Introduction: How to Make a Wooden Fingerboard
In this video tutorial I'll you show my process for making wooden fingerboards! I made this deck using standard 0.6mm wood veneers and a Gator fingerboard mold. The woods I used were Maple and Santos Rosewood.
You can find inexpensive fingerboard molds on Ebay - follow the links below to find your own mold.
You can also find a great selection of wood veneers on Ebay here:
*I am a member of the Ebay partner network so if you use my link to buy something I get a small commission - I'm not a sleazy affiliate marketer and this is of no detriment to you, it just helps me to keep creating quality content and tutorials for you!
Step 1: Cutting and Preparing the Wood Veneers.
Begin by cutting 5 pieces of your desired veneer into strips that are 36mm by 115mm.
Each layers grain should run at a 90 degree angle to the layer beneath it to give the lamination super strength!
Here I've used a standard thickness veneer (0.6mm thick). You can get creative and use a variety of different species to make your board unique.
These pieces of Maple and Santos Rosewood were off-cuts from other projects but you can find great deals on bundles of wood veneers on Ebay if you'd like to give this a try. Follow the links below to find the best deals:
Step 2: Gluing and Clamping in the Fingerboard Mold
Apply a thin layer of adhesive to four of the five strips. I used Gorilla Glue on this board but wood glue or epoxy resin would also work fine.
Stack your strips in the desired order to create your lamination and then sandwich it in the mold between two sheets of baking paper. This will stop the wood from getting stuck to the mold so you can remove it easily later.
Clamp the mold up tightly, I used my drill press clamp but some simple G Clamps would work just as well. Use pegs or paper clips on any overhanging wood to compress it together - this way there will be no gaps in your lamination.
Using the fingerboard mold is the best option for creating these boards and they are inexpensive and easy to find. Use the links below to find one:
Step 3: Removing From the Clamp
Wait for the adhesive to fully cure and remove the mold from the clamp. Don't skip ahead and remove the mold prematurely: if the glue isn't cured then the board wont be at full strength!
Mark where the edges of the mold are on the lamination before taking it out of the mold so you can see where to draw your shape on later. I used a pencil but you're probably better off scoring it using a craft knife.
Peel away the baking paper and mark out your desired fingerboard shape on the lamination. You can do this by tracing around an existing board or just free styling it if you have skills.
Step 4: Shaping the Fingerboard
Shaping is the fun part and can be done with a simple rotary tool, a linisher or a bench sander.
Take your time and shape the board with multiple passes until the shape and size look good.
Clean up the top and bottom and round off the edges by hand with sandpaper.
Sand the bottom of the deck by working through progressively finer grits of sandpaper. I used 240 - 320 - 400 - 600 grit to get it super smooth.
Clean the dust off the wood with a little white spirit so the finish really makes the grain pop later!
Step 5: Drilling and Countersinking Holes for Your Screws
Next use a drill bit slightly larger than the fingerboards screws to drill clearance holes in the spots marked by the mold.
Then countersink the holes using a larger drill bit or countersink bit so the screws will sit flush to the board when you put them in.
I used a countersinking bit from my dremel - if you don't have one then use another drill bit that is the same diameter as the head of the screws. Countersinking is very important so don't skip this stage!
Step 6: Applying Grip Tape
Prepare to apply your grip tape. I didn't have any so I improvised by using a 240 grit sandpaper.
Cut out a rough shape and stick it to the top of the board with an adhesive of your choice. I used a simple spray adhesive that seemed to hold up just fine!
I just sprayed a bit on to the grip tape covering it completely and then stuck it to the top of the board. A few paper clips helped to hold the grip tape in place and ensure 100% adhesion to the board.
Clean up any excess grip tape carefully with a craft knife and sandpaper then brush away the dust.
Step 7: Finish Him!!
Poke a pin through the holes at the bottom of the deck so you can see where the screws will go in and apply a finish of your choice to the board, I used Tung oil as it's easy to apply and looks good!
Wait for the finish to fully cure, assemble your deck and skate!
Step 8: Make Your Own, Subscribe & Share
Thank you for reading/watching my tutorial, I hope it has been helpful and you get creative with making your own fingerboards! If you like this project then please share it with your crew on social media and share a photo if you make one.
You can find wood veneers and fingerboard molds in the links below too:
Wood veneer deals: