Friday, February 28, 2014

DIY: replacing your skate plates

The following post was written by our very own My Hammy Vice.  As a new league, little things like cleaning our bearings and choosing a toe-stop length are life-altering decisions in our world.  I remember when some of the skaters started looking into new skates and what a crazy notion that was!  Now we have girls going all out and just taking the bull by the the form of changing out their plates!  I mean, this isn't something to be taken lightly, when you are not all that familiar with this sort of thing.  But it didn't stop Renee, and she was kind enough to document the whole process.  Really for the rest of the league, but why not for anyone who needs some guidance!?
So, here it her own words...

How to Replace Your Skate Plates 
by Renee Lincoln
NOTE:  I am NOT a professional skate plate replacement person.  I wanted new plates, bought them, and installed them.  I am just letting you know how I did it.

Stuff You Will Need…

1.      Painters Tape
2.      Pen
3.      Wrench and correct
4.      Screwdriver
5.      Ruler
6.      Dremel w/metal cutting
7.      Hot glue and glue gun
8.      Drill and correct drill bit
9.      New plates
Optional: vice grip

 Step 1:  Strip down your skates.
    Remove your laces, toe stops, insoles (that thin piece of material on the bottom of the inside of your boot), and truck assemblies.  All that should be left are the king pins, plate, nut and bolts.

            Back off the nuts, remove washers and bolts.  You may have to hold the bolt in place with the screwdriver while backing off the nuts so that the bolt doesn’t spin.                                           

Step 2:  Fill holes with hot glue 
(ONLY if the holes do not line up with your new plates).  

You can also use Bondo putty, but I didn’t have any! Clean off the sole of the boot and remove any extra glue.

Step 3: Mark your center line

Instead of marking up the actual boot with chalk, I placed painters tape in all the areas that needed to be marked. The first places you want to tape are from the top to bottom of the toe cap, the back of the heel and across the bottom of the boot where the ball of YOUR foot is.  To tape this spot, I put my boot on and stood on the ball of my foot, then placed the tape.  It is usually around the widest part of the boot.

1.  Mark the center of the heel.
    2.  Mark between your 2nd and 3rd toe. (Your big toe is #1)  Draw this line all the way around to the bottom.

    3.  Run a piece of tape from your toe mark to the heel mark.      
    4.  Take a ruler and draw a line from the heel mark to the toe mark. This is your centerline! (Measure from the center line, out, at the ball of the foot mark, it should be equidistant.)

Step 4:  Marking and drilling out the holes
1. Put on the front truck (instructions on how the truck assembly goes is below) so you can line up your front axle at the ball of your foot mark.  It is much easier if you have a “third hand” to do this.  I have a vice grip, but you could probably use a couple of cans of soup or something to hold the boot.
2. Place some tape across the boot where your holes are going to be so that you can mark them.  Line everything up and mark the holes with a pen.


Make sure when you do your second plate the front of your plates are the same distance from the tip.  Mine were ¾”.    

3.       TAKE THE PLATE OFF AND DRILL OUT YOUR HOLES!  I know you’re scared, but commit to it!

(Oh, if you are using soup cans, you might want to adjust them so you don’t make a mess!)   
**I chose to use a drill bit one size smaller than needed figuring that I could drill the hole out more if had to.  I didn’t need to though.**


Step 5:  Attaching the new plates

When you purchased your new plates they should have come with a plate mounting kit, which consists of nuts, washers and bolts.  Mine did not, so I had to order separate.

With a screwdriver, insert all four bolts through the inside of the boot.  Attach your plate.  If your drilling skills were not all that great, you may have to wiggle it on a bit.  Amazingly, mine lined up perfectly.
Place a washer and nut on the bolt.  Tighten down using a screwdriver to hold the bolt in place while screwing on the nut.

 Oh, if you don’t have a deep socket wrench, you can use an open wrench, if your bolts are too long for the socket.
Tighten down, but not so tight that your bolts go through the boot.  I tightened just until they indented a bit.

Once you’re all tightened up, you will need to cut off the excess bolt threads.  

The easiest way to do this is with a dremel with a metal cutting wheel.  


Now all that is left is attaching your trucks, wheels, and toe stops!


Place a washer (cup) and a round cushion (bushing) onto the kingpin.

Next goes your hanger (the piece that your wheels attach to) and the conical cushion (bushing).

Then the smaller washer (cup) and kingpin nut.  This is where you tighten and loosen your truck.

And there you have it!!  (I apologize for the odd format.  Renee's kick ass layout did not want to cooperate with my stone-age computer and software.)
Sure, drilling holes in your skates probably makes you want to puke (if you're new to skating equipment alterations), but just take it slow, measure twice, and start with a smaller drill bit and go bigger if you need to (great tip, Hammy!!)
Good luck!

