How I Do My Wire Channels

One of the things i do with my boards to set them apart is to inlay the phase leads for the motors into the deck. While primarily a way to keep them from getting snagged, stretched, and from rubbing up against the motor cans, It also serves as an aesthetic asset. I make them part of the theme of the build with colored wire when possible and complimentary colored paint or stain in the channel on the wood itself as the background. Then i fill it in with glass clear resin and do my bottle glass grip over the top of it. ITs actually sort of a trademark of mine in a way, so i’m planning to file for that officially soon. But that does not mean i won’t encourage you to use this method in your own personal builds. I’d be delighted. A few people already have. It just means i’ll be forced to sue faceless asshole corporations that use it and try to leverage it as branding.

But how do i do all that shit? Here’s some pics that will explain it. I’m using a build i’m doing for Gear Diary in this post, so you may recognize some of the artwork involved if you follow them and read their articles.

First, I have an x-carve that does the actually channeling. Originally i sat in my driveway with a dremel and did this a couple of times, but then i realize that a robot would be better at it. So fo the first couple of builds i did, i actually sent my boards of to @cmatson to carve them for me on his, and when i got the cash together i got my own.

But remeber, you don’t need an x-carve to do this. You can do it with a decent router or even a dremel. Hell, if you’re feeling especially “authentic” you can use wood chisels. The x-carve just lets me drink heavily while watching a robot do some cool shit.

Next up is prepping the channel. After sanding and getting it clean, you’ll want to do somethign with the wood before you put the bullets in there. Paint or stain is fine, but keep it thin. The resin still needs to bond to all the imperfections so if you use paint, let it soak in and don’t coat it too much. In this pic, the paint takes very well so it can stay thin and still have adequate coverage.

After its painted, the next thing is to tap in the bullets. HEre’s where having an x-carve comes in handy. It can not only carve the channels, but also drill the holes for the bullets. If youre using a router or dremel, you’ll need to drill the holes manually. Measure your bullets and find a drill bit to match the outer diameter exactly. You’re going to tap the bullets in with a hammer, so they need to be super snug. This is to keep the resin from dripping through between the wood and bullet connectors. IF you can’t get it snug enough, you can also use some hot glue to keep it from dripping out. Epoxy doesn’t really stick to hot glue all that well, which is something we’ll use to our advantage next.

After the bullets are in, get your wire and for each one, make it the exact length it needs to be in order to lay in there flat on its own and not poke up or curl. Tin each end of the wires, get some solder into those bullets, and then solder each wire onto the bullets. For the ones near the wheels, you can sink the female bullets in deeper and dremel off the ends to create a flat spot for soldering. For the males you’ll want to fill in the hole with solder to give yourself a pad. You don’t want the wires bending into the backs of the connectors, they simply won’t lay flat that way.

When that bit is done, it should look like this:

Notice the thin blue tape. Now comes the trick with the hot glue. I use hot glue to build up a barrier around the outside of the channel to keep the resin from flowing all over the board. This is important, because you have to overfill the channel in order to sand it to the shape of the deck and also to let the bubbles rise up far enough to sand them all out.

So then we start on the hot glue walls:

BECOME A 3D PRINTER. Slowly trace a line of hot glue around on the tape, then when you circle all the war around, keep going on top of the glue you already had down. I usually go up three layers or so because my decks have weird curves. This takes maybe one long stick of hot glue.

Once that’s don and the glue is cold, mix up your resin and pour it in:

it takes me about three ounces or so to properly overfill the channel to where the bubbles will rise past the sanding line. Then set it somewhere and let it cure overnight.

Once the resin is hard, the hot glue just peels right off like so:

Then its a matter of just sanding the shit out of it with some 80 grit. I use an orbital sander for this, but you could just as easily waste an entire day hand sanding it. With an orbital it takes about 30 minutes or so to grind it down and then another 5 minutes or so with 220 grit to smooth it over.

So hopefully, when its all said and done, you’ll have this before you clear grip it to show off your channels:

Happy channeling!


Awesome thread dude! Thanks for taking the time to lay it all out!

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oh i forgot to mention the resin i’m using here:

You can get it online and possibly locally if you have a West Marine store near you or another store that sells composite materials for fixing boats.

the 105/207 combo is for super clear applications such as topcoats, or what i’m doing here.


great work! very inspiring!

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:open_mouth: Will definitely try this once! woah, thanks for sharing legend!

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How flexible is this the 105/207 combination? I’m just looking for the optimal filler to be used for battery to vesc (and possibly motor wire) channels in a split enclosure on more flexible deck (think loaded vanguard)…and that’s assuming it even really matter (I’m good with electronics, less so with wood)

True artistry, thanks for laying this all out in your thread for us.


It’s not that flexible. In a boosted style configuration where the deck is allowed to flex between boxes, and the channels along with it, this would likely crack and separate from the wood. There’s no flex in my decks in that area so i can get away with it.

For that kind of application you’re better off using very shallow channels in which you can lay braided copper, such as grounding strap or something similar, then pot it with something flexible like silicone and then grip over it. Boosted doesn’t even do that, they just grip over kapton tape IIRC.

How deep do you route your channels

5 plies deep. I have a 9 ply deck.

Do you know how many mm??

it varies because the deck is curved and the xcarve is straight, but the wire is about 4 or 5mm thick, i’d have to measure it.

Ok, don’t stress if it’s too hard just wondering was going to route my own channels

no stress bro.

7mm deep. I looked up my template on easel. because of the curve of the concave i have to set it 2mm above the wood in the home position then set the template to cut 9mm deep, resulting in a 7mm deep cut in the shallow side.

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Ok sweet thanks, not sure if it will be possible for my deck as it is only roughly 8mm thick

@longhairedboy I’m gonna do this on my board in a couple days with a router, any tips? I think I’m gonna do it on the bottom of the board like in this thread. I’m only running single motor. You can check out my thread if you need more info. Any help is appreciated :slight_smile:

A slow and steady hand. That’s the best advice i can give you. Don’t get in a hurry. Pretend you are a robot.

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what do you do with the sensor wires?

usually i run them through the riser and then from the bottom of the riser into the box using a flat bit of stiff and thin plastic sheet to keep the wires neatly in a flat row when i heat shrink them all together into a flat ribbon.

but as soon as i find a 6 pin connector that’s round and small like a bullet they’ll go through the channels like the rest of the wires.

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This is the best connector i’ve found so far, but still too expensive

There is a version that is a little bit smaller, M5 i think, but only 4 pins

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