Last week we visited the set of Built to Shred to check out their latest project. Jeff has promised us some sweet ramp plans but for now, we wanted to share some of his skate ramp building tips including the best tools and materials to use and why.
I don’t think backyard ramps have changed that much. Of course these days we add more flat bottom, and if you’re rich you can purchase some good top surfacing for your ramp (like skatelite or ramp armor) but people are still running masonite, which I don’t like at all.
Just for the record, I don’t ever think masonite should be used for a ramp. Indoor or outdoor. Aside from that, it’s the same old plywood and 2x4s.
As far as the construction is concerned, I think the pros are getting better. In a lot of the parks, the coping is looking pretty good, which is an area where you can tell if the builder skates or not. If the coping sticks out too much or not enough shows who rides and who doesn’t.
The most important tools necessary for building a ramp are the circular saw and a drill. Everything else is just fancy. But, one of my favorite tools is a portaband–portable metal cutting bandsaw. And chainsaws. But really who am I kidding, I love all my tools, and each one is special in its own way.
Keep your eyes peeled for screws sticking out. Also, ledgers are your friend. Over the years I’ve developed a strange need to stay as safe as possible when I’m working. Maybe it’s the multiple trips to the hospital to pull slivers out of my eyes or the hundred or so splinters I’ve gotten in my hands, but safety glasses are good.
Gloves are also good, as well as, ear protection. And if you see anyone lock the safety guard on their circular saw, don’t copy them. Skating is way more fun when you have two eyes and all your fingers.