*We were in Cape Cod Magazine!!  I'll be posting again soon with that excitement.
**We've started another fresh meat clinic.  This time it will run for 6 weeks and be a more involved workshop/boot camp.  It's very exciting and just the first of many, I'm sure. (this clinic is full, so I won't bother with a link at this point.  Keep up with CCRD fan page, if you want to be sure and catch the next one.)
***We're having another fundraiser!  This one involves raffles, bands, door prizes, and the unveiling of Salty Doll IPA! A brew concocted just for us by the hubby of Bandita, who happens to be the brew master at our local brewery!!  Here's a link to the fundraiser event page...You should plan on going.
 --> BEER,BANDS,BROADS! (sorry it that's offensive...i think it's catchy.)
****You can find out a little about the magazine spread and the fundraiser on the fan page too!! HERE

Friday, February 14, 2014

What's Goin' On?

Well, it's winter on Cape Cod.
It's been snowing.
And then freezing.
A little more snow.
And now, it's raining, to wash away all of the ice that has formed. Yay!
Now, we wait for more snow.

What else? 
 Umm...this cold has made our concrete floor unbelievably slick!  We may as well be skating on ice some nights!  We did take a week off of practice, though.
Cape Cod Roller Derby has finished their first round of minimum skills assessments!!  
Exciting, I know.  
Every skater now knows exactly what she needs to work on to move on up.  Those that have passed all levels tested so far are now getting ready to get down and dirty and start learning some killer moves.  This is a major step in this journey.  As with everything else, it's a learning experience for everyone involved.   The training committee spent the entire week of assessments AND the entire week 'off' from practice, watching skaters (6 groups!) and pouring over the mounds of notes that resulted from the assessment process.  Just when I thought I could not take another minute of this stuff, it's time for practice to start up again.

So, what did I do about my mixed emotions?  
I 'planned' (a term I am using very loosely here) a practice that was just short of a free-for-all.  We played some games, and had a couple pace line races to get back into the habit of being on wheels.
I feel like I am being handsomely rewarded for my dedication, too...we have guest trainers lined up for almost the rest of this month!!!
I often think of how fortunate we are, having these guests come help out.  And, we are.  But, the fact of the matter is, this is how the roller derby community works.  Leagues help other leagues.  We all want every league to be takes a village, so to speak.
So, these next couple of weeks will be a whirlwind of information being thrown at us.  And we are super grateful.  Maybe there will be some more spotlight posts in the future!!

In the meantime, some of us got out on the ICE! 
For a change of pace, and to help out the Animal Rescue League of Boston, a few of us headed to the ice rink to try our, at ice skating.  I used to ice skate every day, every winter...oh, how easy it is to forget something if you take 20+ years off!!
Agway Dog with Kraken, Hartless, Bandita, Boom Boom Kitty, My Hammy Vice, Grim Chance, & Brandy (derby name yet to be decided) at the ARL fundraiser Paws on Ice.
Some of the girls were in a shoot for a web series!
I'll post more details on that when there are more official updates to post.
Some CCRD skaters and the film crew of a web series...stay tuned for details!

Come join the fun!
We're getting ready for out next skills clinic, too.  This time around we are getting more intense, and holding a 6-week 'boot camp' type clinic.  Each Friday, starting February 21, potential skaters will take part in our fresh meat clinic and learn the basics that they will need in order to join the league.  Here's the link if you, or someone you know, is interested.  Space is limited.  Gear is also very limited, so if you have your own quad skates, helmet, pads, mouth guard, etc...even better!  Again...go HERE, if you're interested.

Speaking of 'limited gear'...we have a fundraiser coming up in March!!  I'm not sure I've mentioned this before, but roller derby is made possible by members dues and fundraising.  Established, bouting leagues also have the luxury of ticket sales to help pay their rent, utilities, loaner gear for clinics, etc.  We are not at the 'ticket sales' point yet (soooo close!).  This is why we must put on a show and ask for help.

We have reached our 1 year mark, and are very close to actual game play!  This fundraiser will help us secure our space back at the Hyannis Youth and Rec Center this spring.  That is when we will have a nice smooth floor...that is when the public will be able to really check us out...that is when we will become a league that can start selling tickets for honest-to-goodness roller derby bouts! That moment we all have been waiting for relies on the help of the entire community!

So, here's a link to the Fundraiser event (a facebook event page, so, you'll need to be on facebook to see it). Here's a link to the CAPE COD ROLLER DERBY page, in case you are unable to make it to the fundraiser but have something you'd like to donate to our raffle, you can get in touch with the founders/coordinators through this page.  And, just to cover all of our bases, here's a link to our Pay It Square page, if you'd just like to help out a little, because it all helps!!

Oh, and one more thing....If you are just so in love with the thought of being a part of this awesome, crazy adventure, but not into skating...I URGE YOU to consider volunteering when the time comes for us to start bouting!  There are plenty of opportunities to get involved off-skates.  Please feel free to contact Lynne/Talia through our facebook page or website.