How to make a wood skateboard mold
Wood skateboard molds are nice because they can be used to make a skateboard deck using all sorts of pressing techniques and they're not too expensive to make.
The wood skateboard mold in this article works best with pipe clamps and aside from the tools, it should cost less than $30.
I made this wood skateboard mold with these plans in mind and by following this article it shouldn't be that difficult for you to make. Just make sure you have a thorough understanding of how it is done before starting.
To make this skateboard mold accessible to the novice wood worker while retaining as much accuracy as possible, you will need to print out the three PDF section drawings below. These section drawings have been drawn to scale, meaning that once printed, they will be the same size as the wood mold that you're making. Also, each PDF section drawing represents both the top and bottom of of the wood skateboard mold.
The line on the top and bottom of the section drawings corresponds to the top and bottom of the 2×8 whose overall height is 7 1/4". The lines in the center are the cut lines, lines that once cut will make up the top and bottom of the wood skateboard mold.
To make sure these PDF section drawings are printed to scale, they should fill up a standard 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper in it's entirety minus a 1/4" or so on either end of the sheet of paper depending on your printer.
You can also check the scale by measuring the distance between the truck mounting lines, this measurement should be 2 1/8". The wheel base dimensions will measure out to be 14 1/4" and the top and bottom lines on the drawings will be 7 1/4", which is the actual width of a 2×8.
Optional: If you want a shorter wheel base for your wood skateboard mold, make the 14 1/4" distance shorter.
Also, to save space and time, PDF section drawings 1 through 3 will be printed twice and used for both sides of the wood skateboard mold not the top and bottom. You will use the PDF section drawing 0 once, for the center 2×8 as seen to the right.
Gather all your materials. Start by cutting two 12' long 2x8's into 34" lengths. You will need a total of seven. Piece your printed PDF section drawings together, end to end, as shown here.
They are only going to add up to 33", so your going to have to draw that extra half inch on each end.
Cutting to Size
Using spray adhesive, glue and center the section drawings onto the 2×8. The wood will have 1/2" exposed on each end. By gluing the patterns on, you can just follow the lines with a jigsaw and peel off the drawings when you're done. Or you can trace the drawings if you choose.
Now place the cut 2×8's on a flat surface. They should resemble stairs. Trace their outline onto the piece next to it.
You can remove the excess wood by chiseling down at an angle to 1/16" or so of this newly drawn line.
You can also use a heavy grit sandpaper wheel on an angle grinder. 40 or 60 grit should do the trick.
It will remove the excess wood quickly, almost too quickly so be careful not to take off too much.
Do this one piece at a time and try not to remove any wood from the sawn edge.
It has come to my attention that the PDF's and this article do not explain exactly where you need to remove the excess wood to create the concave and convex of the wood skateboard mold.
So I threw together the above image to more accurately show where you should chisel to. It is a cross section of the mold, in the middle.
The curved line represents the cut line. The #3 piece on the top should have about 5/16" of an inch removed as well as the center #0 piece, which was a bit too long.
As I have mentioned to others, the provided PDF's are more of a starting point. You will need to work at getting the two halves to meet by making the bottom to your satisfaction and checking often that the top fits during wood removal.
Once they look similar to a finished skateboard mold, brush them off and set them aside.
Using a 4" wide foam roller with paint tray and wood glue like Titebond, begin putting the shaped 2×8's together by rolling glue onto both pieces, starting with piece number 3. Attach it to piece number 2 with clamps. Now, while the clamps are in place, screw them together using about 3 screws. The screws will be left in for extra strength.
Unclamp and attach the glued assembly to piece number 1 using glue, clamps and screws. Repeat until done. After you've done both halves, allow the glue to dry overnight to prepare for finishing.
Now that the glue is dry, sand the inside edges smooth to finish the skateboard mold. Again, make sure you don't remove too much wood. You just want to have each 2×8 meet the previous one.
An orbital sander with 60 to 80 grit sandpaper works good here. When all the edges meet, use progressively finer sandpaper until smooth.
When using this mold to press a deck, it's a good idea to use a thin layer of cork, about 1/8" thick on both sides of the veneer plies to make up for any imperfections in your mold.
You can use about 10 pipe clamps (5 on each side) to press decks with this mold. They should provide enough pressure if left for about 24 hours to dry.
