Anyone with a vacuum bagging setup and some time to experiment could make a good carbon layup. Thepavedwave has some examples.
i bet it could, but that would be on the expensive end of things.
carbon fiber should definitely work. they use it in F1 cars, some jet airplanes, etc, etc. so, yeah, it should work.
So it's fine to use acetone to clean up?
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nidurimax3 years ago
i love it
crowd93 years ago
Great (instructional, thorough, entertainin'!) ible! And the finished product is a unique deck that you made yourself. Awesome.

A note for those who have been discussing making one out of CF or FG, you could do that. It would take many layers, so to keep the expense (weight, do we care?) down, you'd probable want to use a cheaper core. This deck is thick because of the styro-core--which provides very limited strength, but has excellent/light-weight structure for supporting the outer layers, where the overall structural strength comes from (see bird bones and aircraft wing/monocoque design). But it is fathonable, that with vacuum infusion, and with a slow-cure epoxy, one could make the core from something that could bulk up and provide thickness, such as a couple layers of closed cell E. V. A. or even old denim. Then the outer layers could be CF or aramid/kevlar for strength. With enough aramid, you wouldn't even have to worry about truck supports, and it is cheaper that CF.

I'll try to get an ible of my own on the subject as soon as the weather permits. I hate to work composites in the cold (heaters, time, etc...)...

Using the vacuum and a whole bunch of old jeans (denim is an awesome, dense cotton fiber), I could prob one-off a deck using another deck as a male mold in an afternoon. Check back in may-ish...
sixtrix6073 years ago
That deck looks a bit stiff and thick for my liking... but the instructable is very informative, and very detailed. i like that. :) you can use this for longboards as well I'm assuming? and how would i go about making it a little flexier and thinner? Thank you.
lyrics.uz3 years ago
I love boards)
Calorie3 years ago
Very cool. I'm back in uni and people use these "longboard" skateboards. They look like a lot of fun, but require a great deal of flex between the trucks themselves. They go very fast, and turn lazily. This board looks more like the traditional boards we used to break our bodies with. can it withstand the rigors of life in a skate park?
keroro5 years ago
are the wheels from remote control cars? they look like remote control car wheels LOL
hamjudo keroro3 years ago
The builder described them as big ol' pimping wheels. I think they're just designed to look like miniature truck tires. Skateboard wheels are subjected to huge forces when a 60 kilo rider lands after a jump. For hobby robots we use RC wheels when weight and traction matter. For really heavy duty service, we use skateboard parts.
LOL they do!
hamstanz3 years ago
Is good to see someone doing it the way it should be done
kenbob3 years ago
This is a great instructable and beautiful work. I especially like your comments in the pictures!
Shut Up Now3 years ago
I dont really skate (anymore) but this is so cool. I checked out your blog with the surfboards, and its really awesome. Lots of skilled craftsmanship.
sk8er63 years ago
i just googled plaster skateboard mold and came up with this... sick looking board. do you think that a male and female mold made of plaster could take the pressure of being pressed with 2x4's and threaded rod? concrete is just not an option for me at this time... way too heavy.
hesseluke4 years ago
 How about a metal skid plate for making sparks?  is that possible? 
(removed by author or community request)
psychsurf (author)  DELETED_freewheeler7 years ago
No, I didn't, thank god! I've heard many stories in the surfboard and boat building communities though. Most folks who develop a sensitivity find that they can't have even the slightest exposure to epoxy anymore without some sort of reaction. That's why prevention is so important, developing sensitivity reactions will end your ablity to work with epoxy. Oh, and it is bad for your health too.
It's down to the body finding alien materials inside you damaging the cells, the cells effectively chemically scream "aaaaaa, we're dying", at which point T-helper cells are sent out to check everything to find out if there are alien materials such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, chemicals etc present, and if they find anything out of order, they'll label whatever it is for the cops (white blood cells) to attack, the arrival of the cops sets up a system which restricts blood flow to the areas (immune work is done through the lymph system, not the blood system). If that labelling happens with anything, even cells which are naturally part of you, your body will continue to produce antibodies to label and attack that stuff. Subsequent to that, any exposure to the material in question will trigger an immune response. Histamine release will cause redness & swelling, and if sufficient quantities of the material are present, the body will go into a cytokine storm, attacking itself indiscriminately.
nom nom tiem?
benz_z5 years ago
does it keep its pop cause it looks like a flash not made 4 abuse longboard in the size of a skateboard
wow thats so cool! I might have to try the if I can get the materials
I made a skateboard similar to this in a industrial tech class last year. Except i started with a blank so i just cut and sanded.
kimroks6 years ago
Sweet ass ride!! i gotta make one!! where did you get the wheels though? I been looking for those in years...
psychsurf (author)  kimroks6 years ago
the only place I have seen them online is http://www.yakresearch.com/a/yakskateboard.html They only sell wholesale, though. I may be mistaken, as it has been some time since I did this, but I think I contacted them to ask which retailers they had sold to so I could get just a single set. I do remember that the retailer I got them from only had the one set and wasn't planning on getting any more.
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