Laser-etched Skateboards

    In Studio H, we use the tablesaw with the same love and fervor as the laser cutter. The skateboard project reinforced one of our key pedagogies: there is no high-tech or low-tech, only tools. To produce their skateboards, students of Studio H at REALM completed a geometry-based graphic design unit in which they created 2-axis mirrored patterns in Adobe Illustrator. Their patterns were then laser-etched on the bottom layer of maple veneer that would become a skateboard. Each skateboard (7 layers of maple veneer) were pressed in a bottle-jack steel press for 24 hours, then cut down and finished using a table saw, bandsaw, router, sander, drill press, and grip tape. Each skateboard also bears the school logo, the REALM Renegade. Each student took one home by the end of the year, though many confess to not actually using it, but rather hanging it on their wall.