Introduction: How to Make a Beach Cruiser Board (With Step-by-Step Theme Music)

Picture of How to Make a Beach Cruiser Board (With Step-by-Step Theme Music)

Awwwwwwww Yeaaaaaaaaa. B)

~na na na na theme music na na na na~
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvqA7XJ7GpI


You made a good choice clicking on this link my friend! Here we're gonna show you how to make your own beach cruiser board on a relatively low budget :) Now when I say relatively I mean RELATIVELY low. This isn't gonna be a 2 dollar board, and I'm going to assume you have at least some basic tools with you. That being said you're only going to have to invest around 40-ish dollars which is PRETTY FRIKKIN cheap when you think a decent board will cost you at least twice that.

If you don't have these basic tools, DON'T PANIC! Go out and buy them!
They'll be a worthwhile investment not only for now, but for future projects as well :D

Any questions from the class? No? Okay.
HERE.
WE.
GO.

Step 1: Step 1: Inssufficient Funds.

Picture of Step 1: Inssufficient Funds.

~theme music for step 1~
http://youtu.be/e69laCvKxEw


There's no point in starting a project if you can't finish it. First, lay out all that you need, how much you think it'll cost, and how much you are willing to pay. I always keep an extra 20 with me just in case. You never know.

So remember those basic tools I told you guys about? Well here they are.

- A Jig Saw: Doesn't have to be a jig saw in particular, but I find it the most practical. As long as you have something that can cut through wood (an axe doesn't count.)

- A drill - You'll need this to drill the holes for the trucks but that's pretty much it. Hole punchers don't cut through plywood so I'd definitely get this requirement figured out before you continue.

- Brushes (optional) - If you're on this site I'm going to assume you have a brush lying around somewhere. Get it ready. If not I guess you could finger paint.

- Sandpaper - Fine and Coarse. You need BOTH guys. 60 grit paper will wear those sharp corners away, but it won't leave it looking clean. Use the fine grade sandpaper after the 60/80 grit and you'll see how big of a difference this makes. Also, the fiberglass will need to be worn away by both of these to get a nice finish. It costs like 3 dollars. Just buy some.

- X - Acto blade - Hobby knife, Boxcutter, Cutter, OLFA, whatever you want to call it. You'll be doing some cutting and I find that using these blades makes the process much simpler.

- Ruler - To measure things.

- Tape (PAINTER'S) - To tape things.

- Pen - to write on things.

- Printer (optional) - to print things

- Gloves - to protect your hands.

If you don't have these items that's okay. You can always borrow! :D

$$$ Things you may need to purchase $$$

$15
Fiberglass Resin -  this comes with a small bottle of hardener most of the time. This will give the board the nice finish.

$7
Fiberglass cloth - a pack of 8 square foot cloth is more than enough. This will give the board strength and flexibility

$20
Respirator (REQUIRED) - If you're choosing to work with the fiberglass you will absolutely need a respirator. A dust mask doesn't count! If you can still smell it, it's still killing you, so get a decent grade respirator. I already had one, but you can get one for around 20 bucks. Not only will you look like a Badass, but you won't get cancer. Which is bad for those of you that don't know.

$2
Foam Roller - Get the cheap kind! You'll be using one foam roller per coat of resin and the stuff will harden on the roller! After you use it the foam will become useless, so invest in some dollar store rollers (I found 2 for 1 dollar. I needed 4)

$5
Griptape - It keeps you from falling off the board. Get something you like! It comes in colors too so be creative!

$15
Wood! - This is very important! Find the right wood! Do NOT use particle board. Do NOT use chipboard. Use sheets of fully in-tact wood to do this. There are many instructables that do a much better job than I of explaining which wood to choose so look at those! My wood investment was a total of $15


Because I already had the respirator I only spent 38 bucks. Of course you could opt out of using the fiberglass all together and save a bunch of that money :)

Step 2: Step 2: Design Your Board

Picture of Step 2: Design Your Board

~theme music for step 2~
http://youtu.be/t3217H8JppI


Now you become an artiste! Be creative! Do whatever you want! Sketch, draw, paint, anything - as long as you come up with a design you can be happy with.

