How to Build a Hollow Wood Surfboard (with 80 Pictures)

This post comes courtesy of Reddit user Tico20 who did an incredible job documenting his woodworking project of building a hollow wood surfboard from scratch. We’ll walk through the hollow wood surfboard woodworking guide step by step so you can follow along with your own build, or just enjoy the quality workmanship of this build.

Building a high quality hollow wood surfboard from scratch is considered an advanced woodworking project to take on. If you aren’t at this skill level yet this post can be an excellent example and learning tool for you. Additionally, we recommend browsing our other woodworking projects.

9'4" diy bunya pine hollow wood surfboard

Here is the 9’4″ hollow frame wooden surfboard I built spanning over the past 6 months. The following pictures and build guide explain step by step how I built it. Enjoy!

The first step was to make the thin sheets that would be the top and bottom of the board called the skins, these were made of bunya pine cut to be 120mm wide, 7mm thick, and 3m long. I used a table saw to make the appropriate cuts.

All the bunya pine planks were cut and then one side was passed through the thicknesser to get one side perfectly flat. This would be the inside of the board – I wanted them flat so they would have good adhesion to the wood surfboard frame.

Once thicknessed they were glued together to make two skins, one for the top, and one for the bottom. They were laid edge to edge flat on a hollow core door and clamped from the sides with weights put on the middle of the skin to keep them flat.

The glue I used was sikabond techgrip which was recommended to me by another surfboard maker because it is waterproof and is an expanding foam glue so it fills gaps.

There was a fair amount of squeeze-out but this is a good thing and easy to clean up later.

9'4" diy bunya pine hollow wood surfboard

The surfboard skin was roughly cut using a jigsaw to the outer-most dimension of the board with some allowance for future shaping.

9'4" diy bunya pine hollow wood surfboard

Next I needed to build the skeleton which would consist of 14 ribs and one stringer or spine.

These are the measurements I built from, I measured them loosely from a friends board, they show the width, thickness, and height from the ground of the board if its sitting on a flat surface. I added extra thickness to the measurements I took to ensure that the wood surfboard would float.

I found the center of each rib and marked what part needed to be cut out so that they could lapped with the spine.

To build the spine I needed to join multiple pieces to get the length and width of wood I needed so I made this jigsaw joint which is in the middle of the board, later on I reinforced it by gluing smaller piece on either side of it.

Now the slots needed to be cut in the ribs and the spine, this was done with a jigsaw.

The first test fit, a lot of the ribs needed adjusting in either depth or width of slot.

This one i tried to hard to make fit and it split the spine, so i added more reinforcing and corrected the fit of the rib.

All the ribs were fitted to the spine.

Before I glued them in place I needed to make multiple adjustments. To the bottoms of the ribs I added a slight concave which determines the shape of the bottom of the board. Then a slight convex was added to the top of the ribs to give the top of the wood surfboard a slightly rounded shape.

Holes were cut in each of the ribs, these serve two purposes, one, to reduce the wight of the frame, and two, to allow air to move between the compartments once it is fully sealed. Also holes were drilled through the spine to let air flow. Finally notches were added to each of the corners of the ribs which would be a spot for some of the frame to glue onto.

Each rib was glued in place with a square to ensure they were all straight.

This is the table I built to glue the bottom skin onto the wood surfboard, it is special because it follows the length wise curve of the board (called the rocker), and the side to side curve of the board which will be the concave. Also in this photo you can see I added the extra reinforcing for the frame to the notches in the corner of each rib.

Finally I was ready to glue the bottom skin on, the skin was laid on the table and the frame placed on top with glue on every part of the frame. Then spare pieces of wood were laid over the frame and clamped, or strapped on either end, this ensured the skin was pressed evenly onto the frame while it dried.

If you want to build a hollow wood surfboard this is a critical step in the process and precision is key.

The clamps and straps were removed and then the board flipped, this is the result, notice the dip in the middle of the board, that is the concave I’ve been talking about.

This is what it looks like from the other side.

Next up is building the rails which are the sides of the board, usually this is done either with very light weight wood, or they are made hollow using a fancy method called bead and cove. But I’m using just one type of wood and I didn’t know how to do bead and cove at the time so here’s my hacked methods which I wouldn’t recommend unless you’re confident you can wing it.

Using 1cm*1cm sticks that were 3m long I slowly built up the sides, the sticks were thin so that they could fit the curve of the board.

