Was gonna get a Switchblade deck and eBoosted enclosure, but apparently they don’t play nice with 6.5" wheels…which is kind of a bummer, so I’mma make my own at some point.
But how? I vaguely know how to make a press for the deck and do all the shaping and stuff, but what are the materials of choice for it?
I know an easy option is this kind of veneer which is about $10 per layer, and some Titebond III from Home Depot…but what is the good stuff?
Ditto for fiberglass and epoxy, and custom patterned fabrics, I’d like to do layers of fiberglass in the deck and a semi integrated fiberglass enclosure, then give it the Senderesque touch…are there different epoxies for each layer or is there a catch all magic sauce for it?
Depends how much you are willing to invest in it. You could just use clamps or threaded rods and pieces of wood placed at different areas to create concave, camber or drop but it won’t be super precise. Shaping a mold out of mdf or solid wood and making a press with bottle jacks is a lot of work and cost more but I think it’s more fun. Vacuum press or like they call it thin air press like the roarockit is interesting for prototyping or just making a few decks for personal use.
Most composites use a single shot of resin with multiple layers of reinforcement, rather than going one layer at a time.
As for the “right” stuff, it all depends on your requirements and the process you intend to use. For example a wet layup works better with a different viscosity resin from a vacuum infusion, which is different from what you’d find in prepregs.
Then there’s cure times, cure temperatures (room temp or oven?), and cosmetic considerations (will you need a clear coat over the top or not? Some resins are fussy after curing.)
There are several suppliers of various composite sheets like fiberglass, carbon-fiber and foam core. You can buy it in 1/16", 1/8" and 1/4". Then stack it and glue it together with a two part epoxy/resin like west-systems. Then use a vacuum-bag system like I do. Sheets of composite are pricey. Here are some suppliers. https://dragonplate.com/ https://www.rockwestcomposites.com/
In defense of titebond III it was developed for the skateboard industry in the 70s. From there is became the standard for woodworking. It’s kind of cool that skateboarding has had such a significant influence on woodworking in general It’s also non-toxic, doesn’t stink and cleans up easily.
I’ve used the roarockit kit with some of their veneers as well. That vaccuum tool does a good job and I’ve posted elsewhere thats it’s essentially a $10 wine bottle pump.
There are also cross band layers to consider, the type of material etc. making a stiff deck is super easy, a flexible deck gets harder and a flexible deck that feels right and pops up well is another level.
I’m currently using the roarockit bag to layup some veneers to a bustin sportster deck. I’ll be cutting a big pocket into the final thickness. It’s struggling with the curves requiring me to pre form the veneers with hot water.
I did this with my previous deck as well, added three layers and then routered a large pocket out of it. Worked great, but I also added three layers of fiberglass in between and it is rock solid stiff because of that.
Vaccuum isn’t enough, consider building a press.
I used 105/206 from west systems for this. I’ve also done some test layups and this epoxy seems pretty flexy
I was planning to make a giant 2 part mold and park my car on it, 6 layers of Canadia maple veneer and 2 layers of fiberglass (no idea what types or thread count yet) on the 2nd and 7th layers… probably hot water pre form then paint each with Titebond III, then epoxy the FG layers in
Can you elaborate on what cross band layers means?
I’m aiming for some flex but no twist if at all possible
Cross band has grain going the opposite way of standard veneer. So the grain goes perpendicular to the length of the board. This adds thickness without stiffening the board. It also adds strength in the width of the board.
Those fiberglass layers do the same thing but will add some stiffness. How much will depend on where they’re located and how strong they are.
The deck flexes and the bottom layers see tension forces. So strong tensile strength items near the bottom of the layup will have more effect on adding stiffness than one on top of the layup will.
Make sure you own a router and a jig saw.
Complex curves are challenging. The Bustin’s poster has a drop down and where that bend in the deck occurs intersects the concave portion of the deck. That’s a challenging section of the deck to form to because the wood is bending in perpendicular directions in the same or near by spaces. Those areas will take increased clamping forces to overcome
Parking on top of it probably won’t work. You need and even distribution of the load and I’d bet a dozen screw clamps would create more clamping force than a single car tire and partial weight of the car. Some pieces of angle iron steel might help as well. Forming the whole deck at once will take a lot of force. Adding moisture and heat changes a lot, but introduces other problems too
Do you have any suggestions for how I should do layers? For reference I’m only 120lb and I’m aiming for around 1.5" of deflection on a 39" board by shifting my weight up and down
long orientation Canadian maple
In terms of pressing, I guess hot water, press (ass load of clamps), wait to dry, lather in glue, press again, epoxy GF, press a last time, cut out (I think I’ll have access to a 4’ square CNC, then card down fabric?