How to Make a Wooden Penny Board: A Beginner's Guide

If you’re a fan of skateboarding, you’ve probably heard of penny boards. These small, lightweight boards are perfect for cruising around town and performing tricks. While you can purchase a penny board at a store, making your own wooden penny board can be a fun and rewarding experience. Plus, it allows you to customize your board to your own preferences.

To make a wooden penny board, you’ll need some basic woodworking skills and tools. You’ll also need to choose the right type of wood for your board. Many people choose to use maple or birch plywood, but you can also use other types of wood, such as bamboo or oak. Once you’ve chosen your wood, you’ll need to cut it into the right shape and size. This can be done using a jigsaw or other cutting tool. Once you’ve cut out your board, you’ll need to sand it down to make it smooth and even. Then, you can add trucks, wheels, and other hardware to complete your board.

Understanding Penny Boards

If you’re interested in skateboarding, you might have heard of penny boards. They are a popular type of skateboard that is small, lightweight, and easy to carry around. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at penny boards and what makes them unique.

What is a Penny Board?

A penny board is a type of skateboard that is smaller than a traditional skateboard. It typically measures around 22 inches long and 6 inches wide. It’s called a penny board because it was originally made by the Australian company Penny Skateboards. The company was founded in 2010 and has since become one of the most popular skateboard brands in the world.

What Makes Penny Boards Unique?

Penny boards are unique because of their size and shape. They are smaller and more compact than traditional skateboards, which makes them easier to carry around. They are also lightweight, which makes them easier to maneuver and control. Penny boards are typically made of plastic, which gives them a distinctive look and feel.

One of the most notable features of penny boards is their deck design. The deck is curved upward at both ends, which gives the rider more control and stability. The deck is also narrower than a traditional skateboard deck, which makes it easier to turn and carve.

Who Should Ride a Penny Board?

Penny boards are great for anyone who wants a fun and easy way to get around. They are perfect for cruising around town, commuting to work or school, or just riding for fun. They are also a great option for beginners who are just learning how to skateboard.

However, if you’re looking to do tricks or ride on ramps and rails, a penny board might not be the best choice. They are not designed for these types of activities and can be difficult to control in these situations.

Overall, penny boards are a great option for anyone who wants a fun and easy way to get around. They are lightweight, compact, and easy to carry around, which makes them perfect for commuting or just riding for fun.

Choosing the Right Wood

When it comes to making a wooden penny board, choosing the right wood is essential. The type of wood and its quality will determine the durability, flexibility, and overall performance of your board. In this section, we will discuss the different types of wood and wood quality to help you make an informed decision.

Types of Wood

There are several types of wood that can be used to make a penny board. Each type of wood has its unique characteristics that affect the board’s performance and aesthetics. Here are some common types of wood used for penny boards:

  • Maple: Maple is the most popular wood for penny boards. It is strong, durable, and has a natural flex, which makes it ideal for carving and cruising.

  • Bamboo: Bamboo is another popular choice for penny boards. It is light, strong, and flexible, which makes it perfect for riders who want a smooth and comfortable ride.

  • Birch: Birch is a hardwood that is known for its strength and durability. It is a popular choice for penny boards because it is lightweight and has a natural flex.

  • Oak: Oak is a hardwood that is known for its strength and durability. It is a popular choice for penny boards because it is heavy and stiff, which makes it ideal for riders who want a stable and sturdy board.

Wood Quality

The quality of the wood you choose for your penny board will affect its durability and performance. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the wood quality:

  • Moisture Content: The moisture content of the wood is essential to consider because it affects the board’s stability and durability. Wood with high moisture content is prone to warping, cracking, and splitting, which can affect the board’s performance.

  • Grain Orientation: The grain orientation of the wood affects the board’s strength and flexibility. Wood with a straight grain is stronger and more stable, while wood with a cross-grain is more flexible.

  • Knots and Defects: Knots and defects in the wood can weaken the board and affect its performance. It is essential to choose wood with minimal knots and defects to ensure the board’s durability.

