Tag - Wood

Building a Plywood Longboard

Plywood Longboard

Building a Plywood Longboard

If you’re building your very first longboard or just want to quickly make a simple deck, building a plywood longboard could be the right choice for you! This is the fastest, easiest way to build a longboard.

Materials  Needed:

  • Plywood 1/4″
  • Wood Glue
  • Concrete
  • 4″x 4″ Lumber
  • Spray acrylic

Tools Needed:

  • Jigsaw
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Drill Bits
  • Clamps
  • Sandpaper
  • 5 Gallon Bucket
  • Measuring Tape

 

Step #1: Collect your Materials and Tools

See the above lists for the materials and tools you’ll need to collect before you begin building. You shouldn’t have any issue finding these items at your local store or online. Certain items can potentially be substituted for others which will be further outlined in the applicable section.

Step #2: Pick your shape

What do you want your board to look like? One of the great parts about building a longboard is getting creative with the shape! While it’s hard to go TOO wrong, keep in mind that your board shape will definitely influence the way it rides. Try sketching out a few ideas on a piece of paper before you even think about cutting. Once you have a design you’re confident in it’s time to draw it on your laminated plywood boards. Be sure to use a measuring tape to ensure that your board outline is even and symmetrical. This will be the template you’ll follow when cutting out your deck later on.

For ideas on different shapes check out our information on Longboard Shapes or take a peek at the Inspiration page!

Step #2: Laminate your deck

For the purposes of this guide, I recommend using three sheets of quarter inch plywood to achieve a relatively stiff, sturdy deck, but try experimenting with different thickness and more or less sheets of plywood to achieve different performance characteristics. Some riders like a stiff deck while a flexible deck is more preferable for others.

Step #3: Bend your wood

Lay your laminated board end to end on top of your 4″x 4″ blocks (or other level, solid objects). Mix enough concrete to fill about half of  in the five gallon bucket and let it set. Use this a weight to bend your plywood by placing it in the center of your outline. The bend will create the rocker or camber of your deck, depending which way you choose to mount the board. Leave it in this position for 2-3 days minimum. The longer the deck is bend into this position to better it will retain it’s curvature.

Step #4: Cut and sand

Using the jigsaw, carefully cut out your board following the penciled outline as closely as possible. Now you have your deck! Sand over the edges of the board until comfortably round (though many riders choose to keep a sharp edge for downhill or freeriding decks).

Step #5: Drilling

 

Step #6: Finishing

Since this particular method of building is oriented towards being a quick process, try using spray paint for your artwork. Use some stencils for geometric designs or spray freehand and see where it takes you! Let this dry and follow up by spraying the entirety of the board with the acrylic to help protect it from the benefits.

Step #7: Add components

Materials: Maple

Maple Skateboard Veneer

Materials: Maple

Maple is the gold standard for building skateboards. It is a durable yet flexible wood, well suited for pressing into shape and providing a strong, sturdy laminated deck.

Skateboards are constructed by gluing multiple pieces of maple veneer together into a single laminated deck.

Cross bands and vert bands refer to the orientation of the grain in your maple veneer. Most commonly this will be 1/16th or 1/20th thick. While a standard skateboard deck is constructed with 7 plies of maple, most longboards will be constructed 7-10 maple veneers. Decks are most often laminated with alternating cross bands and vert bands. This is referred to as cross-beaming and contributes to the strength of the board. This sequence has be altered as needed to provide different characteristics in your board. Face veneer is the vertical grain veneer used on each side of the core. These plies are fully visible and should have less blemishes or knots than core plies.

Building a Maple Longboard