Stay Inside. Build a Handmade Skateboard

Download the free woodworking plans and put your kids to work when they’re stuck at home

The Global Pandemic is finally starting to disrupt daily life. School is closed through Spring Break, and the six San Francisco Bay Area counties announced a Shelter in Place order that goes into effect at midnight tonight. Which means for the next 20 days the Weekndr Family is stuck at home. We stocked up on food, toilet paper, and the basic essentials: hardwood lumber.

That’s right, we’re getting through this global pandemic scare by eating and building handmade skateboards in the garage!

If you’re looking for a fun activity to put YOUR kids to work, and get them out in the driveway for some exercise*, download a free set of my plans for building a 1960s style pinstripe skateboard, inspired by the original Hobie Super Surfer skateboard.

REQUIRED TOOLS and MATERIALS:
Back when Hobie built his first handmade skateboard in the 1950s, they used any old piece of lumber they could find, so don’t feel bad if you don’t have access to the same hardwood lumber I use in this project.

  • One or multiple pieces of of hardwood (or cut from a sheet of plywood)
  • 3 clamps
  • Wood Glue
  • Handheld Jigsaw
  • Palm Sander
  • Rasp and File
  • Drill-Driver
  • Skateboard Trucks and Wheels

*P.S. If someone gives you trouble for skateboarding during the Shelter in Place order, let them know it falls into section 10, “Essential Activities,” as long as you stay 6-feet away from everyone.

SKATEBOARDING IS NOT A CRIME!

Sushi Boat? Sushi Skate!

Serve your next sushi meal (or party plater) on a mini handmade skateboard sushi tray made from laminated maple veneer just like a standard street deck skateboard. (fresh sushi not included)

I got an inquiry last week from a local skate shop that is looking for a few dozen sushi tray skate decks to use in a cross-promotion at a local sushi restaurant. I came up with this design over the weekend.

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The 5-minute Dovetail: A hand-tool woodworking exercise for building skills

There’s a woodworking school in Portland, Oregon, owned an operated by a guy named Gary Rogowski. If you read the woodworking magazines, or buy woodworking how-to books, you’ve likely heard of him. That’s how we met: I was an editor at Fine Woodworking magazine when I was assigned a feature story working with Gary to build an Arts and Crafts Style table.

Over the years I learned a lot watching Gary work up close, and reading his articles and videos. My favorite of them all is a simple exercise he taught his students called “The Five-Minute Dovetail.”

The challenge: Cut a “pin” and matching “tail” in a pair of scrap pieces of wood and make them fit in 5 minutes or less. The required tool: A bench vice to hold your wood, a handsaw (western or Japanese-style), a chisel, and a coping saw.

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Make a PodBox Single-Purpose Podcast Player

The single-purpose “PodBox” Podcast Player

Build a Rasberry Pi speaker box that plays the latest episode of your favorite podcast

I’ve worked in the technology industry for more than two decades, and back when I got into it everyone was talking about “convergence.” It was a decade before the iPhone, but companies were hard at work looking to discover the perfect combination of features and functionality in a single hardware device.

After some fits and stops, here we are 20 years later and the quest for convergence has been conquered. Today, everything fits into a “phone.” The iPhone and Android unleashed a massive universe of apps that transformed a hunk of glass and metal into anything and everything you want it to be. Point it at the sky to identify the aircraft flying overhead with augmented reality (FlightRadar24). Hail a taxi cab on the fly at your exact location and pay the driver without your wallet(Uber/Lift). Take a photo (Camera) and share it with friends, family, and strangers (facebook, instagram, twitter). Unlock your front door before you arrive home (August locks), or spy on your babysitter (Nest). Deposit a check into your savings account with a photo (Wells Fargo), and order and pay for your Latte before you arrive at Starbucks.

Our phones have become so converged we can’t leave home without them!

The future is singular! 

With all this access to everything on demand in a single device, I predict that humans will eventually reject this all-you-can-eat buffet of information and evolve toward a more singular and focused future. 

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