How to Make Skateboard Decks From Plywood – 2024 Guide

skateboard decks

Making a high-quality skateboard deck from plywood ensures durability, responsiveness, and rider safety. This guide will take you through the  process involved in making your own skateboard decks, from selecting materials to assembling the finished product.

Materials and Tools Needed

Materials: Maple plywood sheets, hard rock maple veneers (typically 7-9 layers), epoxy or wood glue, grip tape.

Tools: Mold or press (homemade or purchased), clamps or vacuum press, jigsaw or bandsaw, sandpaper or sanding machine, drill and drill bits, measuring tape and ruler, pencil or marker, router (optional for rounded edges).

Step 1: Designing Your skateboard Decks

Shape and Size: Choose from standard shapes like popsicle, old school, or cruiser, adjusting dimensions based on rider preference for width, length, and wheelbase.

Creating a Template: Develop a template by drawing your design on paper or cardboard, ensuring it matches your desired shape and size.

Step 2: Preparing the Veneers

Stacking and Gluing Veneers: Use maple plywood as the base, and alternate the grain direction to enhance strength, applying an even layer of glue between each layer.

Pressing the Veneers: Place the glued veneers into your mold or press, applying pressure using clamps or a vacuum press. Allow the glue to cure according to manufacturer instructions, typically 24 hours.

Step 3: Shaping the Deck

Tracing and Cutting: Trace your template onto the pressed veneers and cut out the shape using a jigsaw or bandsaw. Ensure to follow safety guidelines for using cutting tools.

Smoothing Edges: Use sandpaper to smooth out rough spots and consider using a router for rounded edges if desired.

Step 4: Drilling the Holes

Measuring and Marking: Measure and mark the standard truck hole pattern on your deck, ensuring even spacing and alignment.

Drilling: Use an appropriate drill bit size to drill the holes, maintaining accuracy and preventing splintering.

Step 5: Finishing the Deck

Sanding the Surface: Start with coarse sandpaper and progress to finer grits to achieve a smooth and even surface.

Applying a Finish: Choose from clear coat, paint, or stain, applying it evenly and allowing sufficient drying time.

Step 6: Applying the Grip Tape

Cutting and Applying Grip Tape: Cut the grip tape to size and carefully apply it, starting from one end and smoothing out air bubbles with a file or sandpaper.

Trimming Excess: Use a sharp utility knife to trim excess grip tape along the edges of the deck for a clean finish.

Step 7: Installing the Hardware

Inserting Bolts: Insert bolts through the truck holes on the deck.

Attaching Trucks: Align the trucks with the holes and secure them with nuts, tightening evenly to ensure stability and safety.

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