How to Build a Longboard

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Posted in OutsideSkateboarding

Introduction: How to Build a Longboard

This is a simple, easy, and cheap way to build your own longboard instead of paying hundreds of dollars.

Materials
Wood Glue
2 or 3 - 1/4" plywood sheets (depending on the amount of flex wanted) 
Fiber glass cloth 
Fiber glass resin and hardener 
Longboard trucks
Clear grip tape

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSufPxqGMKs

Step 1: Gluing the Board

First apply wood glue the two sheets of wood (or three if desired). Then using a paint scraper to evenly spread the glue. Afterwards press the wood together. Be sure not to leave air bubbles in between the wood. 

Step 2: Bending

Set up the wood so it hangs in the middle, and apply a weight so that it will curve as it drys. Then either staple or screw together the wood to create a tight seal.

Step 3: Design

Now its time to come up with a design for your longboard. You can copy other designs or make your own unique one. first draw your design on a large peice of paper and then trace that onto your wood. you can fold your paper in half and draw half the design and cut it out so you have a symmetrical design.

Step 4: Cutting and Sanding

Now that you have your design on your wood you can cut it out. First trace your paper design onto the wood. Then I used a jig saw to cut it, but you can use whatever works for you. sand it until it is nice and smooth so there is no rough edges.

Step 5: Painting

This step is optional, but the fiberglass will be clear and the paint will be visible. I used electric tape to sketch my design. Then i used wood stain to paint. To create the different shades i used three coats for the dark parts and one coat for the lighter parts. After the stain dries remove the tape. 

Step 6: Fiberglass

First mix the fiberglass resin with the hardener at the correct proportion. Then lay out the Fiber glass cloth on the painted side and using a paintbrush spread the resin evenly across the board. be sure to work quickly and effectively, the fiberglass begins to harden in about 15 minutes. After it is applied let it cure for about 3-4 hours. 

Step 7: Trimming and Drilling

Then using a razor cut of the excess fiberglass off of the sides of the board. Now it's time to drill the holes for the trucks. Be sure that they are straight or else the trucks will not align correctly. Now bolt on the Trucks.

Step 8: Grip Tape

Now the grip tape is totally up to you - You could...
Cover the entire surface with grip tape...
cut up pieces and create designs out of grip tape...
Or paint your board and apply clear grip tape...

I painted the same design on the top of the board using the same procedure as before. Then i applied the clear grip tape and cut the excess tape away.  

Step 9: Finishing Touches

Now that Your board is pretty much done, all that is left is light sanding. This is just to smooth down the fiberglass and grip tape around the edges. Your board is done and ready to ride!!!!

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107 Comments

this looks great!

just out of curiosity how much was it to build the board minus wheels trucks and grip tape

1 reply

Usualy projects like this r around £40 (sos im english) minus wheels and trucks

I think this is hard to belief since wood with a good quality (for this project) is very expensive and you also have to buy wood glue (also good one off course or your board will fall apart), varnish, sandpaper...

If you want to make your board decent you better pay enough for quality. Good varnish and glue are expensive!

Yeah, i paid about $60 for the board itself then about $130 for trucks, wheels, berrings, hardware, etc

I love the design and shape of this board and was thinking of making one for myself. I was wondering how long it is from end to end, and also from the inside of the truck to the other inside, and also how wide is the widest part?

1 reply

Mine was 49 inches long, about 9 inches at the widest part and about 30 inches from truck to truck

Is the fibreglass applied to just the bottom side? Does it roll over the edges or just go to the edge?

1 reply

So the fiberglass sheet should just be on the bottom, but you should apply a layer resign/hardener to the sides and top as well :)

what type of wood was used?

So there is no need to alter the curve horizontally? Will just the camber be sufficient?

There are a lot of repeat questions down here, maybe you could edit the 'ible so that those questions don't need to asked?

Hey! Sick board!! Wot type of ply did u use cus i love the look of the wood!!

How can you bend it so just the back end bends up? And what kind of plywood are you using

How did you tape out the design for the wood stain/what brand of tape did you use? Im wondering how you got the tape to curve nicely and keep the stain from spreading outward.

If I were to use one sheet of 1/2" normal birch and reinforced it with the fiberglass would I still need to worry about the board cracking? Should I use Baltic Birch instead or am I okay with normal birch plywood?