Making Vans Roller Skates
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Making Vans Roller Skates

October 31, 2019


hi guys I wanted to show you my project
of how to turn these vans sk8 highs into a set of park roller skates. I’ve
got some skates here that I’m going to take apart and all this other stuff that
I’ve been collecting and put them together with these insoles and make
some skates. So this was a lot harder than I thought it would be, so I thought
I’d show you how I did it. Here we go. First go ahead and take the skates apart.
Mine were already mounted- they are new but I’m parting them out. Anyways after
you take all the wheels off, take the trucks off, and then you’ve got to separate
the plates from the bottom of the skate. This is where it got tough for me. I had to get the grinder out and try to get some of these bolts off that were just
seized. I’ll go into this a little bit more later. This was not fun. FINALLY. So, a lot of my bolts holding this plate on were you couldn’t unscrew them and get them to
come out because they’re on the inside the little screw heads or whatever
didn’t have a slot for a screw driver so they just kept spinning and spinning so
I had to figure out how to get them off and I tried a million different things-
which I’ll spare you- but here is what I found to work the best of what I had and
I don’t really know what I’m doing but so using a dremel and this grinding
head which has kinda like reinforced with like I don’t know cross hatches or
something basically I just went like that and grind through all of that until I
could basically grind past a little bit more than half the screw and then I
was able to get like a screwdriver in there and break it off the rest of the
way to get it off I had these other little discs that I
was using it first for the longest time and it made me crazy these little flat
guys it’s kind of kind of like it’s not paper but it’s it they’re really fragile
and they kept wearing through them really quick and breaking them and I got
really pissed off but once I tried this one it worked a lot better so there is a
tip for you I also tried like drilling into the top of the screw head to make something that I could put a driver in there to hold it
still and that didn’t work. I tried literally drilling into it and that
didn’t work- I probably have the wrong kind of drill bit I don’t know. I tried
the chisel and totally did that to the chisel and my
husband’s probably gonna kill me so I’m gonna do this last one so you can see if
I could turn this around okay so now I got all the plates off and
I want to change out these pivot cups for rubber ones that are
supposed to cushion better with park skating so I picked these up these are the rubber
pivot cups, they’re sort of flexi and this is the first time I’ve done this so
on my other plate I was practicing figuring out how to get these
things out they are really hard. and I could not pry it out so I went to Google
and found a couple solutions so I can’t tell you if this is the way it’s
supposed to be done but it is the way I found how to do it online and how I did
it. So basically I took a this is a really really hard like nylon or
something so I drilled out most of it so that it’s nice and thin and a little bit
more flexible and then I took a drywall screw and blunted the tip of it so it’s
not so pointy and then you basically screw it in and it kind of walks
the pivot cup out. so I’ll show you. So I just drilled it out some, be careful not to damage the plate. hopefully that’s enough. so I tried gripping it with needle nose it still
didn’t work so you just take the screw there’s a little tiny hole in the base of the pivot cup right down in there that’s what I’m tapping with the screw
and this actually worked way better than I expected it to. Literally everything
I’ve been doing today trying to figure these skates out he’s been a pain in the
butt, but actually this went smoother than I expected. and then it just comes out. Here’s something I learned along the way This has really been an eye-opening process. So these are the trucks that came with these plates. These have a little knob on the tip and they are adjustable. These are the Penny Board hangers that I got from Sk8 Ratz in Loveland Colorado. And I thought they were really pretty and everything, and they are, But the tip is a little bit different. the Penny ones are more just like a nub, vs the little ball and socket. So I called them cause I was freaking out that I did this wrong, but apparently the guy says it does work it’s just slightly
different than we’re used to so here’s the Chicks in Bowls rubber pivot cup so
it’s supposed to all work – I just wanted to let you know that after I drilled all
that out I kind of freaked out because this doesn’t fit quite as like cleanly and like – pivoty. These really you kind of have to like jam on there. so we’ll see – Ugh! so now I measured the center at the back of the shoe and then up here you’re supposed to
measure in between your second and third toes so to compare that against my current skates, it looks about right- slightly off-center. so then I drew a line between the two and
centered my plate on it and figured out how far back and forward I wanted. At
this point I’ve really never honestly skated in
other skates except for my own and rental skates as a couple times, so
it’s a bit of a guessing game for me as far as where I want the plate to sit. I
tried to look at exactly where my ball my foot is and I made a little mark
there and I made a little tiny mark as far as where my ankle bone is lined up
with and I guess I’m going to try to Center the center everything in between those
two marks it’s like I said I really have no idea so I’m just gonna kind of guess.
My current skates have my plate set back about like a quarter of an inch
from the back but these are different plates
I’ve got Avengers on there and these are Avanti’s, so they’re sized differently. So whatever that’s what I’m going with. So anyways I got it set on there exactly where I wanted it, and
I marked holes where all the holes are that have to be drilled so I’m going
to drill the holes and I’m gonna insert the aluminum strengthening insole inside
so that when I drill the holes it marks the holes on here and then I will take
it all out and refine the holes and go from there. So now I’ve clamped the
insole in there and I’m drilling through my marks and then I’m taking it apart
and lining it up and checking everything well something flexed or something
so my marks are a little bit off this is taking forever I guess I’ll drill the front four, get
those in, and remark the back two? F%*K so I finally got the holes drilled. It
was a disaster but I figured it out and I made some adjustments it’s kind of an
ugly cut – I don’t even want to show you but now that I know where the holes are
supposed to be I will match up the other plate with it, mark them, I think I’m gonna use the drill press which I forgot we had and would have made this job a whole lot
easier if I’d done it sooner so I’m gonna go do that and then I’ll have all
the holes drilled properly this one looks much better this will be
my example and I won’t let you see the other one so now I’m gonna
stick them in the shoes and re-drill both of the holes or you know the hole
in the sole so everything’s matched up perfectly for both pair and then – next
step! So it’s Day two.
I battled this project for far too long yesterday and wanted to share a couple
