My boys recently decided to move into their own rooms. As a kind of "room warming" gift, I decided to make my youngest a skateboard shelf. I also decided to add some LED's to the bottom of the shelf so he could use it as a reading light at night.
To attach it to the wall, I used gas fittings as brackets which worked really well. They are easy to put together and look great once painted and attached to the board. The board itself is a very well used one that I found in the garbage. What I really love about it is the patina that the board has got over the years of use, mostly from water damage and some hard use.
The LED's were an afterthought but I'm glad I did add them as they really turn the shelving into something special. To diffuse the LED's, I added some translucent silicone which finished off the board and gave it a really nice finish.
If you would like to check out what other things I've done with old decks, then check out this ible'
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Things to Gather
1. Skateboard deck. You could use a new one or just use an old deck. I think a used deck is definitely better way to go if you can get one.
2. The following pieces of gas fittings. You can get these from any hardware shop in the plumbing section.
- 2 x elbow - male to female end
- 4 x mounting plates - female
- 2 x 100mm straight sections - male to male
3. Scandinavian oil
4. LED's - eBay
5. Matt black paint
6. plasterboard screws
7. Translucent silicone
8. Various screws, bolts and nuts
4. Hot glue
5. Soldering Iron
6. Double sided tape
Step 2: Making the Brackets
1. First paint the pieces of gas fittings. I used some matt black paint but you can paint them whatever colour you like. Give them a few coats.
2. Next screw them together like the images below.
3. Put them aside and grab the skateboard
Step 3: Preparing the Skateboard
If you managed to get an old skateboard, then you will need to strip it back to the bare wood. If however, you purchased a new deck, then you can skip this step and move onto the next step.
1. Remove the grip tape. This isn’t as easy at it sounds. Sometimes you are left with glue residue on the board, other times the tape only comes off in little pieces at a time. Very frustrating! If you find that you have glue residue left on the board – do the following:
- The first time I did this I used petrol to dissolve the glue. Obviously not the best solution but it did do the job
- Use a heat gun or hair dryer to heat-up the grip tape and peel off. Most of the glue will come off this way
- Use a “goo” remover. You can buy this from any hardware store.
2. Next grad a hand sander and start sanding. Start with some rough grit paper (80 to 120) and remove any artwork on the bottom of the board.
3. Sand the top as well until you are left with a bare, naked board. The board that I used had a lot of water stains and scuffs etc from use. This left a great patina on the board and gave it a real vintage look.
4. Finally, give it a sand with some finer grit paper and clean off any saw dust left on the board.
Step 4: Router the Groove for the LED's
Next thing to do is to router a groove for the LED’s to sit into. Actually, you don’t have to do this if you don’t want to or don’t have a router. You could just stick the LED’s direct to the board. If you don’t want to does this then skip this step and move onto the next. I’m not great at using the router but I do think it finishes off the board better.
1. Secure the board and decide how deep and where you want to add the routed groove.
2. Carefully make the grooves on each side of the board
3. The groove that joins the 2 side routed sections I had to do freestyle. I couldn’t work out how to actually do it right so I just drew a line on the board and followed this with the router. I practiced a bit on some other wood and just went for it. Turned out fine (and straight luckily!)
Step 5: Staining
I decided to stain my board with some Scandinavian oil. You could use wax or whatever you like. I found though that the oil really brought out the patina in the board which is something I wanted to do.
1. Make sure that there is no saw dust left on the board.
2. With a clean cloth, spread the thin layer of oil over the board. Leave to dry for 12 hours
3. Repeat the process until you have the desired finish. I think I did about 4 coats in the end but it’s definitely worth it as the board came up great
Step 6: Adding the LED's
Adding the LED’s isn’t difficult, you just need to be careful when doing the 90 degree angles.
1. Measure out how long you will need your LED’s and cut to size.
2. Next you will need to bend the LED’s at a 90 degree angle. This isn’t easy as they are covered with a clear rubber which will need to be removed before you can bend. With an exacto knife, remove a piece of the rubber between 2 LED’s. You will need to remove about 15mm in order to be able to bend correctly. Be careful that you don’t cut the ribbon or the LED’s won’t work and you’ll have to start again.
3. Bend the LED ribbon as shown below.
4. Remove the tape from the back of the LED’s and stick to the wood. I also used some hot glue in places to ensure a strong attachment.
Step 7: Adding Silicone
I wasn’t going to do this step as I thought the LED’s looked ok as is. I’m glad I did though as it really finishes off the skateboard and helps diffuse the LED’s
1. First thing you’ll need to do is to tape all of the areas that you don’t want to get silicone on.
2. Next, carefully squeeze out the silicone over the LED’s
3. Once you have added the silicone, next you will need to smooth it out. I used a cheap plastic spatula and ran this along the silicone. If you have any sections that don’t have enough silicone, add some more and smooth out again.
NOTE: If you can, practice first. You don’t want to make a mistake here!
4. Once you are happy with the silicone, leave to dry for 12 hours.
5. Lastly, remove the tape. I thought that I would have to cut away with a knife due to the silicone, but the tape came off easily
6. Leave to dry for another 12 hours
Step 8: Securing the LED Control Box
When adding the box, make sure that the power cord will be
against the wall. You don’t want this hanging in the wrong spot and getting in the way!
1. Add some double sided tape to the back of the control box.
2. Stick into place on the board.
3. Test and make sure everything works right
Step 9: Attaching the Brackets
Attaching the brackets is really quite easy. 2 of the holes in the mounting plates match 2 of the drilled holes for the trucks. You only need to add a couple screws to hold the board in place to each mounting plate so there is no need to drill any.
1. Paint the nuts, washers and screws black if necessary
2. Before you attach the brackets, make sure that they are screwed tightly together and look even and are the same width as each other. You don’t want one longer than the other.
3. I drilled out the top of the skateboard holes a little so the screws would sit flat in the deck
4. Next, attach the brackets with the nuts and screws and tighted.
Step 10: Mounting to the Wall
1. Mark where you need to insert the plastic anchors into the wall. I didn’t have any wall studs to use so I had to these plastic anchors.
2. To insert, all you need to do is to push into the wall and twist – no need for drilling.
3. Once you have the anchors installed, next attach the brackets to the wall. I also painted the screws black
4. Lastly, plug in the power cord, turn on and enjoy
Step 11: Done!
I’m really happy with the way this has turned out. I especially like the use of the gas fittings as brackets; they really give it a great look.
The LED’s also turned out fantastic. Although my routing wasn’t too crash hot, the silicone hid many of the mistakes and smoothed out the finish.
If you do make one, please don’t forget to add an image to the comments.