Friday, June 24, 2011

PROJECT: Building Father/Daughter Longboards

Before my daughter came home for Spring Break, we made plans to build longboard skateboards together, inspired by an article in MAKE magazine. In the early Spring, I helped my father put a roof (sunshade?)on his tractor and claimed the plywood container in which it shipped. Before Paige came home, I cut out blanks (in my case about 9 inches by 43 inches -- hers was shorter), and used MAKE's "glue and weight" technique to camber the decks.


After 48 hours, we started cutting and shaping.

SANY1316 (You can see the amount of camber in the above photo.  Her board’s was less than mine.  What with me being fat and all…)

By this point (cut, shaped, and sanded), break was over, so we continued working solo, sharing what we had found via Skype and email:

SANY1311 I decided to go with a striped look with a platypus stencil in the center.  No real reason, I just think platypus are kind of cool. 

   Ready to be polyutheraned.  I probably should have used spar on these boards, but I didn’t want to sink a lot of cash into this project, since they’re upcycled anyhow, so I just used the semi-gloss I had in the carriage house.

  Meanwhile, Paige was back at school, in her studio, painting her board with some thinned out acrylics to preserve the grain look :


Drilling the boards caused some anxiety for me.  I knew it was vital that the holes be straight, and not having a drill press, I had to improvise.  I measured and squared where I wanted the trucks mounted and then taped the risers down with painters’ tape and drilled away.  They’re straight, but could be more exact. 

The last task left was installing the trucks and grip tape.  For the tape, I went a little crazy with the ol’ Xacto knife for mine:
5843417989_a0c0a38600_zPaige took a similar route, cutting the tape to fill in the plain poly’d wood left between the “stained” sections.  Finally, on a rainy morning, we headed down to the park to try them out:

They ride really nicely.  Paige had never been on a board, so her learning curve has been a little steep, but I am having a blast so far bombing down smaller hills. 


Anonymous said...

Very nice paints, cool design

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