Introduction: Walnut Cruiser
I, like many others, have been searching for something new to try during the pandemic. I liked the idea of making something to do outdoors since everything is closed. The walking/cycling paths near me had recently been redone and I had seen many people out on their longboards and it looked like a lot of fun. I thought I'd have a go at making one.
- Two 3/4"x5"x3' dressed hardwood boards (I used walnut, though you could also use oak or maple) (you can also dress your own lumber for a cheaper alternative)
-Longboard wheels, and trucks kit (10" wide) (I purchased a set on amazon, a local skate shop would also have everything you need)
-Wood Finish, Rubio Monocoat (Alternatives: Boiled Linseed Oil, Tung Oil, Varnish)
-Anti-slip spray for grip (I used rust-oleum)
-Wood Glue (I used titebond 3 because of it's water resistance)
-Hand Saw (I used a Japanese ryoba)
-Drill and drill bits (1/4" bit for dowels, 3/8" for countersink, other bit for longboard truck hardware depending on thickness of the bolt)
-Random Orbital Sander (Not required if you want to hand sand, just faster)
-Doweling Jig (I used the milescraft jig available at most hardware stores, others will work just fine)
-Rasp (I used a saw rasp, though any rasp will do)
-Sand Paper (80, 150, 220)
-Pencil, white pencil crayon, chalk (I used chalk and a white pencil crayon because regular pencil lines are hard to see on darker woods like walnut)
-Clamps (3 clamps with a clamping capacity of at least 10")
-Socket wrench and bits (for attaching the longboard hardware to your board)
-Screwdriver and bits (for attaching longboard hardware to your board)
-Chisel (no smaller than 1/2")
Step 1: Prepping the Board Blank.
First you'll need to prep you boards to be glued up into a single panel. I had purchased one piece of walnut that was 3/4"x5"x6', which meant that I needed to cut it in half to make two 3' boards. I used my hand saw for this. The cut does not need to be perfectly square, just close enough to square. Once you have two boards the dowel holes can be drilled into each in order to glue them edge to edge which will result in a panel that is 3/4"x10"x3'. Mark 1" in from the end of one board, then mark every three inches from there. Then, using the doweling jig, drill the dowel holes on the points you just marked. Use the instructions that come with your doweling jig to drill holes to their appropriate depths. Once one board has all it's holes drilled, clamp the two boards face to face and drill the same holes in the other board, using dowels placed in the first board to line up your holes. If done correctly, you should have two boards that will fit together with dowels between them. Test your fitment before applying glue.
If your boards fit together without gaps, you can then take them apart and add glue to all the previously drilled holes and the edge of each board. insert the dowels and press the two boards together. Then clamp the boards together and leave to try overnight.
Step 2: Shaping
Shaping the board is by far the longest part of this build, it requires a lot of patience. You'll first need to remove any glue squeeze out, this can be done with a chisel, your planer, or by sanding.
Before drawing your design, do some research on what sort of shape you would like, I went with a surfboard like shape, with the front half of the board being thicker than the back. My board had more of a point at the toe, while the heel was rounded.
Start with roughly drawing the desired shape of your board using chalk or a white pencil crayon (if using a dark wood, use a pencil for lighter wood). The shape is not all that important, it comes down to personal preference, just make sure you leave enough room for your feet (use your shoe to gauge the width, it shouldn't be much smaller than your show at it's widest). You should first shape one side of the board (one half), then, use a ruler to roughly mark the same shape on the other side of the board, this is done by measuring the distance from the center of you board (your glue joint) to your line and marking the same distance on the other side. This should produce a sketch of something that will resemble a longboard.
Once you have the rough shape of your board marked out, clamp your board down and use your circular saw to cut as much of the excess wood as you can. (Note: if you own or have access to one, a band saw or jigsaw will make shaping the board much faster.) Once you have removed the waste, you can begin work on one side of your longboard.
Starting on one half of the board, begin using a combination of your spokeshave, block plane, and rasp to creep up to your lines. I used my block plane to remove the bulk and then my spokeshave for finer work. U used my rasp on the two ends of the board as these are closer to the end grain and are difficult for a spokeshave. You can also employ the use of a coping saw to remove much of the waste on the ends of your board as these were tough to tackle with the circular saw. Once you have shaped one half of your board to match your line, you can begin work on the other side.