In conclusion, choosing the right wood for your penny board is essential to ensure its durability, flexibility, and overall performance. Consider the type of wood and its quality to make an informed decision that will result in a high-quality board that you can enjoy for years to come.

Tools and Materials Needed

To make a wooden penny board, you will need a few tools and materials. Here is a list of what you will need:


  • Wood – preferably a hard wood. Oak and maple are popular choices.
  • Grip tape
  • Trucks and wheels
  • Wood glue
  • Finish of choice
  • Dowels


  • Jigsaw, bandsaw, or a scroll saw
  • Various sanders
  • Drill
  • Clamps

The type of wood you use will affect the weight and durability of your penny board. Hardwoods like oak and maple are strong and durable, making them great choices for your board. Grip tape will provide traction for your feet, preventing slips and falls. Trucks and wheels are essential components that allow your board to move and turn. Wood glue will hold everything together, and a finish of your choice will protect the wood from damage. Dowels can be used to reinforce the board and add extra strength.

When it comes to tools, you will need a saw to cut the wood to size, sanders to smooth out any rough edges, and a drill to make holes for the trucks. Clamps will be useful to hold everything in place while the glue dries. A jigsaw, bandsaw, or scroll saw will be necessary to cut the shape of the board. Various sanders will be needed to smooth out the edges and prepare the wood for finishing.

Designing Your Penny Board

When it comes to designing your own wooden penny board, there are two main factors to consider: size and shape, and design aesthetics. Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors.

Size and Shape

The size and shape of your penny board will affect how it rides and feels. Generally, penny boards are smaller and narrower than traditional skateboards, making them more maneuverable and easier to carry around. However, it’s important to choose a size and shape that feels comfortable for you.

Consider the following factors when deciding on the size and shape of your penny board:

  • Length: Penny boards typically range from 22 to 27 inches in length. A shorter board will be more maneuverable, while a longer board will be more stable.

  • Width: Penny boards are usually around 6 inches wide. A narrower board will be easier to carry around, while a wider board will provide more stability.

  • Concave: The concave of a penny board refers to the curve of the deck. A deeper concave will provide more grip and control, while a flatter deck will be more comfortable for cruising.

Design Aesthetics

The design of your penny board is up to you! You can choose to keep it simple with a natural wood finish, or you can get creative with paint, stains, and graphics.

Consider the following factors when designing your penny board:

  • Wood: Choose a type of wood that is strong and durable, such as maple or birch.

  • Paint and Stains: If you choose to paint or stain your penny board, make sure to use a high-quality product that will withstand wear and tear.

  • Graphics: You can add graphics to your penny board using stickers or by painting them on. Just make sure to use a clear coat to protect the design.

By considering these factors, you can design a penny board that is both functional and stylish. Have fun with the process and let your creativity shine!

Cutting the Wood

To make a wooden penny board, you will need to start by cutting the wood. Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Choose your wood: You can use any type of wood to make a penny board, but it’s recommended to use high-quality hardwood like maple or birch. You can buy pre-cut wood or cut it yourself using a table saw or a hand saw.

  2. Cut the wood to size: The standard size for a penny board is 22 inches long and 6 inches wide. To achieve this size, you will need to cut your wood into eight slices, each 22 inches long and 3/4 inch thick. You can use a stencil to copy your pattern onto multiple pieces of wood.

  3. Glue the slices together: Once you have cut the wood to size, you need to glue the slices together. Use clamps to hold the slices in place while the glue dries. Make sure the slices are aligned correctly to avoid any unevenness in the board.

  4. Sand the board: After the glue has dried, sand the board to smooth out any rough edges or unevenness. You can use a sanding block or an electric sander to make the job easier.

  5. Shape the board: Use a jigsaw or a router to shape the board. You can round the edges, create a concave shape, or add any other design elements you like.

  6. Drill the holes: Finally, drill four holes in the board to attach the trucks. Make sure the holes are evenly spaced and aligned correctly.

By following these steps, you can create a high-quality wooden penny board that will provide you with hours of fun and enjoyment.