One last thing, this wood skateboard mold is only as accurate as you make it. Take your time, have patience and a good understanding of the process.
Your mold will not look exactly like these photos. I made that mold with 2×6's before realizing that 2×8's would work better for a wood skateboard mold. As you can see by how thin the top is.
How to make a Concrete Mold II
A while back a guy named Rocky sent me a few pictures of his skateboard mold and press. Both the mold and press were about as well made as possible and can be seen here.
My design still works fine, but it adds unnecessary steps. So I decided to write this article, explaining how to make a concrete skateboard mold like the one that Rocky made.
The only thing different from the original concrete mold design is the way you make the wooden box that forms the concrete mold.
Which means that you should still use four pre-mixed 55lb bags of Hydraulic Cement for the concrete mixture. I suggest using Rapid Set but any hydraulic cement will work.
Non hydraulic cement can take much longer to set up or cure.
Gather all your materials. Start with the 2×10's. Cut them into four pieces. Two at 1'-0 in length and two at 2'-10 in length. Set them aside. Below is a cut list referencing what else you will need and it's size.
|Material Cut List|
Cut the Sides
Make them into a frame by attaching the two 1'-0 long pieces to the ends of the 2'-10 long pieces.
Be sure you make this box square. It is important that all pieces fit together tight. A table saw is an excellent way to achieve this, although a circular saw or even a jig saw can be used.
Cut the bottom
Cut the 3/4" plywood to 3'-1 by 1'-0. This is the same size as the box you just made from the 2×10's.
Attach this piece of plywood to the bottom of the 2×10 frame with 1 5/8" screws.
Trim the Deck
Obtain an uncut skateboard deck. There's a couple places you can go for uncuts, SkatePaige.com and drifterskate.com. I've used skatepaige before and they aren't bad and the price is right. Unfortunately it's almost impossible to get them to return your emails or even let you know if your purchase went through.
To order an uncut blank through Drifter, email Ryan directly and tell him Jason at DIYskate sent you.
Trim the deck to 9 1/4" x 34" square. This is done by finding the center and measuring out from there. Doing this removes the rough edges and should square the deck for a snug fit in the wooden box.
All right, you should have a box and a squared up deck. Before assembly, sand the skateboard deck using progressively finer sandpaper until smooth.
Place the deck on it's side in the center of the box. You should have about 4 1/2" from the center of the deck to the top of the frame and about 3 1/2" from the bottom of the deck to the bottom of the frame.
I wedge the deck into the box then put some caulk in to fill any gaps and help hold it there.
Drill four 1/2" holes on the top and four on the bottom of the wood form where shown below.
You will need eight threaded rods, 7" long. Leave about 3" of threaded rod on the inside the box on the top and about 2" on the bottom.
Thread a nut and washer onto each end to bolt the rod into place in the box. Thread another bolt onto the ends of the threaded rod inside the box so the concrete has something to grab on to.
These will allow you to bolt the concrete mold to the press once finished.
You can make a frame from the re-bar and attach it to your threaded rod with wire at this time too.
Prepare the Form
You should seal around the deck and where the plywood meets the frame with a caulk. This keeps the concrete mixture from going where it shouldn't.
Coat the inside of the box with WD-40 or similar substance which will allow the concrete to release from the form once dry. Make sure you have good coverage then wipe it down.
Mix your concrete per the instructions on the bag. It helps to have some help here, hydraulic cement is hard to mix and sets up fast. Most concrete mixtures are temperature sensitive, so take the necessary steps to allow your mold the best chance for success.
Fill the Form
With the form on it's back and on a level surface, pour your concrete mixture into the wooden box.
Keep in mind that once filled, the form with concrete will weigh over 175 pounds.
Once full, you will need to immediately vibrate the concrete to release the air bubbles. An assortment of power tools will allow you to vibrate the tiny bubbles to the surface, use your imagination.
Follow the manufacturers instructions to allow the concrete to cure. You will most likely have to keep the surface wet for a half hour or longer. Once the concrete cures, remove the screws and take apart the form, removing the concrete skateboard mold.
You may have to pry the wood panels from the concrete. Be careful not to chip or crack the concrete.
You're done. If you took all the necessary steps, your concrete skateboard mold should have a smooth, pit free finish and is ready to start turning out perfect decks.
Thanks to Rocky for inspiring me write this.
...and thanks to Brian for the computer that this was written on.