This was my design that I made using AutoCAD. You don't have to use this program or even use a computer for that matter! Just make sure  you have a SYMMETRICAL design and you'll be fine. (If you do want to use the computer, GIMP is a freeware program much like photoshop that will allow you to do many things. Google it!) And with that, I'll leave you to let your creative juices flow.

Step 3: Step 3: Cut It Out!

Picture of Step 3: Cut It Out!

~theme music for step 3~
http://youtu.be/BIduOvEoVeQ

Get it? Cause its called a jig saw? And he's getting Jiggy?.......meh it was a lame joke anyway.

So after you design your board, cut it out! Use a template (which is what that paper is). A template will help you preview your board before you start hacking away at that precious wood you purchased.

1) - Cut your design out if need be. Use the X-acto.

2)  - Trace it out on the wood. Use a marker/pen.

2) - Cut your board out of the wood while you jam to the funky beat. NA NA NA NA NA NA NA.  Use the Jigsaw.


When you're doing this step be VERY CAREFUL! The more accurate you are, the cleaner your final product will be. As with most other DIY's the more you add to your project the more distorted it becomes. We still have to sand it, fiberglass it, and resin it! If you make a clean cut now, you won't have to worry about an asymmetrical board later :)

Step 4: Step 4: Sand It. Sand It GOOOOD...

Picture of Step 4: Sand It. Sand It GOOOOD...

~theme music for step 4~
http://youtu.be/uY3LAFJbKyY

Embrace the sandman within! Get to work sanding away those ugly corners. Not only will the board look nicer, but it will help it survive bumps and collisions later on in its life. While you're here, sand the top and bottom faces of the board as well. The final product should be a nice smooth surface all around the board. Like if I gave it to my baby cousin to suck on and she'd be ok smooth.

When you're done sanding, get a damp rag and wipe the whole board with it. This'll clean off all the tiny sawdust that blowing/brushing tends to miss ;)
You'll need a prepped surface for the rest of the design (woodstain/paint/bedazzleed jems)

Step 5: Step 5: Cut Out Your Design.

Picture of Step 5: Cut Out Your Design.

~theme music for step 5~
http://youtu.be/vhajBcWM18I
(its by CUT chemist. ooo ha ha ha how fitting......ah..)

There are MANY ways you can do this. I'm just showing you how I did it :x

Remember that template you printed out?  Well bring it back out and use it to cut your design out of painter's tape. Painters tape will keep what you're painting ( acrylic, woodstain, spraypaint) from getting onto the other parts of your board. Be very careful and take your time here! Cut using an X - acto, and you should be fine. When you have it cut out, place it on your board and press it down REALLY tight. It'll peel off fine (given you didn't buy crap tape) and should leave a clean line along its edge. :D



Step 6: Step 6: Paint Your Design

Picture of Step 6: Paint Your Design

~theme music for step 6~
http://youtu.be/BVI4wASoNcc

After Norah Jones is done singing, change your pants and get back to work. What you do here is up to you. Spray paint, acrylic, etc. I used wood stain because i liked how the grain of the wood looked.

WARNING:
 To those of you using woodstain it WILL bleed under the painter's tape. Its how woodstain works. It's not a paint that just stays on the surface. To keep your stain INSIDE the lines set by the painter's tape, use your X- Acto and score the edges. This will create a nice valley that will contain some of the stain. Then apply in LIGHT COATS. LIGHT COATS. CAPA DE LUZ. légère couche! �'c!!!

After you're done, peel off the tape an you should be good to go!
LEAVE AT LEAST 24 hours before the next step! If the stain/paint isn't CURED (this doesn't mean dry or dry to the touch) the fiberglass will not adhere correctly.

Step 7: Step 7: Fiberglass.....DUN DUN DUN!

Picture of Step 7: Fiberglass.....DUN DUN DUN!

~theme music for step 7~
http://youtu.be/GvpfM1NDHD0

This is the scary part. Pay close attention!

After your stain/paint is completely cured you can apply the fiberglass. This consists of mixing the resin/hardener, spreading it over the surface of the board, applying a sheet of fiberglass cloth over it, covering that with more resin, all before the resin hardens.
TEST IT OUT ON SOME SCRAP WOOD UNTIL YOU GET THE HANG OF IT!

