I have always believed in DIY supremacy. If you do as well, then building something entirely yourself is always fun for you. If you want to make a DIY longboard, you can develop and design a longboard according to your choice by having some supplies and less expensive pieces of equipment.
Here, I will share the easiest tricks and tactics, which would make your journey easier.
Building a longboard is quite an easy task if you are determined to make a rigid one at home. You will get all the types of equipment in the markets near you. So, don’t delay more; give a short read to this article and start working on building your own.
Essential Tools and Equipment for Building Board
The first and foremost thing you have to do is gather some tools and equipment to build the board. You will need- acrylic paint, markers, type bond or wood glue, tape, sandpaper, saw, drill machine, etc.
How to Build a Longboard Following a Few Dead Simple Steps
Selecting the Wood for the Deck
While choosing the board, I suggest you go for the best quality plywood sheets possible if you don’t have any budget issues. Various kinds of wood are being used nowadays, but White Ash, Bamboo, and Birch plywood are pretty popular. Bamboo material will be the strongest one, but you can also go for a birch one.
You may feel that you can work with regular plywood, but that will be a bad idea even if you make a board out of it. The regular one will not be stronger enough as its weights capacity will be less than the birch or bamboo ones. On the contrary, these types of wood will be great for taking your weight and will not be broken in the meantime.
You will need three wood pieces. The pieces have to be at least 38 inches long and 9.5 inches wide. So, while ripping the plywood, it’s better to take a bit extra in measurement so that you can get your desired sizes in length and width.
Cutting the Plywood
For creating a rigid board, you have to cut the plywood with utmost care. You have to find out the center point and draw a centerline with a pencil and ruler. Then take a piece of paper and prepare the figure of the longboard according to its length and width.
So, now it’s time to raise your saw. You can wear safety or thick gloves so that you may not cut your finger. You can use an electric saw machine as well; it will give a straight cut. Then you have to rub firmly on the board to smoothening the surfaces and edge-banding appliances for plain edges.
Curving the Board
After cutting the wood in your measurement, you can start curving the deck. Without creating a proper curve, you cannot get an appropriate concaved surface. First, you have to set two extra wood pieces on the table and then place the plywood piece; you just cut on them.
Next, it is time to give shape. There are a few concave shapes like more resounding, u-shape, and v-shape; however, the board shape entirely depends on your preference.
To give a deeper concave to your board, you must use a thicker and sturdier board on top of the plywood. Before that, you have to build the layers of wood by using the type bond glue. After setting one sheet on another, you have to place the clamps on the sheets to create pressure. So that the sheets get attached, and the curve gets created.
If you want more curves in the center, you can place more wood pieces and clamps in the center. On the contrary, if you wish the two corners of the longboard to be camber than the center, you can place your clamps on the two sides of the sheets. After setting up the clamps, you have to leave that for a few days. At least three days to set the glue along with creating the curve.
After sketching the figure-
- Place the paper on the nearly ready plywood.
- Draw the lines with a marker on the board.
- Make sure that all the arches are equal.
You have to do this step carefully as our next task is cutting plywood in a longboard shape.
Choosing Trucks and Wheels
Next, you have to set up the trucks for the wheels, and you will find good-quality longboard trucks on online markets and supermarkets. Just grab a proper one for your board and the select wheels. You can get higher wheels in the durometer scale and bigger among different reels as the larger wheels work great for larger boards.
While buying longboard wheels, make sure that the size of the wheels is getting matched with the size of size of the longboard deck.
Depending on your activities or target rides, you can choose your wheels.
If your target is only sliding and turning, then you should go for small-width wheels. These will speed up your sliding, and their small width ensures super-fast acceleration. If your target is cruising, you can go for the softer wheels, which will help you deal with the acceleration, and these wheels are the most popular ones in the market because of the power of their vibration absorbing.
Painting and Designing on the Longboard
Before or after placing the trucks and wheels, you can design creatively to give a distinctive look to your board. To create a beautiful longboard (either beginner’s longboard or an advanced rider’s board), you can take ideas from Pinterest, paint the design by using acrylic colors; you can also use the paper template. After you are done with painting, use polyurethane varnish over paint. Using the layer of this varnish will make your color last for quite a long time.
Using Grip Tape
Not using grip tape on the board is one of the biggest mistakes anyone can ever make. Without a grip tape, you will not be able to keep control over your feet. Grip tape will help you to maintain balance while sliding.
Buy enough tape from the market so that you can cover up the whole deck adequately. You will get multi-colored ones there along with matte colors. Focusing on this step may help you to avoid unwanted injuries. You can change your tape whenever you want, as it’s pretty easy to remove.
Attaching the Wheels and Trucks
Then, use a drill machine to create holes on the deck. You have to mark the places where you want to fix the trucks and then drill holes. After that, tightly attach trucks and wheels on the board so that you don’t have to get wobbly while sliding on the road.
Hopefully, by following all the steps mentioned above, you can build your longboard from scratch. If you were confused between making it or not, I surmise all your confusion is gone by now. Nowadays, a new longboard may cost a lot of money. On the other hand, you can start building any longboard you want by collecting a few tools and parts on a shorter budget.
Making a DIY longboard will always be a better option if you want to create a unique one. Having a basic idea about the hand tools and tactics will help you create a beautiful board.