Instructables
Picture of How to Build a Longboard
IMG_0039.JPG
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
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Gluing the Board

Picture of Gluing the Board
IMG_0043.JPG
IMG_0044.JPG
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

Picture of Bending
IMG_0046.JPG
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

Picture of Design
IMG_0048.JPG
IMG_0047.JPG
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

Picture of Cutting and Sanding
IMG_0053.JPG
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

Picture of Painting
IMG_0056.JPG
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. 
jnielsen1210 days ago
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.

smash_time1 month ago
just out of curiosity how much was it to build the board minus wheels trucks and grip tape
zdawg_ut2 months ago

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?

JorisWillig7 months ago

bit of a noob here: does the board bend downwards or upwards? really cool project by the way, definitely gonna do this!

If the middle part is higher than the nose and tail its called camber, if its the other way (like a really flat u) its called rocker.
There's different attributes to each other you can find more info here

http://www.silverfishlongboarding.com/forum/longboarding-resources-q/130780-camber-vs-rocker.html

when you do it this way, and you put weight in the middle of the board when bending it, you form something called convex. so when you cut it out is sagging down, but when you put on your trucks you flip over the board so that the part that was sagging down is facing up.

lauti20001 year ago
where can i get good weels and bearings to make it go fast

just your local skate shop, for bearings i would recomend bones bearings

Do you need the fiberglass cloth? I'm doing this in shop and don have too many resources, pretty much just wood, wood glue, and a bunch of tools. Please reply soon.

you dont have to use fiberglass cloth, that just adds a little more protection and stiffness, if you have a bunch of wood then i would recomend to use 3-4 plys of wood, so that the last ply of wood will replace the fiber cloth

I want to build a drop through deck. I weigh 102 lbs. How many plys of wood would you recommend if i use baltic birch. Your board is awesome.

you could probably just go with 2 plys, but 3 ply if you want a little more stiffness

bhoffman551 year ago
hey im interested in making a board like this ( using the method ) i was wondering what kind of wood i should use. and if i want it to withstand 225 pounds ...how many sheets of wood?

if you can get your hands on some maple wood, then that would be the best, but if not just baltic birch, or birch. but you should use maybe 3-4,

and also if you can use some clamps if you have, and if you dont have alot of clamps use some screws also

wil_schofield10 months ago
I am making a 4ft. 1" board. I weigh about 140 and I want some bend so how many layers should i put and how long should I leave the cinder block on for?? Thanks

you should just use 3 ply's maybe, you should still get some flex

Scuba6031 year ago
did u just use regular plywood?
how heavy is that stuff you put on the board first weight?
JTMLB261 year ago
Is the fiberglass suff just to protect the paint and design. If so could I go with out it and apply a clear coat instead
The fiberglass makes it stiffer
rowdypaco1 year ago
did you fiberglass both sides of the board?
bjc40731 year ago
This is sorta mean, but how much do you weigh? I am making 2 for my cousin and my sister. They are both about 150, but I want it to sustain 200 lbs. Is 2 layers enough or do you think I need 3 sheets? BTW this is very nice, and where did you get your design/template
bellbros123 (author)  bjc40731 year ago
i weigh 150 as well, and the board holds extremely well. Two layers holds perfectly fine for a 150 lb person, but i would add a third layer it you want it to safely sustain 200 lbs. the board may not be as flexible as a result. the template is actually hand drawn. i drew half the board, then cut that side out. i then folded the paper in half, and re traced the side i drew to make it symmetrical, then i cut out the second side. to get the smooth curves i used edges of different sized round plastic container caps.
thebeastj1 year ago
is the bending really necessary for it or does it need to be done?
bellbros123 (author)  thebeastj1 year ago
no, not at all, this is just a preference,
You can download templates here: http://www.silverfishlongboarding.com/Board_Templates/
ChiefBordum2 years ago
I was just wondering, instead of wood stain. what kind of paint would I have to use?..
You could really use any paint, oil, acrylic, maybe even watercolours. You're covering whatever you're painting with fibreglass/grip tape anyways
ckraske2 years ago
what i might do is flip the board upside down on the trucks giving you a little bit more flex
kaine.xiii2 years ago
Instead of gluing two pieces of 1/4" birch plywood together, would it be fine to just use one 1/2" piece of birch plywood?
you really should use the two 1/4in because if you use 1/2in you will not be able to shape it.
If I have a single piece of wood that is hard enough, but not too heavy, that does not bend at all when I stand on it, is the bending step still necessary?
bellbros123 (author)  AudioMaximus2 years ago
that should be fine if u just want to ride around, but personally the board then feels like a piece of food with wheels. i personally like the feel of an authentic Longboard.
Tyler52 years ago
Is it absolutely necessary to put the fiberglass on?
ebend12 Tyler52 years ago
to build on his comment, where can one get the cloth and resin?
I got it in the auto department at a local hardware store.
imboredalot2 years ago
Can I use regular skateboard trucks and wheels?
chaoschao992 years ago
Which way does the board bend when you ride it?
bellbros123 (author)  chaoschao992 years ago
because the board bends upward sitting alone, but when i ride it equalizes and is pretty much flat
now did you use 2 or 3 sheets of plywood on the deck you made?
bellbros123 (author)  ItzConfidential2 years ago
i used two sheets of wood
wsx5872 years ago
this is a very well made board by the looks of it. 1 suggestion i have is that maybe instead of using skateboard trucks and wheels get actual long board trucks and wheels because there is a big difference in both but i do like the design and a very nice step by step process. me i have built about 8 boards and ive had 4 crack on me and you were smart to use fiberglass on the first run
bellbros123 (author)  wsx5872 years ago
they are longboard trucks they r just small ones... im getting nicer, bigger ones that fit the board better... and thanks for the feedback
mattcc2 years ago
If it has been asked im sorry, but can you cut the shape out before you bend it with the weights?
bellbros123 (author)  mattcc2 years ago
yes of course, but the only problem is cutting two pieces the exact same shape then making sure they dont slide around when gluing the layers... its muck easier to cut afterwards
mr2monster2 years ago
Instead of using grip tape, another way to get a decent grip pattern is to mix silica sand and fiberglass resin.. then spread fiberglass resin on the deck.

