Quarter-pipe: build your own ramp for around $100 | Photo: Red Bull

The quarter-pipe is one of the most popular skateboarding obstacles. Learn how to build your own three-foot ramp with this step-by-step tutorial.

The name says it all. A quarter-pipe is a type of skateboarding ramp that is shaped like a quarter of a circle.

It is typically made of wood or metal, and its curved surface allows skaters to perform a variety of tricks and maneuvers.

The ramp consists of a flat section at the bottom, called the deck, and a curved section that transitions into a vertical section.

At the top, there's a cylinder called the coping.

The coping is a metal or PVC pipe that runs along the top of the ramp on which skaters grind their trucks and perform other tricks.

Quarter-pipe: the fundamental skate ramp | Photo: Kugler/Creative Commons

DIY

Quarter-pipes come in different sizes and shapes, but most are around 3-8 feet tall and 4-16 feet wide, depending on how portable users want them to be.

Skaters can use them to launch themselves into the air, perform aerial tricks, and transition between different areas of a skate park.

They can also be installed at home or in an open outdoor space.

Riding - and building - a quarter-pipe can be challenging, but it is the learning stage for the half-pipe, the definitive feature for performing vert tricks and getting the most out of ramps.

The ultimate do-it-yourself (DIY) quarter-pipe should accommodate in its design a ramp that allows skaters to carry enough speed up the curve.

The following project might cost you between $100-$200.

Materials

  • Two 4×8, 3/8'' plywood sheets;
  • One 4×8, 3/4'' plywood sheet;
  • One 4×8, 1/4'' masonite sheet;
  • Seven 2×4, 8' boards;
  • One 2 3/8'' × 4' steel pipe;
  • One 1'6'' × 4' 3/16'' steel plate;

Hardware & Tools

  • Pack of 2-1/2'' screws;
  • Pack of 1-5/8'' screws;
  • Circular saw;
  • Drill;
  • Phillips screwdriver bits;
  • Sandpaper;
  • Measuring tape;
  • Pencil;

1. Cut the Boards

DIY quarter-pipe | Cutting the Boards | Illustration: Jason/DIYSkate.com

After gathering the materials, it's time to start cutting the quarter-pipe's main structure.

Gather the materials you need, then start cutting.

Take the 2x4s and cut 13 pieces at 3'-10 1/2'' long (you'll get two out of each 8-foot-long 2x4).

Put them aside.

The other piece of plywood should be cut as shown in the picture.

You can make the quarter-pipe ramp larger or smaller, but be careful not to make a mistake and have to start over or, worse, hurt someone.

 

2. Draw the Transition

DIY quarter-pipe | Drawing the Transition | Illustration: Jason/DIYSkate.com

Here's a simple way to tackle this step.

Take an 8-foot long 2×4 board.

Use a drill to make a hole in one end that's around 3/8'' in diameter - the same size as a pencil.

Measure 6 feet away from the hole and put a screw in the board, but don't drive it all the way through yet.

 

3. Cut the Transition

DIY quarter-pipe | Cutting the Transition | Illustration: Jason/DIYSkate.com

Take your 3/4'' plywood and put it on a flat surface.

To make it level, you may need to put a piece of scrap wood underneath.

Then, get the 3/8'' plywood and put it side by side with the 3/4'' plywood, so they are touching.

Use the 2x4 you made earlier and put a screw into the 3/8'' plywood in the spot shown in the picture.

To draw a radius, use a 2×4 to guide your pencil until the transition radius is clearly visible on the 3/4'' plywood.

Measure 2' 11 1/4'' up and 5' 10 3/4'' out from the bottom left side to complete the drawing.

Cut along the lines of the transition carefully.

The top layer of the deck also comes from this 3/4'' plywood, so use care with the jigsaw.

Once cut, use this transition as a template to trace and cut out the other side.

 

4. Frame the Top and Bottom

DIY quarter-pipe | Framing the Top and Bottom | Illustration: Jason/DIYSkate.com

The hardest part is finished.

