How to Wax a Toboggan





Introduction: How to Wax a Toboggan

About: I live on the east coast of Canada, (New Brunswick). I have been tinkering and building things all my life and still manage to learn something new and exciting every day.

Turn your wooden toboggan into a real rocket sled by simply getting a good coat of wax on it.  
You will need some paste wax and a couple of cotton rags, as well as a bit of elbow grease.

Step 1: Get Things Together

Start by getting your toboggan warm. and gather your supplies.

Step 2: Wax On

Just like the karate kid, get the wax on, about 3 coats if it is the first time the toboggan has been waxed. 

Step 3: Wax Off

once the wax has had a chance to dry and harden up a bit, about 30 minutes, buff the wax off with a clean dry cotton rag.

Step 4: Chill Before Serving

After you have buffed the wax set the toboggan out side in the cold to chill down. Find a hill and start shredding on your super fast rocket toboggan. 



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    18 Discussions

    The kind of wax you used worked well for my son's sleigh, but once I discovered toboggan/ski wax I never looked back. It lasts much longer and protects much more. However, something like Johnson paste wax gives a lot of zip for the time that it is effective! I was pleasently surprised.

    KellyCraig, can you go through all the steps one by one. I like your ideas but I get confused easily. Can you also tell me what sealant, wax or other products you recommend using to condition the toboggan. Thanls

    love it, just started snowing here and it's my 3 year olds first real chance to enjoy some snow fun, building a toboggan here at work using a pick and mix off your site as a template and saw the wax instructable, believe it or not there just happened to be a tin at lming success, I'll be back for more
    my feet, so my first visit to your site is an overwhe

    1 reply

    Enjoy your sledding and this site, it is chock full of great information.

    Nice tips. You can check out for a map of local hills, and also add hills to the map for others to locate and enjoy. :)

    Well...don't go putting any of that stuff on my sled Clark. Remember I have that metal plate in my head.

    Naw, And I was shocked what these things are selling for, the 6' one was $100.

    hand-crafted wood things are expensive... plastic injection molded things are cheap.

    Hehe, given the time and work that goes into making a toboggan with the steambent curve in the front and then lining up the bent slats, boring holes, conuntersinking them and mounting the screws that keeps it toghether I'm surprised it didn't cost more.
    Especially if you take into account that the maker wants his share, the seller and then of course the tax authorities.

    Plastic injection requires a very expensive tool but then it's cheap and fast to make each new one.

    Nice instructable friger.

    Btw, I wax my plastic sleds and snow racers using hard car wax and it works very well and doesn't wear off as quickly. I assume this can be used on a finished tobbogan as well.

    I waxed our new wooden toboggan will all-temp cross-country ski wax. It was WAY easy -- one coat, light buff and off to zoom down the hill at incredibly fun speeds. I would imagine we'll have to wax it more often because the wax is so soft.

    1 reply

    That would be the easiest to apply, it works very well too. 'i used to use that on my wax-less skis even on the kick zone , it made a huge difference, but it wears off fast, i am sure someone here could come up with a cheap home brew.\
    i dont know how accurate this is
    it did mention using spay furniture polish, i use pledge on my bikes, its the best/cheapest cleaner i found for the paint and chrome.
    the $10 cans of all purpose race wax, the ski and snow board /xc ski shops sell would probably last for a lng time.
    the main thing is do not use kick wax , which usually looks like a 35 mm film cnnister. hard glide waxes are sold in bars , which require a lot of work compared to the soft waxes, comes in bars

    I imagine it would extend the life of the sled-boggin (funny joke right?)? How long have you been waxing your toboggin, long enough to notice if it staved off rot or decay?

    2 replies

    if you look in the pics, you'll notice some discoloration on the back edges, that comes from standing it on its end on a concrete floor for one summer, the things don't have much on them for a finish and it certenaly wasn't water proof. The only reason to wax them is to go like a bat out of hell on the hill, any side benifits are a bonus. When I take my little girls for a ride on them I have to dig in my heels to slow us down, they freak out a bit at the speed.

    You can bleach the stains out of the bottom edge of your toboggan by painting it with some bleach water and waiting a while. It may take several applications, but it usually turns out well on mildew, that is if it isn't already sealed.

    A good, common sense instructable. Thanks.

    If the wood you are waxing is raw (unfinished), water will cause it to "feather." Even if you wax the bottom, water, such as from melting snow, can still soak the wood. You can reduce this by treating the wood with a good quality finish.

    Top quality finishes used out of doors are expensive. One of the reasons is, they must flex with the movement of the wood, or they would crack, eventually allowing moisture in and, then, holding it in. That's one of the reasons why wax works well for applications like this. It flexes.

    You can take protection of your exterior wood products a step farther by treating them with hardening oils, such as boiled linseed oil, tung oil, or even walnut cooking oil, before applying wax. These finishes are relatively inexpensive, but, like the wax application, have to be maintained.

    You can thin your first coat of hardening oil using fifty percent mineral oil, turpentine or de-lemonine. Apply it and allow it to soak in. You can brush more on the spots that soak it up (ideally, the wood would, eventually, become saturated). After you've quit brushing it in, wipe off the excess. Otherwise it will orange peel.

    Let that coat dry for a day or so, then add a twenty-five percent mix. Again, after sitting for about fifteen minutes, wipe off the excess and allow it to dry.

    You can apply a final coat with no more than ten percent thinner. This should be wiped off, after sitting, also.

    If you're impatient, you can go straight to the ten percent mix, but it wont be as effective.

    Once your oil finish is dry, wax away.


    Rags with hardening oil get hot, due to the polymerization of the oils. THEY WILL CATCH FIRE, if you don't allow them to dry out, or to keep them in a sealed metal container - outside and away from combustibles. You can also spread them out and allow them to dry, then throw them in the trash (again, away from other combustibles).

    Again, don't let pools of the hardening oil dry. They WILL orange peel.

    1 reply

    Thanks for the input! I don't use BLO much but this makes me want to start using it more often. And yes those oil soaked rags will catch fire, and faster than most people think (this is experience talking).