That is why I decided that I was going to acquire a new pair of roller skates the hard way… I’d obviously watched a few too many roller skate building tutorials online - but once the idea was in my head I, simply, could not get it out.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the skates, especially the fact that they’re ‘tailored’ to me, but as this was my first skate project, I tripped over a few unexpected hurdles, no pun intended, (one of which was, admittedly, a dead power drill) - which led to a bit of frustration - which then led to a bit of ‘mood shopping’…
Anyway, this ‘tutorial’ should ensure that whoever decides to do the same shouldn’t have to do it ‘the hard way’ ;-)
These were my tools and supplies:
One old pair of roller-skates
One pair of skate shoes/trainers
One skate tool or ratchet
One pair of Sure-Grip insoles
One 15mm spanner/wrench
One 10mm spanner/wrench
4mm bolts and washers, and nuts (if needed)
Hack saw (if needed)
Step 1: Head Over Wheels
I then proceeded to remove the skate plate from the boot, and set the boot to one side.
I took the skate shoe and removed the insole. I then placed the skate plate (from the old roller skates) on the sole of one of the skate shoes, and, when I was sure that I had it in the right place, marked the sole through the screw holes.
I repeated this action with the second shoe; luckily for me, the sole had a very distinct pattern, so it was fairly easy for me to tell if I was getting a good match on both shoes.
Then, with the help of Hubby, I drilled the holes in the shoes. We stuffed the shoe with scrap fabric to ensure that we didn’t drill into the upper.
Step 2: Bless My Sole
This is one of the hurdles… I removed the screws from the old skates, and the next item on the agenda was to, simply, transfer those screws into the new shoes. However, as you can see from the previous step, the original skates were more street hockey than roller disco. They had quite a prominent heel, and a very thin sole at the front. This meant that the screw plate for the heel was too long and the one for the front was so short it didn’t even penetrate the shoe let alone reaching the skate plate. I discovered this at around 10pm - that’ll teach me for not planning ahead….
The following day I made a trip to our local ironmongers and bought a handful of bolts, nuts and washers. I wasn’t entirely sure of the length, so I decided that too long is easier to deal with than too short.
A little bit of elbow grease and they all fitted in nicely :-) The original insoles then went back in as the bolts I had to use for the front were not flat headed. I also decided to lace the shoes back up while they were still static…
Step 3: Can You Hack It?
This is also the time to add some kind of adhesive to the bolts as the vibration you’ll create whilst using the skate will cause the nuts to unwind.
Almost there - just gotta get the wheels back on… WAIT!!!
Step 4: Skate of Mind
I headed off to kateskates.co.uk and treated myself to a full set of new Ventronic wheels and Kate’s Skates ABEC 7 bearings and….
I am LOVING these!!!
Now, what can I make with those old wheels? ;-)
If you’re eager to do something similar, but don’t have an old pair of skates to hand (and you’re not keen on trawling through Ebay) then you can build a set of skates from the ground up with the separate components. Almost all of these can be found at Kate’s Skates, the insoles can be found at Skate Attack:
A skate plate kit (including all the fixings)
Bearings (they usually come in packs of eight and you’ll need sixteen for a full set of wheels)
A pair of shoes or trainers
Suregrip insoles (or a piece of wood or metal cut to the same shape and size as the shoe’s original insole)