Tribal Longboard

In this tutorial I will show you the process I followed to create my longboard. I decided to do a tribal themed design on both sides of the board, and used clear grip tape on top to show the wood burned design.

Supplies:

Wood (must have multiple layers to allow flex and provide more strength)

Sandpaper (I used medium and fine grit)

Saw (I used a variable speed jigsaw)

Wood Router

Wood Stain

Brushes

Clear Grip Tape

Trucks, Wheels, and Ball Bearings

Wood Burning Pen

Painters Tape

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Step 1: Designing the Shape

To make I shape, I used adobe illustrator but if you want to hand draw it or use other programs that will work also. After I drew the outline I printed it out and traced it on the wood I chose to make my board on.

Step 2: Picking the Wood

Finding the right wood for longboards can be hard because you need a wood that is very flexible so it won't brake. My recommendation on wood is plywood because it has enough layers to provide stability and flex, and is also much easier than finding treated woods meant for skateboards. As you can see I chose a 9 layer plywood, which in the past has been plenty strong enough.

Step 3: Cutting

To cut out the shape, I used a jig saw. After I cut it I used a router to sand down the edges. You do not need a router it is a much more efficient way to achieve the smoothed edges on the board. If you don't have a router I recommend just using coarse grit sandpaper, which will take time but will be worth the effort in the end.

Step 4: Staining

Before I stained I outlined the general shape I wanted the pattern to make with painter tape. When I applied the tape I didn't firmly rub it onto the sanded board so that it would allow the stain to bleed a little under the tape to make a more weathered look. You can see it most prominently on the smallest and darkest of the lines. I barely pressed down the tape on the side nearest the small line and this allowed the stain to run along the grooves of the wood and create the hair like effect running off the line. Then, pre-stained the board so it would have a more even coating, and then picked out three of my favorite stains and used them on the board. After an hour, I peeled off the tape and got my first look at the outlines for my design.

Step 5: Staining the Pattern

After I peeled off the tape, I waited over night for the board to completely dry. Then, I drew o. With pencil the design I wanted to stain on. Then, I got three of my darkest stains and used a paintbrush to paint the stain on the board. So, the long lines you see are from the previous step, and the triangles between the lines I painted on with my brush. When I finished I waited another hour and dabbed of the excess stain with a paper towel and allowed to to dry overnight once again.

Step 6: Detailing the Top

On the top of the board I decided go with a tribal theme, with a turtle and tribal shapes, and woodburn this design into the top. After the design was finished, I sanded down the wood again to remove any residual unintended burning and to prepare the board for applying the grip tape.

Step 7: Putting on the Grip Tape

Important: Make sure the surface of the board is clean before putting on the grip tape. Any uneven surfaces or small bits will cause the grip tape to bubble.

After the top of the board was sanded and cleaned, unroll and unstick the grip tape. Start with one corner of the board and apply the tape going diagonally across smoothing it out along the way to prevent bubbles. One the tape is on the board, use a razor to trip the excess tape from the side of the board. Be careful to run it against the side of the board to get a clean cut, but make sure not to cut into the board to cut to wide from the board.

Step 8: Finishing the Longboard

Now for the final step! Fasten your trucks to your newly made board. Put the bearings into the wheels, and screw the wheels onto the trucks, just tight enough so they wont disconnect, but not too tight to where it prevents the bearings from spinning freely.

Last but not least, enjoy your new board!

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    jamesbardin

    Tip 7 days ago on Step 7

    Also forgot to mention once the griptape is flat on the deck, you should cut from the bottom up, running the razor along the board at around a 45 degree angle. Or another option that I recommend over the previous is to use a hand held file. If you have one, this will give you the cleanest cut. Run the file along the edge of the board filing down the grip tape, you will see it prepares the grip better to be cut and ensures that the cut is straight and along the edge of the board.