Recycled Skateboard Bowl

16,616

60

21

About: Hands on lad with the ability of making something from nothing, sometimes!

Hello! It’s been a while since I have wrote one of these, so when I heard about the skateboard contest I had to get entering.

This is my instructable for how to make a bowl from recycled skateboards.

Supplies:

Recycled skateboards - lots of
Wood lathe
Wood turning tools
Heat gun
Palm sander/belt sander
Sandpaper - up to 1000 grit
Glue scraper
Titebond III
Clamps (or bottle jack press frame)
Danish/boiled linseed oil for finishing

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Gathering the Skateboards

For this project to work you need to be able to get your hands on some used, broken or unwanted skateboards. You can check local shops, skateparks, friends to see what is lying around. The bowl I made was about 6” diameter which works out at about 18 nose/tails, so if you can get hold of 9-10 skateboards your golden.

Step 2: Preparing the Wood

This part is by far the worst. You want something from oak, you buy a piece of oak. You want something from walnut, you go buy a piece of walnut..... you get the idea. You can’t buy skatewood, you have to make it.

It starts by removing the grip tape and other stickers. This is where your heat gun comes in handy. Then you can sand off all the graphics, clear coats, glue until you finally get to bare wood.

Step 3: Cutting and Gluing

Now you have usable wood you can start to cut up and glue together. As mentioned in the title, I like to use 18 nose/tails for my bowls. This allows for a nice size of bowl with a good depth. It’s that little bit trickier to hollow out with it being deep, but it’s totally worth the effort.

Once you have your board sections ready, do a test fit to make sure the contours will line up ok. Also stack the larger nose/tails in the middle of the block you will glue to make the most out of the material.

Once ready, apply your glue and clamp up tight. I made a steel frame to use along with a bottle jack to allow for a good clamp pressure. You’ll now need to leave this to dry for 48 hours to be certain everything is dry.

Step 4: Safety Talk

Before you start to turn please ensure you wear the correct PPE for the task in hand, and operate the machine in a safe way.

I always wear a full face visor to protect me, and also a woodturning smock.

Make sure all your chisels are sharp and take care to avoid snags. Skatewood can blow up on you if your prep work isn’t up to scratch.

If you do get a piece blow up on you, it’s likely you can salvage it by repeating the sanding and glue up steps.

Stay safe please !

Step 5: Time to Turn

Now you should have a huge square block that it ready to be turned. A good tip is to try and mark out your circle shape and cut off the excess prior to turning. This will allow for a much steadier workpiece.

Once in the lathe you can start to rough out your basic shape. Then create either a external or internal tenon for your chuck jaws to grip.

Now all that is left to do it to turn your bowl to the desired size and shape.

Step 6: The Finish

You should now have your bowl to shape ready for the finish.

I would normally use Mirka sheets for the sanding with some foam blocks. This gives a nice soft sand that isn’t too aggressive. Go from 120g right through to 600g at a minimum for a super smooth finished. Sometimes I’ll even go to 1000g depending on time.

Apply some danish oil or boiled linseed oil as per instructions and then sand again.

Once the oils have dried I then like to take the bowl to a buffing wheel for a final polish.

So there you have it, your completed recycled skateboard bowl.

Skateboard Contest

Grand Prize in the
Skateboard Contest

Be the First to Share

    Recommendations

    • Instrument Contest

      Instrument Contest
    • Make it Glow Contest

      Make it Glow Contest
    • STEM Contest

      STEM Contest

    21 Discussions

    0
    None
    Gadisha

    2 months ago

    Looks great!

    0
    None
    AnandM54

    2 months ago

    Did lots of work .. Cool...

    0
    None
    rozzieozzie

    2 months ago

    How beautiful! Who would have thought a bunch of old skateboards could be so beautiful? Thanks for sharing and being so imaginative!

    0
    None
    Barkfin

    Question 2 months ago on Step 2

    It says to remove tape, stickers, finish and get to bare wood, but the photo shows dozens of skateboards of all colours - there’s a missing step, maybe? Also you mention using only the tails, do you mean the part bent up at the end? Because on any skateboard I’ve ever seen that part is only a couple inches long. Maybe you can take a pic of one skateboard with a circle and arrow and the note “this portion indicated here is the tail“.

    2 answers
    0
    None
    joey24dirtBarkfin

    Answer 2 months ago

    It all depends on the board for how much material is available. You can always use the middle sections of the board. The material is always different so you have to just take each piece as it comes.

    When I mean bare wood, I mean sand through the lacquers until you are at wood, this will still be dyed whatever the colour the board is in most cases. Apologies my photos don’t show this.

    0
    None
    Barkfinjoey24dirt

    Reply 2 months ago

    Thanks for the answer. Terrific project by the way, has anybody mentioned?
    Thanks for sharing with the rest of us!

    skate_deck.png
    0
    None
    Alex Kov

    2 months ago

    That's a great example of thinking outside the box.

    0
    None
    ClareBS

    2 months ago

    Gorgeous! I've done a bit of woodturning but couldn't imagine all that prep and laminating. Good instructable--you have my vote.

    1 reply
    1
    None
    joey24dirtClareBS

    Reply 2 months ago

    Thank you. It is very time consuming, but the results are definitely worth it :-)

    1
    None
    yrralguthrie

    2 months ago

    Really a good use of recycled materials. However, you really need to get in the habit of using a toothed squeegee or piece of metal with teeth to evenly spread the glue. Squirting that glue out like in your photos is not good. A couple of things happen, first the glue won't speed evenly just by the clamping force and that will leave voids in the glue-ups. And second, your joints are not as strong as they can be. I'm not just writing this as part of the glue police. I've had parts come apart glued that way. And while they may be thin it's almost a guarantee you have voids in your bowl.
    If you want to think you used enough pressure to spread the glue out then you used too much pressure and that will make the joints weak.

    1 reply
    1
    None
    joey24dirtyrralguthrie

    Reply 2 months ago

    Thanks for the advice. That photo is a bad representation of what I actually do and I should really edit that. I do always spread out the glue, normally just with my finger edge to get an even glue up.

    0
    None
    rmumma

    2 months ago

    Absolutely gorgeous. Amazing work.

    1 reply
    1
    None
    GTO3x2

    2 months ago

    Don't make the bottom too small; the bowl will easily tip.

    1 reply
    0
    None
    joey24dirtGTO3x2

    Reply 2 months ago

    Or too tall :-)

    The bowl flat is roughly 3” and seems steady. Fingers crossed it stays that way

    1
    None
    RicardoC146

    Question 2 months ago on Step 3

    Great work!
    Did you paint the skateboards prior to gluing them, on step 3? Did you use the whole tail/nose, or did you cut some off? How did you fill the holes where the truck goes?

    1 answer
    1
    None
    joey24dirtRicardoC146

    Answer 2 months ago

    Hi. The skateboards have dyed veneers so the colours form naturally as you turn the blanks. I use the whole part of the tail and try to cut off from the flattest part (just before the wood starts to bend)

    If I do ever uncover the bolt holes, I normally just mix some skatewood shavings into some wood glue and then fill the hole. It adds to the authenticity of the boards having a former life :-)