2x4 - Pallet - Medical Backboard : Made Into a Riverboard WakeBoard Longboard or Surfboard

About: Woodworking, Metalworking, Electronics, and DIY. Let's make something.

I've been tossing ideas to employees at an ambulance service I work at. This is one idea that we are going to make. We have Bayous all around our city (that is why they call it Bayou City). Our company has combined with 2 other services & the 3rd one has gone out of business last year. We have lots of stuff just sitting around not being used & the owners told me I could use it for a project. I was surprised about this, because some of the backboards cost over $1000. They have built shelves and tables for some of these already. My idea is to take a medical backboard & turn it into a riverboard or wakeboard. These boards you can stand up on & ride the bayou or river. You would use a paddle or long stick to push yourself along.

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Step 1: Take a Medical Backboard & Sand - Clean It

Light sand or scrub off writing on it.

Step 2: Drill Holes in Sides & Add Wooden Dowels

Add wooden Dowels or nails to side of backboard for supporting wood. If you use nails, make sure you sand nails on sides & cut off heads so glue will stick to them. I personally don't use nails on projects that are going to be used on water, but they are free with used wood & when glued into place should be watertight.

We decided not to use 2x4's on the top or sides - so, this part is unnecessary; unless you want to use it for your project.

Step 3: Add Your Wood to Sides Top & Bottom

Find cheap or free wood. You can use 2x4s or wooden pallets- lots of people throw this stuff away - just have to ask around. Take all nails out of wood and sand flat. Drill holes to sides and line up with dowels use CA glue and wood glue - Ca for plastic to wood & wood glue for wood to wood. Make it the size you want.

We are not using wood on this project. - We were talking it over & now decided to use cheaper foam wall boards from building supply

Step 4: Sand Wood

After you clamp and glue everything together- let dry. Then sand down your wood & shape it kinda like a surfboard; but taller & longer.

We decided to use large sections of wall foam from building supply store - glued on top and bottom of medical backboard- the backboard is centered in the middle of the foam board & foam placed all around it. Still need to sand & shape it on the top & bottom.

Step 5: Add Wood Lacker to Protect Wood

Sand with wet sandpaper when done.

We are using fiberglass instead of lacker.

Step 6: Follow Me

Bookmark me, Follow me, keep in contact- I will post this idea when I finish making it. You can email me - gilliamgifts@yahoo.com & I will send you photos of the process; I start next week on it & will publish at the end of the build.

Don't forget to add the fin centered to bottom.

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    9 Discussions


    4 years ago

    I have to say, first, that I admire you and your group for seeing a specific need and taking it upon yourselves to design the best tool for your circumstances. Rescue techniques have greatly improved over the last 30 years because of grass roots innovation! Be safe, and don't give up. If it saves one future patient, it is worth the effort.

    ️Roy Glen Gilliamcwright15

    Reply 4 years ago

    These will float on water - made for water rescue. 2x4 and other wood will float when sealed properly.

    The weight is not the issue- We are not using these for surf or Rapids- Just going down a slow moving bayou - Not planning on being in the water, just standing on top for a slow ride. Most areas are less than 5 ft deep, so life jackets are not required, but we will ware them. Everyone going is water rescue certified, EMS, Emt-Paramedic & Fire Department, ALS-BLS-CPR Medical Professionals. I don't see us having any issues with the bulky boards; because we lift 400+ lb patients everyday. Thanks for you comments & I will post photos later - About 1 to 2 months.

    cwright15️Roy Glen Gilliam

    Reply 4 years ago

    It will be really really heavy and if it hits you or someone else it will really hurt. That's why old boards were made from balsa wood and we're hollow.

    ️Roy Glen Gilliam

    4 years ago

    Ok, I start on Monday- will send progress notes & photos to you.