Welcome-Welcome! I want to start out by saying Happy Birthday to all my Marines, it was their birthday yesterday, November 10. Also, Thank you to all Veterans, I know today is their (our) day, but I am truly thankful each and everyday, and try to show it as best I can. It has been a long time since the last post, LMB and myself have been a lot of running around and staying very busy. If you don’t keep up with the weekly projects at the LMB house, make sure you check out Liz’s Periscope -LizMarieBlog, we have been staying pretty frequent with the weekly posting every Friday night, and we will do our best to continue that. We have a very fun and exciting weekend ahead of us this weekend; we are going to be participating at The Black Sheep Holiday Pop Up and Barn Sale hosted by Binks and the Bad House Wife, if you live in Michigan or even northern Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, come swing by and check it out, we will have some really good vendors joining us, just in time for the unique holiday gifts. Last week, LMB and myself were preparing for this weekend, and we took a glance at out holiday inventory, a lot of really cool stuff, but not a whole lot of DIY. I told Liz, Mr. and Mrs. LMB cannot show up to a Barn Sale without any DIY items, so I started the brainstorming. One of our recent trips to Target, she bought some Christmas Tree decor, and one of the ornaments where this tiny wood Christmas Sled, and I had my inspiration. Referencing some of the vintage sleds that we currently own, I tackle a DIY Christmas Sled made out of wood, and here is how the first one turned out.
This is the first of Three, DIY Christmas Sled’s I have made(so far), and each of them just a little different, because making the same thing over and over just becomes monotonous, but all the measurements are the the same and the only real difference was the head part at the front of the sled. The first one I made was generally out of scrap pine and the seat area was made out of left over reclaimed wood. The DIY Christmas Sled I am showing in pictures, I built out of a single 1x6x8ft Pine Common Board.
2 inch Wood Screws
Paint – Red
Stain – Espresso by Minwax
Wax – Dark Brown by Maison Blanche
Sander (belt sander preferably)
I plan on using the whole board and leaving very little for scrap. To do this, I measured and traced out each part of the build, to mitigate excessive waste. I started with the two largest items, the rails that run up and down the entire sled. They measured 4ft from each end, and where 2 inches thick, with the exception of the curve at the front. The curve was very easy, I did not spend a much time ensuring accurate measurement in the radius of the curve, I simply found something (painters tape) that was circular and had an appropriate scale to my pace and marked it up and traced around it.
To keep the curve consistent on the inside of the curve and the outside I used the same painters tape and traced out the “bottom” side of the rail. Repeat these steps for the other rail.
Next, I moved on to the front part or what I liked to call the head piece. This piece was my favorite on each build because it was really the only area that you could get a little creative with some easy designs. For this one, I again used my environment, and found a spray paint can and used the diameter of the can for my design. I marked out the space that I did not want to exceed and built my design within that rectangle. As you can see I used different lines, because once I get the saw blades moving any solid black line is getting cut, so I try to distinguish cut lines from measurement lines. For the tapered and rounded corners, I found a plastic washer placed it on the vertical and horizontal lines and traced it out. Using a straight edge I marked out a line from center circle to the corner circle and free-handed the connecting curves.
After completing the head piece I moved on to the boards that will be used for the seat. Again making everything fit out of one 1×10, I used the “negative” cut area of the rail to start my template for the top board or the seat. The center board was the longest measuring at 29 inches while the other two measured at 24 inches, and the curve was the same (painters tape).
The last pieces that needed to be marked out were the ribs the ran horizontally connecting one rail to the other. The ribs where 13 1/2 inches long across the top, I notched out a 1 inch by 1 inch block out of the corners and tapered the inside. The idea behind the tapered center was if this was a real sled you would not want the ribs to run on the ground creating drag.
Now that everything is marked out we can cut away. This job I used a JigSaw and Scroll Saw, but everything could have been down with the Jig-Saw, but I just got a Scroll Saw from an estate sale and wanted to use it for this.
Once everything is cut out, general “mock” up of where you want everything to lay is typically a good idea. I got the idea of where I wanted the head unit to lay, and where I wanted the last rib to run across, and measured out everything in between.
Starting from the back and working your way forward, I used the long seat piece to square out the rails. I installed the first rig 8 inches away from the back, using a scare to make sure everything lined up correctly. The gaps in-between ribs were 10 1/2 inches. The head unit measuring from the back (I did not want to mess with measuring from the curve) it measured at 40 1/2 inches. From the scrap I cur out 3/4 inch by 3/4 inch square with the jigsaw and rounded them off on the belt sander to create a small spacer to bring them up to the same height as the seat will boards.
Pre-drilling the head piece and spacer (separately), I started a screw into the head piece until the tip of the screw was sticking out just a little bit, maybe 1/16 of an inch, and then lined it up with the pre drilled whole of the spacer placed it on my 42 inch mark and fully installed the head piece.
The last step was to install the seat boards. The seats sat one inch inward from each side and I eyeballed the gaps in between boards, installed wood screws at each rib point center on the boards, and the sled was complete.
I threw an intermediate stain down first, Espresso by Minwax, probably my number one go-to for the rustic look. Followed it up with a solid red paint, and Dark Brown wax by Maisonn Blanche. To add that little bit extra, I took a “S” metal cleat and cut it to 6 inches, screwed it from the Head piece to the seat, (in a real sled this helps steer the sled supposedly-Ive never had any luck with it). During paint, I sprayed the metal strip with Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint, just slightly and let it sit to get a rougher texture that I later followed up with a heavy coat of red and then dark brow wax tapped on top. At the front of the rail curve, I also added a 3 inch strip, just to give it one more small unique characteristic, using the edge of a work bench I hammered a curve into the metal strip pre-drilled 4 holes and screwed it on to the curve of the rails. Once installed a few more taps with the hammer to help form it to the curve and applied the same painting technique as I did the first metal strip from the head unit to the seat. Let the pain dry, drill two holes for the rope and your done. (Side note- take a rag with some of the Dark Brown wax, and run it along the rope a few times to give it a used look. )
That was it, a little more detailed how to, but the build itself was only a few hours and a lot of fun. Like I sad I built, 3 of them all a little different and unique, and we will be selling them at The Black Sheep Holiday Pop Up and Barn Sale. Let me know what you think, and find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Thanks.