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Kids sled

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Wlmedley:
Hoping to build my grandson a sled ,hopefully before it snows.Found a picture of one which is built out of red oak and claims to be 10 lbs.This is what I would like to try to build.The only dry wood I have is walnut which was cut on a circular mill about 40 years ago and has been in my barn and is what I will use for everything but the runners. I have some hickory logs and some lumber.Was wondering if anyone has any ideas on how I could bend and dry green hickory to make runners and seat back.All the walnut will be hand planed .Iíve already planed some and it turned out pretty good.Want to make it as light as possible.Also any ideas on thickness of runners,canít really tell by picture 

 

Wlmedley:
Also wondering how wood for bending should be cut.Quarter sawn?

btulloh:
Cool project. Not trying tp spoil your party, but itís probably better to think about having it for next year. 

Flat sawn hickory for the runners and curved part. You really ought to use hickory or maple for the other parts. Walnut tpreally doesnít habe the best properties for this, although it could be sort of ok. 

The hickory should be from the sap wood for the curved parts. Ideally a younger hickory. Real mature hickory wood is more brittle which is not what you really want for a sled thatís going to take some abuse. 

Youíll need to make some forms for the bent parts. Rig up a simple steamer box fed by a kettle on your wood stove. Not complicated, just a narrow box big enough to put the parts in one buy one. When youíre making stock for curved parts, make extras because some are going to fracture when your putting them in the forms. Pay attention to grain runout along the curved parts. Select for straight grain on the edge with little or no slope. Let parts dry in the forms for a couple weeks.  Sit them near your wood stove to promote drying, but not so close they dry too fast. 

The material looks to me like 1/4Ē thick or a hair less. Tight bends wonít work on thick stock.   

Thin stock like that might dry fast enough for this yearís sledding, but you canít rush it too much.

Looks like a real fun project to do - and use. No doubt it will be greatly appreciated and enjoyed.

doc henderson:
I have bent walnut, but it must be strait grained.  it needs heat and moisture.  If you have green wood, you can bend it after heating it and let it cool and dry in the forms.  If you have a mill, this may be the fasted and best.  if you cannot bend the thicker stuff, get thin pieces and laminate several layers.  if you are going for contrast, you could put a layer of maple or oak between two layers of walnut.  you can make one form and stack several runners on top of each other, but it will slow the drying.  lots of "winter glam catalogs" like LL bean sell these "old fashion sleds".  if you have bigger stock, you can bandsaw the curve right in the runner.  since you are the designer builder, you can make the back square if you want.  many woods can be bent and or laminated.  Better to do right off the saw.  why pay for kiln dried lumber to heat and steam moisture in again.

doc henderson:


here is one from LL bean with a cushion.  over 250 bucks.

we have one in the basement, but our kids are 21 and 23. :)

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