Skateboard Wheel Wells

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Forum topic by drainyoo posted 07-04-2013 03:34 PM 3671 views 1 time favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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26 posts in 1793 days

07-04-2013 03:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: skateboard oak wheel wells

So I’m planning to make my own skateboard out of Oak, and I want to carve out wheel wells, but not sure of the best way to do it. For those who don’t know, wheel wells are sections cut out of a skateboard that create better clearance for the wheels. It’s a curved cut, and it gets deeper towards the edge of the board. I’ve included a photo for reference. Any ideas?

19 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4929 posts in 3957 days

#1 posted 07-04-2013 03:40 PM

They look as if they were sanded to depth with a spindle sander. That’s what I’d do.
Uh, what kinda oak are ya gonna use for the board? White oak would be my choice since it is not as “grainy” as red, and would be stronger (in my opinion).


View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 2035 days

#2 posted 07-04-2013 03:43 PM

Or if you can clamp the board on edge at an angle – top tilted away and bottom right under the bit, you can cut it with a forstner bit.

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3082 days

#3 posted 07-04-2013 03:44 PM

Take an old wheel, or a new one, if you are careful you will not hurt it. Wrap adhesive backed sandpaper
around it and find a bolt that will fit through the bearing holes. Use fender washers to clamp the wheel
tight to the bolt, insert the bolt into a drill, clamp the drill solidly to a bench or sturdy object and hold the
board to the sanding wheel you have made and make your wheel well. If you are lucky, you might find a
sanding drum the right size available that will eliminate the above steps and you can just use it. Have fun
on that new board.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View drainyoo's profile


26 posts in 1793 days

#4 posted 07-04-2013 03:48 PM

Thanks guys. Gus, that’s an interesting idea. Do they just make a small sanding drum bit that I can attached to my drill? I remember by dad using something similar when I was kid. It was basically a hard, oval shaped ball with a sandpaper like finish and a drill bit at the end.

View bondogaposis's profile


4727 posts in 2348 days

#5 posted 07-04-2013 03:51 PM

Spindle sander or drum sander on a drill press will work for that. Could be done w/ gouges if you want to go the hand tool route.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View drainyoo's profile


26 posts in 1793 days

#6 posted 07-04-2013 04:02 PM

So basically something like this attached to my drill gun?

View mrg's profile


823 posts in 2996 days

#7 posted 07-04-2013 04:32 PM

Drainyoo that is what ya need.

-- mrg

View drainyoo's profile


26 posts in 1793 days

#8 posted 07-04-2013 04:39 PM

Awesome! Thanks for all the help.

View Buckethead's profile


3194 posts in 1865 days

#9 posted 07-04-2013 05:08 PM

You can do it with a drill, but at a far greater risk of slippage. You’ll find that the sander on a drill will want to jump about. A spindle sander is a far superior option. I’d even make a simple jig to hold the board at the desired angle to ensure uniformity at each location.

At a minimum, lay out the centers of the four locations, then do your first well. Once you think you have it done, measure the width at the edge, and the apex of the arc. Then apply those measurements at each location using the center marks.

Also, I’d install the wheels and trucks prior to adding the wheel wells. As you know, the trucks move the wheels in a radial motion, and you want to ensure that you place the wells properly, which won’t be directly squared from the wheels in their normal position. Each will need to be a bit more toward the center of the length of the board.

If you really want to do a sharp looking job, note the angle of the truck at the point where the wheel contacts the board, and orient your drill at that same angle. You could draw a line on the bottom of the board to use as a point of reference. Then erase and sand it.

If you look closely at the photo you posted, you can see that the manufacturer of this board used an angled well.

Good luck!

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View drainyoo's profile


26 posts in 1793 days

#10 posted 07-04-2013 05:14 PM

Thanks for all that info! I definitely want to do an angled well, my biggest concern is getting a nice, smooth curve. You’re right about the drill, it will jump around. Are there decent spindle sanders that are under $100?

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 1889 days

#11 posted 07-04-2013 06:08 PM

Longboarder here. Guess you already know you can raise your trucks 1/4” with some quality pads so you won’t have to take as much oak off for the wheel wells if you don’t want to. I have a 5 ply hard rock maple custom cut board but hope to laminate some woods vertically for a future ‘show’ board – in the spirit of the below pics. Post your skateboard pics when done – look forward to it!

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View Buckethead's profile


3194 posts in 1865 days

#12 posted 07-05-2013 01:09 AM

Listed at $124.00

With one of the ubiquitous HF coupons, you could get this at under a hunge.

I recently read a favorable review of this sander as well.

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2687 days

#13 posted 07-05-2013 02:04 AM

That HF spindle sander is a gem! And coupon in current Wood Magazine gets it for $89! The HF sanding sleeves are also first class IF you keep em clean with one of those crepe rubber “erasers”.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View drainyoo's profile


26 posts in 1793 days

#14 posted 07-05-2013 03:49 AM

Thanks, will have a look at that one.

Yes, I know I can raise the trucks, I will be using 1/2” risers, but I will also be running very large old school wheels. Wells will create more clearance.

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2839 days

#15 posted 07-05-2013 04:17 AM

I haven’t been on a skateboard in close to thirty years. However, I remember as a kid I spaced my wheels on a home made board so that I used no wheel wells. I had enough clearance to make turns easily, but if I really got down on it hard while cornering, the board rubbed the wheels, causing me to slow a bit while cornering. I know that sounds counterproductive, but I was able to go faster than some other people because that slowing effect allowed better control.
I came to like this rubbing action between the wheels and board while cornering hard. Over time, I’d have to replace the board because the wheels would eventually make their own wells using the grit off the blacktop like sandpaper against the board.

WOW! That got away from what I came here to say.
A Ridgid spindle/belt sander combo has a table with an adjustable angle that would be perfect for this job.


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