things I learned. Like I really started hating this project towards the end of
yesterday. Everything was more difficult than I had expected.
most everything. I drilled these so far that went fairly well. The hardest part
so far which no one really talks about online is getting the holes right on the
plates I mean on the aluminium plate and getting the bolts through the sneaker.
This about pushed me over the edge yesterday. I drilled and then I got the
plate lined up and then couldn’t push the screws through the rubber and
finally I just gave up yesterday. I started today, did some errands, and then it’s
it’s Sunday afternoon, and I’m gonna try to finish it up today if all goes well. So
thankfully without too much effort I got the bolts through the shoe
today. Here are my tips I had to drill, drill, and re-drill the
shoe multiple times, and I had to go to a bigger diameter drill bit than I
expected in order to make enough clearance in the rubber. So what was
happening was I’d get the the plate in there and start putting the screws in
and I couldn’t push them through even though I’d drilled the sole
multiple times another thing that was really, really, difficult- which I think I might have mentioned before- is, with this shoe you know the tongue stops here and this plate has six holes
not four. My other one has four. So these front two are up pretty far up towards
the toe and the tongue does not come back enough. So I don’t really have any
good instructions on how to do that. I just played and played and played and
kind of screwed through this end once I made some marks and getting the screws
actually in there and through the hole without them being angle-y was- it
sucked- let’s just put it that way so finally got them through so the next
step is making sure you’ve got the right plate – I didn’t try dry fitting
this to see if it’s all gonna fit – God I really hope this all fits or I”m just gonna cry regular mounting hardware is too short
to make it through the sneaker, the aluminum plate, the skate plate, and the Chicks in Bowls sliders. So the hardware kit that I bought from (Oh God it fits!) the
hardware kit that I bought from Sk8 Ratz did contain some extra long bolts
like this so I went to Lowes to try to find matching ones and of course they
didn’t have them but I did find – They came with these long ones but it wasn’t
enough – they only had four long ones and then for like these medium ones. These
were the existing ones from my old skate oh sorry (ACHOO!) these are the Chicks in Bowls ones.
These are far too short I don’t even understand- I guess this is if you’re just
putting these on regular skates and not sneakers because they’re not even close
to fitting through all this $h!t So I went to Lowe’s I
had to go with something slightly different but I made it work they use
didn’t have the exact thing the big thing is making sure that you’re looking
for a flat head like this. So that in your aluminum plate you’re
going to drill your initial hole and then you have to make sure that
you countersink it so you’re getting a wider drill bit to kind of get the top
part so that this V part sets in it so that it sits flush and it doesn’t sit up
like this. So okay now the next step is the sliders. (Please fit!) I’m going to put
you on time-lapse all right so I finally got it in mostly
I think I can tweak the rest of it when I screw it in. So now I’m
just gonna put the washers and nuts on these are the ones that came with my
Hardware kit they’ve got these like grippy little things already
built into them. I don’t have those for the ones I had to buy at Lowes, so
whatever I’ll just make-do. As usual. FINALLY! Finally it’s on. I was worried
that these screws were going to stick up too much inside but countersinking them
and when I tighten them down it really I mean they’re pretty flush… mostly flush
with the aluminum, and you know I’ll get I’ll start off by
putting the original vans old insoles back in there but um I’ll probably end
up getting a nicer thicker insole but I’m hoping (I can feel it a little
bit) so we’ll see how that goes but it’s not as bad as I thought it was gonna be
although who knows how that’s gonna feel under my foot
but yeah so I’ll probably end up getting a better insole. but one is done so
the next step is just to go and trim off all these pieces and Lord knows I
already know how to do that well. I’ll save it for the end and do this one. Ugh. So these are the screws
that I ended up buying at Lowe’s. 10-24 by 2 inches long. flathead. Make sure you buy
appropriate 10-24 nuts as well, because I have already put the wrong nut on the screw and it feels like it’s going on, and then all of a sudden it seizes up and I can’t get
it on or off and I’ve had to cut it off so that was another fun thing that
happened. twice on the other skate so one thing you can do to make your
life easier is just put your plates in your well the aluminum plate against
your plate to make sure that everything is fully
gonna fit before you try jamming into your shoe and screwing it. lesson learned.
so I just went and redid this the holes bigger like I said you should definitely
be able to see the holes. When I did the actual proper size screw hole for these and drilled it you couldn’t see the hole like the rubber just kind
of wants to heal up so and I just couldn’t Jam that thing in there so
definitely make your life easier and enlarge the holes on the shoe. The screw
is gonna hold into the metal plate on the top on the inside and the plate of
your plate on the outside. So the rubber is just kind of sandwiched in between so
it’s not going to matter if these are a little bit bigger installed. Cut the screw heads off. A
couple little pointy bits that I probably need to deal with. I scarred up
my plates just a little bit, but whatever. finally!!! all right so now all I have to
do is hopefully get these new hangers to fit- trucks, whatever. And I’m gonna switch
the cushions out for something a little bit softer I think I think I have some
yellow cushions so I’m gonna go grab those and then see if I can figure out
how to get this back together. I think I’m almost done! So I found my cushions. I thought I had yellow but they’re in my derby skates. So I’ve got blue
which are I think the softest- which is good. My theory is that because of the
difference in the trucks that because they don’t have that little ball on the
end that they’re not gonna be quite as responsive and so therefore I think I
want a softer cushion to kind of compensate for that a little bit. that’s
my theory. I can always put the Purple’s in if I need to. let’s see…. I gotta remember how these go
together… Well it’s six o’clock on Sunday evening. I spent my whole weekend doing this but I’m done! I’m super excited I’m gonna go try them
out! This project was a lot harder than I thought it would be it took a lot more
time than I thought it would. I needed way more tools than I expected to. The hardest part is dealing with the aluminum plate getting it drilled
getting the placement right in the shoe hopefully everything is lined up – oh I’m
slightly off there – it is what it is. These are my fun skates. I really hope they’re comfortable and I’m excited! so- would I do it again? No I don’t think so.
I think I would hire somebody. Of course, now I know how to do it so next time
would be easier- but I totally would not be looking forward to it.
so yeah – Woooo! Fun! Bye- thanks for sticking with me I hope this was helpful for
somebody that was thinking about doing it yourself. Good luck!