I don't have any pictures of me performing this step but it's fairly strait forward. Wear your respirator! Please!

This video does a very good job of showing how its done
http://youtu.be/JwyFyysShJQ
But wear gloves!

Also, be SURE to COMPLETELY smooth out the resin while you're applying with the foam roller. The ugliest thing is a globby board >_<

After you coat the top, coat the bottom as well. The cloth provides flexibility and strength so you can't go wrong! When you finish applying. Major credit to the DuvalBoardCompany and their video. I hope it gets more views. Leave nice comments for the guy!


When it hardens, (each coat is about 6-8 hours) cut the remainder of the cloth off with an X-Acto as is shown in the video. Then follow through with the 60 grit and the 150 like you did earlier on the normal wood. This will leave your edges nice and smooth. If you see white, don't worry! A little resin will make that go away :)

Step 8: Step 8: Apply the Gip Tape

Picture of Step 8: Apply the Gip Tape

~theme music for step 8~
http://youtu.be/Gl83mI69nX4
(generic skate song unrelated to grip tape)

So the same way you used the template to cut out your design on the painters tape, use your template to cut out your design on the grip tape. Grip tape is around 5 bucks so no big deal. DON'T use sandpaper. It washes away with water and just sucks. I know. I did this before. Bad idea.

Anyway, the tape is self adhering so simply cut and place. Then your done!

Step 9: Step 9: Drill Baby Drill.

Picture of Step 9: Drill Baby Drill.

~Theme music for step 9~
http://youtu.be/DVKeo4QUL-c

Find the center line of your board. You should already know this after the emphasis on everything being symmetrical and all.  Next, make a small template of your truck base and fold it in half. Place the crease on your center line and you have centered your trucks! mark where to drill your holes and drill away!

First find the right drill bit for the job. Once again, try it on a piece of wood to make sure your hardware (the nuts and bolts) can get through the wood easily. I found a bit that worked but wasn't labeled, so sorry I don't have it.

**************************
Drill from the TOP OF YOUR BOARD to the bottom. Instinct will tell your drill from the bottom because that's where the trucks go, but the 'exit wound' of a drill bit is always worse than the entrance. The fiberglass should keep any splintering from happening, but there will be SOME sort of ugly evidence of drilling on the side through which the bit exits. So drill from the top to keep the top clean, and then place your trucks over the messy bottom ;)
************************


I used a larger drill bit to make the screws flush with the surface afterward. You'll see what I mean in the photos

Step 10: Step 10: Slap on Some Trucks...FOR VICTORY.

Picture of Step 10: Slap on Some Trucks...FOR VICTORY.

~Theme song for step 10~
http://youtu.be/3suGfhnT2Sg


SLAP ON SOME TRUCKS AND YOU'RE DONE!
SHA- POW!!!


See? Told you we could do it ;)

Comments

TwitchMelone (author)2015-02-19

Can you give me your shape? This board looks so cool mate!

Sorry for the late reply but here is the template I made:

http://i.imgur.com/A4QlXAn.jpg

Good luck!

i cant get onto it, it seems to have been taken down. could you possibly put it up again or email it to me please?

surfinlay (author)2015-10-16

what wheels and trucks did you use?

etolar (author)2015-02-21

Oh and did you put any camber in the board?

TheShrubPatrol (author)etolar2015-03-19

Hey there! So I didn't put any camber in this board - I didn't have the time to get that all sorted out, so it lies flat and DOES deflect downwards. Part of the goal of this project was to keep it way under budget so I actually did not use any hardwood. I point out that my investment was $15 in this instructable - from that you might be be ale to deduce that it was just regular home improvement store plywood! In a perfect world I would have used maple, but that would have at least doubled the budget and energy, though you CAN purchase board blanks at different places online (uncut board which have been laminated and cambered) though they are pricey and shipping is an issue.

So I hope that helps! This was meant to be a durable, functional, and good looking board. As I've mentioned before - I wouldn't take this board in particular out and about doing anything fancy - this board is a cruiser board, though you could apply the same techniques with higher quality (and more expensive) hardwoods to achieve that really robust effect.

