Ever wondered what to do with that old snowboard just collecting dust? Build a sled of course! The winter months can be difficult to get through sometimes. Dirt biking season slows down and the days are much shorter. This is usually when a lot of indoor projects and activities take place.
The fun never stops for us though. We try to find ways to stay active and enjoy the outdoors, no matter the time of year. The kids love to go sledding and play in the snow. We have several sleds and a couple of snowboards. The snowboard always seems to be a favorite, but is always a bit awkward trying to sit on it with the bindings in the way. I’ve had an idea for several years to build some type of sled and this year I finally decided to follow through with the idea. Continue reading to check out the build and some of the things I learned.
My original idea was to build some handles that would pivot to give me some kind of braking device, as well as help in turning. This may be revision two some time down the road. As for this build though, I just kept it simple.
One Saturday morning, I wanted to see what I could come up with around the house for parts or supplies. The goal was to keep it simple at first to see how the initial concept would work before investing too much time or money.
I first headed to a local Good Will store and luckily found an old snowboard for 5 bucks! It didn’t really matter what it looked like or the kind of shape it was in, as long as it was still in one piece. Scored on that one!
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Here’s a list of other parts and tools I had around the house already:
- 1/2″ Pan head wood screw (version 1, didn’t work)
- 1 1/2″ Flat head countersunk screws (version 2)
- #10-24 Locknut
- 1″ Poly pipe (sprinkler pipe)
- Pipe cutter
- Heat gun
- Channel locks/pliers
- Cordless drill
- Old dirt bike seat cover
- Old carpet foam
- 1/2″ plywood board (roughly 6″x6″)
- Staple gun
- Staples (1/4″)
Here’s what the sled looked like the first time I put it together. I took some pieces of the poly pipe and cut two pieces a little shorter than the length of the board. I then had to heat the areas where the screws would go and squeeze them together with pliers and hold it until it cooled. The screws were then driven right into the board using a drill.
The seats were made by taking a couple pieces of plywood and wrapping them in some old seat covers I had. I also added some old carpet foam to give it a little padding. The vinyl was then stapled in place and the seats were screwed in place using the existing holes where the bindings would normally go.
Well, the initial fastening method didn’t work very well. The first time we took it out, the screws pulled right out of the board. I pretty much figured that would happen but we put it through a good trial run and learned some things.
After the screws pulled out the first ride, I figured I could run some screws all the way through the board. I didn’t want them dragging on the ground so I drilled a countersunk hole in the bottom where the handles would mount and then attached a locking nut on the upper side. The extra length of the screw was then cut off with an angle grinder. I didn’t worry about the middle support because the screws held tight in that area. Although it could be done the same.
Before I put it all back together, I gave it a quick spray with some black paint and slapped on some decals. Didn’t turn out half bad I’d say for just throwing it together with what I had laying around. And, it’s a blast to ride with the kids!
Summary and Performance
Here’s a short clip of the sled in action. It holds the kids in nicely, gives them something to hold on to, and is much quicker than the traditional sleds. One improvement in the future may be a rudder of some sort to keep it straight, but it still works fine. This sled is also much more durable than the plastic sleds because it does not get brittle in the cold and crack. We have performed many sled runs and everything is still holding up great!