Introduction: Ski Ramp (Giant Snow Ramp V.2)
This is the Giant Snow Ramp version 2. Since last year where I live we got record snowfalls so we had tons of snow to work with and was able to build up a ramp purely out of snow (link here). So this year I'm not expecting to have that much snow so to continue to ski off my roof I decided that I would build most of the ramp out of wood and build a frame. Although this version of the Giant Snow Ramp isn't free it does take away lots of the labor involved with piling up two tons of snow.
Don't be dumb and use common sense your going to be skiing off a roof.
Step 1: Materials
This project requires quite a bit of lumber 112 feet of 2x4's to be exact and two sheets of 5/8 inch 4x8 foot ply wood and a box of 3 inch wood screws. Heres a list.
7 - 2x4x16 (requires a big car)
2 - 5/8 inch 4x8 ply wood sheets
10 - 1x2x8
A few extra 2x4x8's for extra support
lots of - 3 inch wood screws
3/4 to a gallon of outdoor paint
Chop saw / miter saw
Marker or pencil
Drill and Impact driver
Paint brushes and rollers
Step 2: Design
I went through multiple designs from the ultra strong to the weak and sketchy. Ultimately I came up with a simple design that didn't use to much lumber yet was very strong. As we were building it to use what materials we had we made a couple changes so it looks slightly different from the main design.
The sides are two big 30 60 90 triangles which worked out perfectly for me not even knowing since it was 9 feet from my gutter to the ground and from looking back at photos of my old ramp I wanted the hypotenuse to be 15 ft. Then from there I estimated that the bottom would be about 12 ft so I did a little math to see how long the bottom would really be and it turned out to be a perfect triangle with each length being 9x15x12.
The deck part is 15 feet of 5/8in x4x8 plywood with 10 4 foot strips of 1x2 nailed down to hold the snow and to walk up on because climbing up a ladder in ski boots while carrying a pair of skis is not the easiest or safest.
Step 3: Placement
First off before you buy your materials and make a really nice design, think about where you'll be skiing off of on your roof and if you have a big enough yard and make sure nothings in the way like trees and big bushes. Another thing to think about is where the heck you'll store two big triangular frames and 15 feet of ply wood.
Step 4: Sides
Like I said the sides are 2 big triangles that support all the weight and is the main frame so they have to be built with care and precision or else its not going to end well. First cut all of the wood for the frame so mark two 15 foot pieces, two 12 foot, and two 9 foot. That leaves you with two 4 foot pieces and two 7 foot pieces which is perfect.
Now that you have all the wood cut start by putting together the outer triangle of the frame and remember to drill holes for the screws or else you could split the wood and for each joint use 3-5 screws you don't want this falling apart.
Next use that extra 4 foot piece and put that somewhere in the middle so that the ends are just touching the wood.
After that use the extra 7 foot piece and put it from the right angle the where ever the top of it touches the hypotenuse. The 4 foot and 7 foot pieces should be about 3 feet apart.
Now you done with one side so you just have build another side just mirrored unlike our mistake where we made two exact copies but it'll still work.
Step 5: Deck
For the deck what you want to do is cut the five 1x2x8's in half so your left with ten 4 foot sections. Next take one of the 4x8 ply wood sections and cut off 1 foot of one the lengths of ply wood so you have the total of 15 feet of deck. After you do that decide which piece will be on the lower and upper part of the ramp because of the way the measurements for the 1x2's works out. Then take the 1x2's and nail them down onto the ply wood with 1 1/2 inch nails every 18 inches starting 18 inches up from the bottom. Use about 5 nails per piece because you will be using them to walk up and they hold the snow from sliding off.
Step 6: Starting Platform
Since roofs are not flat in northern states and its impossible to put skis on on a sloped surface, your going to need to build a flat platform that will rest on the peak of the roof and will allow you to put skis on easily. Last year I did not have this and it was hard to make this out of snow since it would crush and end up being sloped.
12ft - 2x4
Either 8ft of 2x10 or ply wood (I used 2x10 because I just used materials laying around)
Chop saw/Miter saw
iPhone (Used the camera to find the angle of the roof if you don't already know it)
Step 7: Painting
When building this ramp try to do it sometime in the fall when there's no snow yet because you need to paint the bare wood to keep it from rotting in the spring. To save money on paint, go to your local home depot or home improvement store and go to the paint section. Instead of spending 20 bucks on a gallon of paint ask the people where the "reject paint" is and you can get a gallon or two for ten bucks. Make sure the paint is for outdoor use and try to pick a light color to blend in with the snow, preferably white. Next just paint everything in 2 or more coats and let it dry. Once its dry its time to store it and wait for it to get cold. Wait until you see snow in the forecast and set the whole thing up a few days before.
Step 8: Assembling and Completion
This is the tough part and it needs to be done before the first snow fall. First cut 5 or 6, 4ft long pieces of 2x4 that will be used to connect the two triangular frames. These don't support any weight, they just hold the frame together. Once you have the the frames connected, move the entire thing into position, don't put the deck on until it is moved or else it will be really heavy. Once in position and all the final adjustments are made to make it level, screw on the two decks. After that is done, carry the starting platform up on to the roof and put it into position. Lastly sit back enjoy your work you've done and wait for snow. When it does finally snow, cover it with snow and enjoy the slopes.
Step 9: Other Stuff for It
I made a ski rail for this with a Instructable coming soon. I also took a old bmx bike frame and a old pair of skies to make a skike or ski bike, it works really well supriseingly.
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Holiday Gifts Challenge
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The Mad Science Fair
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