Introduction: Old School DIY Cruiser Longboard

Here's a complete tutorial, with video, to make an old school DIY cruising longboard. This tutorial will work with any kind of skateboard. Additionally I've included a full list of materials with links to get everything you need here:

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Step 1: Tools and Materials

For links to get the materials go here:

1. 1/8 inch Baltic birch plywood. One 5x5 sheet (cost me around $13.00)

2. Hardware (there's a combo package in my website with everything below)

Longboard trucks

Longboard wheels



Mounting Hardware

3. Wood stain

4. Jigsaw and blades

5. Clamps

6. Power sander or sandpaper

7. Wood glue

8. Longboard template

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Step 2: Planning and Execution

See video for detailed instructions. It's much easier to follow when you can see exactly what do do!

Set aside a whole weekend for this project. Also, set an area to let the glued wood dry for 24 hrs. The best thing to do is to glue the wood on a Friday afternoon and will be ready to cut by Saturday afternoon, giving you all day sunday for sanding and finishing. You'll be riding by Sunday afternoon! But make sure you order your hardware a week or so before, so you have it with you when you're ready for the final steps.

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Step 3: Cutting, Gluing and Shaping the Deck

Cut the plywood into 1 ft wide strips along the grain.

Strips should be about 1 ft x 5 ft. You'll need 4 strips.

Spread glue on one surface, generously with a roller, quickly spread glue on another board

Press glued surfaces together and proceed to glue next strip and repeat process.

Once all strips are glued, press firmly to spread the glue and eliminate any air bubbles.

Proceed to place the ends of the glued layers of plywood on top some bricks (I used old skateboards) so that the middle sags. Protect the wood by using a towel and place a heavy object in the middle of the board to form a bowed shape.

Proceed to clamp generously around the board. The more clamps the better. I used 12, but will use 20-30 next time.

Let glue dry for 24 hours undisturbed.

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Step 4: Cutting the Rough Shape of the Deck

Print a longboard template, cut it out and lay over the wood. Carefully trace the shape onto the wood.

Using a jigsaw, cut the board shape out along the lines of the template.

With a power sander or hand sanding, start with a 80 grit paper and sand the edges to that they are smooth. Using progressively finer grit, continue to sand the board until smooth and even. 220 grit should be enough, but I went all the way to 600.

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Step 5: Finishing the Top and Bottom of the Board

The top and bottom designs are personal preference, but in

my case I wanted an old school surfboard look to my longboard.

Top design: I drew a line along the mid-point of the board and then measured 1 inch out of that line an put some masking tape along those two lines.

For the middle section I mixed 40cc of water and 12 drops of blue food coloring. The proceeded to wipe this “stain” up and down the length of the middle section with a paper towel. Make sure the paper towel is not soaking so that the stain does not bleed under the masking tape.

For the outside sections I took some left over cognac colored wood stain. Using the same technique as above, I wiped the onto the outside sections making sure the paper towel was not soaking with stain (to avoid the stain from bleeding under the masking tape).

Let dry thoroughly.

Apply 4-5 coats of wipe on poly urethane, letting dry 2-3 hours between coats.

Bottom design:

For the bottom I wanted a sugar skull design. I researched various images and made a design on a piece of paper. I placed this in the middle of the board and transferred the design onto the wood with a pencil. I also taped about the area where I wanted the skull and stained the rest with the cognac stain using the technique above.

For the skull I just used acrylic paints to color the different areas. When I was done, I just took a sharpie pen and traced around all the areas. Once everything was dry I used a spray clear coat to protect the finish. I sprayed 4-5 coats, letting dry between coats.

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Step 6: Mounting the Hardware

I ordered a prepackaged and complete longboard hardware kit that came with everything.

Once it arrived, I took the spacers and used them as templates to mark where I was going to drill into the board. For this longboard I placed the front truck 2” from the front and the rear truck 6” from the tail. Make sure the trucks are centered and aligned perfectly so the board rolls true.

Using a 3/16” bit, drill where you marked the holes for the trucks. Countersink the holes on the top of the board so the screws lay flush with the deck. Mount the hardware on the board making sure the kingpins are aligned correctly. If the trucks have reverse kingpins, make sure the kingpin on the front truck aims forward and the kingpin on the rear truck aims backwards.

The next step is to take two bearings and press them into the wheels, one on each side. Mount the wheels into the truck axles sandwiching them between the little washers provided in the kit. Tighten everything and you are good to go! Make sure to re-tighten everything after the first few rides as the hardware gets broken in and settles in.

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