The Final Post
When we last left the cruiser build the router had threatened to destroy all my work. Luckily I caught it and was able to clamp and glue it before it was destroyed entirely.
My patience was tested but I survived. I went back to the wood shop a few days later and the glue looked good. The seam was minimal and I was able to take the clamp off and get back to work. Rather than chance my luck with the router and the glued seam I took the board to band saw and trimmed off the template tabs, then took it to the sander to finish the edges. The router definitely is more accurate in following the template and quicker than the sander but the sander did a pretty good job. It was quite difficult to tell which edges were routed and which were sanded. I am really happy with the final shape of my board. I think that it aesthetically is bang on for the era and idea I was trying to recreate. Next step is some hand sanding to clean up the seam and then dill some holes for the trucks.
The trucks and wheels I’ve chosen to complete this board are not the original penny trucks and cadillac wheels I had thought of getting. The simple reason is budget. I think eventually I may add these once my expenses are a little lower (a.k.a. once I’m done my degree). However I found a great solution that will actually help me complete the project as well. I went to the internet in a desperate attempt to find trucks and discovered that Amazon sells no name plastic cruisers that are modelled exactly on the Penny board specs. Same width, length, height, etc. the only difference being that the Amazon board is $35 instead of over $100 and ships with a skateboard tool.
This came in super handy because not only did I get the trucks, bearings, hardware, wheels and a skate tool for less than I could find Penny trucks on their own. I also got the plastic deck. Having the deck was great for two reasons: 1-I could compare and contrast my design to the template used by many manufacturers and 2- the plastic deck could serve as a template for marking out my positioning for the trucks. This took away a lot of the science/guess work of finding out where the trucks should be for stability and turning radius etc. Once I marked the wholes from the plastic deck on to the hardwood cruiser I took it to the drill press and drilled the holes using a countersink bit so that the screws for the trucks would sit flush with the top of the board.
Once the holes were drilled and I checked the hardware I put two coats of Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane on the deck.
This is a urethane finish for untreated outdoor wood. This finish should protect the board from any moisture. It is designed for outdoor use and particularly on unfinished wood as it is designed to flex as the wood swells or contracts. It also has a nice gloss finish which I’m fond of. It is an oil based product so it certainly changes the colour of the wood a little but I like the way it warmed it up. I did a test on a piece I cut off. I also bought some floor texture additive from the hardware store. It was inexpensive and you just mix it in with your paint or finish and it adds grip to floors. I did a test on the same scrap wood with the grip and I’m not sure I love it. I’m going to give the board a few runs without and see if I really need it. I can always mix it and add a coat down the road if the deck is too slippery.
I’m incredibly happy with how this project turned out.
It was definitely a learning experience. If I had access to the wood shop again I would definitely try it again and maybe with a slightly different shape or wood pattern. I may do it at home anyway – but there are a few tools I’d miss for sure. I can’t wait to apply some of this knowledge to my final project.
Skills Acquired in the Hardwood Cruiser Build:
- Biscuit Joining √
- Clamping √
- Band Sawing √
- Planing √
- Belt Sanding √
- Routing √
- Hand Sanding √
- Drill Pressing √
- Wood Finishing √
- Design/Drafting √
- Attention to Detail √
- Patience √