The Freeboard is a great project for those who love snowboarding and want to do it all year round, or those who want to have a new boarding experience.
This Instructable covers the concept of the laterally sliding board, to be edited to fit your personal needs.
Please note: Freebord is a brand of freeboards (Lateral sliding boards) based in America. But the concept has been around since the 80's. The schematics are available online somewhere, check google.
Another brand is Gravitis Freeboards based in Italy.
Freebord makes great introduction Videos though, so:
The basic principle of the board is: Six wheels, One board. Four outer wheels let you carve just like a longboard. Two center wheels on casters let you slide.
In this example I made the board as well but won't cover that in this Instructable. My board is 100 x 20 cm with a very slight concave and flex.
1. I am now an Version 2.1. In this Instructable you will see some photos from the Latest Version as well as 1 and 2
2. The Board: for beginners it should be completely stiff. Flex or a camber will get you hurt . Concave is good for turning.
3. Wheels. I haven't given exact measurements for the casters or the wheels. it will depend on what is available to you. as a general rule you want to have small wheels, closer to the ground= more like snowboarding.
4. Tuning. After i was done i added riser pads to my casters in order to slide easier and wedges to the skateboard trucks to improve turning geometry. See the last page of this instructable
Step 1: Materials & Equipment
You will need:
- A Board (you can use an old longboard or make your own, its easy)- Skateboard/Longboard Trucks ( i used skateboard trucks, because they're cheaper and then changed their geometry with wedges to improve carving)
- 4 Longboard wheels, extra soft.
- Four of the longest Spacer Nuts you can find (i got 50 mm ones) Diameter 8mm
- 2 Casters approximately the size of your longboard wheels- 2 inline wheels approximately the size of the longboard wheels (and they have to fit in the casters), extra soft
- 4 8mm bolts, (i used 40 mm but it depends on what kind of spacer nuts you get.
- 8mm drillbit
- 5mm drillbit
- variable speed drill
- Metal epoxy (alternatively you could weld)
Step 2: Widening the Trucks: Why
The wider the axles are the more stable the board will be. My skateboard trucks started at around 135 mm (hanger width) and are now 235 wide.
Despite what some of you might be thinking, this works. My axle hasn't snapped and isn't deformed and i weigh just over 90kg at 194cm
And it was cheap.
This method creates a hollow hanger. a hollow hanger is very weak until it is filled with a high grade steel 8mm bolt
The bolt goes through the wheel and forms the new axle. This axle is then screwed into the hollow hanger formed by the spacer nuts.
Sounds confusing? Take a look at the next step.
Step 3: Widening the Trucks: How
Drilling the spacer nut
1. Hold the Spacer nut next to the axle. You will see how much of the threaded portion you have drill away.
2. Measure the distance from the hanger to the start of the threaded part of the axle.
3. Take a felt tip pen and mark that distance on your drill bit. Thats for visual guidance
4. Put the Spacer nut into the vice and drill it open. Stop just before you reach the mark on your drill bit.
5. Put the Spacer nut onto the axle. It should slide right. try screwing the spacer nut onto the axle.
6. If it fits, you're very lucky. I had to repeat it a few times, drilling about a millimeter each time.
7. When it fits completely and can be screwed on without a gap, move to the next axle on the same truck.
8. Do each axle individually, they might not be exactly the same length.
Glueing the Spacer nut
1. Mix a small amount of 2 component metal epoxy (check www.thistothat.com)
2. Spread the Skateboard truck axles in a thin film of epoxy.
3. Screw the Spacer nut onto the axle, just like we practiced.
4. Use a wrench to make sure the Spacer nuts are screwed tight.
5. Wipe away excess glue
Step 4: Add Wheels and High Grade Bolts.
As explained in step 2. you now need to screw the bolt with the wheel into the hollow axle. I used 1 mm spacers, for no reason in particular.
The pictures should be pretty self explanatory.
use a wrench, make it tight.
Step 5: Casters
Very simple: Remove the crappy plastic wheels from the casters and put in shiny new inline wheels.
Don't get casters with a brake
Make sure the inline wheels and casters have approximately the same size.
Step 6: Attach Everything to Board
The title says in all.
Drill appropriate holes in your board using the 5mm drill bit.
Make sure everything is centered. This is Vital as with any longboard.
Step 7: Tuning
The reason for this Instructable was to re-introduce a forgotten board for the DIY crowd.
Because I haven't given exact measurements everyones board will be different. Thats the way it should be, but it also means everyone will have to get on their board, fall down at least once and then start tuning it to suit them .
What I did:
My outer wheels are about 8mm off the ground. Add and remove risers and experiment with what you like.
I made my board a lot longer than it should be. My first board was 80 cm long, now i've got just over 100 cm. aim for 75-85 cm.
(Because my longboard is longer, my turning radius is bigger. but i find sliding easier) think about what you want.
I made bindings but don't use them a lot. they can be bought for 25-50 euros, or made with a heat gun and a piece of pvc pipe for next to nothing.
I changed the turning geometry of my trucks with wedges. why did i do this: because of the larger turning radius of the long board i needed to make my turns easier. ( http://www.randal.com/guides_faq.html )
Because I used wedges, i had to make a 4 mm riser for the casters. i made it out of plywood, but i'm not that happy with it.
Because i used wedges, I'm higher off the ground than I'd like to be. avoid this by using trucks with a turning geometry you like.
My board doesn't have enough concave, i wanted to make my board more like a snowboard. this makes the leverage i have over my trucks lower and again effects turning.
Tune your setup and make it your own.
Give it a try, wear safety gear, have fun.