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So i pressed a deck this weekend

diy
press
decks

#1

For those of you who didn’t already see it on my instagram: I was finally able to press a deck this weekend. After months of struggle and agony and sacrifice and sorrow and a bloody pinched pinky finger, I finally have a 7 ply Rock Hard Maple (Acer saccharum) prototype of my new deck design. Below is a picture of the rough cut (prior to sanding or drilling or finishing of any kind at all.

40" total with a currently unknown and potentially adjustable wheelbase in excess of 26", so this thing will support Space Cells as well as larger 12S cell stacks/groups

Its a little different than what you’re probably used to, but that’s the thing about decks: they’re all completely different and filled with lovely unique flavor. You might notice the presence of a subtle w-cave dome between where the front and back trucks will be. It feels amazing on my bare feet and i think it will also help combat the foot tingles a little when standing for long rides in shoes by giving you some options to shift your feet around on different pressure points. It should also stiffen the deck substantially within the box zone.

Here’s the wooden hydraulic press I made out of fence timbers and a pair of 2-ton jacks with the mold I had CNCed sitting in the bottom of it. those blocks under the jacks aren’t used, they’re just sitting there.

I just ordered some clear grip tape and hopefully this week i can stain it, polish it up and start figuring out the process for making esk8 electronics boxes for it. Since the deck isn’t flat on the bottom because of the dome, I’m going to attempt to set up a vacuum table mold using an uncut deck as the table so that the hot ABS will follow the curves when it flumps down. I’m not going to be able to use a conventional oven for this because i think the abs frame is going to be way too wide, so wish me luck building a DIY hot box to droop plastic.


The Dream Machine | dual carvon | dual vesc | space cell | enertion controller | custom CNC milled board
LHB Scarlet Black Metal Edition | 12S 430 Wh 18650 w/BMS | Ollin Vescs | Enertion Dual 190kv 6355 | 83mm Flywheeel Clones
#2

looking sweet!

so with that just being a prototype, will your final iteration have the corners sanded down a little; that way they are more of a gentle curve instead of a point?

Obviously with making the deck yourself you could vary the style from deck to deck, but I was just wondering.

Whenever you decide to start selling them, I think I might need one!


#3

What you’re seeing there is just the fresh cut with my jig saw. I was too excited to wait to take the picture. lol

Yesterday evening i sanded the edges down to the line with a handheld belt sander and took the points off the corners with an orbital sander. It still has the hard angles but the corners are softer and so are the edges. I thought about fully rounding the edges like everyone else does, but i think I like the idea of a boxy edge as long as its smooth and slightly rounded. I need some better sanding gear tough, and more practice to achieve better consistency.

There is definitely going to be subtle variances between decks because these things are made completely by hand. I don’t have a robot cutting these out. Also, I’m pretty sure I can create a number of cutout shapes that will work with this mold. I have several in mind already, and one of them vaguely resemble’s @onloop 's recent design that included a more angular hourglass shape. Sometimes I think he accesses my brain while i’m sleeping and goes to work on stuff he finds in there. It would be convenient for him because of the time difference. I’m usually asleep while he’s in his mad science skate lab doing who-knows what with all manner of fringe science equipment.


#4

Dude! That’s awesome


#5

That is such a good looking board already!,Looking forward to seeing more of this, please keep posting! :smiley:


#6

Nice work! Great to see the inventiveness and ingenuity to do this yourself. Jealous of the skill and obvious trail/error efforts you’ve had to date to make it happen.

Well done!


#7

That looks pretty sweet, dude. What made you choose the press method versus the vacuum method? I’ve been wanting to make my own deck for a while now, and I’ve been leaning towards a vacuum setup because it seems a lot simpler, and I don’t have the space for a deck press. I’ve been wondering if I’d be able to do it with a large flat vacuum storage bag since they’re cheap. Has anyone tried that here? I’ve seen kits online as well, but obviously they’re more expensive.


#8

That is awesome. Love the shape of the deck!


#9

@claudiofiore88 I decided not to go with the bag method early on because i knew i wanted more than just a typical concave. Bags are really really good at the standard concave, especially on trick decks and longer variations of those like bustin’s YOFACE, and of course any cutout shape you can think of that uses that standard concave, and of course the even more basic concave used in pintails and other more traditional longboards. I read in a number of places that I would have a lot more difficulty with more exotic profiles (think w-cave and bacon) like I wanted to use.

I wanted something different. My initial design had harder angles on the wings than this, and the tail was more abrupt. It was also more of a tub and didn’t have that soft w-dome that makes my feet sing broadway tunes. While what I ended up with may have worked with a bag, i’m fairly certain my initial design would have failed in a bag, so i abandoned that method and started on my first hand made mold which failed terribly and sent me into a fugue state for weeks on end in which i lamented my failures as a maker. Then the guy from Marwood Veneer called me out of the blue wanting pictures of my new decks. I confessed my inadequacies, and he hooked me up with a CNC guy.

Once I had a guy who CNCs wooden deck molds, I ended up with larger radiuses on the wings and the tail after consulting through several cad drawing iterations with him. It still has the same flavor, but with his guidance I was able to create something that plays much nicer with this tough ass maple veneer.

Another reason I went with a mold is because I can stack them in the press. My current press can’t do this, but i plan on building another, bigger, stronger Monster Clamp that will take as many as three of these molds in a stack and of course use much larger jacks. I probably won’t do that though until i sell a few of these and hone my process as a whole. It could happen sooner if this Monster Clamp flies apart though. It likes to creak a lot.

Also, believe it or not: space constraints. While Monster Clamp seems like an unwieldy beast of pressure treated wood and steel bolts, It’s only a foot deep. It lives along the wall of my garage and can happily keep a deck (or eventually two or three) pressing for hours on end with both cars parked next to it. I don’t have anywhere to set up a table for multiple bags for long periods of time. I basically have to fight a wife and baby for working space, so I’ve claimed the garage that we both park in.