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  1. I was planning to try this but I was going to use sole leather instead of a metal plate since I used to make shoes so I figured this heavy compressed leather would add enough structure since it's similar to what you'd find on the bottom of leather skates anyways. With a metal shank glued in for extra support. I'm thinking that it'll end up being less drama than drilling through metal.

  2. Really enjoyed this. Just like any invention there is pitfalls with the build. I give you credit, you soldiered on and got there in the end. I’m failing just locating bits let alone building them. Well done x

  3. I actually made a pair of converse roller skates and I'm not entirely sure why the metal plate is used in these builds. My bolts are held in place with washers and padding is in place to make sure those bolts don't rub against my feet. They're very comfortable and have held up for 4 years (through countless stair jumps and grinds). I think I would agree with Natasha down there that you could probably just use leather and it wouldn't be too bad.

  4. Hello!!!! You have inspired me to do this! Only 1 problem. I cant find and other place but chicks in bowl for the metal inserts. They are all sold out 😞… is it any other place i can purchase them from?

  5. Ive built a couple pairs of these now and getting the bolts through the rubber is by far the biggest pain. However, each skate does get easier. I actually made the metal insoles and that was an absolute beating as well. Way easier to purchase through CIB or Brian from Bigfoot Bike and Skate. How are yours holding up?? Any issues with the pivot cups?

  6. I love that you kept the parts where you were stressing about your next move. It's an important part of the Skate mounting process.

  7. I am making a pair of these for my daughter this weekend using the same Vans. One step that makes it a bit easier is to use to nuts inside the shoe and screw them on from the outside. Great job

  8. They came out SO pretty!! I admire your perseverance 😰😭. I want to add some lilac Penny trucks to my Moxis as well.
    Great Job 🤙🏽🤗

  9. How was the adjustment to the wide trucks? I just purchased Penny trucks for my Jack boots, as I’ve been wanting to try wide trucks.

  10. I mount and re-mount my plates a lot, and I hate those screws without screwdriver heads. I never see the point of them, they're just really complicted and weird. I typically just rip the nuts off with bolt cutters and purchase new screws, it's aggressive but it works.

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