Pressed boards back in the day. Got inspired by all the cool DIY videos. Found a bunch of my old stuff decided to share.
The wood is commonly known as sugar maple (hard rock maple is a skate term started in the late 70s or early 80s). It is rotary cut into veneer with a thickness of 1/16 inch. I do believe this wood is more than a dollar a square foot, (unless you’re willing to buy it by the truck load) and there is approx 18 square feet in each board.
P.V.A glue (white carpenters glue) is perfect for gluing your deck. If you’re interested in improving your lamination you can combine P.V.A. glue with a catalyst: aluminium chloride. Aluminums chloride is corrosive and is only available through industrial suppliers. This catalyst causes the glue to “cross bond” creating a superior bond. Apply the glue with a hard rubber roller; this is the easiest way to get a consistent application of glue by hand. Do not glue both sides of the plies or put on too much glue. This extra glue becomes kind of like an extra layer which causes a board to soften up in the sun. Any left over catalyst needs to be disposed of properly, as it is a hazardous material. This particular catalyst does increase dry time a bit, but can be compensated for by heating your mould since it still behaves as normal P.V.A. glue.
One of the biggest questions I get is how I built my first moulds for my press. I used car bondo for my mould because it was the cheapest material I could pour and sand and could stand up to repetitive heating and pressure. I Press them one at a time with two two tonne bottle jacks placed over where the trucks will be. I jack up until they do not move anymore in a metal frame with the mold on the bottom.
There is a tonne of ways to cut out a deck. One easy thing I did was press thicker decks out of 1/8 inch hard board and cut templates out of them that included the wheel base. Then after drilling the wheel base in the blank I connected them with long bolts through both wheel bases sandwiching them together with the thick template on top. This way I could use these templates to cut out each deck one at a time on a router table with a flush trim bit. This way your boards will be consistent!
Remember — Wheel base placement is the most important thing.
On a final note Commodity prices are through the roof! It is impossible to make a board for under $30.00 (CAN) when working small scale. I personally wouldn’t touch this industry unless I had about $500,000.00 to sink into promotion insurance and materials. Also I would need to find a lot of quality wood workers to run it! The Pros will leave you in the dust and your boards will never be seen as a comparable product at a retail level regardless of how good they really are. The bro-down support is gone in the skate world! Most Shops make very little profit in this economic climate; they want sure fire sellers these days and little Johnny wants a “Chris Cole deck” not a garage construction special.
So who the am I? Just a dude that truly loves skating, that’s why I press boards — not for money. I’ve been on a board for 25 years and pressed my own for 9, worked in another skate manufacturing shop, and a few retail skate shops. My boards have won local wood show competitions and that says something because I’m from a mill town and wood working is a religion here. Still want to do it? Find a sales rep already working in the industry – but good luck convincing them to rep your product. However this would be the best way to find any real and consistent sales. Me personally I’m going to make coffins. That’s a growth industry!
Any other Questions? I’d be glad to answer.
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