How to Build a Skateboard Grind Rail
Planning Out the Skateboard Grind Rail
Having your own grind rail to practice skateboarding on at home is a great idea. You can store it in your garage, and pull it out when you want to use it.
A lot of skaters just buy pre-made grind rails. These are great, but they can cost a bit and aren’t always exactly what you might want. Building your own grind rail is a lot easier than you might think!
The next few pages will walk you through a basic skateboard grind rail design. You can feel free to change measurements and tweak it as much as you want! But for the basic design, here’s the material you’ll need:
- One 6.5 foot long piece of rectangular steel
- Two pieces of 2-foot long square steel
- Two pieces of 3-inch flat steel that are a foot or more long
That’s all the materials you’ll need – so you can see that this isn’t going to cost that much at all!
Next, you need to figure out how you are going to weld the rail together. If you or your kids are students, you might be able to use the tools in your school’s metal working class. Just ask the teacher. They can also help you with making sure you do the welding part correctly.
You can weld it together yourself, but if you’ve never done it before, then you’ll need to learn how – HowtoWeld.net has some great help, or these welding instructions are good too. The only tools you’ll need are the welder, and a grinder to clean up the weld lines (if you want to).
The next page has a sample blueprint you can use for your skateboard grind rail. Once you’ve used these instructions and built your rail, check out the How to 50-50 Grind instructions and start grinding!
Skateboard Grind Rail Blueprints
The skateboard grind rail blueprints that you see here are pretty basic. You can use these grind rail blueprints exactly, or you can tweak them a bit if you want to.
For example, shortening the legs is absolutely acceptable, if you are a beginner and want an easier time ollying up into the rail. You can also make the baseplates for the feet a lot wider if you want to make sure the grind rail is more stable. You can make the grind bar longer, but then you should probably add another leg in the middle of the bar to hold it up.
Once you have the measurements you want, then it’s time to head down and get the metal cut. Go to a large hardware store, and tell them exactly what you want. Use the wider rectangular steel pipe for the main bar, and square steel pipe for the legs. The feet are listed as 3 inches wide, but they should be long enough on each side of the bar to help hold it up (so two 3 inch wide pieces that are a foot or a foot and a half long should work just fine).
They should be able to cut it for you right there, but you can always cut the metal yourself with a power saw if you need to. But make sure that the cuts are clean and measured correctly – otherwise, your grind rail will turn out leaning or off-balance.
There are a few advanced things you can do when building your skateboard grind rail – take a look at the next page to see if you’re interested.
Advanced Skateboard Grind Rail Plans
You can see a few ideas for making your skateboard grind rail a little cooler in the photo above. These aren’t necessary at all, but they will make your bar a little better to use.
The first one is to add curved down pieces to the ends of the rail. These make coming off the bar at the end of your grind a little more comfortable. Simply take a short piece of the same type of bar you used to make the main grind bar (rectangular steel pipe), and cut it in half at an angle (30 degrees). Then you can weld each of these pieces on the ends of the main grind bar, turning them so that they both angle downwards.
Make sure that the welding seam that runs along the top of the bar is smoothed down with a grinder! Otherwise, you’ll have a hard time sliding off the end of the grind rail.
The other option for making a more advanced skateboard grind rail is to make adjustable legs. This is complicated, and unless you really know your way around working with metal, you might want to skip it.
To make adjustable legs, you want to weld the foot baseplates onto legs that are wider than the legs you attach to the main grind rail. These wider legs need to be able to slide over the main legs. Then, as you can see in the picture, you want to drill holes through the legs and have a long bolt with a nut that you can slide through, to keep the rail at the height you set it for.
Don’t put too many holes – if you try and have the bar go too high, it will become unstable. Also, you want to make sure that you measure out where to drill the holes exactly so that both legs get the exact same holes in the exact same place. And finally, make sure the bolt you use is strong and sturdy – you don’t want it to snap!