Street elements such as rails are extremely popular in skateboarding. But it’s not always possible, or practical, to find good rails to practice on. If you want to know how to make a skateboard rail, you’ve come to the right place. Here, you’ll learn how to build a steel grind rail so you can improve your ollie, slide tricks, and transitions.
Creating your own miniature skatepark is one of the great things about skateboarding because you can build core elements, obstacles, and features. You can pretty much perform the most complex skate tricks in your backyard if you have a half-pipe, skateboard ramps, a funbox, a pyramid, a bank ramp, and a grind rail. A skateboard rail is one of the easiest elements to build, so let’s start there.
Skateboarders practice a wide range of maneuvers on a grind rail in public spaces, allowing them to practice their tricks. But having your very own skate grind rail that’s transportable makes it even easier to practice.
Even though it might seem complicated, a grind rail is fairly easy to make if you know the basic steps and have all the materials you’ll need.
To build the perfect structure, you would need to combine solidity, durability, length, and portability. The slipper must also glide and grind precisely, and it must remain anchored at all times in order for next-level performance.
There are options to make a grind rail that is either welded or just made of wood. With a round rail or a square rail, you can add adjustable legs, curved ends, and additional support. Garages are ideal places for this type of work, and they also tend to contain all of the tools you may need to complete your skateboard rail.
We’ll go over all the necessary steps, tools, and materials. Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Different Designs of a Skate Rail
For skateboard rails, there may be different types of designs. It is, however, common that most types of rails tend to have a slight tilt at both ends. Moreover, some rails are entirely curved.
You need to know whether you want a basic, straight grind rail, which should be sufficient for beginners, or if you prefer to add curved ends. Decide what type of grind rail you want before you start the building, planning, or welding process.
Necessary Tools and Materials
Making grinding rails isn’t difficult, and you won’t even need to spend a lot of money to build a sturdy structure.
The materials for building a good skate rail that doesn’t need to be welded are available at your local hardware store for around $25 to $50.
Once you have all the materials gathered for your grind rail, you can start the building process. A wood and steel structure, or a steel and PVC structure, or a combination of all three is possible.
Creating something that is maintenance-free, like a model made from durable, zinc-coated steel, with adjustable legs that do not require tools, is one example.
If you want to try and make a grind rail that requires no welding, you’ll need the following materials:
- One 6’5” Pine base plank (6 inches wide, 1.5 inches thick)
- One 6’5” Pine middle plank (6 inches wide, 1.5 inches thick)
- One 6’5” Pine top plank (6 inches wide, 1.2 inches thick)
- Two 6’5” Plywood planks (0.5 inches thick)
- One 6’5” Steel tube, pipe, or flat bar
It’s a good idea to use pressure treated wood to ensure better stability and a solid structure. While a non-welded rail can work just fine, a welded rail is much better. With welding, you can make a much more sturdy structure. For a rail that is welded, you’ll need:
- 12 mm steel drill bit 1 Pis
- 12 mm 200 mm long auger/ wood drill bit 1 Pis
- 1 ¼” spade drill bit 1 Pis
- Drilling machine 1 Pis
- Tape measure 1 Pis
- Ruler 1 Pis
- Safety glasses.
- Drop saw.
- 3/8” spanner 1 Pis
- 3/8” socket with ratchet 1 Pis
- Steel hand saw.
- Scissors 1 Pis
Make sure to gather your required tools before you attempt to build your skateboard rail. It may be necessary to collect these things, so visit your local hardware store and explain what you are looking for.
For a welded structure, a rectangular steel pipe will work well for the main bar. Steel pipes should be supported by square steel legs and a steel plate. At least a 3 x 4 steel pipe should be used. You also want to make sure that you have strong steel pipes that you measure properly for both of the legs. Depending on the height you want your pipe to be, a minimum of 10.5 inch long legs is recommended.
Your local hardware store should help you make sure you get your pipes in the right length and diameter. They can also help you cut things to size if you need, or they can guide you on how to cut it using a power saw.
If you do use a power saw, the leg pipes should first be cut and then checked to ensure that they are the correct size. Once the skateboard rail is sized and ruled correctly, it will be balanced correctly and sturdy in the middle, and you will be able to use it safely
Related: How To Make Skateboard Wax
What If You’re a New Skateboarder?
As a new skateboarder, if you’re competing in a skateboarding competition where all the participants are experts, then it will be more difficult and risky for you to ride long leg rails. This is where it can be helpful to have your own grind rail with adjustable legs at home. Having your own rail can also help to boost confidence since you won’t have to worry about falling and embarrassing yourself in a public place.
Getting Ready to Weld
You’ve gathered your materials, and your steel pipe has been cut to the right dimensions. Now, it’s nearly time to weld. First, you need to make a note of how you will construct your rail before you start to weld anything. Once the rails are welded, there’s no going back, so plan carefully.
As you start to construct, you may notice some sharp ends or a rough edge. For safety, it’s critical that you smooth these out. Using a hammer, you can smash in sharp corners or use a grinder to smooth them out.
Now that all your materials are safely prepared, it’s time to weld them together. All the materials and your detailed plan of action should be ready to go before you start. Make sure the steel pipe used to construct the highest point is smooth. Smooth it with the grinder if necessary.
First, weld the areas where the grind rail will connect to the legs. Next, the legs are then connected to the feet.
Add Curved Ends To The Rail
The first step in creating curved ends is to add a curved pipe to the end of the rail. Both ends of the rail have to be curved at a 30-degree angle at both ends of a pipe.
You want to make sure that the welding where you add the curved ends is done expertly and smoothed out so you don’t catch your board on the joint where the end of the rail curved.
Make Adjustable Legs
Adjustable legs are a more advanced option but can make a big difference to your rail. As a beginner, adjustable legs aren’t necessary, but for those practicing more advanced skateboarding, it’s certainly a good addition.
If you’re not comfortable using tools, you might want to skip the adjustable legs, as making this will involve a more complex process. It is necessary to set the leg of the rail wider in the lower foot section to create the adjustable leg. The legs should also be easily able to slide when adjusted.
You’ll want to carefully measure out where you will drill the holes in your adjustable legs to make sure that both legs are always even, no matter what height they’re set to. Be very careful when doing this; otherwise, you will not be able to fit the nut in properly to secure the legs, and your efforts will be wasted.
Things To Note
It’s always important that safety comes first. While making your own grind rail can be a simple process, it requires the use of power tools and therefore should be done very carefully. Drills and grinders should be used with caution. When these devices are not used properly, an accident could occur. Make sure you know how to correctly operate any power tools and wear work gloves and safety goggles at all times, particularly if welding your skateboard rail.
While written guides like this one are very useful, they can also help to make use of videos made by experts, particularly if there is a step you aren’t sure about.
Making your own skateboard rail is a great way to be able to practice your skateboarding any time, any place. You can practice in the privacy of your own yard or invite your friends over. Even though it might seem very complicated, with a little bit of due diligence, it’s possible for even an amateur to make a great at-home skateboard rail. Just make sure you collect all the right materials before you start, have a well-thought out plan and blueprint for your design, and follow all necessary safety precautions when working. You’ll have your very own grind rail in no time.