By: Jim Martin, CEO of Marwood Veneer & STEAM Chair, TALK

We will be hosting a Rad Science Skateboard Build via our Marwood – TALK partnership during this next Techfest Louisville 2019 event!  And, if you are at least 13 years old, you can participate!  We especially are interested in teachers and college-age students who would like to learn this skill of skateboard building in order to offer it to others.  All who complete this 2-3 day course (art day is optional) will have a finished skateboard to use!  Sign up with our convenient form – click here or call:  812.288.8344.

Event title: Rad Science Skateboard Build

Event Purpose: To learn how to make and engineer your own custom skateboard or longboard.

Event Format: Two half days from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm Thursday and Friday August 22 & 23, 2019

Third day of art and graphic design from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm is optional

Description of Activities:

On Day 1 we will discuss Skateboard Designs, Geometry, shaping of the molds, tools, safety, and the lamination and Manufacturing Process. Participants will take brown kraft paper and design their own custom board. The instructor will facilitate a discussion on physics and the design behind the molds and different presses.  Rockers, Cambers, and Kicktail shapes will be reviewed. Different grades of the Hard Maple Veneer will be reviewed before the glue up. You will learn about glue, pumps and breather netting.  The instructor will instruct students to work as a team on the 7 minute deadline for putting the veneers into a vacuum press. He will encourage them to think of possible problems and solutions that occur in the manufacturing process.

On Day 2 we will remove the veneer “sandwich” from the presses, and inspect for lamination quality. Problem solving skills will be learned for issues that come up.  Decks will be cut based on each participant’s unique functional design template.  Participants will learn to use rasps for smoothing of their boards edges, as well as sanding.  Holes will be marked and drilled for the trucks and wheels of the board.  Finishing of the boards will be covered as well as the usage and applying of grip tape to the riding surface.

Day 3 is optional and will involve decorating your board with designs you bring, or we can help you find designs on the internet. Our art teachers are creative, and will inspire participants in the use of paints, colors, stencils, and more.

Prize: The best Skateboard design will receive a prize of a how to do it book named “The Handmade Skateboard”.

Sponsors: Are you or your organization interested in sponsoring this event? The cost would be $2,500.

Cost to participate: $185 for 2 days of instruction and materials; optional Day 3 costs $40.

Age requirements: the minimum age is 12 years old, and we have had participants who are over 40 participating.

Class Size: Minimum of 5 and a maximum of 15

Deadline to signup: Friday August 9 at noon.

Location: University of Louisville Engineering Garage, 1960 Arthur Street, Louisville,  Ky. 40208

Where to sign up:

  1. Contact Jim Martin at 812.288.8344
  2. Email Jim at
  3. Register at web page / after April 15, 2019

Organizers: TALK, the Technology Association of Louisville, Kentucky;  Marwood, a Veneer company in Jeffersonville, Indiana; and with special thanks to the University of Louisville Engineering Garage.

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