Introduction: Easy and Light Skate Box Setup

Picture of Easy and Light Skate Box Setup

This is a simple how-to for making a good quality skate box that can be portable. The decision to make your own box is really a natural one when all street spots are a bust and the parks are overcrowded. This particular box can also be made fairly cheaply especially if you have some plywood and 2x4's lying around. The only non-common components are the right-angle bar and masonite.

I have attached a small pdf with drawings of the box and dimensions.

Here's a short video of my friend skating the box:

Step 1: Considerations and Materials List

Picture of Considerations and Materials List

We had several restrictions in mind when designing the box:

1) The box had to be able to fit in the car. In our case unfortunately, this meant that the box had to fit into a Subaru STi. This gave us a max length of under 6'. Our final length was 66" and the box just fits in snug enough to shut the hatchback. This works fine for us but a longer length would be more comfortable to skate. I recommend going with something around 7' - 8' if you have a larger vehicle or are not concerned with moving the box. Keep in mind though that the length of the box will be limited by the length of right-angle bar that you can find. At Home Depot, the longest one I could find of decent stock was 6' length.

2) The box had to be sturdy enough to take a beating and get skated regularly without breaking down.

3) Light enough for a person to carry by hand.

Parts! The parts list is fairly short so here goes:

1) The all-important right angle bar! This is what you will actually be grinding and limits the maximum length that you box can be. As I mentioned earlier, the length of this bar will limit the maximum length of your box and at Home Depot I could only find 6' length. You should be able to find longer ones elsewhere. NOTE: make sure you are using steel or the densest metal you can find and it should be at least 1/8" thick.

2) Sheet of masonite: Try to find one that matches the thickness of your metal bar.

3) Sheet of plywood: get a sheet that is 3/4" or thicker.

4) There is not much to the 2x4's. It is important to look for the straightest pieces possible and make sure you get a little more than you think you will need.

5) Screws: we used standard 2" wood screws to fasten the top pieces (plywood, masonite, metal bar) and used 3" stainless wood screws to fasten the 2x4's to each other.

Home Depot Note: they offer a cutting service that should definitely be taken advantage of for the plywood and masonite pieces if you buy them there. I do not recommend cutting the 2x4 pieces to size there. You should be measuring each fitting as you go and then cutting the 2x4's to the correct size (there is usually some play in the actual lengths).

Step 2: Assembly Part 1

Picture of Assembly Part 1

I should have taken pictures while putting this thing together but since I didn't I decided to put together some Solidworks animations depicting each step.

This first step is simple and just uses the sheet of plywood cut at 66" x 24", two pieces of 2x4 cut at 66" and the other two pieces cut at 21". Using the plywood sheet as a baseboard make sure to screw in everything securely to the plywood first and then put in screws attaching the 2x4's to each other.

Step 3: Assembly Part 2

Picture of Assembly Part 2

Now you are ready to add the legs.

You can use any height legs that you want. Just keep in mind that the overall height of the box will be about 1" taller because of the plywood and metal bar. We went with 15" for the corner legs and cut the two center legs at 14.5". The reason why is in the next step.

Step 4: Assembly Part 3

Picture of Assembly Part 3

So in this step you will add the second set of supports for the legs. In my case this just consists of another set of 66" and 21" 2x4's.

The only difference now is to offset these from the end of the legs by 1/2" and it will line up with the center legs. This increases stability as it will allow the box to sit flat on bumpy or non-flat surfaces. The box itself will still be heavy enough that it will not slide around when you are skating it.

Side Note: In my case some of the legs were a little warped and we had to use long clamps in some cases in order to be able to get the screws in correctly.

Step 5: Assembly Part 4

Picture of Assembly Part 4

Now the final step!

Depending where you purchase the metal bar it could be a different measurement on the side. The one we purchased from Home Depot was just about 2". Regardless, you should install the metal piece first and then measure the proper width for the masonite piece.

Important: make sure that you countersink all the holes for the metal bar (the ones on top and on the side) AND all holes in the masonite that border the metal bar. You want to make sure that the heads of the screws do not stick up above the surface. Nothing sucks more than having your board chipped away by screws.

"Important #2:" most metal bars have a bit of a curve on the inside corner and ours was no exception. We cut away the edge of the plywood facing that inside corner to allow the metal bar to sit perfectly flat and secure (see pic below).

Step 6: Go Skate!

Self explanatory, really...