#10

That was a lengthy reply. lol What do mean by W concave or bacon profile. Is that anything like a regular trick deck profile? Is Marwood veneer a local supplier? Seems like a nice guy to just call you out of the blue about your project like that and to recommend a cnc guy. Almost every tutorial for how to build a longboard deck I’ve seen always use or recommend baltic birch vs maple. I know almost all trick decks are made of maple, so I’m not sure why baltic birch would be a better choice. For press versus vacuum, is there any difference in the end product like strength or their ability to withstand delaminating better? Also do you alternate the grain direction each ply?


#11

Mate! Love it…

I am a big fan of the angular shapes. Somehow it manages to give it a modern-retro feel.

Yes I do enter your mind and steal ideas when you are sleeping… dont worry i tread gently… you don’t even know what you have in store for yourself yet… bwahahahaha

Re: kids and wife… time for them to move out so you can focus on electric skateboards 25/7… they just get in the way.


#12

Unlike a regular concave like on a trick deck, a w concave on a longboard has a hump down the center from front to back. It was invented mainly for sliding if i recall correctly, but it can also give you some extra leverage when turning at speed. Its usually subtle and often narrow. Mine is more of a bubble hump than narrow hump providing more flat surface on top of the hump to help mitigate the issues you experience when pushing. Here’s a few on muirskate to look at:
https://www.muirskate.com/longboard/decks/all/w-concave

bacon has a weird flexy ripple to the edge and across its surface. Its kind of interesting. Its like an earworm for me, but skateboard. I’m always thinking about it:
https://www.muirskate.com/products?keywords=bacon

Maybe baltic is a little more flexible and does better in a bag? I’m not 100% on the differences or impact on board quality. I chose rock maple because its the industry standard and is as tough as it gets. I know different woods have different ride flavors and flexiness to them, so maybe there is just a widely shared personal preference for baltic.

Marwood Veneer is not local to me. Nobody around here would give me a good price on veneer, so i had to go online. They have incredible customer service and are always looking for pictures of things people make with their products. Great prices too. You can check them out here:

I’m not sure about the advantages of one process over the other where lamination/delamination are concerned. From my understanding both work really well, but i know in large presses you can definitely get much higher that 14.7 psi which is all you’re ever going to get with a TAP bag. I don’t know what that means in a practical application though. Also I’ve seen people do just fine with just a bunch of regular carpenter type clamps. My very first attempt was with 5 homemade clamps on my previous mold and lamination was good except for a few areas where the mold wasn’t up to snuff.

You definitely want to criss cross the grains. The materials kit you can get from marwood comes with three kinds of ply. Face ply, Core ply, and Cross ply. Face is sanded and is for the outside. It’s the part you see. Core has the same grain direction as Face, but its not sanded and is a little tougher. Cross is the same as Core except that the grain goes from side to side rather than top to bottom. When stacking the layers, you stack Face, Core, Cross, Core, Cross, Core, Face. This gives it that strength and tail pop you see on commercial decks.


#13

@longhairedboy this is so cool! I’ve learned a ton just reading this thread. Look forward to seeing designs that are for sale! It’s exciting to think that you’re one of the first to offer an esk8-specific wooden deck. Awesome idea!


#14

Thanks! Now i just have to iron out the box problem. Last night I ordered a bunch of m3 socket cap screws and some m3 t nuts to mount them. I saw a guy on youtube make his own “oven” from wood and reflective heat insulation. It was shaped like a square funnel and had the heat source in the bottom where it was narrow, and the top was the width of the frame he needed. I think i’m going to go in that direction because i found a great heat source while I was out buying milk.

I can get two heating elements with 110v power supply, timer, switch, and temp levels for $60 at walmart. How cool is that? For some reason they call them Toaster Ovens instead of Electric Skateboard DIY Box Forming Cooker Element Kits, but whatever.


#15

Ha! Weird right? Some vendors just don’t understand their target demographic!


#16

Lol! Still something that makes me laugh when I think about it. I can go buy cereal and tires at the same place, 24 hours a day. Ah capitalism, I guess.


#17


#18

totally radical man…


#19

Umph. Looks so good.


#20

ordered some more parts for this bad boy:

  • dual enertion 190kv motors, mounts, pulleys
  • torqueboards 12S ESCs in a dual config
  • gt2b remote from hobby king
  • bad wolf gt2b mod v2 from shapeways in polished red plastic
  • caliber II 184mm blackout 50deg trucks
  • venom double barrels, 90a, red
  • 83mm 80a red flywheel clones
  • bones reds bearings w/ spacers
  • bag of 1 1/4" truck bolts w/ nuts
  • 10mm m3 socket caps for the box
  • m3 t-nuts for the box

(edit) also… for aesthetics …

  • clear grip tape
  • LHB logo decal in black standard vinyl die cut for under the clear grip (will be placed on solid white stencil painted background so you can clearly see it through the clear grip).
  • 3" vinyl logo stickers to toss in the box when I ship it to whoever buys this steez machine and also to put all over my wife’s car and everything else

my logo for reference:

The final look of this thing … as @onloop implied… will be very 80’s retro future. In fact i’m sort of going for the old Powell flavor from when I was a kid. My very first board was a Vision Punkskulls which bears a shocking yet non-coincidental resemblance to my cutout shape, but i always loved the Powel aesthetic.

still poking around looking for a good price on some gasket material in the 10" x 26" size range to use with the box i haven’t made yet. If anyone has any ideas about a good place to hunt for sheets or rolls of either black or red rubber in that size range, let me know.