Skateboard Grind Box (Part 2) – The Build

So after a lot of contemplation and reviewing plans, I finally decided to bite the bullet and tackle the grind box I continuously referenced in past posts. You don’t have to go too far to find the planning, if you really need yet another link, it’s here.

There were a few updates to the initial design I had planned. Initially, I had thought about going with a box that was going to be 2 ft wide, however I decided to shorten that to 18 inches since I wanted to use the remaining 6 ft section of 3/4″ plywood I had from the table I made. Also, I decided to only put angle iron on one side of the box instead of on both sides. I didn’t think it would be necessary to have angle iron on both sides of the box.

All in all, this probably took me about 5 hours to build. I had hoped to have a decent video showing the entire build (sped up, of course) however my GoPro was having a few fogging issues and I ran out of batteries before the end of the build. The only part I didn’t capture was clamping the angle iron to the box so that the PL Premium could cure properly.

This is more of a “how I did it” type post. I don’t have super specific photos of measurements or sizes, however if you want a more detailed article on the details of the measurements and how to build the box, check out diyskate.com. The credit for this build goes to the folks at diyskate.com, it’s where I got an overall design. Note that there’s a slight difference with the box design on diyskate.com, however the process is pretty much the same.

As I’m sure everyone is, be safe when working with power tools, whether it’s a circular saw, a drill, or any kind of shop tool. Make sure you know how to use your tools safely and have the right protective equipment for the task. (Disclaimer)

Section 1: Materials

The materials I purchased were as follows:

Material Quantity Cuts Price
2″x 4″x 96″ Lumber 6 cut to 6 ft $   15.54
Hardboard 1 cut to 6 ft x 16″ $       9.24
Angle Iron 2″ x 1/8″ x 72″ 1 $   24.97
PL Premium 1 $       4.24
2 1/2″ Construction Screws (Box) 1 $       7.98
Total (With Tax) $   65.69

I already had a sheet of 3/4″ plywood that was 6′ x 18″. The extra tools I needed were as follows:

Other Items Quantity Price
Lithium Grease 1 $                 4.58
Ratchet Straps 1 $                 9.99
Clamps 2 $                 8.98
Sharpie 1 $                 0.97
Caulk Gun 1 $                 2.77
Total (With Tax) $               28.93

The one place I could have saved money was with the angle iron. If I’d gone to a scrap yard, I likely could have found something for less.

Tools and Materials
Tools and Materials

Section 2: Make the Cuts

I marked the cuts on each of the 2×4 sections with a sharpie. I remeasured the larger plywood section (which would be the top sheet) to determine what my smaller frame sections would need to be.

The planned material sizes after the cuts were as follows:

Item Quantity
6′ 2 x 4’s 4
15″ 2 x 4’s (base and top supports) 10
12″ 2 x 4’s (box height) 6
3/4″ plywood 6′ x 18″ 1
1/8″ Hardboard 6′ x 16″ 1

One of the things I noticed and will take note of in the future is that when you get lumber and plywood sections cut at the local home improvement store, the cuts aren’t to a high precision. When I measured the length of the plywood section that would be the top section, it turned out to be around 17 3/4″ in width. Once you’ve got the large sections cut at the hardware store, it helps to remeasure just to see what the actual dimensions are.

If you have the capacity to transport the lumber, plywood, and hardboard all in their original sizes, you can do precision cuts on your own.

Marking the Measurements
Marking the Measurements
Cuts Complete
Cuts Complete

Section 3: Start the Assembly!

Now with all the cuts made, it’s time to start putting the box together.

Another thing I noted with the 6′ 2×4’s is that the lumber was slightly warped. I clamped the center of the 6′ 2×4 to the table so that it remained relatively flat when fastening the inside support sections to the table.

Not Exactly Level
Not Exactly Level

I made markings to center the small 15″ 2×4 to the center of the 6′ 2×4. Then I fastened the 15″ 2×4’s to the ends and at the middle of the 6′ 2×4’s as shown below using 2 1/2″ construction screws

Base Complete
Base Complete

Next up was the top of the box. This was similar to the bottom, however I spaced the 15″ pieces 1′ apart from each other.

Top Section with Ladder Structure
Top Section with Ladder Structure
Almost Together
Almost Together

After the top was done, it was time to put the 12″ sections at the corners and the middle of the box to give the box its height.

Inside Base Shape
Inside Base Shape
So Close to Being Finished!
Top is attached. So Close to Being Finished!

Now it was time to attach the 3/4″ plywood sheet to the top.

Plywood Fastened to the Top
Plywood Fastened to the Top

For the last part, I fastened the 16″ sheet of hardboard to the top of the plywood using a smaller screw size. I figured using a 2 1/2″ screw to fasten a 1/8″ sheet of hardboard was probably overkill and not necessary.

When the hardboard was screwed down onto the plywood, I lined the edge that the angle iron would sit on with PL Premium. I used two clamps at the ends and four ratchet straps to secure the angle iron to the side of the box. The wood blocks on the opposite side of the angle iron are there since the hardboard hung slightly over the opposite side of the box. There would have been noticeable slots in the hardboard from the force of the ratchet straps if I didn’t use the pieces of wood as shown below.

Ratchet Straps and Clamps Attached!
Ratchet Straps and Clamps Attached!
Just need to wait for the PL Premium to Cure!
Just need to wait for the PL Premium to Cure!

The next day, I removed the clamps and the ratchet straps.

DSC_0005

DSC_0010

Finally, it’s ready to skate!

