Do you have about 10 board feet of hardwood, two 3' lengths of 3/8" dowel and a pint of spar varnish laying around the shop? If you do, you have the materials to build this sweet little sled, which would make a great gift for any snow-loving child you may know. Lowe's is happy to provide this information as a service to you.
Photo 1: Stringers glued and clamped.
Using S2S 3/4" hardwood, rip two pieces to 3/4 x 3 x 46" for the runners. Rip two pieces 3/4 x 3/4 x 46" for the upper parts of the runners. Rip one piece 3/4 x 2 x 26" for the handle and two pieces 3/4 x 2 x 15" for the stringers. You now have the parts cut out for the chassis of the sled.
On the runners, measure and mark from the front at 8, 24, and 40" – centerlines for the handlebars and two stringers. On the 2" sides of the handlebar and stringers, mark centerlines to line up with the marks on the runners and layout the positions with a good sharp pencil.
Photo 2: Stringers and crosspieces glued and clamped.
Using the 3/4 x 3/4 x 46" upper runner material, cut the lengths to fit between the stringers and handlebar and out to the ends of the runners.
The glue-up in photo 1 shows the parts clamped in place with 2" spacers in place. By tapping the ends with a mallet you can get the joints nice and tight while retaining perfect alignment. No glue is used in the area where the spacers are, at least not yet! An option to building up this area with strips is to cut your runners 3/4" wider initially and mill the notches out. The built up method is a bit stronger and requires fewer tools to accomplish.
Photo 3: Drilling for reinforcing dowels.
Once the glue is dry, cut out the profile for the runners. The profile is the same on the rear as on the front; it is turned upside-down.
Use a batten (a 1/8 x 3/4 x 20" piece of straight-grained hardwood) to draw the curves on the upper parts of the runners. Leave 2" of material for the thinnest part of the runner.
Photo 4: Deck marked for cutting.
To use the batten, simply bend it on the wood and mark the curve with a pencil. Be sure to leave 2" on either side of the stringers and handlebar for strength.
Using a 3/8" round-over bit, route the edges which will not be part of any joints. Also round the tips of the handlebars and glue up, as shown in photo 2. When dry, reinforce the joint with a pair of 3/8" x 2" dowels, as shown in photo 3.
Photo 5: Deck attached to stringers.
To get a smooth arc for the deck of the sled, space the planks 3/4" apart and use a batten or a template to mark out the curve, as shown in photo 4. Cut to shape and round over the edges with the router. Again, the same curve is used for the front and the back.
Apply two or three coats of spar varnish (marine quality varathane) to the chassis before securing the deck. This will provide a higher level of protection than applying after the surface has been made inaccessible. Coat the lower side of the deck at the same time. Let the parts dry before attaching the deck to the chassis.
To attach the deck to the chassis, be sure the outer boards have 2" dowels on the edges going into the runners. They are on 3" centres straddling the crosspieces. All the rest of the dowels are 1 3/8" long and are set into the handlebars and stringers. The centre board can be slid forward 2", as in photo 5, or left even with the other deck boards. Sand the protruding dowels even with the surface and apply the spar varnish to the top of the deck.
Now you're ready for snow on the lower slopes