Toboggans make ski trips fun for all the family. Greig Morgan makes his own.
The snow has arrived on the skifields just in time for the school holidays.
A friend was talking to me about taking his family to Ruapehu for a long weekend, but as his children are still quite young - Olivia is 5 and Dylan 18 months - he thought it would be more fun for them to just play in the snow than try to learn to ski. Instead, the children could build a snowman, throw snowballs and slide down the slopes.
So I thought I'd make a toboggan for them, and make it big enough for an adult to fit in as well, because I know from my own experience that I wouldn't want to miss out on the fun.
Using something with a curve (I used a large bucket), mark the front end of your toboggan's two sides. Use a jigsaw to cut to the mark. Do the same for the back of the sides with a smaller curve, making sure the back curve is facing down.
Measure and mark where your handles will go in the sides. I made mine 25mm down with two 30mm x 240mm-long openings, spaced about 200mm apart. It's easier to use a hand-router if you have one. If not, cut out the handles using a jigsaw.
Measure and mark your sheet of cross-ply 600mm wide and the length of your side rails, allowing for the curve, and then cut out. Glue and screw (using 32mm screws at about 40-50mm apart) to the bottom of one of the side rails, keeping flush, then repeat the process on the other side (pre-drill the ply before you screw to prevent the wood from splitting).
Measure and trim the support rails to fit across the bottom of the toboggan between the sides. Angle the front support to fit into the front curve. Place a support at the back, then space the others evenly. Glue and screw the side rails to the bottom supports (pre-drill the screw holes first). Screw the bottom of the toboggan to the bottom supports using 20mm screws.
Sand all the sharp edges using 80-grit sandpaper, then tidy up with 120-grit ready to paint or stain.
The toboggan didn't take too long to make and, hopefully, my friends will get years of fun out of it.
1 sheet of cross ply 6mm
2 lengths @ 1200mm of 100x25mm dress gauge H3 (for sides)
5 lengths @ 580mm of 100x25mm dress gauge H3 (for bottom and side supports)
Stainless screws 8g x 32mm
Stainless screws 8g x 20mm
Exterior wood glue
Hand saw/skill saw
Sand paper 80 & 120 grit
2mm drill bit (for pre-drilling into end grain)
* Greig Morgan is a cabinetmaker by trade, who now runs his own landscaping business, GT Landscapes.