One by one I glued them side by side and then eventually on top of one another to slowly build up the sides.

Eventually they got big enough to reach the top of the frame.

This is what the ends look like. And here’s a few more detailed pictured in case you are wanting to build a hollow wood surfboard for yourself:

Now that they were high enough I planed them down to be flush with the rest of the frame.

I also trimmed the ends at this stage so i could put a nose and tail block on.

This is a solid piece of bunya pine being glued onto the front, the same was done on the tail.

And here is the frame done with nose and tail block installed. This was an exciting moment because this is the first time it actually looked like a wood surfboard.

Then I glued on the top skin using the same method as before.

Now it was a sealed vessel and the shaping could begin.

Here’s where I realized I had made a big mistake; if you’re following along to build a hollow wood surfboard of your own then make sure you don’t make the same mistake.

The rails weren’t going to be thick enough to shape properly so I needed to glue on extra pieces to the side so that i could shape it without worrying about busting through to the inside of the board. This took a really long time to do as I could only glue on one stick at a time and i needed to do 5 on each side.

Once the extra pieces were glued on I could begin shaping the board and give it the rounded edges.

Slowly and painstakingly I shaped the entire board with a palm plane by hand.

Once I was close to the shape I wanted I began using a belt sander with 80 grit paper to smooth out the plane marks.

Once it was fully sanded down to 240 grit I burnt my logo onto the middle of the wood surfboard using a cast aluminium branding iron.

It’s a shark with a hook in it based on the book Tico the Shark Hunter.

Here is is ready to be fiberglassed.

This is how I made the fin. First I made a small panel out of some scraps then I then traced a fin I liked onto it and cut the shape out. I then snapped the end of the fin off intentionally.

This left me with a gap at the top which I would be able to fill with resin so that I would have a somewhat clear half of the fin. I made this little mold out of painters tape and slowly built up the fin with layers of fiberglass and resin.

I accidentally snapped the very bottom corner off as i took it out of my mold.

After giving it a sand it looked pretty cool.

I tidied it up a bit and added some more resin to the bottom to fill in the gap. I then sanded the whole thing flat and then began to shape it which is called foiling, in that it is giving it the profile of a wing: fat at the leading edge and then slimming towards the back. Once this was done I put another layer of fiberglass over the whole thing this time.

I trimmed the fiberglass back.

Then I sanded the edges down to neaten them up and the fin was ready to be glassed onto the board.

I got the supplies from a local surf shop called Thomas Surfboards, the guys there were really friendly and helpful and ended up giving me 10L of poly resin with catalyst and wax in styrene, and 20ft of 6oz fibreglass for $230.

I laid the cloth out over the board and made a tape apron around the bottom, now I was ready to wet it out. It was very helpful to have an extra pair of hands at this stage.

This is how it looked after the laminating coat, this coat is simply to fill in the weave of the fiberglass and attach it to the wood of the board. There isn’t any wax in styrene in this mixture as you dont want it to go really hard, by not adding it it essentially isnt fully cured and therefore can chemically bond to the next layer of resin that gets put down.

Next the top side was laminated.

Once the whole thing had a layer of lam resin on i could make all the little modifications that are needed for a board. Because this is a hollow wood surfboard the air inside needs to be able to breath so it needs a vent, which in my case will be a nut embedded in the resin with a bolt and O ring to seal it. So I drilled a hole in my perfectly good board.

I then place d the nut in the hole and filled the hole in the nut with blu tack so that I could resin over it and then pick out the blu tack leaving the threads clean.

The next step to building a hollow wood surfboard was to attach the fin, I had no idea where to place so I called up my friend and asked him to measure his board and then placed it roughly in the same spot.

roving fiberglass for wood surfboard

To attach the fin I needed roving which is long single strands of fiberglass, you can buy it or pull fiberglass cloth apart, it takes a while but it saves having to spend more money when you already have the cloth.

The roving was soaked in a pot of resin and then laid around the base of the fin, then on top of that small patches of fiberglass cloth were laid over to add more strength.

I also added a legrope loop to the tail. I did this by putting a pencil covered in painters tape on the board and then laying roving over it. Mine turned out too thin and when I went to reinforce it it snapped completely so I ended up grinding it flat and then putting a small lump of wood there and layering it over with a small patch of fiberglass cloth and resin which has held up well.

resin and fiberglass layer on diy hollow wood surfboard

I then tidied up the roving once it was set as well as lightly sanding the lap of glass all around the side. Then i could do the hot coat which is just a thick layer of purely resin, no fiberglass.

wood surfboard resin layer

This was done for both sides.

