Today I will help you to make your own skateboard at home. I believe if you have the necessary tools then you should be able to create a homemade skateboard easily.
Besides, it is way more fun and excitement to have something made by you. You can also design your own artwork style that no one can have the same as yours.
In this guide, I will show you two common shapes that skateboards have: The plat concave and W-concave shapes.
So without further ado, let’s get started!
1. The tools and materials
First of all, let’s prepare some tools and materials beforehand, you will need:
a. Table saw – very helpful to cut long, wooden plank. It is also easy to cut long curves and different shapes.
b. Band saw – it can cut small, curves intricately. It is super great to make balanced and symmetrical boards.
c. Sanders (handheld, paper or benchtop belt sanders) – these sanders help to smooth out the edges and give you the amazing feeling. It also eliminates wood chips that might hurt you.
d. Drills (handheld or tabletop drill) – this is used for creating truck holes on your skateboard. As we will buy the trucks and wheels separately, then we attached them on our skateboard once finished.
e. Measurement tools – These are obvious, you will need rulers and pencil to plan and measure where to cut the wood.
f. Wood planks – now this depends on your choice. I highly recommend maple wood as the standard for a skateboard. If you want a tougher deck, best to consider hard rock maple.
g. Wood finishing – this substance is applied on the wood surface to polish and protect the wood from minor scratches. It enhances both the look and feel of genuine wood. You can get them in the local wood workshop or order online.
The wood finishes come in many forms such as oil, wax, coatings, spray, etc. So beware to consult with your seller for the best type to apply onto your maple deck.
h. Grip tape, trucks and wheels – these you can consult your sellers or look for my other guides on the forum.
2. The Plat concave
Step 1 – you need to determine how long and wide you skateboard would be. A skateboard for an adult is usually 7.5 – 8 inches wide and 25 – 32 inches long. However, if you are making a longboard, then the length should be around 32 – 45 inches.
If you are making a skateboard for kids, the width is smaller, from 4.5 – 6 inches. The length might be around 22 – 28 inches. So just go with your instinct and how you feel it is best for your children.
The thickness also depends on your preference too. Normally, skateboard manufacturers glue and press 7 to 9 plies of wood pieces together. Since we are doing homemade skateboard, ¾ inches in thickness should be fine.
You can glue and press additional layers if you feel the skateboard is too weak to stand on. Once you got all the wood plank pieces with your desired measurement, it is time to draw and plan your template.
Step 2 – Here are some template suggestions:
Step 3 – after you have done with planning, just head over the table saw and cut your wood plank into the skateboard deck itself.
Step 4 – Obviously, after cutting the wood plank, there are rough edges and wood chips on your skateboard. It is always best to have a hand sander ready to smooth out the entire deck.
My favorite part is using the belt sander to cover the entire flat surface of the deck. Then, I can use the sanding paper or handheld sander to smoothen the edges.
Once you are satisfied with the smooth deck, it is time to drill eight holes on the deck for the truck attachment. However, before any drilling, always remember to use your ruler and pencil to map out where the trucks will be placed.
Step 5 – Have a look at the pictures below for more clarity! The picture guide also helps you to pick the right truck size for the correct deck size in comparison.
Step 6 – Once you have done the drilling, you can use small paper sanders to clean out the wood chips inside these holes. Double check once again if you feel the skateboard deck is smooth enough or needing some extra sanding.
Step 7 – After that, you can apply the wood finish onto the skateboard deck and let it dries overnight. On the next day, you check again if your skateboard is dry or need another layer of finishing.
Step 8 – Here is the optional step, if you can paint or prefer to have artwork stickers, it is the right time to do it now on the back side of the deck. The front side is strictly reserved for the grip tape so you don’t need to paint anything there.
Step 9 – Once everything is checked, time to pull out the grip tape and stick it on the front side of the deck. You can use the ruler to press and smoothen the grip tape around your deck’ edges so it will stick closely on the back side of the deck.
You can cut any excess tape that poking out now!
Step 10 – you just have to put the trucks, screws, bearings, and wheels altogether. It is best to drill all the screws from the front side deck (yes, through the grip tape!). Then, you will tighten the nuts below the trucks keeping them firm tight.
Put on the bearings onto the truck’s axles, then try the wheels on and spin them to test if they are rolling nicely.
And that is it! Congratulation, you have a beautiful and reliable skateboard!
If you find it is difficult to follow, just watch this video for more understandings.
3. The W-concave
To have yourself the W-concave shape for the skateboard, you need to do some extra steps making a mold first. The mold is created way before you start with the skateboard. I have provided a link here for the step-by-step guide.
Step 1 – Prepare 7 beams with 2 inches thick and 8 inches wide then saw them equally with the table saw. The length depends on your desired skateboard will be, I have mentioned this in the above!
You should number or mark the according beam to this format:
First beam = 1, second beam = 2, third beam = 3, fourth beam = 4, fifth beam = 3, sixth beam = 2, and seventh beam = 1
Step 2 – use a W template to draw ahead some tracing on each beam. It should look like this!
Step 3 – cut all the beam with the band saw, following the tracing you have drawn earlier.
As a result – from each of those beams you should have cut them into two separate parts like this picture below. There should be a total of 14 pieces. The 1 to 7 pieces are used as a positive mold, the other half of the pieces are the negative mold.
Step 4 – Then you can glue and drill tight the positive pieces altogether by stacking them on top of each other. Do the same for the negative pieces too.
Remember our number marking before? Try to glue and drill them following the numeric order, you will need to match both the positive and negative mold together following this order later on.
As a result – you should have two molds, one positive and one negative.
Step 5 – now you the belt or handheld sander to smoothen out the edges and wood chips.
After that, check to see if the positive and negative mold still fit with one another. Don’t worry about the small gap between the two molds, it is needed for your skateboard to fit inside.
Check if the number marking on each mold if they match with each other. If yes, then you have cut, glued and drilled in the correct order.
Check out the below picture:
Step 6 – this is where we go back making our skateboard deck. Remember when it is flat concave you can decide whatever thickness of the deck you want? Now instead of that, you would need thin plywoods with at least 3 pieces with 1/8 inches thick.
Glue them all together with wood glue, gorilla glue or heavy-duty glue on both surfaces of each layer. If you need more thickness, then glue more layers on top of the other. Once finished let them dry a bit before moving to the next step.
Step 7 – it is time to put your skateboard deck on the mold and press it between two molds. Use some paper to cover the top and bottom of the deck before you press it. This is to prevent the glue inside the deck coming out and stick the whole deck with the molds.
Step 8 – adjust the compression joints tightly, you need the layers to stick together permanently. Then wait 48 hours before moving to the next step.
Step 9 – now that you have the W shape formed, time to release the deck from its molds and draw the complete skateboard template on the deck. Then, you cut it with the band saw by following the tracing.
Step 10 – congratulations! Now you just have to continue with Step 4 of the Flat concave guide to finish the whole process.
Whew! What a fun journey creating your own skateboard. Though it is a bit long, but I hope this guide will help you a lot in practice.
Good luck and have fun!