Instructables
Picture of Make A Sweet Longboard
This instructable is how to make a longboard of professional quality. When my friends saw mine they thought it was store bought until i told them. it is also a cheap alternative to the high priced ones that you can buy. I spent around $40 for everything and it was the best money i ever spent and saved me a few hundred too! This one is made in a way that is different than others that make it stronger and better fitting.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

The first step is to gather materials:

wood glue, or gorilla glue wood work great!
jig saw
clamps
wheels and trucks (can be bought on ebay for around $20)
drill and bits
chalk line (optional)
stain, or paint
grip tape

Step 2: Cut Wood


in this step, cut the wood into 1"x4" rectangles, you will need three of these to make your longboard, be sure to cut along and across the grain. you will see why later on.

Step 3: Glue it all Together

photo_2[1].JPG

in this step, you will glue it all together. Use wood glue or gorilla glue to do this, first lay one piece of plywood down, making sure it is the piece is the one with the grain going along the long part of the wood, lay glue down and spread evenly. Do this to the second sheet(the one with the grain going parallel to the short side of the piece) and lay them on top of each other so glue on both sides are touching. Do this to the third piece and then clamp and add weights. You want to compress it enough so that glue will squeeze out the sides use weights or whatever you have on hand. Let dry overnight. notice how i bent my long board. you have to do this while the glue is wet, and this is why this is the best way to make long boards, because you can adjust the curve and shape it the way you want, which you cant do with a normal piece of wood alone.
how long did it take you to bend the board? were you letting the glue dry at the same time? and how many layers of 1/8'' BB would i need for someone who is 180? thanks
I'm about 170lbs... I think 2 layers of 1/8 should work fine...right? I hope?
Parker_r51 year ago
What type of wood did you use?
g-tech3 years ago
hi, im guessing youre pretty new to lonboard building? well dont use that crap 3/16 wood from home depot or menards. you need a good quality baltic birch 1/8" thick to make a decent board. you should also use titebond III to glue your boards, it is the best quality one.
Where should i get the wood?
A very good place to get wood is from roarockit.com. They actually specialize in longboard/skateboard wood.
try searching for lumber sellers in your area, call or check their website to see if they carry 1/8" BB(baltic birtch) it can take some searching and investigating. its usually a local business that carries this kind of wood, look for woodworking stores as well, they carry a large variety of woods. dont give up,it just takes some investigative work
komoto133 years ago
Also for the grip tape, you can use epoxy and clear sand (use sand according to how much grip you want) you can also use this same trick with some cloth to make cloth designs.
or use broken glass filtered through a window screen epoxied to the deck
Brown60413 years ago
could you add a picture from the side to see how much curve you have in this board. good ible
bcontarino3 years ago
You don't do tricks on a longboard?? Obviously you don't know much about long boarding. All kinds of tricks. It just has a different style. But me and my friends do kick flips, shovits. Powerslides, cross stepping and a lot of other stuff. and there are way more advanced tricks... Just depends. A homemade board is still fine, specially for learning. But make sure you have strong wood...

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

This video is what got me into longboard. If your kids are into learning. Have them youtube videos. Anything by "loaded" is legit. Also search adam colton. He is one of the best in the world, and has all kinds of instructional videos...
I'm impressed that you can do shove-its on a longboard. That's a lot of wood to spin around, heh.
Hey . Nice Instructable .
me from India .
i am trying to make this but here i am little confused about wheels .i have no wheels . and i don't want to purchase it through Ebay .. i will purchase it from local market of my town . so i want to know specific name of this wheels . and specific size .
thanks in advance
So you'll normally get to different shaped wheels..
1. Narrow tread with rounded edges:
http://www.skatehut.co.uk/acatalog/Refreshfluomix250.jpg
2. Wide tread with a 'squared' edge:
http://www.skatehut.co.uk/acatalog/ojwheelscreaturerast300.jpg

Look for option 2 wheels, that are 60mm or higher and that the hub fits your trucks. They'll be fairly similar to rollerskate wheels but different to rollerblade wheels.

Not sure if it's the same, but I remember Rollerblade wheels coming in different densities, the softer wheels give a more comfortable ride, more grip but wear down faster than the harder wheels.
Most wheels are made of polyurethane of varying hardness, and there are (dis)advantages either way you go.

As you said, softer wheels give you a more comfortable ride, and wear down faster. They also allow you to roll over rocks easier and grip your rolling surface better. They also increase friction, so you won't go quite as fast.

The harder wheels, have less friction so they give you less grip and make it more likely that when you hit a pebble you'll keep going but your board wont. They also take longer to wear down.

It's all trade-offs, and it's fairly hard to know what you really want until you actually ride. Just play around, have fun, and be safe!
Kryptonite3 years ago
I would totally make one myself; however, it appears to be almost impossible to source appropriately sized baltic birch ply in Australia!
A friend of mine made a nice one of from two pieces of bookend hardwood butted against each other. He added butterflies to keep it sturdy, and it rode really well, although it was heavier than it needed to be. The first skateboards were just 2x4's, so don't be afraid to improvise
2x4's with roller skates nailed to the bottom ;)

I wonder what that kid thinks now (assuming (s)he is still alive)...
It would probably be a fair amount more expensive and may need to be steamed before bending (never worked with it) but how about seeing if you can find maple wood? I know it's used for more expensive skateboards but not sure about longboards, although I doubt there'd be much difference in materials.
Maple's not much easier to find, but at least it's possible. I'll do some research, thanks.
bgepp13 years ago
nice ible! btw - what kind of wood did you use? I checked your list of materials and there was no mention of the wood. I am assuming hard rock maple right?

