How to Make a Wooden Sled

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Sleds have been a winter essential for thousands of years. Native Americans used toboggans to travel through northern snows. The early European colonists made sleds for both work and play. For many, sledding was a favorite childhood activity. Adults today have warm memories of cold winter days spent speeding down snow-covered hills. Sleds come in a variety of sizes and designs. Some are store-bought and highly decorated, but only a homemade sled can inspire true ingenuity.

Things You'll Need

  • Sled body:
  • 4 wooden slats 3-by-48 inches, 1/2-inch thick
  • Runners:
  • 2 wooden slats curved upward at one end, 4-by-60 inches, 3/4-inch thick
  • Cleats:
  • 9 wooden slats 2-by-10 1/2 inches, 3/4-inch thick
  • Handle:
  • 1 wooden slat 2 1/2-by-24 inches, 1/2-inch thick
  • Wood screws
  • Drill
  • Rope
  • Lay the four sled body slats next to each other on a flat surface 1/2 inch apart. Place three of the cleats on top of, and perpendicular to, the sled body. Space them evenly and attach with wood screws.

  • Use the wood screws to attach one cleat upright to the end of each one of the three horizontal cleats. The base of each upright cleat should rest firmly on the horizontal cleat.

  • Affix one runner to each set of three upright cleats. The runners should extend 12 inches beyond the front of the sled. Runners need only curve upward slightly at the front end. They do not need to meet the body of the sled.

  • Drill one hole 2 inches in from each end of the handle. Attach the handle to the front end of the runners.

  • Thread a rope through the holes and tie securely in place. The rope may be used to pull or steer the sled.

Tips & Warnings

  • Rub some sled wax on the sled's runners to make them slide more easily through the snow.
  • Always sled in areas that are closed to vehicular traffic. Use only clear and open hillsides. Trees and other obstacles can be dangerous.

References

  • Photo Credit boy on sled image by Maxim Petrichuk from Fotolia.com
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