Young children love being pulled around. Whether it is in a wagon or on a sled. This sled is for slow pulling, not free-style sledding because the kids can't steer or slow down.
1- empty, clean plastic 55 gal. barrel
1- pair cheap, used downhill skis ( I get them for $5 at thrift stores)
6- wooden blocks (mine are 2-1/2" x 4" x 6" cut from pallet runners)
12- #8 x 2" Philips head wood screws
12- #8 x 1" hex-head sheet metal screws or pole-barn screws
2- wooden blocks 4" x 4" x 3/4" (and an optional 2-1/2" x 3/4" wooden circle)
1- 3/8" x 6" eye bolt with 2 washers and 2 nuts
1- 3/8" x 10' rope or a hitch of your design to adapt to your towing machine (or human pull)
Table or circular saw
Drill bits, countersink tool and screw driver bits
Pencil and marker
Philips screw driver
Rasp or file
Wrenches or adjustable wrench
Workbench with vise is very helpful
Step 1: Preparing the Parts
1) Use the screwdriver to remove the bindings from the skis. You may need some penetrating oil. If a stronger person helping doesn't work, use a hacksaw and cut them off.
2) Cut the 6" long blocks. I used pallet wood but a 4" x 4" from the lumberyard will work.
3) Using a table saw, cut a bevel along one 6" side of each block.
4) Cut the barrel in half the long way. Cut so the threaded plug is opposite the open, cut section. Use a rasp or file to smooth the cut edges.
Step 2: Ski Assembly
1) For 70" long skis I marked the bottoms at 13", 19", 28", 34", 42", and 48" from the back end. A 6" block will be attached to the top of the skis between each pair of marks.
2) Drill and countersink from the bottom for the wood screws.
3) Secure a block in the vise and position a ski on it so the block is between a pair of lines (6" apart). Drill a pilot hole into the block, through one of the holes in the ski.
4) Install a wood screw through the ski into the block.
5) Drill the second pilot hole and install the second wood screw.
6) Repeat the process for the other two blocks for that ski. Make sure the bevels on the blocks are all on the same side.
7) Place the ski with blocks on the floor and put the second ski next to it, on the block bevels side. Set the remaining blocks on the ski so the bevels are next to the bevels of the first ski. Mark both the blocks and the ski so you know how they are to be oriented when they are attached.
8) Repeat Steps 3-6 for the second ski and blocks.
Step 3: Attaching the Barrel to the Skis and the Tow Rope
1) Position the skis on the floor with the block bevels to the center so the skis are 12" apart at each end and the rear ends of the skis are aligned. A piece of masking or duct tape on the floor will help with the rear end alignment.
2) Carefully set the barrel half on the skis so it is centered on the blocks, front-to-back.
3) Using a permanent marker, mark your intended drill locations. These marks should be about 1-1/2" from the ends of the blocks that should show through the barrel.
4) Move the barrel half off the skis and blocks and drill holes for the screws through the plastic.
5) Realign the skis and carefully place the barrel half back on the blocks. Use the hex screws and attach the barrel to the blocks. Put one screw in the front block and one in the rear block of each side and then go back to install the rest of the the screws. Drill pilot holes in the wooden blocks as needed.
6) With the sled assembled, cut the wooden blocks to secure the tow rope to the sled.
A) 1 round piece to fit inside the threaded barrel hole. This piece is optional.
B) 2 pieces scrap wood about 4" x 4" x 3/4". Smooth off the rough edges.
C) Drill a hole in the middle of the blocks large enough for the eye bolt to fit through.
7) Assembling the hitch
A) Assemble a nut and washer to the eye bolt and run it almost all the way to the eye.
B) Insert the eye bolt through one of the 4" x 4" blocks and 2-1/2" round piece, if you decided to add one, and insert the threaded end of the eyebolt through the threaded hole in the barrel.
C) Assemble the inside 4" x 4" block over the eye bolt and add a washer and thread on the second nut.
D) Tighten the nuts.
8) Securely attach the rope, or hitch of your design, to the eye bolt with a proper knot.
9) Wait for snow, if you can, and give the kids a ride. Put an old blanket in the bottom to cushion the ride if you want.
10) BE CAREFUL. THE SLED HAS NO BRAKES and NO STEERING. HOLD THE SPEED DOWN.