You could probably even use your electrical tape method and make whatever pattern you wanted.
punkrocka72 years ago
i've made 5 of these for my friends this way... they work awesome. never broke till my friends dad ran it over with his van lol
nteri812 years ago
How many Fiberglass cloths per side? And where is the best place to get the Fiber glass cloth, Fiber glass resin & hardener.
bellbros123 (author)  nteri812 years ago
i got the fiberglass cloth and hardener from Lowe's and their is only one layer of fiberglass on the bottom side. the top does not need the fiberglass because that is where the grip tape will be applied
mtbcrazy2 years ago
Awesome board!! I wana build one but where do u get the trucks??
bellbros123 (author)  mtbcrazy2 years ago
i just took them off of my old board... but you can get a nice new pair from amazon or ebay
bellbros123 (author) 2 years ago
Here is a link for a vid of the board

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

don't mind the sides... my brother decided to ride the board through a muddy puddle
jaydoo982 years ago
Not being a boarder, I have one question that I did not see answered. After the board is glued together with a curved surface, are the trucks mounted with the concavity up or down? Does the board look like a valley or a mountain when sitting on its wheels without anyone/anything on it?
For what is made here, I'm assuming that he is making camber (mountain). Some people prefer rocker (valley) instead. A lot of characteristics are just personal preference with longboards, like camber or rocker, concave or flat, amount of concave/rocker/camber.
for speed boards, I like a stiff board without a lot of flex, no camber and lots of concave. for carving most people go with a flexi board with lots of camber (bowed up) so that it looks flat when standing on it. All a matter of preference.
bellbros123 (author)  jaydoo982 years ago
its all based on preference, and with the wheels it looks like a mountain... ill post a pic later today
That is a good question. I didn't think of asking him that either. I'm not a boarder but my son has an old one and this is great project to update his old beat up board that is flat with no curved side. It seems to me that with a persons weight on the board, it would best to have it convex to allow the board to be straight as the boarder makes his or her run.

I know that I have seen tractor trailer rigs that have a trailer bed that seems to have a hump on them to allow for the weight of the load they are carrying.


I would like to build one of these for my son, with me not being a skater I have 2 questions, the first is I assume you cut the board length wise so the bow is front to back, and up is the top, is this correct? Next, the holes for the trucks, they would be 90 degrees to the deck surface, and is location of the trucks critical, or do riders prefer custom?
The advantage of a longer wheel base is that it is more stable at higher speeds, but like bellbros says you will have a wider turn radius (look further ahead and plan your turns, it doesn't take that long to get used to). most short boards have a wheel base around 20" (axle to axle). that's about the width of my shoulders. my favorite long board has a wheel base of 36". I don't see a reason for going much longer than that. Good Luck!
bellbros123 (author)  beavercleaver2 years ago
yes that is correct, and the truck location depend on what the rider prefers the closer the trucks the tighter the turns the further apart the wider the turns. also the front truck should be closer to the nose than the back truck is to the tail
I don't really know what you meant by the board length question but as to the location of the trucks, too far back and you might get wheelbite from the deck (the board might hit the wheels when leaning in a turn) and too far forward might get you shoebite (leaning in a turn with feet on top of the trucks could cause your shoes to hit the wheels). Possible solutions to this are either wheel wells, which are cutouts along the edges of a board to allow some clearance, or using riser, which are those black things on top of the trucks in the finished product picture, until you don't get bite. See: earthwing superglider/miniglider

However, location of the trucks is also a rider preference thing because it determines what a board's wheelbase is. I am a fairly new longboard rider so I'll try to explain the best I can, and anyone who can do a better job please correct me. A deck with less nose and tail is typically used for cruising and carving while a deck with more nose and tail is used for tricks and such. A wheelbase is the distance between the two trucks (axle to axle, I believe) and typically the longer it is, the more stable the board is at higher speeds, within limits. On the other hand, the shorter it is, the easier it is to turn. Therefore, you could always drill two sets of holes to set up for different wheelbases. For more information, silverfishlongboarding is a great place to learn about longboard construction.