Now you can begin to build the quarter-pipe.

First, attach the 2x4s to the top and bottom, just like the picture shows.

 

5. Frame the Center

DIY quarter-pipe | Framing the Center | Illustration: Jason/DIYSkate.com

Take the remaining eight 2×4s and frame the deck and riding surface portion by placing the 2×4s eight inches apart (except where noted) in the center.

 

6. Drill the Coping

DIY quarter-pipe | The Coping | Illustration: Jason/DIYSkate.com

DIY quarter-pipe | Drilling the Coping | Illustration: Jason/DIYSkate.com

Get your coping at a steel shop.

The material you need is technically known as Schedule 80, 2'' OD, or black steel pipe.

The pipe should have an external diameter of 2' 3/8'' and a thickness of 1/4''.

Drill a hole that is 3/8'' in diameter on the outer side of the steel coping.

Then drill a hole that is 3/16'' in diameter on the inner side of the coping, making sure the two holes are lined up.

 

7. Install the Coping

DIY quarter-pipe | Installing the Coping | Illustration: Jason/DIYSkate.com

Once you've drilled the holes, place the coping into the notch created earlier.

To secure it, use a screw and feed it through the 3/8'' hole on the outside. Then, place the screw into the 3/16'' hole on the inside.

This step may take some patience, but you'll get it eventually. Next, use a drill or screwdriver to secure the screws on each end and in the middle.

Don't worry that the holes may feel uncomfortable while skating. If they are no bigger than 3/8'', you won't be able to feel them.

 

8. Apply the Deck

DIY quarter-pipe | Applying the Deck | Illustration: Jason/DIYSkate.com

Take the remaining 3/4'' plywood and cut two pieces at 4' 11 1/4'' wide.

Attach these pieces to the top of the ramp using screws, spaced about one foot apart in each 2x4.

 

9. Cover the Ramp

DIY quarter-pipe | Covering the Ramp | Illustration: Jason/DIYSkate.com

Get your 3/8'' plywood and cut out a piece that is 5'6'' long and 4' wide.

Start at the top of the ramp and place screws at least 1 foot apart.

Make sure the screws hit the studs. To be sure of this, you can use a chalk line or a 2x4 to draw a line across the ramp.

Once the bottom layer is attached, cut another piece of 3/8'' plywood that is 5'9'' long and 4 feet wide. This will be the second layer.

Attach it to the ramp in the same way as the first layer, ensuring that the screws hit the studs and that they are spaced 8'' apart.

 

10. Install the Masonite

DIY quarter-pipe | Installing the Masonite | Illustration: Jason/DIYSkate.com

Secure the 3/8'' sheets of plywood to the frame.

Cut a piece of masonite that is 4'6'' by 4' and attach it to the frame in the same way as the plywood.

To make the surface as smooth as possible, use a countersink bit or a 3/8'' drill bit to sink the screws into the surface.

This will help protect you from getting hurt in a fall.

Check that the coping sticks out 3/8''.

If you want to adjust the height, remove the coping and place wood shims between the 2x4s and the coping.

 

11. Attach the Threshold

DIY quarter-pipe | Attaching the Threshold | Illustration: Jason/DIYSkate.com

You can find the steel threshold at steel fabrication shops or home improvement stores.

First, make sure there's a gap between the ground and the masonite board so you can install the metal or plastic sheet.

Then, drill three 3/16'' holes - two on either end, about two inches from the edges, and one in the middle.

Finally, with a 3/8'' drill bit, make each hole slightly deeper so the screw heads will be level with the surface.

The quarter-pipe is finished and ready to be ridden.

 

Extra Tips

You may use sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges.

Also, adding paint can protect the surface and make it last longer.

Now, choose the location for your quarter-pipe. Make sure it is a flat, stable surface and away from anything that could be damaged.

You can install wheels to transport smoothly from one place to another if you wish.

Lastly, when you stop skating, cover it with a waterproof tarp, so it doesn't get exposed to the elements.


Illustrations by DYSkate.com

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