I then needed to sand all the little bumps out of the hot coat which I did with 120 grit sandpaper. In a few spots I sanded through to the fiberglass underneath and needed to patch these area, so i put little borders around them and just put enough resin to cover the little patch.

attaching a wood surfboard fin with fiberglass roving

I did the same for the fin which made it a lot smoother and the base a lot nicer.

sanding a hollow wood surfboard

Finally I could begin working my way through the grits, I went 120, 240, 320 wet, 600 wet, and 800 wet, which came out with a very nice glossy finish.

wood surfboard on roof of car

Time to test it out!

bunya pine hollow wood surfboard sticking in sand with wax

All waxed up and ready to go.

upside down hollow wood surfboard in water

It has a load of imperfections and it doesn’t ride all that great but its the only board I’ve ever owned and I love it to bits, I’m learning a lot about surfing with it and I learned even more about woodworking.

two surfers with wood surfboards on rocks
man surfing on wood surfboard
wood surfboard with wax
man surfing on homemade surfboard

If you enjoyed this post on how to build a hollow wood surfboard then be sure to check out our other woodworking projects and build guides.


How to Make DIY Pallet Wood Shot Glasses (with Video)

Warning: Before re-using pallets for DIY projects like pallet wood shot glasses, check them for Methyl Bromide markings, which is poisonous and shouldn’t be used for projects or even firewood. For more information what pallets are safe to use in DIY projects see this full article on pallet safety.

Pallet Wood Shot Glasses: Build Video:

A big thanks to Jackman Works for Sharing this DIY pallet wood shot glasses wood working project with us.

Pallet Wood Shot Glasses: Build Log

These shot glasses are 100% reclaimed and 100% pallet wood! They were made for Carolina Shoe to use as giveaway items (keep an eye on their socials to see how you can get one). It’s so awesome to know that my work will be traveling out to so many peoples hands. It took roughly 9 pallets to get the lumber for this build.

DIY pallet wood shot glasses carolina

A lot of it was turned into sawdust after all, but that’s better than this good wood ending up in the landfill! I got some awesome lumber out of these pallets nonetheless (cherry, red oak, pine, poplar, white oak, maple, ash, elm, hickory). The pallet wood shot glasses are intended just for display, but were finished with Waterlox Original which is food safe and waterproof once it cures in case someone uses one.

man collecting pallet wood

First step is to find an unattended pile of pallets… Check!

Second step is to drive over enough speed bumps to disassemble the pallets… Check!

The pallets slats are first sorted out by thickness prior to running them through the thickness planner, this way I can start with the thicker slats and smooth down both sides working down to the medium and thinner slats until each side of each slat is smooth.

Got a pretty stellar load of pallets this time with lots of oak and some other cool hardwoods like ash and hickory, which I don’t find too often.

Then a second round of sorting can occur, looking for any with ends that look too chewed up to salvage which are then chopped off on the miter saw.

Then a third sorting can occur, looking for any edges that are too chewed up to salvage and these are cut off on the table saw.

DIY pallet wood shot glasses

Then a fourth and final sorting can occur, grouping the slats in bundles that are just over 2.5″ tall and with similar width slats.

I set up 3 pipe clamps on the bench to set the slats on for the 1st glue-up. Each bundle is marked off with a small strip of blue tape to remind myself not to apply glue to the seam between each bundle.

Lots of glue is applied… Each slat gets a liberal coating of glue with my spreader glue bottle before I move onto the next one and then all of them are clamped tightly together…

Lots of clamps!! Took 3 glue-ups so I could keep the similar width slats together and this worked out nicely.

I leave the clamps on overnight while the glue dries and then remove the clamps the next morning. The grungy edge of the glue-up is cut off first and then I cut a bunch of random width slices off of each bundle of pallet slats to create some cool striped slats.

The ends of each slat is cut square on the miter saw and then I inspect the haul, this range of species in the pallets creates some really impressive color combos!

DIY pallet wood shot glasses clamping

Then it’s the same process as before, groups of slats are combined until they are all just slightly more than 2.5″ and each is designated with a strip of blue tape. Then again, 20 gallons of glue are applied to every surface before applying the clamps.

Lots. Of. Clamps. Then one more for good measure.

This glue-up is set to dry for the night and then each one of the Pallet Sticks™ is cleaned up and cut down to a 2.5″x2.5″ square on the table saw.

