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Sled construction help

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LyNx

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I'm going to attempt to build my son and our god-daughter a sled ready for the arrival of the winter snow. Was just going to build a quick plywood version but i'm looking a jazzing it up a bit.

I want to build this out of something nice, have good construction techniques and finish it well. At the moment i've just come up with a rough concept of how i would like it to look.

The bottom rail was going to be laminated to the required thickness and solid for the rest. I think the dovetail joint between sections will be strong enough but a don't know how to fix two cross rails into the side frames at the moment to support the seat section.

Any ideas on a good timber to use and a glue that will be suitable for the laminating of the bottom rail.


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Chris Knight

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It should look really great - love your wood texture!

You will want a waterproof glue - two choices really, epoxy or Balcotan poly, both being used by the boating fraternity for laminating. I would not rely on a dovetail joint but instead or as well as, put a fat 4 inch screw up through the runners into the pillar supports and slather that joint in epoxy before screwing it up - be careful not to get too much epoxy in the screw hole - a hydraulic lock will split the wood - DAMHIKT.

The rails can easily be fixed across with any joinery you like - halving joints, M/T, dowels etc.. If you do it whilst the wood is all square edged and then carve/shape the resulting joint it will look very pretty. I would build up a heavier section at the joint interfaces by gluing on extra bits of wood to allow a flowing curve to be carved/rasped into the separate components.
 

LyNx

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WH, thanks for the reply. It was whilst looking over your site the i decided to go the more difficult route :)

I'm just trying to draw up the cross rails to get a better idea on things, as they are not so visible then a simple joint be be in favor.

Should be a fun project :?

Andy
 

tim

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Andy

Here are some pics of one of our sledges (this is the larger one). Both are over 30 years old and get a lot of abuse in the winter here. Those that have met me know that I am not tiny and this one has also been towed behind a land rover at 30mph.

I think the inclusion of metal runner and some form of springing is absolutely necessary.












Hope they help

Cheers

Tim
 

LyNx

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Tim, that looks alot of fun and the type of model i'm going to build for myself :D

I haven't forgot about the metal runners, just didn't show them, but what do you mean about the "springing"

Andy
 

tim

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The metal straps joining the runners to the legs to the top. The few times that I have looked down (never good if you want to keep your teeth) they seem to be doing a LOT of work!

Your son and god daughter are going to have such a great time watching you do all those test runs .... just one more and then you can have a go......... :lol:

Cheers

Tim
 

GCR

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LyNx

Great drawings, are you sure its a sled and not a coffee table?? I would use ash for the runners, a little lighter than your drawing but tough and able to withstand much flexing. It would be quite easy to steam the runners into shape, you just need a length of tube (drainpipe) and a wallpaper stripper for the steam. If laminating, you will need a former and many clamps. I have always used Cascamite now renamed Extramite for laminating and outdoor work. It seems to be totally waterproof and it will not "creep" after setting (thus allowing the laminations to slowly straighten out). I would consider tenons or dowels for the joints, probably better able to withstand the multi-directional stresses to which the sled will be subjected.

Bob
 

LyNx

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Thanks for the comments. It does look a bit OTT for a sled but it'll be a nice little project with some real wood and not MDF :evil:

I don't see this sled being used much, the little one's are only 2 and i think i'll be building a bigger, faster, family sized one for the main slopes. This one was more for a little walk around the park sort of thing.

I don't mind creating the former and laminating the sections as it's a bit more to do and a good learning curve. What do people usually allow extra for spring back or will this be minimal on something like this. I was going to build up from 3mm sections to 18mm over-all and then increase sizes around joints as WH stated.

Going to get a price for european walnut as it has a nice grain but if too much then softwood studding from wickes will do :wink:

Andy
 

GCR

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LyNx

3mm thick laminations in straight grained ash would bend well. If there is any "diagonal" grain they might well snap. If you use a timber wich does not have a "straight" grain or which does not like bending you could have problems at 3mm and may need to go thinner - its just a case of experimentation.

Bob
 
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