Aside from a few minor variations in some of the cuts of the larger pieces, the box came out as I’d initially planned.

Sketchup Version of the Box
Sketchup Version of the Box
The Finished Box
The Finished Box

At first I was worried that it wasn’t going to be sturdy enough being only 18″ wide, however I can tell you that this is one sturdy box. It’s a royal pain to move it anywhere because it’s so blinkin heavy! However, it’s been a blast to skate so far!

The only remaining thing to do now is skate the crap out of this box. Hope you liked the post!

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Project Updates: The Small Challenges to Overcome

As I continue to find myself in a new city, the ideas and thoughts for new projects seems to be never ending. Whether it’s thinking about improvements to my proposed time-lapse rig, or brand new project ideas that seem darn near impossible, it’s hard for me to just focus on one thing and work towards it.

Right now I’ve indicated my plans to do a few things. First off, I was going to build myself a skateboard grind box and secondly, I was going to build myself a time-lapse rig for my new DSLR. These were two good projects to start off with, however I’ve run into a bit of a snag with them.

With the skateboard grind box, my first concern is purchase and transportation of materials. Most of the lumber I need can be purchased at a home depot very close by. This is a good thing, however the one concern I face is getting the materials home. I drive a 1998 Chevy Malibu right now, and from what I can tell, it’s likely that I won’t be able to close my trunk with the lumber in the back. While this shouldn’t be a huge issue, it just makes me a bit nervous to drive on the road with lumber sticking out of the back of my car.

The next issue is tools. In an effort to not put myself into debt right off the bat, I haven’t bought myself that many tools. The only thing I got myself was a massive set of Mastercraft Wrenches and Sockets. They’re normally about $700 at Canadian Tire, however they tend to go on sale for $200 every now and then. If you’re looking to get a solid set of tools, I highly recommend this socket set. It has everything for the beginner hobbyist looking to build a tool collection. (Note that it’s only available in Canada. If you happen to be in the enviable position I am, being 20 minutes away from the Canadian border, make the trip and pick up a set.)

Luckily my dad has an old circular saw that he’s offered to give me. That makes the cutting process much faster than using a regular hand saw.

Another thing that makes a project like the grind box a heck of a lot easier is having some kind of work bench. It makes life so much easier when you have a place to work on your projects, whether they’re big or small. Another option is sawhorses, however I like the idea of a workbench because it gives me yet another project to blab on about.

While I’d like to say I’m getting started on my skateboard box right away, I might be working on a workbench first. It would be nice to have a solid workbench to do woodworking on before I start off the any other big projects. I found this great site that discusses an easy build using 15 2″ x 4″ x 8″ lumber pieces and a 4′ x 8′ sheet of 1/2 plywood. You can see it here.

So in the interim, I’ll be putting together a work bench prior to making the skateboard box based on the plans above. This at least give me something else to blog about.

The time-lapse rig has stalled a bit as I’ve figured out that I’ll need to develop a DIY time-lapse function for my Nikon D3300, since an intervalometer isn’t a standard feature on the Nikon D3300. There are a number of methods of interfacing with a DSLR to do time-lapse shots, whether it’s a wireless connection through your phone, or through a physical USB connection to your computer. In the future I’ll indicate some of the methods you can pursue, one of them likely being similar to this one here, though that may be a bit ambitious for a short term solution.

While this post may seem like I’m just stalling on my projects, it’s just another step in the planning process. I want a decent workspace and the right tools to work on my grind box, and I’ll need to figure out how to make a working time-lapse function for my DSLR. Hopefully my next post can show some progress I’ve made towards these goals. Only time will tell.

First Project – Skateboard Grind Box (Part 1)

Now that the summer is here, and my toe is finally healed (or so I think…) it’s time to get skateboarding! While there are a number of decent skateparks in Detroit, sometimes it’s just nice to be able to skateboard at home on my driveway. Unfortunately, I can’t practice any of my ledge tricks without a box! Luckily, I have a solution. For a first project, I figured it would be good to start with something relatively simple.

To give you an idea of what the box would look like and how I would use it with my skateboard, this link here shows a similar DIY build.

I made a model of the box in Google Sketchup. The thing I like about Sketchup is it’s pretty easy to get the hang of, even if you haven’t used a solid modelling program before. Like so many things Google offers, there’s a plethora of tutorials out there along with a great knowledge base to get you up and running with Sketchup (see the tutorials here).

3D View of the Grind Box
3D View of the Grind Box

I originally had thought the box was going to be 8 ft, however after measuring the dimensions of my car, the max size of lumber I can fit in my car is 7 ft. The next standard length I can purchase for lumber is a 6 ft size, so I’ll likely just end up purchasing 6 foot lengths.

Below is an exploded view of the box with displays the different parts of the box.

Exploded View of the Box
Exploded View of the Box

The next steps will be purchasing the materials and actually building the box. The box will likely cost around $100, however I’m hoping to get the angle iron at a scrap yard. Two 6 ft angle iron pieces with a 1/4″ thickness and 2″ length and width runs at around $25 a piece.

Prior to performing the actual build, I’ll need to set up my garage a little better for woodworking. While I don’t need many tools to build this box, I’m still missing a few items that will make the build a little bit easier, such as a work bench or a couple of sawhorses, a countersink bit for drilling through the angle iron, and a circular saw for cutting the 2 x 4 sections. While the plywood and hardboard can be cut at the home improvement stores, I want to cut the smaller 2″ x 4″ sections as I go so I can account for any play in the longer 2″ x 4″ sections.

More coming in part 2!