Introduction: DIY Longboard
Hi guys, this instructable is about how to make a plywood longboard with concave. I will make it by the simplest and cheapest way.
Almost all you need:
- 3 layered plywood
- Glue for wood
- A big board (or bunch of small boards)
- Yatch varnish
- Acrylic paint (for painting)
- Sand (for grip)
- Set of trucks+wheels+bearings, i’ve got it here (Aliexpress)
- Some instruments (saw, sandpaper, files, screws…)
You can watch my video with detail instructions about how to make this baby! And there is some test drive in the last part of the video.
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Step 1: Concave
I will make a deck with concave – longitudinal bend. It makes the deck strongly and bouncy than flat deck.
Step 2: Cutting Plywood
You need a plywood with 3 layers. I’ll make a hybrid longboard with length about 35 inches (something between cruiser and longboard), so now I mark 3 rectangular pieces of plywood with 90 centimeters length and 30 centimeters width.
The most important thing is, that fibers must be placed along the longest side of a plywood piece, it is about flexural strength of deck. Cut this pieces with saw/fretsaw.
Step 3: The Press
To make a concave we need a press, where the plywood will be drying bended in a concave shape. Press consists of base and flange. The base could be made of big wooden board or a few little boards. All we need is to fix a flange on the base with screws. Soon we will bend a plywood around this flange and screw it to the base. I place a flange in the middle of base and screw it up. Sizes of flange is 3 on 6 centimeters, I made it out of wooden bars that I found.
Step 4: Plywood Again
Let’s go back to the plywood. Surface of plywood sheets must be clean and dry, because we will glue it to each other. Find 2 nice surfaces without defects, they will be at the top and the bottom of deck. Number them to not to lose. Find and mark a center of plywood sheet (shorter edge), do it on both edges.
Step 5: Gluing and Pressing
An advice: use a good glue for wood, like Titebond. Now thickly smear sheets with glue and join them together in a big 3 sheets 9 layers piece of handmade plywood. Put them down on the flange and superpose centers of plywood with centers of flange, to make a concave exactly around the center of plywood sheet. Now, bend plywood around the flange and fix it with screws to the base, to make a concave. Also, it is more correct to drill holes before screwing.
It’s my first longboard and I don’t know how much concave is need to be.
Step 6: Unpressing
Wait for glue to dry and then unscrew your curved piece of 9 layer plywood. I think my concave is too much, but after few tests I decided that it’s OK. Now draw an axis along the deck, right through the central marks. It will be a main central axis of your longboard.
Step 7: Truck’s Mount Holes
It’s time to make holes for trucks. I placed trucks like I want and made a template for truck’s mount holes. Now we need to place it on the deck and combine center axis of template with center axis of the plywood. Make notches with some pointy thing like a screw and then drill a holes right through this notches. (8 holes at all)
Step 8: The Deck’s Shape
You can find the shape of the deck that you want in the internet, but I will draw it myself. I put 3 pieces of paper together, place them along the axis and draw the shape of my dreams. And then I cut it, so, it will be a stencil for shape. Using this stencil I draw my shape on the plywood with marker, than I turn it over and draw the other side. Then cut it!
Step 9: Final Processing
Now it is the final processing. Use files and sandpaper to make a perfect surface and smooth edges for your deck.
Step 10: Paintings
I decided to make a drawing on my deck, because I haven’t seen a longboard without drawing. I will use an acrylic paint. To paint on wood with acrylic paint you need a primer, so I am using a mixture of PVA glue and water (1:10), it’s the simplest and the cheapest primer for wood.
Make a stencil of self-adhesive tape and cut it off, then attach it to the deck. And then cover wood with paint by some brush. It dried very fast, so I am removing the template and here it is, my supercool fire.
Step 11: The Grip and Varnish Coating
On the top surface of the deck we need a grip tape, you can buy it or make it yourself. Obtain some sand. Clean it out by shaking it in water and dry (I dryed it in oven).
Cover all deck with first layer of Yacht varnish, and rain some sand on the top surface. Then let it dry.
Cover all deck with second and third layers of varnish, so the sand will be covered under 2 layers of varnish and will be serve as grip tape, this type of handmade griptape is superstrong and unbreakable. Also your deck will be protected of water and other bad things, because Yacht varnish creates a very durable coating for your board.
Step 12: Assembling
Now it’s time to assemble trucks. Also, this Chinese trucks is not so bad, all set cost me 40 bucks, and I really like it. Chinese bearings is good, they sad that it is ABEC 9, but I don’t believe, because it is really cheap. Here is a link.
Step 13: Test Drive
So, longboard is ready to ride! Deck’s weight is about 1.3 kilograms, and all longboard weight is 3 kilograms. My weight is 75 kilograms and this deck is easily withstands me jumping on it.
On a straight horizontal road I could achieve 15 km/h, but it was my first experience, and I think it can be faster.
I really like this board, it is not so big and not too small, the grip is perfect and the concave is comfortable for me. But I want to make another deck, like a symmetrical freestyle shape, also I will make it thinner by adding some fiberglass and epoxy and using 2 sheets of plywood instead of 3. But that is another story and another episode. So my friends I hope I see you later.
P.S. And don’t forget, that there is a video about making this board :3
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