|Project by louxwe||posted 01-20-2015 04:57 PM||2771 views||1 time favorited||7 comments|
So I decided why pay all that money for a snowboard when you can just make one yourself. My kids are little and just learning to ski and the mountain that I live close to is not really all that great a ski spot so I thought I bet I can make something that will work good enough for a few years and then maybe upgrade later. I wanted to make it cheap and easy and if it didn’t work at all then not much lost. Most boards are made with laminated layers, vaccum bag epoxy fiberglass and big presses to form the boards but I really don’t have that kind of equipment and I was determined to make it out of one solid piece of wood. The biggest issue was how to get the front tip to bend up. My first thought was start with a long flat piece and then glue up several layers of wood where the tip would be and then use my electric planer and hand tools to carve the tip shape, but then I decided to just try to start with around a 1/4 inch full board shape and then try to wet/steam and bend the tip into shape since I really didn’t need to bend it up much.
I made a template out of mdf, which was easier to sand and shape into how I wanted it to look and then planed some sapele to around 1/4 inch cut out the shape and used the router with the mdf template for the final shape, then sanded and shaped some more to thin out the board on the front and back a bit. Then I soaked the front tip of the board in boiling water for about 50 min and then clamped it into a form to bend the tip up. This was the biggest issue and the board snapped back and didn’t bend as much as I wanted. I was worried about it but it seemed to ride just fine. If I did it again I would probably soak in water longer or build a proper steam box and then bend it in the form about twice as much as I wanted and then it pop back to where I wanted it.
On the bottom I cut and shaped the metal edges and then super glued them to the bottom of the board. I then bought some of the Ptex snowboard base plastic material, cut it to fit and then epoxied it to the board. This was the main second difficulty. Trying to get the base material flat, pressed down with no bubble was kind of impossible, so I just loaded a ton of epoxy and put as much weight as I could on it and hoped for the best. Overall it worked out better than expected. There are a few bubbles in the epoxied base but, it doesn’t effect the performance, really just an aesthetic issue. But I did end up with a bunch of dried epoxy all over the base material on the bottom of the board, so I had to sand all that off and was worried that would totally destroy the base plastic but I just sanded up to 200 grit and put a lot of wax on and it worked fine.
Overall I spent a bit more time and money than I wanted but I tried it out this weekend on less than awesome snow conditions and it worked out perfect, one of the best boards I’ve ever ridden, but custom made for my body, plus quite a conversation piece on the lift. If I did it again I think I could make it much faster next time. Ended up costing more than expected but still it was less than 1/2 of board my design was modeled after, plus it was a pretty fun project that actually worked out better than expected.