What happens to skateboards after they’ve shredded their last bit of pavement?
Some boards go to a wood chipper, where they are broken down to make new skateboard or *shudder* office supplies. A few lucky boards with sentimental owners get put on shelves or frames – a reminder of the person’s glory days. But the boards that cross paths with woodworker Andrew Szeto? These get turned into furniture.
To start his recycled furniture project, Szeto takes a bunch of old skateboards and cuts them into strips. After laminating these strips together to form workable wood boards, he uses an old knockoff Eames Lounge Chair as a guide.
One of the big problems in making this particular type of chair is the curvature. As the wood on the seat and edges curves to fit the contour of the cushion, Szeto has to carve out some weird angles in order to get the chair looking like a real lounge chair. He starts out by carving a piece of oak to test the angles and finds that a 73° by 65° and a 73° by 73° works best. Once satisfied with the measurements, he incorporates 90° angles into the skateboard wood to be cut down later.
While the angles of the wood were fine, Szeto found one side of his intended chair was shy four skateboard strips. Though slapping on the extra wood was easy, the real problem was having to adjust the chevron in the middle which helps give the lounge chair its shape. As you can see in the image above, the cut on the upper left is a tad off center and intrudes on the right side. Nevertheless, he soldiers on and glues all the individual pieces together.
With all the pieces together, he can now get to cutting and grinding the whole chair down. As mentioned earlier, the 90° angles he prepared are cut down to the specific measurements while the uneven strips of skateboard wood are flattened and sanded down.
After a few skateboard strip breakdowns (easily remedied with some 5-minute epoxy), Szeto takes the original hardware from his faux Eames Lounge Chair and puts it over to his skateboard skeleton. The chair already had tracers on where to put the screws and other parts, so it’s only a matter of incorporating them into the skateboard build.
Slap on the cushions and you have yourself the makings of an Eames Lounge chair made on the backbone of dead skateboards.
While not as comprehensive as part 1, part 2 is a fun edit showing the extra work and fixings Szeto added to the chair such as fiberglass application and the hours of sanding done to make this chair worthy for bum emplacement.
Andrew Szeto has a ton more wood projects on his YouTube channel, most of which see him get off his chair and make builds for the outdoors!