Sanding and Smoothing

Once you have all the pieces of your wooden penny board cut and glued together, it’s time to sand and smooth the surface to make it ready for the final touches. Sanding is a crucial step in the process of making a wooden penny board, as it helps to remove any rough spots, splinters, and bumps that could interfere with the overall appearance and functionality of the board.

To start, you’ll need a few basic tools, including sandpaper, a sanding block, and a power sander (optional). You can choose between different types of sandpaper grits, depending on how rough or smooth you want the surface to be. For instance, if you’re dealing with rough cuts or deep scratches, you may need to start with a coarser grit (60-80) and gradually move to a finer grit (120-220) as you progress.

When sanding, make sure to apply even pressure and move the sandpaper in a circular or back-and-forth motion, depending on the shape of the board. If you’re using a power sander, be careful not to apply too much pressure, as it could damage the wood or create uneven surfaces.

It’s also important to pay attention to the edges and corners of the board, as they tend to be the most vulnerable to splintering and chipping. You can use a sanding block or a small piece of sandpaper to smooth out these areas, being careful not to round off the edges too much.

Once you’re satisfied with the smoothness and texture of the board, you can apply a finish of your choice, such as paint, stain, or varnish. This will not only enhance the appearance of the board but also protect it from moisture, dirt, and scratches.

Remember that sanding and smoothing are crucial steps in the process of making a wooden penny board, and they require patience, attention to detail, and a steady hand. With the right tools and techniques, you can create a beautiful and functional board that will last for years to come.

Assembling Your Penny Board

Congratulations on making it this far! Now it’s time to assemble your wooden penny board. Here are the steps you need to follow:

Step 1: Attach the Trucks

The first step is to attach the trucks to the deck. Place the trucks on the underside of the deck, making sure they are centered and aligned with the holes you drilled earlier. Use the screws provided with your trucks to attach them to the deck. Tighten the screws until they are snug, but be careful not to overtighten them as this can damage the deck.

Step 2: Install the Wheels and Bearings

Next, it’s time to install the wheels and bearings. Start by inserting the bearings into the wheels. You can use a bearing press or your fingers to do this. Once the bearings are in place, slide the wheels onto the trucks. Make sure the wheels are facing the right way and that the bearings are seated properly. Tighten the nuts on the trucks until the wheels are snug, but be careful not to overtighten them as this can cause the wheels to spin poorly.

Step 3: Tighten the Trucks

Now it’s time to adjust the tightness of the trucks. Use a skate tool or a wrench to adjust the kingpin nut on each truck. Tighten the nut to make the trucks stiffer or loosen it to make them looser. Experiment with different levels of tightness to find the right balance for your riding style.

Step 4: Test Your Board

Before you hit the streets, it’s important to test your board to make sure everything is working properly. Stand on the board and rock back and forth to test the trucks. Make sure they are not too loose or too tight. Push off and ride a short distance to test the wheels and bearings. Make sure they spin smoothly and that the board is stable.

That’s it! You’ve successfully assembled your wooden penny board. Now it’s time to hit the streets and show off your skills. Remember to always wear a helmet and other protective gear when riding. Have fun and stay safe!

Finishing Touches

Painting and Varnishing

Once you have assembled your wooden penny board, it’s time to add some color and protection to your creation. Painting the board is a great way to personalize your penny board and make it stand out from the crowd. Before painting, make sure to sand the board thoroughly to ensure a smooth surface. Here are some tips for painting your wooden penny board:

  • Choose a paint that is compatible with wood surfaces. Acrylic paint is a popular choice.
  • Apply a primer before painting to help the paint adhere to the wood.
  • Apply two to three coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next one.
  • Once the paint is dry, apply a clear varnish to protect the paint and wood from scratches and damage.

Attaching Wheels

Attaching wheels is the final step in creating your wooden penny board. Here are some tips for attaching the wheels:

  • Make sure the trucks are centered on the board and aligned with each other.
  • Use a wrench to tighten the nuts on the trucks until they are snug.
  • Test the wheels to make sure they spin freely and do not wobble.
  • Adjust the tightness of the nuts as needed to ensure a smooth ride.

Congratulations! You have now completed your own wooden penny board. Enjoy cruising around on your personalized creation.

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