December 28, 2012

PocketBoard: The Tiny Oak Skateboard

While my scooter is great for medium to long distance trips (when it is working...), especially with a load of cargo, it is too large and heavy for short excursions.  In order to improve my response time on Free Food and Reuse posts, I needed a very small wheeled vehicle that I could easily stuff into my backpack once I reached my destination.  A couple weeks ago I snagged a pair of skateboard trucks from a reuse pile in CSAIL, which decided that this vehicle was going to be a miniature skateboard.  

I brought the trucks back to Atlanta with me, because it has been a long time since I made anything out of wood.

About 10 years ago, a large oak tree fell across our back yard.  This past year, my dad got a chainsaw so he could cut up and remove the massive trunk, so we have a number of oak trunk sections in our back yard.  Despite sitting outside for a decade, only the outer couple of inches of wood are rotten, so there is still plenty of good wood left, if you are willing to work for it.  My dad split off a 1.5" thick board for me from one of these stumps.

Here's the board.  I passed it through my granddad's planer a few times to get it flat on both sides.  I originally planned on thinning it down completely on the planer, but for some reason the wood was extremely hard to push through.

The board was thinned down to just over 1/2" thick using a 36 grit grinding wheel on an angle grinder. This method proved to remove material remarkably quickly: I removed a half inch of solid oak in 15 or 20 minutes.  The surface of the board will be planed by hand for a nicer finish.

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