How to Make Wheel Wells for Skateboards

by Matt Gerrard

Wheel wells are small cutouts on the underside of a skateboard that prevent "Wheelbite," where the wheel catches against the underside of the board when tilting it to turn. It's not commonly seen on the modern-style concave boards, as their shape largely negates the requirement for them. They are most commonly seen on retro "fishtail" skateboards and wider long-boards. If you're experiencing wheelbite with a board like this, it can be helpful to grind out some wheel wells

Items you will need

  • Ruler
  • Marker
  • Skate tool
  • Rotary cutting tool
  • Conical grinding attachments
  • Sandpaper
  • Clear Lacquer
  • Paintbrush
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Step 1

Secure the board on a stable surface, clamping it in place if necessary. It should be standing on its side, resting on the ends of the axles, with the outer surfaces of the wheels facing upward toward you.

Step 2

Line up the ruler with the center of the axle, and measure two to three millimeters into the lower surface of the board. Use the ruler to mark two spots in line with either edge of the wheel. You should now have three marks on the side of the board. One representing each side of the wheel, and a thicker one in the center, in line with the axle.

Step 3

Remove the wheel, using the skate tool, to provide adequate clearance to use the rotary tool. Fit the conical grinding head to the tool and line it up with the central mark. Power on the tool and press it against the mark in the bottom of the board until you have ground 2 to 3 mm into the wood, removing the mark.

Step 4

Move the tip of the grinding tool back and forth between the two outer marks, until the central notch has been rounded out to a gentle arc the same width as the wheel. Remove the burrs using the sandpaper, then paint some of the lacquer over the exposed wood to seal it. Replace the wheel and repeat the process on the remaining three wheels.

About the Author

Matt Gerrard began writing in 2002, initially contributing articles about college student culture to "The Gateway" magazine, many of which were republished on the now-defunct Plinth blog. Since then, Gerrard has worked as a technician for musicians, educators, chemists and engineers. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in music technology from DeMontfort University.

Photo Credits

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