Thanks for checking this out and I look forward to suggestions/criticism.


wacojeff (author)2015-02-20

I am currently making this box. I can't wait to get it done it looks awesome

MarkTJohnson (author)2014-04-02

My son and I are making it. He doesn't want the legs yet because he is just learning and can't ollie up that high, he might change his mind once we get the angle iron on and he can try it. Two things, the videos for steps 2 and 3 are swapped and a better image of the length differences of the middle legs would be helpful. To the person who said they are adding another angle iron to the back side, brilliant!

obscure (author)2014-03-03

Fantastic box. I suggest that the masonite on top is not necessary, and it is liable to just peel off. Mine has just the plywood on top and it is great. Thanks for the plans. Mine is 5ft long, 2ft wide and 16" tall. It fits in my Renault Clio mk2 with the passenger seat forward and the rear seats folded down.

Skate_Life98 (author)2013-11-17

How wide is it

rodolfotoast (author)2013-06-12

Did you sand down the plywood to make it smooth or did you buy It like that?

nonoodlez (author)rodolfotoast2013-06-12

I did not sand the plywood but you should skin the top with 1/8 masonite or hardboard so that you get a smooth top for slides

rodolfotoast (author)2013-06-12

What if I want to keep it outdoors? Is there anything to keep it from getting wet?

nonoodlez (author)rodolfotoast2013-06-12

If you keep it outdoors cover it with a tarp. Water will ruin it over time.

cortezhuffskates (author)2013-05-26

what screws do we need ?

Regular drywall screws are fine if it will be covered. If not, use galzanized or the gold ones. Length should be around 2" or so

Technolio (author)2011-10-26

Hey Man awesome setup, I was thinkin about makin somthing like this out of pallets (of course using a solid sheet on top) just using pallets for the frame, and i like the idea for the Masonite.
very good product bro, this has definitely inspired me.

ezabala1 (author)2011-07-20

how tall is it?

nonoodlez (author)ezabala12011-07-20

We finished ours at around 16-18 inches tall. There is an attachment at the intro called skate_box.PDF that shows the final dimensions we ended up using.

You can easily modify it to fit your specific needs/wants.

Some notes: For the height that we finished it at, it was super easy to skate and do all sorts of tricks on. The only problem was that we had to build it a little shorter in length to fit in my friend's hatchback.

I have a truck now, so if we were to rebuild it, I would go up a couple inches and definitely make it longer.

LaTer (author)2011-01-26

Do I need to use the Masonite? I know it levels the iron with the wood, but is it necessary?

nonoodlez (author)LaTer2011-01-26

Of course it is not necessary but it is highly recommended.

The masonite protects the plywood underneath which would otherwise get torn up pretty quickly.

Also the masonite helps your wheels slide for certain tricks (boardslides, lipslides, etc.)

LaTer (author)nonoodlez2011-01-28

Thanks, do you think you could link me to some of that hardboard at lowes/home depot? The closes I saw was:
Would that work?

nonoodlez (author)LaTer2011-01-31

If you just walk into a Home Depot and ask one of the workers for masonite they will be able to point you to it. I bought my piece there; it was not difficult to find.

By the way, that link you put up is for a sheet of 'hardwood plywood' and is definitely not the same thing. I just did a quick search on the Home Depot website and was unable to find masonite on their site but I assure you, they carry it.

sk8rforlife (author)2010-10-10

Where did you drill the holes for the metal bar?

nonoodlez (author)sk8rforlife2010-10-10

So, it is really not visible in the picture but I used screws on both faces of the metal bar (top and side) to keep it in place.

You need to drill holes into the bar (about 4 or 5 on the each face should be plenty). It is extremely important to countersink the holes. You want to be certain that the screwheads will not stick out and catch your board or trucks. In the 2nd picture for this step, you can see the countersunk screw that is holding down the masonite. That is exactly how it needs to be.

Alternatively, you could skip the screws/hole-drilling method and just use liquid nails if you prefer. A long time ago someone put up a metal right-angle bar on the ledges outside of Staples (mid-wilshire area) and it held up great for night sessions. It would have probably stayed on for a very long time but Staples had it removed for obvious reasons.

metal-child (author)2010-07-28

i love building stuff to skate. where i live we have no park within an hours drive so me and my friends are always building boxes and rails. i have a miniramp above my garage and my mom is trying to get a park built. keep these coming im running out of ideas lol

RebelSk8erD (author)2010-03-19

hey bro... I just finished my box =DD i'll be bringin it home tonight but... i just snaped my board a few days ago lol.  so, once i get a new board (probz this weekend) i'll send ya some pics haha

once again, awsoem instuctable... a few of my friends are thinking about makin' one to now =D

nonoodlez (author)RebelSk8erD2010-03-19

Great man! I'm looking forward to seeing pics of  your box.

