Hello and welcome to my Instructable on creating your very own custom longboard deck with three (3) simple steps. By following and eventually mastering these steps, you will be able to design and create any realistic longboard deck in a way that allows it to be durable, as well as sleek and good looking. It is important to note that this Instructable will not showcase specifics on attaching trucks, wheels, and bearings, but will only focus on the creation method of the wooden deck itself.
The price of your end product (longboard) will vary,
depending on what kind of trucks, bearings, and wheels you decide to use, but it is possible to make a board as cheap as 40$.
-Any wood of your choosing should suffice. I recommend either two (2) 1/4-inch sheets of wood, or four (4) 1/8-inch sheets.
-Recommended wood choices: Baltic birch
-Any wood glue should be able to bind your wood sheets together.
-Recommended: Titebond III
-Band saw (can be hand-held)
-Paint roller/ paintbrush/ paint scraper
-Two (2) objects to use as suspension platforms for bending the deck (chairs are good)
-Heavy object/s (to bend the wood during the glue drying process)
-Clamps (lots of clamps)
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Step 1: Gluing and Cutting
Switching the step order
It is important to note that step one (1) and two (2) can be switched around, however, if this is done, more sanding will be required:
-One can also choose to trace the design on two separate sheets of wood, before gluing, and then cutting these out separately (this is the way I did it). One would then glue these sheets together, after the cutting process. This method will require you to do more sanding, and may be difficult without a powerful, handheld sander.
Step 1 – Gluing
In order to construct your deck, you must first glue all of your wood together
(Either two or four sheets, depending on the thickness of wood that you have chosen)
Apply glue to the wood
-For two (2) pieces: Apply glue to one (1) side of each piece
-For four (4) pieces: Apply glue to one (1) side for two (2) pieces of wood, and to both sides for the other two (2).
-Use either a paintbrush or a paint roller/scraper to evenly apply the glue to the surfaces of the wooden sheets. Maintaining an even layer of paint is important.
Joining the sheets
-Press the sheets together, so that all of the surfaces with glue applied to them are touching another surface with glue applied to it. The key to getting the board to be durable at this stage is to avoid any air bubbles or areas where the wood is not touching the opposite piece of wood.
Then, proceed to clamp down as many parts of the now drying deck as possible. This way, minimal wood separation will occur, and your board’s durability will be ensured.
This part of the step will only be carried out, once the design has been traced onto the wood. Simply use a band saw to cut along the marked line. It is better to cut it out too large than too small, since we will sand our deck later.
Step 2: Choosing a Design
This is the stage where your creativity (or googling skills) comes into play. First, you must decide on a design. In my case, I just made a simple deck with protrusions for each foot position. When thinking of a design, make sure that its proportions seem realistic, so that it will fit onto your piece of wood. Once you have decided on a design, cut out a piece of cardboard, roughly the predicted size of your deck. A longboard is generally between 85cm and 150 cm long.
Tracing your design
Draw your design onto the piece of cardboard, and then cut it out with scissors or a sharp and thin knife (must be a clean cut). Take the product, and place it onto your drying deck, and proceed to trace the design onto the wood. If you would prefer, you can also directly create your design on the deck, skipping entire cutting of the cardboard (all pencil marks will later be removed through sanding).
Bending the board (optional)
If you would like to, you can create a bend in your board, creating a type of counterweight whilst you stand on it. This can also look quite good. In order to do this, place the board between two elevated objects (chairs work well), and place a heavy weight in the center. Make sure the board is bent, and if not, add more weight. Leave the board in this state until the deck has fully dried (roughly 48 hours), and then remove the clamps and weights. The glue will have dried in this bent position, and the board will have a slight curve.
Step 3: Sanding
In order to get a sleek look, it is important to sand all of the edges intensively, and create a curve. As one can see, the un-curved edges make the board look very bulky.
Sanding the sides
In order to get a sleek look, once must intensively sand the sides of the boards. There is no specific technique to do this, so it is just important to sand evenly.
Sanding the surfaces
This step will smoothen the surface, and remove any pencil marks previously made. The intensity of this process is dependent on the inherent smoothness of the wood that you are using for your deck.
At this stage, your deck is complete, and you can proceed to decorate it in whichever way you choose.
Step 4: Showcasing Video
This video just briefly shows you the durability of the
board, and that, if you create the deck with this method, the wood will not snap if you put your weight on it.
I did some custom spray painting and grip tape appliance to my deck for the sake of being able to test it in a real situation, and not just in a workshop.