DIY pallet wood shot glasses

Then the end of each stick is squared up on the miter saw. I applied some oil to one because I was too impatient to checkout the color… this is going to be good!

DIY pallet wood shot glasses

My table saw blade is tilted over to 45° so I can cut the corners off of each of the sticks and bring them down to octagon shapes so I have much less material to remove when I turn them down to a circular shape.

DIY pallet wood shot glasses

Now the turning blanks are ready to go! I tried turning one set from one of these large “dowels” just between centers on the lathe, but the vibrations were excessive in the middle of the stick and I found that I wasn’t really saving much time, if any. So I decided to go another route to turn them down to shape.

DIY pallet wood shot glasses

I decided to separate all of the sticks into separate turning blanks for each cup and attach them to the screw chuck in the lathe instead. Each one is cut down to 3″ in length to give me a 2.5″ tall shot glass with a little bit of room to hold it on the lathe.

DIY pallet wood shot glasses

I ended up with about 140 of these, which should be just enough once 40 of them explode or fly off the lathe… but I need a new computer wallpaper anyway 🙂

Each one of these blanks has a 3/8″ hole drilled in the center of it. This has 3 purposes really — a mounting location for the screw chuck, a starter hole for hollowing out the cups, and I drill to a specific depth so it set the depth of the cup later when I’m hollowing it out.

Now the turning can start! It all starts by mounting the screw chuck on the lathe and then I hold the blank against it with the hole lined up and carefully start the lathe to let the piece thread onto the screw.

First, I bring it down round. This is super easy since I already knocked all of the corners off so the cutting is a lot less aggressive and it shapes up quick.

You’ll see this plywood template a couple of times in this process. I first use it to mark the length of piece I need for the height of the shot glass — one edge of it is marked with this dimension so I can transfer it to the piece.

I use my parting tool to bring down the end of the piece to a roughly 3/4″ tenon where I just marked it. This tenon will later be used to mount the cup while I hollow it out after I flip it around.

You can see the template at use again here. Each side of the piece of plywood is notched out to exactly the diameter of the top of the cup and the bottom of the cup. This way I don’t have to fiddle around with calipers and they’ll sometimes lose their dimensions, so this piece of plywood stays exactly where it is for all 100 cups.

Then to finish shaping it, it’s just a matter of connecting the 2 ends together with a straight line.

They are on their pretty tight after all the force from turning them down to diameter, so I use my chuck key with the handle resting against the bed of the lathe to lock it in place while I manhandle the wood and unscrew it from the threads.

DIY pallet wood shot glasses

So, just rinse and repeat x140! Only lost a couple of them in the first round of turning so we’re off to a good start.

Now I replace the jaws in my chuck with my small jaws so I can clamp each one of these in place with the small tenon that I turned down earlier. I clamp them down as tight as I can because turning into end grain to hollow these out is going to take a lot of force.

Check out that concentration! The wall thickness is achieved just by eye, and after over 100 of them you get it dialed in pretty good and save a lot of time not fussing with calipers or measuring tools.

I use a round carbide cutting tool to hollow these out because it stays nice and sharp and cuts pretty well against the hard end grain. I just work my way out from the center center hole that I drilled earlier until I have both a 1/4″ wall thickness and I reach the depth of the drilled hole.

DIY pallet wood shot glasses

So, just rinse and repeat x137ish! Lost almost a dozen this round due to blowouts from weak grain or defects (knots/nail holes) in the wood.

With everything turned down to size, it’s just a matter of smoothing them down by sanding through the grits. This brings the inside and outside surfaces down smooth, but also allows me to add a slight round-over to the inside and outside of the lip of the “glass”.

If not before, it’s starting to get a little repetitive now. Not too bad when you have some help though…

DIY pallet wood shot glasses heat brand

With everything shaped and sanded down smooth I can now add Carolina’s logo with a branding iron. I heat it up with a MAP gas torch and reheat every few brands. Ohhhh fire 😮

DIY pallet wood shot glasses

These are pretty tricky, but after a few you can get things dialed in. With the rounded shape, I need to rock the branding iron back and forth to make sure all of the letters are burned into the wood visibly and consistently.

DIY pallet wood shot glasses

I use Waterlox Original to seal up and finish the shot glasses. This finish is both waterproof and food safe once cured, so it will seal everything up nicely and give it a slight shine while bring out the amazing natural color of the wood.

