How to Build a Skateboard Manual Pad

Manual Pad Building Instructions for Skateboarding, BMX Bikes and More

Manual pads are the easiest skateboarding obstacle to build.  These instructions are for a 4' by 8' manual pad, but you can adjust the measurements to make any size of a manny pad that you'd like.  This should be the cheapest building project I have on this site, running you much less than $100 US.  It's the perfect beginner project.

Photos and instructions are thanks to Jason over at DIYskate.com. Also, check out Owning Your Own Ramps 101 for more help and instructions on the care for and legality of ramp ownership, and How to Build Skateboard Ramps and Obstacles for more building projects.

01
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How to Build a Manual Pad: Materials Needed

Manny-Pad-6.gif
Jason, from DIYskate.com

To build your skateboard manual pad, you're going to need some building materials. Most of this stuff can be bought at a home improvement store like Lowes or Home Depot (or the equivalent in your area).  You should hopefully be able to get the angle iron there as well. Here are the building materials used for making this skateboard manny pad:

  • One 4×8, 3/4" plywood sheet
  • Four 2×4' boards, 8' long
  • Three 2×6' boards, 8' long
  • One box of 1 5/8" screws
  • One box of 2 1/2" screws
  • Two 2×2, 1/4" angle irons


Here's a list of the tools that you'll be using for this project:

  • Tape Measure & Pencil
  • Circular saw
  • Drill w/ philips bit
  • 1/16" drill bit
02
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How to Build a Manual Pad: Getting the Parts Ready

Manny-Pad.jpg
Jason, from DIYskate.com

Gather your materials. Start with the 2×4's. Cut all 4 of them down to 3'-9 in length. (you will get two out of each 8' long 2×4). Set them aside. Now take the 2×6's and cut one of them into two pieces 3'-9 in length and leave the other two at 8'-0 for the sides.

03
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How to Build a Manual Pad: Framing the Outside

Manny-Pad-2.gif
Jason, from DIYskate.com

Take the two 2×6's that you cut down to 3'-9 and attach them to the two 8'-0 long 2×6's as shown.

You should pre-drill the screw locations near the ends with a 1/16" drill bit to keep them from splitting.

04
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How to Build a Manual Pad: Framing the Inside

Manny-Pad-3.gif
Jason, from DIYskate.com

Now place the 2×4's inside the structure you just assembled at 10 1/2" on center. Flip the whole thing on its back and lay it on a flat surface to make it easier to attach these 2×4's.

05
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How to Build a Manual Pad: Placing the Plywood

Manny-Pad-5.gif
Jason, from DIYskate.com

Flip it over so that the 2×4's are at the top again and place your sheet of 3/4" plywood on top. Attach it to the framed portion with 1 5/8" screws.

06
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How to Build a Manual Pad: Attaching the Coping

Manny-Pad-6.gif
Jason, from DIYskate.com

If you want to add some angle iron to the edges and make it a manual pad / small grind ledge, do so by following the instructions on the grind box / ledge.

If you want to make the manual pad a little higher, use 2×8's or 2×10's instead of the 2×6's. Any taller than that and you'll want to frame it up like the grind ledge.

07
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Caring for Your Homemade Manny Pad

Manny-Pad.jpg
Jason, from DIYskate.com

Once you have the entire pad built, go back over it and make sure you don't have any screws sticking out at all. You'll probably want to do this again after a few days of using the pad, and then every once in a while after that! Nothing will ruin your day more than catching a screw...

If you leave your skateboard manny pad outside, make sure to cover it with a tarp at least (you can also build it out of pressure treated lumber, or paint it - these will protect it too).  This whole project should cost less than a hundred bucks, and you'll have your own grind ledge! Enjoy!