gskaggs3 years ago
Very nice. And nice that you made it for your sister. Good job!
XP13 years ago
I would like to start off by saying that this was a very good Instructable. Okay, so I am not sure of what I should use, as far as wood goes. I looked at the price of some hard-wood plywood at Lowe's, and Home Depot, and I was not sure if that would be adequate. The thickness is of 1/4 inch. I am curious of where I would be able to purchase (preferably not online) some plywood in the event that the Hardware store wood would not do well. I saw a video on YouTube, in which the wood snapped as soon as person who built the board had stepped on it, and I would prefer that this not happen to me. I also saw a case in which a person built a board, and he used one piece of 1/2 inch thick wood, and another of 1/4 inch. I am a bit lost, and any help would be greatly appreciated.
wazupdoc3 years ago
okay so decent longboard wheels are around 40$ at the cheapest and trucks and 50$ and berrings are 20$ grip tape is also 10$ idk where u got 40$ from... just saying
I'm guessing the cost doesn't include the trucks & wheels.
to be honest I don't know anything about skateboarding (I wanna make these for my kids) but I've read that when you do all the fancy tricks that you go thru decks pretty fast but I think you can keep reusing the wheel sets.
my kids are daredevils and seem to lack a lot of the common sense that comes with age (I miss those days) so i expect to be making a few of these.
ilpug dimtick3 years ago
an avid skateboarder can go through a deck every few weeks. Longboards like this are designed for just cruising around, not for actual tricks.
dimtick ilpug3 years ago
so you don't do tricks with a long board? i didn't know that. I think that's perfect for my kids.
I like the idea of making the decks because i think that they'll trash em but maybe a long baord will last longer. still think i'de like to make it but now maybe i'll use nicer quality wood like maple.
ilpug dimtick3 years ago
depending on the age and responsibility of your kids, i think a long board would be a good way to start to get the feel of the board. after a while you can get them normal boards and let them skate freestyle. Don't bother trying to make your own freestyle decks, they are made specially and cannot be accurately recreated in a home workshop. Keep in mind that your kids will become a little bit more independant if exposed to skateboard culture, so if you are one of those grumpy anti-freedom parents, don't introduce them to it.
lwoodward ilpug3 years ago
Plenty of skaters doing freestyle on longboards so it begs the question of what a "normal" board is. One does not necessarily move on from longboarding to freestyle, it may be the other way around or they may do both. Its not uncommon for skaters to have a "quiver" of skateboards. 1. Downhill board 2. LDP board 3. Carving board 4. Dancer 5. Park Board 6. Street freestyle (normal?) 7. Old School 8. Slider
Of course you may have 3 or 4 boards that are able to encompass most of these disciplines. Don't limit yourself when it comes to having fun on a board. :-D
Cheers
lwoodward ilpug3 years ago
Just wanted to +1 to this comment. These are good instructions for someone wanting to try out longboarding or just cruise around. As soon as you start getting up to speed and really learning how to carve and pump, the limitations of the cheap trucks and wheels will quickly show. I'd hate to see an aggressive longboarder dissapointed when this set up doesn't perform because trust me, it won't. I commonly find myself trying to "tune up" these cheap truck/wheel combos from ebay and there is only so much that I can do for them. The difference between good and cheap equipment will greatly effect your experience. Just keep this in mind. Cheers.
czaugg15 (author)  wazupdoc3 years ago
on ebay decent truck with wheels and bearings are around $33, these wheels are good for a homemade long board, because the point of making a long board is to save money.
Nice work and good clear instructions, but I do have a couple questions/critiques that might help clear up a few points of confusion. I see from the note on the step 1 picture, that you're using 3/16" plywood, but it would be good to have that in the main text of the step as well, as I did not notice that at first. Also, both there and in step 2, you have double quotes instead of single quotes for the foot dimensions. Finally, I was wondering what kind of plywood you used. It looks really nice in your title image.
You can buy 7ply Baltic Birch plywood at a furniture store. 7 ply Baltic Birch is commonly used in longboard manufacturing. Common plywood will quickly de-laminate under the stress of truck torsion and rider weight.
zerol8on3 years ago
having made a ton of boards when I used to ride, I appreciate how hard it is to get the camber (bend) by gluing sheets together. If you want to take a short(ish) cut, and want to make a flat board, you can get 1/2" or 5/8" (depending on your weight) baltic birch or maple plywood. (that said, using 3/16" baltic birch or maple, marine grade plywood will really increase the life of your boards when gluing them too, but maybe you're already doing that....).

Home Depot plywood is usually just crappy plywood with a thin layer of birch to make it look nice (for cabinets, mostly). If you get marine-grade plywood (you can tell because every layer, including both surfaces, is the same thickness, like bent plywood ikea furniture), your boards will be super flexy and last wayyyy longer. I routinely made boards that would touch the ground, and never break. it's harder to find (gotta go to a special wood place like macbeath hardwoods in the east bay, CA) but it's REALLY worth it.

hope that helps someone!

ps if you want to get really fancy, you can put a layer of fiberglass or carbon fiber on the bottom of your board, to make it a little stiffer.
I think you mean 1 foot(1') x 4 foot (4') rectangles :)
vvshende3 years ago
Hello,

Great job on the instructable. I had a couple of questions.

1) Have you played around with thickness of the board and flexibility?
2) Have you found a way to add camber to the boards?
3) Have you found a way to curl up the tail and nose for manuals, shovits, etc.?

Again, great job,
Vik
You could flip the board after having bent it to get camber instead of rocker.
what trucks did you use?
askinsb3 years ago
I was thinking the same thing about the measurements 1"x4"...That's going to be a tiny board. I'm guessing it's 1' x 4', that would make more sense.
czaugg15 (author)  askinsb3 years ago
yeah, sorry about that