DIY pallet wood shot glasses lathe

Just the wipe-on of the finish makes it all worth it, the grain is amazing!

The finish is poured into a disposable plastic cup (the bottom of a water bottle) and I use a soft rag to apply the finish to the inside and outside of the cup while the lathe is spinning on it’s lowest setting.

After all of the cups have finish on them, I let them sit for about 6 hours for the finish to cure and then hit them with some 400 grit sandpaper to knock down any fuzz left on the cups. Before applying a second coat of finish.

With 2 coats of finish applied and dry, I mount them all back on the lathe with some room between the bottom of the cup and the chuck jaws and use my parting tool to cut off the tenons.

DIY pallet wood shot glasses

You can see these pallet wood shot glasses all still have a slight nub left in the center of them so they need to be flattened down.

DIY pallet wood shot glasses sanding

I use my bench-top belt sander to bring the surface all down flush and flat.

DIY pallet wood shot glasses

Now with the shaping completely done I can finish the bottom surface too. I apply 2 more coats of Waterlox to all surfaces of all of the pallet wood shot glasses.

DIY pallet wood shot glasses

Evolution from turning blank to finished pallet wood shot glasses! You couldn’t achieve that finished look with just a log, plus with the glue-up process I did each one is completely unique!

Pallet Wood Shot Glasses: Finished Photos

Thanks for reading and if you liked this DIY pallet wood shot glasses wood working project then check out our other DIY projects!


Leather Working Project: Blood Red DIY Leather Arrow Quiver

A big thanks to Reddit user Gullex for sharing this build log with us on how he made a blood red DIY leather arrow quiver. If you are interested in leather working projects or want to learn how to make a leather arrow quiver, then this should be a very informative post for you.

Leather Arrow Quiver: Final Pictures First

blood red DIY leather arrow quiver leather working project

An avid bowhunter, my father got me interested in leather work at a young age. I’d often watch him repair or improvise his gear with scraps of leather and a crude stitching awl. I dabbled in it through the years as well, and enjoyed making my own knife sheaths, pouches, and other gear. In the last handful of years, I decided to spend more time expanding my tools, techniques, and knowledge. This DIY leather arrow quiver project is the most ambitious leather working project I’ve taken on by far. Many methods in this project were a first for me, and over the nearly four months it took to complete, I learned a whole lot. As is etiquette, finished photos first, then the build, and some action shots to wrap it up.

Leather Arrow Quiver: Build Log

blood red DIY leather arrow quiver leather working project

The first piece of the DIY leather arrow quiver I made was the body of the box pouch. I made a wooden form from a piece of 2×4 rounded with a rasp, and a couple scrap pieces of wood. The leather is soaked in water, then shaped around the mold before being clamped into place and allowed to dry. This creates a stiff box.


I spent a long time with this thick, heavy square of leather sitting in my kitchen while I tried to decide what shape I wanted to make the leather arrow quiver. I got some inspiration online from looking at other leather working project ideas, and drew some curves and cut it out. Then began the stamping process. The leather is dampened with water, and each scale hammered into the soft surface. The scales are kept aligned by a very lightly scribed guide line down the middle. This line disappears by the time the item is finished.

The box pouch removed from the mold and trimmed, stitching groove cut, edges beveled. More stamping. I didn’t stamp the area that the pouch would cover, saved a bit of time.

blood red DIY leather arrow quiver leather working project

More stamping, and a border done on the pouch.

Aaaand more stamping. Almost done now. I think this took me about a week, spending some time here and there in the evenings after work. My left thumb tip is still numb a month later, just from holding the stamp.


blood red DIY leather arrow quiver leather working project stamping process

Stamping done, and the first round of dye applied. The color is oxblood (Amazon link).

blood red DIY leather arrow quiver leather working project pouch dying process

Another couple applications of dye, some mahogany airbrushed around the edges, and leather sheen applied as a finish.


blood red DIY leather arrow quiver leather working project threading and stitching

I was itching to try lacing for the first time, and decided I could go ahead and do the rim of the quiver at this point. I decided on the “Mexican round braid” technique, it looked the best to me, though was pretty tedious and difficult to get the lacing needle through that very thick leather, twice through each hole.

I also added a concho and leather backing to the pouch. I’m not thrilled with how that backing turned out, but that was the best try out of about half a dozen attempts. So be it.

