Instructables
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Picture of Restoring An Old Sled
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My wife and I acquired an old sled on our last trip to New Mexico that had been sitting outside for probably 30-40 years.  Because of the dry conditions, it was in reasonably good shape for the shape it was in!  The wood was dry, but intact.  The paint on the metal frame was bleached by the sun, but only had a little surface rust.

Because of the dryness of the wood and the condition of the paint, I decided to disassemble the sled and refinish it.

The tools used were as follows:

- electric drill & 1/4" bit
- wire brush
- small punch
- wrenches
- screwdriver
- rubber gloves

Supplies purchaced included:

- primer for metal
- tung oil finish
- sandpaper
- carriage bolts, nuts, & washers to replace the rivets
- zinc plated wood screws
 
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Step 1:

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The first thing I did was photograph the sled (top and bottom), and temporarily label each wooden part.  I have found that a good set of digital prints are very valuable when it comes time to reassemble something you've taken apart.

The sled was riveted together with 3/16ths diameter rivets of various lengths.  Since my rivet gun only works with 1/8th diameter rivets, I knew I would reassemble using carriage bolts.  So, the first thing I did was drill out the end of each rivet and drive it out using a small punch.

As I removed each wooden part, I labeled it with a marker (in an area where it woudn't be noticed) so I would know exactly where it belonged.

The cross-pieces were all riveted in place, and the long boards were nailed to the cross-pieces.

Great instruction very detail (sandpaper grit etc). Very clean and the photos are fantastic. thanks a lot.

7 years ago an older lady gave me a radio flyer sled in great condition. Paint still good. Just need to recondition the bottom blades. And recently working in an attic I found another one exactly like mine looking a little run down. But nee to be repainted and sand the blades. Are they worth anything. If so contact me through email. And let me know you how to refurbish it or can they be sold if interested. marquismac81@gmail.com
Jusferfun3 years ago
I have the same sled you are using in your Instructable and mine still has all the paint on it. I be alive the name of both of our sleds are called The Western Clipper.
Jusferfun3 years ago
I have the same sled you are using in your Instructable and mine still has all the paint on it. The name of your sled is a Western Clipper
That's pretty sweet! A long time ago we found a broken sled at the bottom of our hill, it was a Radio Flyer III or something, really short sled, we replaced two broken boards and it worked great ever since.
manorch5 years ago
Why aren’t there any “Citizen Kane” based jokes in this? Great article! Perfect simplicity.
jongscx manorch4 years ago
"It was his sled... you're welcome. I just saved you 2 hours you'd never get back otherwise..." - Peter Griffin
luvit5 years ago
you lie. i mean, a sled... in NM? you lie. have fun, liar. ;)
knife141 (author)  luvit5 years ago
Ever been to NM? There are mountains over 8,000 feet, ski resorts, lots of snow in the winter.
luvit knife1415 years ago
it's cool, dude. lol. get it? it's cool... lol.
seamster5 years ago
This shows how (relatively) simple it can be to breathe new life into old stuff. It makes me want to track down an old sled, or perhaps an old pair snow shoes.

Thank you!