Thanks for the kind words. Now I need to figure out a new project and post it up here...

RebelSk8erD (author)nonoodlez2010-05-10

You should do a half-pipe or something :0  Once I get some $ saved up I'm thinkin bout makin1 cuz It costs wayyy 2 much 2 buy 1 :/

Marker1024 (author)2010-05-05

 Great product i made one out of an old desk in my basement. Thanks dude you really inspired me to skate curbs and build stuff to skate.

nonoodlez (author)Marker10242010-05-06


RebelSk8erD (author)2010-04-01

hey bro uhh... i finished my box a bit ago and I just got a new board so I started sk8ing it 2 day but... one of my ollies were crap and well, I cliped the edge with my back truck... my point is, it left a decent ding in the side of the masonite... do u know how i can stop that or treat it or w/e?? thx :))

nonoodlez (author)RebelSk8erD2010-05-06

Glad to hear that you made your own box!

The masonite can be a little problematic. Even if you aren't hitting it with your trucks it will eventually start warping and coming up in places.

The best thing to do is to just keep adding screws to hold it down where ever it comes up. Just make sure that you countersink the holes so that the screw heads don't stick up.

After a REALLY long time and a lot of abuse, it is probably best to just replace the masonite piece (but you would probably be tired of skating the box by that time anyway).

Anyway keep skating!

RebelSk8erD (author)2010-02-04

Hey bro... awsome box.  I'm planning on building this for a tech-ed project.  However, i just have a few questions...

1. About how much do you think the "angle bar" will cost?
2. Is the "masonite" important? or could i just use some good quality wood with some good stain or somethin'?

thx for the help bro =))

nonoodlez (author)RebelSk8erD2010-02-04

Thanks! In response to your questions:

1) The angle bar was purchased at Home Depot and cost mid $20's.

2) The masonite is definitely a good idea for two reasons. First, it allows your wheels to slide for boardslides and lipslides. Second, it is about the same thickness as the bar, so it gives the entire top of the box a flat surface. Its not really expensive and its easy to get at your local Depot or equivalent. Lastly, I don't think you want to use stain on the wood as it would probably be sticky and leave residue on your wheels.

Good luck with your build and post pics!

RebelSk8erD (author)nonoodlez2010-02-04

awsome man thx... will do

RebelSk8erD (author)RebelSk8erD2010-02-04

oh and 1 more thing... i was at skewl when i first came across this... just wanted to say your friends a rad sk8er =D

sharlston (author)2010-01-17

how about a small ramp?

nonoodlez (author)sharlston2010-01-17

Depends on the ramp!

I'm not really big on launch ramps but I've always wanted to build a miniramp. I think that would definitely be a doable project but I have nowhere to put it.

In the more immediate future, however, I just learned to weld. I plan on testing my new skill by putting together a flat rail. It should be really easy and if I remember to take pictures then I'll post it here.

nonoodlez (author)sharlston2010-01-20

Yeah that's a good looking funbox but I like it best that the guy put in the effort to design it properly.  Good job!

wtfisalinh (author)2009-12-06

 im gonna try to make this :D
but with 2 right angle bars on the sides

wtfisalinh (author)wtfisalinh2009-12-07

and btw
how much did this all cost u?

nonoodlez (author)wtfisalinh2009-12-10

Using two right angle bars is a good idea if you are going to set it up at a spot where you can hit the box from both sides. We decided not to because we pretty much just use it in that school hallway.

The total build cost was only $80 but that was because we had all the screws and some of the wood. I'm not exactly certain how much the total build cost would be but probably in the low $100 range.

I would be interested to see your build. Post pictures and good luck on your build!

eschompthis4star (author)2009-09-23

hey good funbox, ive made many, heavy ones light ones very heavy ones, since we would take ours to our local school what a pain they were after a session having to drag it in home, nice skating btw

Thanks! I've built other skateboxes too but this was the first time that I ever really thought about it and put some effort into getting a decent product. Usually they just get made out of whatever is lying around..

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