DIY BLANK INCLUDES
Size: 123cm (48,43”)
Deck: three-layer paulownia ply (26mm)
Stringer: african mahogany
Nose&tail block: African mahogany
Hardware: head bolts, conical washers
Trucks: Manual black 180mm
Wheels: 71x52mm / 78A Orange
Bearings: Abec 7
Riser: Bamboo ply
DO IT YOURSELF
The blank comes with the outline already fine tuned and ready to shape, but you can make your own design if you like. But be aware that without the right tools it can be a tricky job!
1. DESIGN YOUR TEMPLATE
You only need to draw one half of the board, as you can flip the template to draw the other half, in order to get a perfectly symmetrical outline. Get a roll of paper and use one of the sides as a center line. Draw the desired template with a firm and tight line and cut the outline.
2. CUTTING THE OUTLINE
A cheap jig saw will do the job, but you will have to cut about 5 mm off the line anyway. Then you'll have to fine tune the outline with patience: if you don't have a belt sander you can use a wood strip about 30 cm long and 1cm thick, so it can flex. Wrap it with sand paper and start sanding with long strokes, always keeping the edges at 90º. Start with 40 grit, go to 80 or 100 to fine tune the outline, and perhaps a bit of final sanding with 180 gr.
We like the deck slightly convex: it feels great under your bare foot, it holds your feet nicely in truns and it looks more like a surfboard. More or less, the rail foil we usually shape looks like the image below (cross-section of the rail). Check out the cuts (called rail bands) we make to get the definitive rail foil.
You can use an electric or manual planer, but you can also use the same 1 cm thick wood strip that you used to sand the outline: keep it at a determinated angle and do long longitudinal strokes from tail to nose, and keep this shaped bands as tight and clean as you can. In order to keep a good symmetry, it's a good idea to repeat the same exact strokes in both sides of the board: eg. 10 strokes in one side, 10 strokes in the other. Once the basic rough shape of the rail is done, take a 30 cm piece of 180 sand paper, grab with both hands and do long strokes diagonaly over the rail, pushing down so the paper wraps around the edge of the rail. You can use and orbital sander to do the final polishing, but only do it with 240 gr or finer.
4. WOOD TREATMENT
We recommend applying a first coat of exterior wood preserver (with UV protector). Then apply one coat of uncolored satin varnish for outdoor parquet flooring (any of the products available in the market should do well).
5. SAND GRIP
You can do as we do: use use Silica sand mixed with varnish as deck grip. Why not? It’s almost transparent; it grips great but it won’t tear your feet soles; it’s completely harmless to the environment and it’s cheap! You'll need to use the finest silica sand you can find (it's usually sold for aquariums). First you need to mask with masking tape all the surface don't want to be covered with sand. Of course, you can get creative here! Apply a generous coat of varnish and spread the sand over the entire varnished surface, making sure there is a thick layer of sand. Allow 24h to dry.
6. FINAL COATING
Do not take off the masking tape yet. Remove all the sand and gently sweep the unadhered grains. Now use a paint roll to varnish over the sanded area only (not the entire board). When it's dry to touch take off the masking tape and varnish de entire skate at least a couple of times more.
7. MOUNTING HOLES
Position the trucks in its place and mark. Use first a 6 mm drill bit; then get a 12 mm drill bit and drill again over each hole, but only 1 cm down –don't pierce the deck!–. Embed a conical washer into each hole, mount the trucks and wheels and go loggin!
BEFORE YOU ORDER
Flama Longskates are a hand made product; they’re made one by one and we don’t make mass production –although we try to always have a few decks ready to go. That is why we allow us a 15 days period to make your skateboard.
GOOD TO KNOW
Wood is the only material you’ll find in our decks. Our longskates are made with paulownia wood, the same timber we use in our surfboards. Paulownia is an environmentally friendly, fast-growing tree that gives a flexible and water resistant wood, which makes our longskates lighter than you would expect. Needless to say, all the waste produced during the building process is basically wood waste and saw dust, which are recycled into biomass or as organic substratum.
Flama uses a unique, selfmade paulownia ply, which combined with a hardwood stringer, gives the right strength-flex ratio to each of our decks. Also, the tail and nose blocks are made with differnt kinds of hardwood, to protect your skate from frontal and rear impacts.
SHAPING TOOLS AND GADGETS
Planer: Of course you can shape the whole board with manual tools, but a cheap planer will help a lot. But be careful and take your time: you can remove but you can't ever add wood!
Disc sander: we recommend using only hard discs for sanding, because soft discs adapt to the different densities of the wood creating a wavy surface. Soft discs can be good to rough sand the rails, but should be used carefully with finer grit sizes.
Sand block: it's a good idea to use a chunk of wood to sand and finetune the tails. Wrap it with and use it as a sand block to shape the concaves or finetune the rails. It's good exercise too!
Mask: although the paulownia is quite a safe wood it's better to use a simple dust mask, specially while using the disc sander.
Our longboards are made of solid wood and are coated with water-based varnish. This means that whenever you want, you can sand all the scratches, fill the dings with wood filler, and give a couple coats of varnish to have a brand new skateboard deck.
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