Hope this helped!
Wheelbase is not an accurate name for wheelbase since it is actually measured from the inside truck holes. http://www.silverfishlongboarding.com/forum/general-longboarding/213231-hi-kids-im-board.html Good information about decks right there
Thanks, I have been promising him I would make him a custom deck for a while.
yes it does, thanks.
just mike2 years ago
Beautiful work! I love the notch tail, it reminds me of a vintage surfboard. Nice.
Do you have any advise on centering and aligning the holes?
bellbros123 (author)  andrewgilmartin2 years ago
I used the center pin stripe on the board to help align the trucks then using a tape measure i made sure that the trucks were perfectly center and straight
Love the board! Would you mind telling me the total cost of the build and where you found the fiberglass cloth and resin? I wouldn't know where to look for those.
bellbros123 (author)  iZimTehBloxxer2 years ago
It cost me 30 but i already had trucks and wheels and i the resin could be found at home depot are most auto body stores
You can get fiberglass cloth and resin at hobby stores like HobbyTown USA or even at an auto parts store.
bellbros123 (author)  pdub772 years ago
I bought it at home depot...
Any marine supply house and some marinas carry fiberglass boat patching kits .Cloth is available in widths up to 60in.Cheaper(less pretty) kits can be found at auto supply stores.
That is easily found at any auto parts store, it will be in the paint and body section.
Autozone, Advance, Wal-mart all have a nice selection.
voltagedude2 years ago
this seems like a really cool project. I was wondering if the fiberglass and resin is important. Could I build one without it? Also wondering how much this whole build cost you. Very interested in making this
bellbros123 (author)  voltagedude2 years ago
the fiber glass is for protection and support if you dont use it i would suggest using 3 sheets of 1/4" BIrch wood, but the fiber glass protects against water damage as well
Two questions:
One, what type of wood are you using, it looks quality but i couldn't quite tell any specifics.
Two, I use this wood glue:

https://encrypted-tbn1.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTuulP99NQP1Cp_CVMaDTcwLh5SShUA9ho2RlTjLncz8V6ihORn

Would it affect the gluing process, what kind of glue do you use?
Thanks, nice ible
bellbros123 (author)  applesaucemodifier2 years ago
I used Elmers wood glue but that glue is fine, and also i used Birch wood
wallerps2 years ago
Really nice work and a great looking board. I have a question about the fiberglass. When you did your trimming, did you do that from the top so that the sides were covered with fiberglass or did trim along the bottom so that the edges were bare wood and sanded really well. I would like to see a photo of the edge and how the Top, bottom and the edge look close up.

A great project and a nice piece to display in you place.

Thanks Again,
Sparkie Waller
Qionton, Alabama
bellbros123 (author)  wallerps2 years ago
i trimmed the fiberglass from the bottom and sanded it down on the sides
lobo0x72 years ago
hi, nice work!

i dont get very well the bending part...
can you please post a pic with the detail of the bent board?
just to have an idea on how much weight did you apply.

i am shure it is a great ride.
thanks
bellbros123 (author)  lobo0x72 years ago
you dont have to bend the board this is just what i prefer you could just press the wood and leave it flat
tuntini312 years ago
How much was the total build?
bellbros123 (author)  tuntini312 years ago
in total 30 bucks
I had already had trucks, and grip tape was like 10 bucks
baronbrian2 years ago
Instead of staples or screws could you use clamps?
bellbros123 (author)  baronbrian2 years ago
yes clamps would work fine
mjursic2 years ago
VERY nice! Whenever I've mad them, the best way to hold a curve was similar--I'd cut the blanks big, hang them, the screw them together around the perimeter of the piece. After the glue is dry--note, use Weldbond--it's penetrating, strong and flexible--I cut the piece to shape. Using this method, you can put a really dramatic camber on it, and depending on where you want its apex, that's where you put the weignt. For a pointload, I used a 30 kg anvil I have. Never used the fiberglass, though. I guess that's next for me to try.
dragon#12 years ago
great job!!!!!!!!!!!!
bellbros123 (author) 2 years ago
I will be uploading a video of the Longboard this weekend so you could see it in use
Bongmaster2 years ago
nice board and ible :)

btw its 'holes' not 'wholes' ;)
bellbros123 (author)  Bongmaster2 years ago
I fixed the typo... and thanks