Good luck!

etolar (author)2015-02-21

What type of plywood did you use? Pine, birch, oak etc.

instructs (author)2013-06-23

great board :)

RobertBean (author)2012-09-09

Awesome board, I will have to try to build one now.

whiskrs (author)2012-07-26

What are the dimesions of your board?

TheShrubPatrol (author)whiskrs2012-07-28

This board's longest dimensions are 33" from tail to tip and 9.5" along the widest end of the body. It's a small enough board to not be a hassle like a long board but a large enough board to rest very comfortable on. I would use a denser plywood or laminate my own sheets If I was planning on making something longer like a long board as I feel it would flex a bit too much for my taste and may even risk breaking; however, as it is now it rides beautifully. Hope this helps!

can you make this out of plywood???

Yes you can use plywood, but just be aware of the benefits/limitations of using it. The main limitation is that you have very little control over the flexibility/rigidity of the board - you can't really "fine-tune" prelaminated plywood by adding/removing sheets of wood/fiberglass. However, if you are comfortable with the amount of flexibility or lack thereof, your board will turn out fine. I used 1/4 inch plywood with the fiberglass for this project and it is a very springy board. I have a short cruiser board with big fat wheels and I used 1/2 inch plywood with no fiberglass so is is a very stiff board. I made a board where I laminated sheets of 1/8 wood together and its somewhere in between. It all depends :)

(check my reply to XP1's comment below to see how I picked my wood out)
Good luck!

One more question, how thick was the wood you used?

The wood I used was around a quarter of an inch (1/4"). It definitely has some give to it so I wouldn't use this type of wood for anything other than a cruiser board. It wouldn't stand the beating that a normal trick-based skateboard would and it wouldn't retain its shape.

However the flexibility really leds itself a smoother ride. With the fiberglass on it as well, I haven't felt like It was going to break and I don't see anything bizarre (warping, splinting, etc.)
I would test out the wood at your woodstore using the 2X4 method I described to the other commenter to really see what thickness you want. Its all about preference. A thicker wood obviously won't bend as much, and a thinner wood may break.

XP1 (author)2012-07-22

I have wanted to build a board for some time now. Looks like a great Instructable. Where did you purchase your wood? Was it Baltic Birch, or basic plywood, and if so how has it held up? Thanks.

TheShrubPatrol (author)XP12012-07-23

I purchased my wood at the Home Depot.

~~~This ISN'T something most people recommend~~

HOWEVER - this doesn't mean it is bad! I've made boards before using the method below and they last :D


What you can do is find some plywood you think would work well and have them (the home depot lumber department) cut you a rectangle just larger than the shape of your board. This shouldn't cost anything and you won't have to pay for the wood until you pass through the register at the front. Then, find 2 loose 2X4 scraps and place them perpendicular to the length of the board under the wood at around where you think the trucks will be. The wood will be elevated and will allow you to hop on (just like you would hop on a skateboard). If you feel like the wood is going to break with your weight on it or if it doesn't behave like you would like, get off and find a new piece. Place your cut piece of wood in the "pre cut pieces" panel of the home depot or just set them aside and you're done. :)

This way you will not have lost any money, will already know how your board will feel, and will not have to spend a fortune on your wood. :)

You can also wood glue thinner sheets of plywood together too. I've done this and it also works :)

XP1 (author)TheShrubPatrol2012-07-23

Thank you very much. I shall try what you have suggested.

ghostlywackness (author)2012-07-22

Yea what type of wood did you use and where did you get it at?

Hey! So I just responded to the person below you. :) If you scroll down you should find what you're looking for. If you have any more questions ask away!

K Thanks and good tip!

Nice I think Im gonna attempt to build a board.

IgnorantZebra (author)2012-07-22

How well does this ride?

I only rode it around for a couple of hours the other day, but it seemed to be holding up nicely. It definitely flexes, which helps with a smoother ride, but I know some people aren't a fan of that type of flexibility. Overall it was a great ride though I wish it turned a littler sharper. :)

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