Wood Lid

blood red DIY leather arrow quiver leather working project thuya burl wood

Time to make the DIY leather arrow quiver pouch lid. I hemmed and hawed about this one for a long time also, trying to think how to shape leather into a lid that would look the best. I decided I wanted to try combining leather and wood, something else I’d long been wanting to do. The wood is thuya burl, a Mediterranean cypress species. It is loaded with fragrant resin, which smells great but clogs the hell out of everything you use on it. I hadn’t worked with this before, and quickly learned to remember my respirator when using the belt sander on this stuff.

blood red DIY leather arrow quiver leather working project thuya burl wood

The wood is pretty hard and shaping and sanding took a while. At this point I’m cutting shallow notches in the back of the lid to allow room for the leather hinges I’ll make.

blood red DIY leather arrow quiver leather working project thuya burl wood

Thyua doesn’t polish up super shiny. I was happy with this result, after several applications and sanding of 50/50 boiled linseed oil and shellac.

blood red DIY leather arrow quiver leather working project thuya burl wood

Leather hinges cut out, dyed, edged, grooved, glued to lid. Tiny pilot holes were drilled and then the tacks driven in.

Rim of the lid cut out, edged, dyed, ready to be glued.

blood red DIY leather arrow quiver leather working project thuya burl wood

Gluing the rim to the lid proved to be more challenging than I first thought. It was tricky setting it just right to allow enough space for the tacks, and to prevent spaces between the leather and wood at the top.

blood red DIY leather arrow quiver leather working project thuya burl wood

I tried everything I could think to clamp this properly. In the end, I did still get a couple tiny gaps that make my brain itch. Well, it happens I guess. I had thought about filling it in with something, then sanding and dyeing it, but it’s not really noticeable on the final piece. I might go back some time and fix it.

blood red DIY leather arrow quiver leather working project thuya burl wood

Glue dried, then pilot holes drilled and tacks driven.

blood red DIY leather arrow quiver leather working project thuya burl wood

The pouch is about done. I forgot to take a photo of riveting on the swing clasp.

blood red DIY leather arrow quiver leather working project thuya burl wood

The lid hinges are stitched to the quiver, now to stitch on the box. I first tried to cement it on, but the quiver was too flexible and it kept popping off.


blood red DIY leather arrow quiver leather working project

So I ended up anchoring the four corners with temporary stitches, which worked well.

But it was still tricky stitching. I punched stitch holes slowly, and only a few at a time to make sure they stayed in alignment.

blood red DIY leather arrow quiver leather working project

With the DIY leather arrow quiver box pouch finished and stitched on, it’s time to close up the quiver. This had to be done in sections because the leather is so thick and stiff. Glue and clamp it together first….

blood red DIY leather arrow quiver leather working project

Then get that edge looking nice. Sand, then bevel corners, burnish, dye, mark a groove for lacing, punch lacing slots, and lace it up.

blood red DIY leather arrow quiver leather working project

So far so good.


Designing the hangers to attach the belt straps to the quiver. They ended up needing to be quite a bit larger than I thought.

Pattern transferred to leather, cut out, edges beveled, stitching groove cut. Funny thing, I forgot to measure the D rings before I made the hangers, and by some miracle they ended up fitting perfectly.

Stamped, dyed, burnished, stitch holes punched.

Stitched and D rings riveted in.

I attached the hangers to the quiver with Chicago screws, which will allow the hangers to pivot freely.

Making the straps to hang the quiver from the belt.

First strap done. Those eyelets look like garbage on the back. I later replaced them with much nicer ones that have a backing.

Electroplating Buckles

electroplating nickel buckle set for leather arrow quiver

It took me a long time searching to find a buckle set for the belt that I thought would do the piece justice. I finally found the perfect one. Well, perfect except for that it only came in brass, which didn’t match the rest of the hardware. I first thought of painting it but decided that would look like crap and chip pretty quickly. So, I decided to electroplate the pieces in nickel. I definitely wasn’t going to spend $500 on an electroplating kit, or however much it would have cost to ship it to a professional. I was going to DIY this thing. I looked up a quick instructable and gave it a shot. Looked pretty simple and straightforward. The science bubbles tell you that it’s working!

electroplating nickel buckle set for leather arrow quiver

This was my first attempt. This was absolute garbage. The instructable left out a lot of important information and I think was meant more as a science fair curiosity than as a crafting technique.

electroplating nickel buckle set for leather arrow quiver

Second attempt. Better, but definitely not acceptable. This just looks like paint.

