While we are “quarantined in place”, we have been looking for lots of projects to do around the house. While cleaning my desk, I uncovered a copy of Matt Berger’s “The Handmade Skateboard: Design & Build a Custom Longboard, Cruiser, or Street Deck from Scratch”. Matt and I both work together on the VIP team at Automattic and have shared a few projects since we got to know each other.
Rush has been looking for projects, so a kit of trucks and wheels was ordered from Amazon, and we got to work on the deck.
Years ago, Mark Frauenfelder shared this fun project in Make: Projects, and I got to take a few laps around Expo Hall at Maker Faire on it. I always loved the simple bend in the plies of the wood, and have wanted to mimic the project.
We glued two pieces of scrap plywood together, then clamped up as tight as we could. Does anyone ever have enough clamps?
Similar to Mark’s project, we opted to add some camber to the board. A brick and a bucket of baseballs overnight was enough to set the curve into the drying board.
Rush freehanded a great design onto the board with a pencil. We did a little square up the design and ensure that it was mostly mirroring the design on the Y-axis. After the design, it was time to cut the shape. Rush did a pretty good job with the jigsaw, getting a little bit of help on some of the corners.
After some sanding and shaping, we decided to attach the wheels and trucks for a test run..
We ended up with a shape that was kind of a fish design. I’ll let Matt weigh in on a formal taxonomy for the board shape. It has some nice pop and riding high on the risers and tallboy wheels. I took it down the driveway and immediately crashed in the street when the back wheels locked up on the board. Need to change the shape if I was going to be riding it a lot…
On the whole, a total success! Now, what do we do for the next 12-15 weeks of quarantine?
Matt published some free plans on his site. The book is a fantastic piece of art with great anecdotes, photography and more.