Always wanted one…
9th April 2018
One of my most lusted after things as a grom skateboarder was a Z-Flex Jay Adams deck. Hand made from glassfibre they were expensive back in the day and are silly money now. Never stopped me wanting one though. After guidance and prompting by a talented friend I was persuaded to have a go at a DIY glass fibre version.
This involved making a plug/replica to make a mould from. A bit of old laminate flooring, some scrap wood and car body filler worked perfectly. This was coated with a special epoxy paint finish for mould making.
The mould has to split down the centre of the board lengthwise. So the plug needed to sit half deep on a flat sheet finished with the same epoxy paint.
Any gaps between the plug and the backing sheet were filled with plasticine to stop any resin seepage. The backing sheet and plug were then polished with multiple coats of mould release wax.
Then a layer of gelcoat was applied followed by multiple layers of resin and chopped strand glass fibre mat.
Then split the backing sheet from the mould half leaving the plug in place. Polish this side with multiple coats of release wax.
Next coat this with a layer of gelcoat and multiple layers of resin and chopped strand glass fibre mat. This makes the second half of the mould. When cured the mould was split and the plug removed. Polish both sides to the best finish you can. The better the finish on the mould the better finish on the actual item.
Plenty of layers of release wax on both sides of the mould. Then a layer of gelcoat on both halves then both halves were built up using pieces of chopped strand mat and resin. When both sides were built up just under flush, enough mat and resin to fill the final gap was added and add a nice layer of gelcoat around the edge too to hide the join. The first white deck I made I didn’t do this and the joint is visible. Then put the two halves together before the resin starts to go off and weigh it down to ensure a good fit. When cured and if all goes well (mine didn’t the first time) you can split the mould and you should have a complete deck.
Clean off any excess gel coat if you have any. Mine had way too much. A bit of excess squeezed out at the edge is good because it fills the joint line. When the edges are tidied up they can be polished with T-Cut or similar and the joint will be invisible.
Water slide decal sheet is available from various suppliers so you can design the logo and print it yourself at home on your printer. They work just like “Airfix” decals.
As you can see I ended up making two Z-Flex Jay Adams replicas, one white and one orange. The finished article makes a nice wall hanger/objet d’art and fulfilled a long held dream.
Just like Dogtown and the Z-Boyz.