Update: the most current info about upcoming batches after testing is in post #162. Thank you
Hey guys, I’ve been working on a bunch of integrated deck designs and cranking some out to work on technique and to play with some shapes. I have a bunch of extra proto-decks now and they need good homes. Additonally, I could use some help testing them out. I’m down to give these decks away free of charge to anyone that would be willing to throw a build together and do some riding. My only prereq is that testers need to have a build thread on one of the forums so that I can see that you actually build stuff. Regular contributors would be preferred. I guess you would also need to be able to build batteries or know someone that can build one for you.
Right now I have the decks pictured: a pintail, a twin, a drop through twin, a shorty twin and an AT deck. I’m also working on a street drop-deck and an AT drop-deck at the moment, as well as a shorty directional-deck. Those will be coming soon. These decks are made traditionally by pressing veneer, but then I CNC router pockets for the electronics and reinforce the decks with fiberglass. Before I get into the descriptions, I’m going to be blathering on about fiberglass a bit, and I figured I’d give a quick primer for anybody that doesn’t have much experience with it.
All of these decks are reinforced with epoxy/resin and fiberglass cloth. Epoxy resin is generally a two-part system that you mix together. When you do this an exothermic reaction occurs and, viola, it will turn into plastic. Before it turns into plastic you can spread it over the surface of your skate deck and it will make a durable and very glossy protective layer. Even better than that, you can lay a sheet of fiberglass cloth over the deck and then apply the epoxy/resin. When it cures the plastic will be reinforced and super strong. Fiberglass clothe comes in different weights. I provided a picture to help you visualize this. The heavier the cloth, the stronger and stiffer the deck will be. By using different weights of fiberglass, a sk8-maker can manipulate the strength, flex and overall performance of the deck. It’s also costly, time-consuming and it requires practice.
Now for the decks. These decks aren’t perfect yet, but they are evolving quickly. One of the challenges was making a really nice lid for the electronics. I started out trying to be lazy about it, but now the lid is a very nice pain in my ass. I even reinforced the underside of the lids on the last couple decks to make them as durable as the decks themselves. The fact of the matter is that you can’t make a high performance integrated deck without making a high-performance lid for the electronics compartment.
I had a directional mold for a pin-tail deck that I had made, so I designed an integrated version. This one here is reinforced across the bottom with 10 oz fiberglass. In the future I’m going to make this one with 6 oz fiberglass on the bottom and then I’m also going to reinforce the tail and nose on top with 6 oz fiberglass again. I also intend to revise the shape of this one and make a drop-through rendition soon.
Next I made a twin-taco mold and then used it for a twin-tip deck and a twin-tip, drop-through deck. The regular twin has 4 oz fiberglass across the bottom. This is the least fiberglass of any of the builds. The drop-through has 6 oz fiber-glass across the bottom and more 6 oz on top of the nose and tail to help reinforce the drop-through mounts.
I’m experimenting with a short/fat deck that has a kick in the nose and tail. It’s an initial stab at a street/freestyle deck, but it’s also inspired by the Landyachtz Wrecktangle, which is something totally different. It is what it is.The one pictured has 8 oz fiberglass across the bottom and the main deck only has 6 ply of bamboo unlike all of the boards listed above that have 7. I’d also like to make a directional version of this deck with with a mini kick nose. I included a drawing for that one as well.
Last was the AT deck. This was a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to making future versions of it. The compartment is considerably larger than the other boards to to accommodate more battery cells. All of the electronics could go inside, or just the batteries, and the ESCs could go outside where it’s cooler. The main body of the deck is six-ply bamboo and it is reinforced on both the top and bottom with 10 oz fiberglass cloth. I used 3/16 hardware to fasten the lid at four points on this board and will most likely do this going forward on all of the boards. The positioning works out best and it prevents the slight warping that happens to the lid with the changes of the weather. It’s only like a millimeter, but it drives me nuts.
There is some standardization to the compartment sizes as well. The kicktail and shorty designs have the same pocket. The pintails, twins and street drop-deck will have the same size compartment. Lastly, the AT decks will be the same. So three sizes. All with the same depth, 24.5 mm. The dimensions in my CAM drawings are the most current. Most of these proto-decks have slightly different dimensions to the drawings.
What do you guys think? I feel very confident in the safety of these, but they need to be tested. Who’d be down to help a guy out?