By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.
Considering putting together a skateboard yourself may seem like a challenge. nevertheles, if you want to build your own we will let you know what tools you need and the steps for you to take to get your own homemade and self-assembled skateboard.
First of all, it’s necessary to ensure that you have the right elements before you start assembling:
• Skateboard grip tape
• Pair of trucks
• 4 spacers
• 8 bearings
• 2 riser pads (optional)
• 4 wheels
• 8 bolts and nuts to attach your trucks
• A set of bushings (optional)
• A skate tool or a 1/8″ Allen wrench, 9/16″ + 1/2″ + 3/8″ socket/wrench
• A razor blade or Stanley knife (cheap plastic version)
• Screwdriver or any blunt object
• A skateboard deck
Attaching Grip Tape to Deck
You will need to make sure the tape can cover your board deck, if it is bigger than 8.5” it is going to be more difficult than if it was a narrower one. Take off the plastic sheet and place one end on the nose (it has to be properly aligned).
Start taping the grip from the back to the front slowly. Press it down so it lays flat. Then, run a screwdriver along the edges of the board, this will trace an outline of the deck and serve as a guide when you cut.
With a razor blade or Stanley knife make a little cut on the edge, where the wills are placed. Then, puncture the grip tape at the end of your deck. Use some of the left over rough side grip tape to rub the edges. This will prevent the tape from peeling.
Puncture holes where the bolts will be placed. Face the grip tape and push the holes back smoothly while turning the screwdriver (this will facilitate the attachement of the bolts).
Mounting Trucks to The Skateboard Deck
Photo: Jason Lee (Unsplash)
Put the bolts through the holes of the deck. If you are going to install risers, start fitting them on the bolts. Then slip the baseplate onto the bolts. Next, attach the trucks one by one, you will need to make sure they’re facing each other. Fasten the nuts over the trucks using the screwdriver or a skate tool. You will then need to tighten the heads of the bolts in an “X” pattern.
Wheel Bearings Installation and Attachement of Wheels to Trucks
Remove every axle nut and speed washers. Then place a bearing on the axle and press the wheel over the bearing until you feel it slide into the center of the wheel. Insert the bearing spacer inside the wheel (opposite side). When you hear a popping pressing the wheel it means the bearing is fully in. This needs to be done with all four wheels.
You must place one speed washer on the axle of the skateboard. Put the spacer into the axle and install the wheel onto the axle trailed by the second washer. Fasten the nut. The wheel should now be able to spin freely.
Cheking The Skateboard
Photo: Jason Lee (Unsplash)
Make sure that the grip tape and screws are even and that the heads of your screws are flushed with the grip tape. In case they aren´t flushed, give them a few turns without cracking the deck. Your trucks must be firmly secured to your deck and the baseplate shouldn´t move.
It is necessary that you move the board back and forth to test the tightness of the trucks, make sure the wheels can spin freely. Turn the nut conterclockwise if it’s hard to turn or carve, and loose the wheels a little bit if you can’t coast or feel resistance.
When you checked every part of the skateboard and it feels good while riding then it’s done and ready for you to start skating all day long.
Read also: Buying Guide: Complete or Custom Skateboard?