Again, using your planer, spokeshave, coping saw and rasp, remove material until you are close to your rough line. You should now have a piece of wood that resembles a longboard.
In order to ensure you have a symmetrical board, flip if over to the face that has no markings in order to begin measuring each side's distance from center. To do so, place a ruler horizontally along the board and measure the distance from the center (your glued joint) to one side, then measure to the other side, if they are different, you need to remove wood on the larger side, do this with your spokeshave or 80 grit sandpaper if they are close (see photo 8 of this step for an example of the measurement). Work your way along the board until both sides are equidistant from the center.
If all is done correctly, you should have a board that looks symmetrical and looks like a longboard.
Step 3: Adding a Chamfer
I added a chamfer on the bottom of my board to give my wheels a bit of extra clearance (and a bit of style).
Set your combination square so that 1/2" is sticking out of the square side of the square (90 degree side). Then, mark a line along the bottom face and the edge of your board (all the way around), this marks the 45 degree chamfer on the bottom edges (see photo 1, 2, 3). Then, use a combination of your block plane, spokeshave and rasp to remove the material between the lines (rasp saw easier on the ends of the boards); this will result in a 45 degree chamfer and a flat surface between both lines as seen in photo numbers 4-8. I used some 150 grit sandpaper and a scrap piece of wood as a sanding block to sand this chamfer smooth (though your spokeshave will likely leave a smooth finish).
Step 4: Branding
If you do not have a wood burning tool or branding tool or simply have no desire to brand your board you can skip this step.
I used a wood burning tool to burn my initials on the bottom of the tail end of my board, simply for appearance. I measured out where the center of my initials should sit and marked my initials with a pencil, then I burned the lines I had drawn.
Step 5: Filling Voids/knots
If you do not have any voids or knits on your board you can skip this step. I had a relatively large knot that had fallen out of my board, leaving a hole in the top of my board.
Mix some epoxy (I used gorilla epoxy) and fill the hole until it overflows. Leave the epoxy to cure for 24 hours or per the instructions for the particular epoxy you are using. Then, remove the excess epoxy using your block plane or a chisel.
Step 6: Sanding and Drilling Holes to Attach Trucks
I sanded my board using my random orbital sander, starting with 150 grit and then finishing with 120 grit. Sand all surfaces of your board. Once sanded, you can begin marking the locations of the holes for the bolts that will hold the trucks to the board.
On the bottom face, I determined where I wanted the trucks to sit on my board, roughly a couple inches in from the toe and 3-4 inches from the heel (whatever is visually appealing to you). I used my square and ruler to position them in the center of my board and square to the center line (square and centered about the glue joint down the center of the board). I placed the trucks on my marks and then used a pencil to mark the hole locations of the trucks. Determine which drill bit to use by using the bolts that came with your hardware, the hole should be just large enough for the bolt to slide through. Then, stick some masking tape on the top face of your board where the holes will come through to avoid any tear out. You can now drill the holes from the bottom face through the top face. Then, determine which drill bit is slightly larger than your bolt head, I used a 3/8" drill bit. From the top face, drill into the existing holes just enough that the bolts will sit flush with or below the top face. You should now have 8 holes that are countersunk to mount your trucks.
You can now test fit your trucks to your board, I mounted them and went for a little ride down my hallway to see how it felt (felt pretty rad).
Step 7: Finishing
Remove your hardware from your board and start to apply your finish. I used rubio monocoat pure, so I mixed 3 parts component A with 1 part component B, mix or apply your finish as directed by the label. Allow your finish to cure as per the directions on your label (I left mine for a couple days).
I did not want to add grip tape to my board in order to show off the nice walnut wood on the top as well as the bottom. Instead, I used a spray-on anti slip finish usually used on wood or stone stairs. I applied this finish to the top of my board and allowed it to cure for 24 hours. It provides a similar feel as grip tape. The board is not for bombing hills or doing tricks, just for cruising so this works just fine. Grip tape can be used as well or clear grip tape is also an option, however it may look a little cloudy.
Once your anti-slip spray is cured the board can be assembled again and is ready to ride!
Step 8: Enjoy!
Take your board out for a cruise, adjust your steering as needed, and keep safe!
This is an entry in the
Toys & Games Contest