I am a junior at North Kitsap high school making a snowboard for my engineering 4 final project. I will go through all the steps it takes to make and complete your DIY snowboard and all the problems that happened in the process and how to avoid them and make it better.
Step 1: Gather Tools/ Materials
- Wood for your core (maple and birch work best)
- Epoxy plus hardener P-tex a polyethylene plastic
- Steel edge
- CNC Router
- Planar machine
- Table saw
- Chop saw
- Drill press
- Titebond glue
- Snowboard press
- Heat blankets
- Metal sheets
- top mold and bottom mold (for shape of customized board)
- Belt sander
- CAD Software and Computer
- Angle grinder
- Strip/ glue wood to create core
- Glue, bag, press layers
- Steel edges- $25.00
- Maple or birch wood- $30.00
- Epoxy- $60.00 (splitting gallon- 30/30)
Step 2: Designing Your Board
Design your board to the customized dimensions you would like and using CAD programs such as Solid works and Rhinoceros-5 you can create your board. my board is 61 inches in length and 10.5 inches in width.
Step 3: Stripping Your Wood
Using your wood of choice cut strips on the table saw the length of your customized board, the width of about half an inch , and a thickness of about an inch.
Step 4: Gluing Strips
After cutting your wood strips to the exact width and length needed for your board you will need to glue them together using TiteBond wood glue. Sand which your glued board with two scrap pieces of wood twice on both ends of the board using two vertical for each. then clamp the board horizontally using 4 evenly spaced clamps as shown in the picture. give your board about a day to dry
Step 5: Thickness
Once your glue has dried, un clamp your board and take it to the planar machine to thin the thickness of your board. The thickness of my wood core came out to about 1/4 of an inch thick.
Step 6: Cutting and Shaping
After you are done thinning your board down to the final thickness of your core, using your CAD drawing made with Rhino, export the file to a .dxf which can now be opened with the CNC router machine program called V-Carve. once you are in V-Carve map your tool path once you have filled in all the exact dimensions of your board. make sure to orient your board correctly and corresponding with your router or else you might miss your cut which is a problem i had but you can always catch these problems by doing an air run and then editing your CAD work.
Step 7: Trace, Cut, Layer
Once you have the profile wanted for your wood core you are going to want to trace your layers. Using two sheets of carbon fiber the length of your board, a skid sheet also the length of your board, and a top layer trace each of those layers to the exact profile of your core. Once done so create and mix an Epoxy + hardener P-Tex a polyethylene plastic to form a 2/1 ratio of the Epoxy to hardener. after you have your mix, carefully spread a coat evenly on one layer of fiber glass, then place the core on top and same for the other fiberglass side. and once you are done with those you can add your skid sheet and on the opposite side your top sheet of any graphic on a thin piece of fabric or thin layer of wood.
2 epoxy/ 1 hardener
Step 8: Vacuum Bag
Place your board with all the layers into a plastic bag. close of all holes connecting to outside air and seal them with duct tape. Once sealed down cut a slit as far away from your board in the bag and hook up your vacuum air pump to the plastic bag. compress the nozzle on the inside of the bag with a sponge so it allows for more airflow to the nozzle with out sucking in on itself which was a problem i had with my vacuum bag.
Step 9: Pressing Your Board
Once you have tested your vacuum bag it is time to press your layers. In between your molds you have your sheets of aluminum, your heat blankets then your vacuum bagged board. once layers are correct, place into the press and tighten down applying even pressure. keep pressed for about 4 hours.
your layers should go:
1. top mold
2. heat blanket
3. aluminum sheet
4. vacuum bagged board
5. aluminum sheet
6. bottom mold
Step 10: Clean Edges
Once your board is out of the press you will have excess epoxy and hardener along the top and edges of your board. gently sand off all rough edges and smooth your board to the wanted shape and texture wanted.
Step 11: Hole Inserts
(incomplete. inserts haven't come) once you drill holes and add you inserts you are ready to strap up your bindings and take it for a ride.