Asselin.Engineer

DIY Electric Longboard Part 2: Deck

2018/07/12
craft
Last Update: 2018/09/13

This page is part of our home made eskate build.

Press Preparation

Foam Mold

We used 1.5 inch foam and sanded it to the shape we want.

Sanding took an hour. It's easier to sand with quick movements and low pressure vs lots of pressure

We made two boards of different shapes. One with a kick and one with a regular mold.

Cut foam bigger than maple veneer
Sanding foam mold
Lots of foam powder
Result foam mold with kick
Not perfect but good enough

Maple Veneer

We used these skateboard veneer kits.

Each had 7 maple veneer in 1/16 layers and unfortunately, they were too long for our vacuum bag. We cut them to 90cm.

The bags are advertised as 30*40in but only 36in veneer will fit with the foam.

The veneer sheets are stacked with the 2 vertical grain sheets positioned like this: HHVHVHH.

Cutting with x-acto knife is enough

Glue Application

We tried to use a paint roller but it took way too much glue to be useful. Using a large plastering spatula is much easier and wastes less glue.

The glue we use is Titebond III because it is superior. This glue starts to set in 10 minutes, which is long enough for our application but doesn't need to be in the vacuum bag for weeks.

The amount of glue used is important. A recommended amount (from the roarockit calculator) is 25.55ml of glue per square foot of wood, per layer of glue (7 layers of wood == 6 layers of glue).

In our case, that's 25.55ml * (3*1) * (7-1) = 460ml

Too bad we didn't read about this value until after both boards were glued...

  • Board 1: ~300ml only. Result: Very Flexible.

  • Board 2: ~500ml. Result: Almost no Flex.

Make sure all layer is covered with glue and be quick.

Cover with glue on both layers of wood.

Insert in vacuum bag and make sure no air is left. Add a foam piece because the vacuum bag cap could leave a mark in the wood. We used "Space Saver Vacuum Storage Bags with Hand-Pump, Jumbo, 6-Pack" from Amazon.

We had a problem with the foam mold with the kick because it wasn't strong enough to hold the kick shape. Foam bends instead of the veneer. To fix this we should have used a strong piece of wood under the foam. It was too late for that so we forced the kick with a cement bag in a bucket.

Tape was added to in case the vacuum breaks.

Ready to add glue
Vacuum seal
Added tape to secure the overall shape if vacuum is broken
Kick press
Kick shape
Added press to remove a bubble
Result after 20 hours
Deck 1
Deck 1

Video showing the flex Deck 1

After 20 hours, we unwrapped the vacuum bags and were very disappointed. Both decks had major air or glue bubbles. We still don't know if they were caused by pressure from the tape or too much glue (or not enough glue?). The top of the decks are perfect though.

Catastrophy Deck 2
Deck 2 top
Nice curve
Height
Width
Before and after cutting the deck to form, we glue and press the veneer sheets where they unwrap

Miracle

A day later, most bubbles magically shrank on Deck 2!

Cut and Sand

Templates drawn on Sketchup and printed.

Boards were sanded and had to be pressed again. Some sides were unwrapping.

Not sanded
Sanding
Almost done
Almost done
Pressed again to remove imperfections of cut bubbles
Pressing again
After final sanding Deck 2
So soft

Read more here on the complete project!: home made electric longboard.

Next, Part 3: Battery Pack