Creating skateboard blanks -- with compound curves

Ideas for gluing up 'longboard' blanks for skateboards. 1998.

by Professor Gene Wengert

I realize that that this is a cheeky request not being in the business, but there is a distinct possibility that if I am able to produce the woods I require then I will be. I have made a number of what are called longboard skateboards in relatively complex shapes, (see for examples of the sort of shapes I am referring to).

The one thing I can't do as yet is put in the cambers and concaves that a modern deck needs to be saleable.

Is it possible to simply create your own plywoods with complex curves in from multiple glues sheets of thin single or 2 ply woods (possibly maple or birch)? The ideal final ply would be around 7-10 plys and about 5/8" thick (for flexibility).

Absolutely! It is possible and that is exactly how we make a skateboard with complex curves--we use thin veneers and mold them to the shape we need using a wooden form and a press. The veneers are spread with glue before forming.

Often radio frequency energy is used to heat the glue, which then accelerates the curing of the glue; otherwise, you will have to wait a day or so.

Professor Gene Wengert is Extension Specialist in Wood Processing at the Department of Forestry, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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