Roller Skate Plate Mounting Guide

If you are attempting to build your first pair of skates, expect it to take at least a day.

If they can roll in a straight line and take less time, you’ve done it!

Skate mounting is more an art than science. You should not think about the cost of the boots you are mounting. A steady hand and clear thinking are essential.

This method has been tested with many types of boots, including soccer cleats, football boots, speed shoes, and art boots.

Step 1: Protect The Suede

Step 1: Protect The Suede

This is required because you will touch the boots frequently while mounting. Not always with clean hands.

Step 2: Positioning

Step 2: Positioning

a) find the widest part of your boot and mark its middle
(i use my old set square and a water - soluble marker pen or a pencil on black.)
b) find the middle of the heel and make a mark there.
c) connect your two marks and extend the line all the way to the front and back of your boot.
(here the set square is handy because it bends a bit and boots aren't perfectly flat.)
(i usually get this wrong on the first try - upper line here)
2nd foot & better pics because daylight
2nd foot & better pics because daylight 2
2nd foot & better pics because daylight 3

If you are doing a traditional mounting, you may need to mark the center point of where your front axles will be.

The goal is to have the front axles sticking out from the boot on each side relative to the widest.

Step 3: Checking If Your Lines Match

step 3 checking if your lines match - front
step 3 checking if your lines match - back
inbetween put on your new boots as often as you like and marvel at how beautiful they are and how well they match your pyjamas!

especially do this whenever frustrated by mounting process!

To check if both boots are equal, place the bottom boots together.

Step 4: Prepare Your Plates For Positioning

step 4 prepare your plates for positioning - you need little marks in the middle at the front:

note: on plates with off-set toe stops the middle has nothing to do with where the stops are! on mine the gaps dont even match!
and at the back

(i used tipp-ex on these black plates, combined with a marker pen for the front marks.)

If your plates don’t have these marks, you should focus on the lines of your kingpins, pivots, or pivot cups.

Step 5: Place Plates on Boots Where You’ve Drawn Your Line

step 5: place plates on boots where you've drawn your lines and mark the spots where you need to drill holes
at this point it makes sense to stick on wheels and attach the boots to the plates in some non-permanent way. i use blu-tack.

then i turn them around and check my positioning from all sides and angles.
you can - carefully! - put them on as well and see if they feel right to you
ideally you'll end up with two perfectly marked boots, ready for drilling.

(in this case i had to correct the position of middle line and dots/circles on the left boot by abount a millimetre.)

Your personal preference will dictate where you place your plates.

I prefer to place mine forward, but most dancers, especially Dutch, prefer theirs at the back. This makes it easier to get up on their front wheels. For outdoor/street skating,

it is better to place your plates forward because you can easily overcome obstacles.

Try different positions if you are unsure. If you prefer a long wheelbase, the plate will likely be as long as your boot.

Step 6: Take Out the Insoles and Laces

step 6: take out in-soles and laces, stuff the boots with some newspaper or the like.
(some people forget this, so its worth mentioning!)

Take out the insoles and laces and stuff the boots with some newspaper.

Step 7: Drill Your Holes

step 7: drill your holes
if you like, you can just drill the front ones first, put in bolts and attach the plate with regular non-nylock nuts to double check the position of your rear holes before you drill those. this is mostly a good idea when mounting boots with flexible soles that aren't really flat.

When mounting basketball boots or any other shoe with soft, cushiony soles, it may be easier to melt the holes with a hot screwdriver.

Step 8: Mounting

step 8: mounting
i use 4mm stainless steel bolts and little washers under my nylock nuts.

(philips head bolts are best)

Once the nuts are near the plate, it’s important to not tighten each one completely. Instead, Give one turn to the diagonal, then the other on the opposite side, then the third (diagonal from the 3rd). Keep going until you have all the nuts tightened.

This prevents plates from getting too stressed in one area and could cause damage.

5mm mounting bolts are the standard, except for artistic/roller hockey mounts in Europe. You can also buy dedicated mounting kits that make it easier.

For my Bonts, footie boots, and basketball boots, I used 4 mm bolts with different heads – wider and flatter.

Step 9: Saw Off Your Bolts

step 9: saw off your bolts

You don’t have to cut the bolt ends. Instead, you can break them off. I prefer sawing, as it allows me to remove the plates and reattach them later with the same hardware.

Step 10: Enjoy Your New Skates!

step 10: enjoy your new skates

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