Uber Old School


I’m making a longboard skateboard deck as my first experiment with forming elm into complex contours. I like thinking of the deck’s shape as continuing in the evolution of the morphology of weapons pictured above (not because they are weapons but because they have a common ancestor in the stick, or branch).

My plan is to cut two identical shapes from a rough cut board of quarter-sawn elm. I’ll press the laminates over a curved form while the glue sets to give the deck some camber for more strength and ‘bounce’, then I’ll hand shape the deck to its final form, mount trucks and wheels and give it a spin. I’d love to hear from anyone, especially skateboarders, for tips and comments.



Laying out the longboard deck laminates on quater-sawn elm (Ulmus hollandica)

4 replies on “Uber Old School”

  1. I just passed by and saw your work. youre definitely on the right track! just a side note 90% of skateboards are built from baltic birch and another 5% is canadian maple. 2 1/4 inches is typical or 4 1/8 inches with a fiberglass coating is for a stiffer setup. great job so far and fill me in on how the elm works out.

  2. there is a guideline that should, but is not necessary to follow while liminating… there should always be and even number of glued surfaces for an odd number of laminates. In other words three veneeers are glued together creating two laminated areas. This creates better stability in the long term stopping the board from twisting or warping. One thing that should always be concidered is crossing fibers. I have myself never tried laminating fibers in the same direction for board making. I’d like to see pics of the finished product and your coments on how the board handles.

  3. Hi Keith-
    Thanks for the tips. You’re right about the odd number of laminates. I experienced some twisting in the early prototypes, but discovered that if I flipped the laminates cut from the same board, the movement of opposing grains made a stable, flat lamination. It takes more diligence in production, which increases costs, but allows a lot of flexibility in using local woods. The deck performs beautifully, with a nice ‘snap’ on turns and decent flexibility for a cushioned cruise. You can see the results by clicking on the ‘DEEP DECK’ button on the sidebar. Keep in touch and let me know what you’re up to! Scott

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