My nephew was in from college a couple of weeks ago and told me that he had a project for us to work on over the long Thanksgiving break.
me..”Sure, no problem. What do you want to make?”
him…”A new deck for my longboard.”
Since I’m the uncle who can do “anything”…”Sure, no problem.”
…and that is where we left it, until now.
Since I am old and out of touch…
Step 1-what the hell is a longboard?
A search of Google and YouTube gave me a pretty good idea of what a longboard is. Essentially a long, wide skateboard. What I also found was that there are many variations in deck design. Several of the decks were formed laminations and several were simply flat boards. Most were made from plywood. So I figured he must want to make one of the flat versions. All I should need is a piece of 1/2″ birch plywood and some shaping tools.
Step 2-pick up the plywood.
My nephew is now in for the long break and anxious to start the project. So I pick him up and we head over to the local Woodcraft to buy some plywood. While we are standing in front of the racks of ply he begins to explain what he has in mind. Then shows me a video to help me understand. He wants to make a full-on formed lamination!
We purchased enough 1/8″ birch ply to make a four layer lamination. He tells me he has a few things to do and will come over to my house in a few hours to get started. So I rush home and binge watch as many YouTube videos on the subject as I can find. After a few videos I manged to convince myself that we could do it.
Step 3-build a form.
This lamination needs to turn up at both ends and needs to have a concave running down the length of the center. Turns out the form is actually pretty simple. A stout base board with a few sticks tacked to it. The height of the stick dictates the depth. Essentially we guessed at this assuming a certain amount of spring back (also a guess). Clamping the lamination in the form is simple too. Just a stout board pressed along the centerline of the lamination draws the pieces of ply down over the delineating sticks of the form.
Step 4-the lamination.
We purchased two pieces of 1/8″ ply that were 30″x48″. Ripped those in half along their length to generate four 15″x48″ pieces. After a frenzied round of glue spreading (lots of glue), the pieces were stacked onto the form and ready for pressing. We had done a dry run prior to spreading the glue and the clamps were already set, so applying the clamps to the glued up lamination went pretty smoothly. In the end we ended up using almost every single clamp I own plus a few pieces of wide tape just for good measure.
Now we wait…