electroplating nickel buckle set for leather arrow quiver

Seventh attempt? Fourteenth? I lost count. This, I can be happy with.

electroplating nickel buckle set for leather arrow quiver

Deciding to electroplate the belt hardware turned out to be an entire project by itself, which took several weeks of research and many failed experiments. Nickel electroplating techniques and recipes, as I would find, are actually kind of closely guarded secrets of the industry. The professionals I reached out to were reluctant to give me more than vague direction. But, I was determined, and in my determination I accidentally discovered and then improved upon a method to achieve….passable results at a fraction of the cost of a kit. I think I spent around $50, most of that going towards a jar of nickel sulfate and a pure nickel electrode. I haven’t seen this technique mentioned anywhere else. It is much cheaper, but more time and labor intensive. I plan to write up a separate post detailing this method. I also figured out a way to do a “nickel resist”, in the event you want certain details of your piece to remain un-plated. I wanted to try leaving the recessed area of the details on the buckle in brass, with the raised parts in nickel. It worked great, but I wasn’t a fan of how it looked, too much brass. So I just plated the whole thing.

electroplated nickel buckle set for leather arrow quiver

This is the buckle set as I received it….

electroplated nickel buckle set for leather arrow quiver

And the final result of electroplating after many hours of study and experiments.

Quiver Belt

Time to make the belt. The final, and biggest stitch job of the whole DIY arrow quiver leather working project.

It gets to be meditative, just sitting there and letting your hands go on autopilot and watching them work and make stuff.

Progress photo of the belt.

With the main part of the belt finished, the hardware is glued and then stitched on.

I wanted to dress the belt up a little more and decided to make these…..mmm I don’t even know what you call them. Darts? I’ll call them darts. Designed something simple, cut it out, cut a stitching groove, stamped, beveled edges, punched stitch holes….

Dyed, stitched, burnished, and finish applied. I really liked the saddle tan & mahogany combo above, unfortunately the leather sheen finish spoiled it. Oh well, still looks good.

The darts are cemented and then riveted on.

Adjustment holes punched, burnished, and dyed.

I ended up making a third dart, otherwise this end would have been too plain looking. Also I have the end of this dart folding over under the hooks, which gives a tight fit and helps them grip the other side of the belt better, preventing the hooks from wriggling out of the holes.

Leather Arrow Quiver: Action Shots

blood red DIY leather arrow quiver leather working project

It wears well, and comfortably. The combination of Chicago screws and D rings on the hangers make a sort of universal joint, allowing the quiver to move easily.

blood red DIY leather arrow quiver leather working project
blood red DIY leather arrow quiver leather working project

Thank you for reading!

If you enjoyed this leather working project post on making a DIY leather arrow quiver then be sure to check out out our other featured DIY project build logs.


How to Make a DIY Dorm Air Conditioner (with Pictures)

The bad news is you’re heading off to college and you just found out your dorm doesn’t have air conditioning, or worse, you’re already there laying in a puddle of sweat. The good news is we’re going to show how to make a dorm legal, rules compliant DIY dorm air conditioner with stuff you either already have laying around or else can find for cheap on Amazon. Credit to reddit user for the build log and pictures!

What You’ll Need:

Finished DIY Dorm Legal Air Conditioner

Here is the finished product. It only took about 2 hours to build.

Here are all the supplies you will need to build a dorm legal DIY dorm air conditioner.

I started by unraveling the copper tubing on top of the fan.

I started to secure it with the zip ties as I unraveled more.

This is how far the first 20 ft of tubing got me. I was worried it wouldn’t be enough, but the circles I had to make got much smaller and 40 ft ended up being perfect.

I attached the two sections of tubing together and kept unraveling.

Here it is with all 40 ft of tubing securely attached.

I then cut the excess plastic off the zip ties with scissors to clean it up.

The next step was to connect the vinyl tubing to the copper tubing. I did this with hose clamps.

This is the pump I installed to pump the water through the dorm air conditioner. The first model I made used two buckets and atmospheric pressure to pump the water. I kept having to switch the buckets around, it wasn’t pretty. This little 15$ pump saved me.

I secured the pump to the bottom of the cooler and attached the “in” tube.

Then I attached the “out” tube and filled the cooler with water. The water flows through all of the tubing and then back into the cooler.

I bought a bunch of these reusable freeze packs so I could keep the water cold. I have half in the cooler and half in the freezer. I switch them out periodically.