Introduction: DIY Snow Chains

About: I am a 21 year old DIY ist and Tinkerer with a deep interest in the field of robotics, electronic and cooking. I am skilled in wood and metal work as well. I work in my basement workshop and i am mostly scratc…

Few days ago my family and I planned a trip to the hilly areas of our country. In the winters, snow fall is pretty common in those areas. Although the spectacle of snow fall is very pleasing but the trouble it causes is of concern. One of the major trouble is driving in the snow. Snow driving can be dangerous and deadly in hilly terrain.

To counter this danger I decided to buy some chains for my car to increase the traction of the tires. There are many ready made solutions but they are all expensive. So as a true DIY ist I decided to build my own using regular chain and some rope. Its really easy and gives you and edge on the snowy roads.

With the snow storm in the USA this is a pretty effective and cheap way to get by and stay safe on the roads.

Step 1: Materials

The things you would need are pretty straight forward. The quantities mentioned are for one tire.

  1. Chain = 18 Feet
  2. Chain Lock = 1 Peice
  3. Rope = 20 Feet
  4. Tire to test on

Step 2: Calculations

Well first you need to calculate the lengths. my tire was almost 2 ft diameter. You need to calculate the circumference of the tire. Use the formula

Circumference = Diameter x (22/7)

The cut the chain almost a foot short of that circumference. For me it was 5 ft.

Step 3: Cutting the Chain

The best way to cut is to put the link in a vise and use a hack saw. Then juse use a chisel to expand the gap and remove the adjoining links.

Cut the following:

  1. 1 x 5ft
  2. 12 x 1ft

The images show two 5 ft pieces but i later changed the design and used rope for the front edge as opposed to chain.

Step 4: Making the Links

When you will make the cuts, the piece you cut will become the link you will join to the chain. We will use these links to join the chain.

Step 5: Assembly

Lay the 5 foot length and attach the one foot lengths to the long chain. Attach each after every four links. Add the cut link and hammer it shut using a hammer.

Here two chains are shown but later i removed one of the sides and added rope. The rope is much easier to work with. Just start the rope from one edge and tie a knot with every link, making sure the distance is equal between the links.

Step 6: Putting It On

Putting on the chain is a little tricky. First you would lay down the chain and drive the wheel over it almost half way. Then using the chain lock you would lock the back side of the chain on the back of the wheel. For the front end you would take the rope and tie it as tight as possible. The goal is to keep the chain centered from all sides. After the front ring is tied, use a second piece of rope and start to thread it from every rope segment. Dont tighten it at first. Once you are all threaded, straighten the chains and tighten it from all point. This way the chain will be taught and most effective.

Step 7: Conclusion

This was a fun and easy way to build chains. The practical report will be up soon as to how they performed. I hope this was helpful. If you found my instructable up to the mark, please vote for me. Thanks.

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