Author Options:

I want to build a cruiser board, but what type of wood should I use? Answered

I want to make a homemade cruiser board about 10" x 36". I don't want much flex in the board, so what type of wood should I use. I do want to bend the wood before I cut out the initial design. Birch wood or just standard plywood? How many ply s should I use? It will be used for more cruising and not tricks.


If I'm using baltic birch, what dimensions would be best?

Yea thats where i got the idea from, except i think he uses only one piece of wood which comes out flat.

Bending plywood may not be the best option (now that I've re-read your question). Its already built up of layers and adhesive, and although its possible to do, the results aren't always as desired.

What I would do is get some thinner solid material. Like oak, birch... whatever hardwood you can get (they all work fairly well in steam bending). The next step would be to have a form to work with... something you can clamp the wood to when you've got it 'bendable'. Once the wood is steamed, bent and clamped to the form, you'll need to let it thoroughly dry for a few days, then using sheets of veneer you can glue them to the bent piece you created. The addition of the veneer and adhesive actually creates some more rigidity to the board and added strength. Once you have the board built up to where you're happy with it, give it a good coat of varnish to seal everything and protect it.

When boards are manufactured the manufacture tends to make there own ply wood. This way they can integrate fiberglass layers or if they want a more rigid board they can have a layer of aluminum or steel. This allows them to combine the curing, pressing and curving of the board into a single process. Using a large press with a die in the shape they want the board. The combined heat, pressure and steam from the press shape the board and cure the glue making it a strong ply.

You can make your own ply as well. The type of wood you use isn't as important as the glue you use and alternating the direction of the grain of each sheet. You will need allot of clamps and template/mold of the curves you want int he board. This way you can glue it all up and clamp it tight to the form you want and let the glue cure for a day or 2. Then you can cut out the shape of the board on a band saw.

Make sure you use a glue that won't dissolve in water. Wouldn't want a couple of humid summers to destroy your board.