Turning a Bowl From Skateboard

Turning A Bowl From Recycled Skateboards

Do you travel skateshop. Let’s learn something new. How I turned this bowl out of old, broken skateboards. Let’s go ahead and get started! This project started when I asked my buddy Ben from Woby Design to send me a blank that I could turn. I had seen some bowls turned from skateboard pieces and I really wanted to give it a shot myself. Ben specializes in making things out of old broken skateboards and has a really great setup for gluing up these blanks with a bottle jack. Little did I know he was going to send mea package full of blanks, so I’ll definitely be making some more things in the future out of these old skateboard pieces, but I was really excited to get going on this bowl. To get the blank mounted on the lathe, I decided to use a face plate, so I first needed to get one face of the blank flat. I used my jointer for this, but a hand plane would definitely get you close enough.

After flattening that face, I marked the center and then screwed on the faceplate, making sure to pre-drill since this is basically a big chunk of plywood edge grain. Next, I got the face plate mounted on the lathe, set my speed to about 700 RPM for roughing, got my tool rest in place, making sure the blank wasn’t going to hit it, and got to roughing out the shape. This was a little hard, especially on my hands, since this blank was so out of round and chunks of the blank wanted to pop off as I went. I was also turning mostly air when I started roughing, but eventually got the piece mostly round. Next, I started cleaning up the bottom, first facing it off and then cutting a recess for my chuck jaws. I made sure to take my time and sneak up on the fit here, as I really didn’t have a ton of wiggle room before making the walls of the recess too thin.

With the recess cut, I continued shaping the outside of the bowl until I got really close to the final shape. I used my Woodpeckers carbide tools on this project, and they have a great feature of being able to turn the tool 45 degrees and make a shearing cut. This really smooths out the surface and helped remove any tear out on the surface of the bowl. Next, using this drill mounted sanding pad, I sanded the outside of the bowl up to 220 grit. I definitely made sure to wear my respirator here, as this creates an insane amount of dust.

This was a super slow process and I had to run the lathe at about 250 RPM to keep the bit from getting to hot, but I eventually got the hole drilled and could continue hollowing out the bowl, which went really quickly now that the center of the bowl was gone. I switched over to my round carbide tool at this point and just continued removing material until I got an even wall thickness all the way down. I recently picked up one of these calipers and they were really helpful in telling me where more material needed to be removed.

I also picked up a curved tool rest and it made getting the very bottom of the bowl a lot easier, although the camera wasn’t in the best spot here and I’m basically blocking the entire view. Next, I sanded the inside of the bowl up to220 grit, again with the foam sanding pad. While I’m sanding, let’s talk about the sponsor of this week’s video, Bombfell. Bomb fell is an easier way for men to get better clothes, delivered to their door. I live in a fairly small town with pretty limited shopping options and really just don’t have time to shop for clothes. Being able to try clothes on at home was really great and allowed me to do it whenever I had a few minutes.

After taking a quick questionnaire, Bomb fell matches you with a stylist who helps put together your first outfit. Once you receive the clothes, you can try them on and, if you don’t like them, you can ship them back free of charge. On each shipment, the more items you keep, the bigger discount you get. Keep 4 items and you get 20% off, 3 items and 15% off, and 2 items and 10% off. Even after sanding, the surface of the bowl had some voids and other imperfections due to the fact that this was made from old skateboards, and I figured a few coats of epoxy would really help to fill any voids and give the surface a nice, smooth, even feel.

On this first coat, I applied way too much epoxy, and it was also too cold in my shop. This meant that I had a good number of drips and sags, and the epoxy didn’t self level as well. I basically had to remove all of this epoxy once it cured and try again, this time using a much thinner coat and also warming the epoxy in some warm water before applying. After applying two thin coats this way, this was the surface I was left with, which was pretty much close to perfect. I actually considered just leaving it exactly how it was at this point, but I wanted to really level the surface and then buff it out to more of an even gloss.

I started with 220 grit sandpaper on the foam pad, just to level things out, and then worked my way up to 500 grit with hand sanding. For the finish on top of the epoxy, I used Yorkshire Grit, which I’ve seen some other epoxy turners use with a lot of success. I first applied the regular Yorkshire Grit, following the directions on the can. After getting an even surface with that, I moved up to the Micro fine version, which further refined the surface and left me with a beautiful, even sheen. The last thing to deal with was the bottom of the bowl, and I got an idea from watching David Picciuto’s recent bowl turning video.

I laser cut a piece to cover up the inside of the recess and also added my maker’s mark, and Ben had included some thinner pieces that were perfect for this. I just glued the piece onto the bottom of the bowl with some CA glue and then poured on a thin layer of Total Boat High Performance Epoxy to finish it. Alright, hopefully you guys enjoyed this project. I love the way this thing came out. I’ve been wanting to build something out of old broken skateboards for a long time. I grew up skateboarding a ton and I’ve seen a lot of really cool stuff made out of this stuff. Really, they’re super, super solid. Usually, skateboards are made out of Hard Maple, multiple veneers of Hard Maple, so they’re very strong and it was actually pretty easy to work with, it didn’t want to come apart.

Obviously, that’s a testament to Ben’s glue up capabilities, all of these laminations are super clean. I really think finishing this with that Table Top Epoxy and then just smoothing it out just gave it this beautiful, very smooth surface finish, and I just absolutely love it. I think even the little laser cut bottom is super, super cool. Hopefully you guys enjoyed this one.

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