Snowboards can be very expensive but one of the reasons for the price is the work involved in making them. However, if you have a few DIY skills and the money and time, it is perfectly possible to make one at home.
It will still cost you to buy all of the required materials and will be very labor-intensive, but once you have made it, you will have a unique snowboard that will be well worth the effort and it will certainly be cheaper than buying one.
There are a number of tools you will need to hand before you can start out on your plan including:
- A jigsaw
- An electric sander
- A press – or the materials to make your own
If you want to make your own press then you need to invest in some planks of wood that will cover your board, some glue, and some strong metal clamps, to create your own version.
It might be possible to order a snowboard kit that contains all of the pieces ready to build, but if you want your board to be completely bespoke and original to you, then you will need to have the following elements:
- A base made of polyethylene
- A wooden core
- Metal edging
- Epoxy resin
- Inserts to hold your bindings
- A top sheet – this can be polyethylene with your artwork on
- Clear tape
- Magnetic tape
- Safety glasses
- A dust mask
- Protective gloves
The Construction Process
- The base
The first thing to do is trace out the shape of your board on the base material and cut it out. You can use an old board to draw round or use a template. You will need your jigsaw or a knife to do this cutting. You need to remember which side will be at the bottom of the board.
- The Edging
Cut your metal edging to the right size to fit your base, and bend them into the right size. You might need to wear protective gloves while doing this. Once they are in the right shape, you need to use super glue to attach them to your base. Clamp them in place until the glue is dry and make sure you glue them the right way up.
- Preparing for the Core
Next cover the bottom of the base in your clear tape to prevent the resin from sticking to it. Drill holes into the wooden core ready for the inserts, before working on the core to get it to the required thickness level for your board.
- Adding in the Inserts
Put the inserts into the holes which you drilled and secure them in place with a hot glue gun. Put some magnetic tape on the bottom of your inserts to find them again.
- Prepare the Fiberglass
Next, you need to cut the fiberglass into the right shape for your layers, be sure to wear your protective mask and glasses for this work. Next, sand the sidewalls, and then glue them to the core.
- Prepare Your Epoxy Resin
The next stage is to prepare the epoxy resin for use, just follow the instructions on the pot and make sure you get the right amount.
- Prepare Your Press
Lay out your foam or aluminum layer for the press, and lay the prepared base layer on it. Line the workbench with baking paper.
- Apply the Resin
Apply the first layer of resin to the base. Then apply resin to the fiberglass and lay this on top. Put the wooden core on top of this layer. Apply your next resin layer and another layer of fiberglass. You can now add your design if you have one, before finishing with the top layer.
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- The Press
Layout your next layer of foam or aluminum on the press then close the press and clamp it down and leave for as long as the resin requires. You need to clamp it as hard as possible.
- The Finishing Touches
After the designated time, open the press and take out your new snowboard. Cut around the snowboard shape with the jigsaw and sand down the walls. Finally, use iron scrapings to locate the inserts as they will respond to the magnetic tape, and drill through the top layer so you can attach your bindings to them.
Making your own snowboard is labor-intensive work and will take some time but if you want to hit the slope with your own unique design, then following this guide will make the task completely feasible. You never know you might even enjoy putting your hands to good use once you see the finished results and get all the admiring looks from your fellow snowboarders.
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