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
This is required because you will touch the boots frequently while mounting. Not always with clean hands.
Step 2: Positioning
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
To check if both boots are equal, place the bottom boots together.
Step 4: Prepare Your Plates For Positioning
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
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
Take out the insoles and laces and stuff the boots with some newspaper.
Step 7: Drill Your Holes
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
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
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.