A quick and easy instructable for turning discarded luggage into sledges.
It is easy to see the potential for snowfun with a discarded suitcase, especially as ones with sledge-like vertical indentations are a common design.
- One discarded hard shell suitcase (large enough for your sledge rider to sit in);
- 4x Bolts (depending on design);
- Rope / cord (optional); and
- Cushion (optional).
- Scissors; and
You will also need snow (obviously).
Step 1: Get a Suitcase
In my area, there are often discarded suitcases next to rubbish bins outside local buildings. Luckily for our purposes, the most common reason for discarding is broken wheels, handles or zips.
A fully hard-shell suitcase will become two sledges, there is no need for wheels or zips on snow!
Tips for picking a suitcase are:
- Size - get a suitcase your rider can comfortably sit in.
- Strength - pick the sturdiest suitcase you can, some are made of thin plastic which will not last more than a few runs.
- Shape - flat based suitcases are more stable, and ones with vertical grooves will go straighter down the hill.
Step 2: Remove the Handles and Wheels
Get your scissors and cut small holes in the lining (in this example it is a black fabric) behind the handles and wheels. This will uncover the fixings that hold on the handles / wheels.
Usually you can use a simple screwdriver to unscrew each item, sometimes a drill may be required to drill out small rivets.
Step 3: Cut the Zip to Separate the Case Into Two Sledges
Cut the zip and anything else holding together the two sides (on this case there was a small rubber strip).
You now have your two sledges. But no way to hold on / drag your sledges up the slope / steer.
Step 4: Add a Handle for Transport / Steering
In this example I re-used the suitcase handles, alongside some old bike tyre to make simple handles. I have measured them to reach the riders hands when sat in the case.
My tyre-handles are screwed together using the fixings which used to hold the handles onto the case. I did consider using excess flat cord from a rachet strap.
Mounting the handle:
If using something flat like a tyre or strap, drill a small hole in the corner of the case, and use a bolt to fasten it on. Washers / threadlock will help spread the load and prevent the bolt getting loose.
If using a rope, drill holes large enough for your rope and either:
- Knot each end on after passing it through the holes; or
- Loop the rope through and tie it together in the middle.
Step 5: Go Rock the Hill!**
You are now ready to (carefully) try out your new sledges . Go easy at first to get the the hand of how your design slides and steers.
For extra rider comfort, add a cushion to sit on.
**I have not done this yet, as the snow has stayed away so far this winter - pics / vids to follow.