How To Make A Handplane From Skateboards With Bjorn Holm

Bjorn Holm is back at it, creating another surf craft from old skateboards. If you missed his surfboard built entirely from recycled skateboards, you must check it out! This time around, he went for a less labor intensive board, a handplane. Below, Bjorn shares his steps in creating this handheld work of art in hopes of inspiring you to start a project like this of your own.

Step 1: Collecting boards

I started collecting broken skateboard decks from friends that I skateboard with almost everyday. And from indoor skateparks close by. Making a handplane does not require that many boards. For mine, it was about 3-5 broken decks. The material for this handplane was the scrap material from the recycled skateboard deck surfboard.

This handplane dimensions are 400 mm x 200 mm x 20 mm.

Step 2: Prepping the skateboards

Remove all the griptape from the skateboards. Usually I cut the tail and the nose off first so that I get a flat surface to work with. You can also use them in your handplane, just cut them in smaller, squared pieces.

Tip 1: If the board is broken by the rear truck, remove the splintered ends. You want to have fresh and squared pieces to work with.

Tip 2: If the board is cracked in the middle, you have to cut smaller pieces, which means more work. But it is important to use as much wood from the old board as possible.

Step 3: Cut pieces

After that, it is time to cut the center of the deck into smaller, horizontal strips (front truck to rear truck/holes, or vice versa). You want to cut each pieces a little bigger than the thickness of the handplane.

Usually, you can get 5-6 pieces from one deck, depending on the size you
choose to use, and the size of the skatedeck you are working with.

Flip the cut pieces over on to their side. The color pattern will appear!

Step 4: Sanding

Sand each piece on the side that was previously the bottom and the topside of
the skateboard to remove the paint/varnish. Make it flat. It is important to make them good, because it will look a lot better later when you glue everything together for the bottom template.

Step 5: Gluing

After sanding, its time to stack the pieces together and glue them together to create the handplane blank. Make sure you know the size of the handplane you want so that you can make your canvas the proper size. Sometimes you will have to glue them together piece by piece to prevent small holes between the short ends.

Tip 3: Use clamps to ensure all pieces are tightly glued together.

Step 6: Shaping

Now it is time to make the outline. The outline is up to you! Draw it on the glued blank.

Use a jigsaw/bandsaw to cut the outline. Give yourself a little bit of room to work with by cutting on the outside of the outline. Now, it’s starting to look like a handplane!

The rest of the shaping is pretty much up to you. Variations include (but are not limited to) nose and tail shape, rocker, and bottom contours. You can cut a handle in the handplane, or you can make a strap. A strap is good cause it causes less friction.

Tip 4: To make a strap, use nylon webbing. Mark your knuckles on the blank and use a 3/4 to 1 inch bit to drill holes half way through the board to countersink the knots when tying the webbing. Don’t drill all the way through yet! Then use 1/4 or 1/3 inch bit to drill holes through the blank. Tie a knot in one end of the webbing and pull end through the board. Measure webbing by placing your hand on the board. Tie a knot on other end of the rope and cut off excess. Burn end to prevent fraying.

Sand the handplane to get a good and smooth surface. Make sure it is glued really good so it does not break!

Seal the wood to make it water resistant with varnish or sealant.

Here is a video to help you in your creation:

If you try this out, tell us how it goes through Tumblr. You can also connect with us by dropping us a line in the comments section here, or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or info korduroy dot tv. 

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