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How to Make a Recycled Skateboard Ring

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Billy is a long-time skateboarder who shares tips on learning how to skateboard, building skate obstacles, and more.

Recycled skateboard rings: my first batch

Recycled skateboard rings: my first batch

Making a Wood Ring With Minimal Tools

If you want to learn how to make a recycled skateboard ring for yourself, then let me show you how it can be done with a few simple tools.

Here are the basics of what you need to begin:

  1. Drill with drill bits
  2. Clamps or vise
  3. Hand saw
  4. Sandpaper
  5. Laquer

I made my first recycled skateboard ring out of curiosity. I wanted to see if I could make one with what I had available to me. Since then, some of my tools and methods have changed, but it's still pretty simple.

Start from wherever you are, and with whatever you have.

1. Choose Your Wood

The first step is to choose your piece of skateboard wood. Almost all skateboard decks are made with seven layers of plywood glued together. The boards with coloured layers make great recycled skateboard rings.

Seven ply is the measurement for how wide your wooden ring will be.

You could also sand down a layer, or more, later, in the following steps, if you prefer a narrower ring. Or maybe it could be because the colour looks better with fewer ply layers. Anyway, it's an option.

Band thickness is another measurement that we will get into later.

Personal Protective Equipment

You should use your PPE (earplugs, safety glasses, mask) when working with saws, sawdust and polyurethane vapours. Safety first.

2. Drill the Hole

After clamping down your piece of skateboard wood with a set of clamps or vise grips, it's time to drill the hole.

What Size Drill Bit to Use

The drill bit size you choose depends on your ring finger size.

If you don't know, you can buy an inexpensive mandrel with ring sizers on Amazon for less than $10. Another option is trail and error, which is what I did. The drill bit doesn't have to be perfect size, but it can't be too big (for obvious reasons).

Take a power drill with a wood drill bit and drill a hole in through a piece of wood. How does your finger fit?

NOTE: If it's a little small, don't try putting your finger all the way through. It hasn't been sanded yet and won't be easy to remove.

It's ok if it doesn't fit yet.

You still have some work to do, sanding the inside band of your wood ring to make it custom-fit to your finger size.

3. Cut Out the Wood Ring

Now that you've drilled the hole, it's time to cut around the hole to take out your skateboard ring.

This can be done in a variety of ways.

  • Hand saw
  • Jig saw
  • Scroll saw

I've made recycled skateboard rings using each one of those, and there are more ways to that to get the job done.

The closer you can get to cutting a nice circle around the hole, the easier the next step becomes. But don't let this deter you. Even if you just cut out a square, it can be sanded down into proper form with the next step.

SkateLifeShop

SkateLifeShop

4. Sanding Your Ring

Now's where your new wooden ring starts to take shape. It's time to break out the sandpaper and get dusty!

First, if you weren't able to get a nice round cut around your drilled hole, sand down the corners and shape your ring, roughly.

Having a drill with a sanding disk (at minimum) can really help you with this job. Better yet would be a table sander, but none of it is necessary - just as long as you have the sandpaper you need.

Don't sand the band very thin yet. Get shaped roughly, then work on fitting it to proper size by sanding the inside.

Custom-Size Your Ring

If the hole you drilled was too small, and your next biggest drill bit is too big, then you've got to sand down the inner band. Hopefully, your drill bit was very close to size so there isn't too much work to do.

NOTE: Having a rotary tool with a drum sander is perfect for this job, but also, not necessary. If you're willing to do the work, you can do this by hand sanding with a sheet of coarse sandpaper.

Once you get the inside sanded to size, it's time to finish sanding the outside.

Wood band thickness should be approximately 2mm. But, if you want your wood ring to fit more like a store bought ring, you will have to get closer to 1mm.

Lastly, are you happy with all 7 ply layers?

If a 7ply ring is too chunky for you or the wood ply pattern would look better by sanding a couple outer layers down, then do it. Try a 5ply ring, or 3ply if you want a more traditional ring look and feel.

TypeDescriptionGrit

Fine

Sanding the varnish

120 and up

Medium

Next after coarse to refine and make smooth

80, 100

Coarse

Quickest removal of material the fastest

60

Again, if you don't have everything you need right now, don't worry, it's still possible to get this done working with what you have.

You can make a wood ring using only one sheet of sandpaper if that's all you have. But if you spend a little money and buy a few more, your ring can really shine!

Tips for a Great Wood Ring

Learn tips and tricks that make your shop time more productive. Find out how to get the most out of hand tools and power tools. See tips on finishing, gluing, clamping, etc. to custom make recycled skateboard ring designs.

  • Use power tools to work smarter, not harder
  • Work with multiple sheets of sandpaper from coarse to fine
  • It takes multiple layers of finish with sanding with fine sandpaper in between finish coats to make a ring really shine
Handmade Wood Ring

Handmade Wood Ring

5. Finish the Ring

You can choose to finish your ring in any way you want. Maybe you're happy with it as is and don't want to cover it with any gloss or anything else.

That's ok but know that it won't offer the same amount of protection as a ring that has been finished with polyurethane, wax, etc.

What I had to use in the beginning was a can of polyurethane finish that I painted on the rings. I also tried a natural homemade concoction to protect the rings, but found it didn't shine as much.

Today, I use a spray can of polyurethane finish. It's easy to spray on and dries pretty quick. It takes a few layers and drying time before you're done.

NOTE: You will also have to lightly sand your ring in between coats of finish. It helps to use a couple propgressivly fine sheets of sandpaper. Each sheet removing the scratches from the one before.

3 Ways to Shine Your Ring

  1. Use spray can to spray coats of polyurethane. This is this easiest way and gives you the best results.
  2. Homemade oil shine. Rub this into the wood for a shine.
  3. Paint on polyurethane. Use paint brush to coat these rings. This is not the best way to do this but it works for now, while you level up.

Material List

MaterialTypeCost

Laquer

Gloss

$10

Drill bit

Size Specific

$5

Sandpaper

80, 100, 250, 400, 600

$20

Notice:

If you're not wiping grease from the surface, there's a chance that the finish won't stick to the surface.

Recycled Skateboard Ring

Recycled Skateboard Ring

5 Tips to Get a Great Shine on Your Recycled Wood Skateboard Ring

If you want to get a glossy shine to your wooden skateboard ring like in the later photos above, follow these tips:

  1. Make sure your product is clean of oil and grease!
  2. Sand down in between layers to refine the shape and smoothness.
  3. Take note of temperature and humidity when your shine isn't coming out glossy.
  4. Give your ring a few days to cure before wearing it.
  5. Add a bit of wax to shine your ring if it gets foggy.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.