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D0gsledboy01 Posted - 08/13/2015 : 12:30:47 PM
Does anyone know of plans for a light dogsled that I can build?
8   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Old Geezer Posted - 08/21/2016 : 05:38:41 AM
Sirius IMO is right on. In the past I've have bought for cheap and rebuilt many old sleds. At one time I had eight. I took photos, wrote notes, disassembled, stripped, used polyurethane on the wood parts. Relashed usually better than original. Nuts and bolts were replaced with stainless steel. QCR runner plastic. I'm six two so in several cases raised the handle bow. Added full baskets rather than the half basket and when done had sleds worth several hundred over the hundred dollar purchase price. Way too go.

A note. The first really new sled I bought was a Frank Hall Top swivel sled. I believe it was five hundred new and had all the toys so to speak. I used it and abused it for about five year then rebuilt it and used it for another five years. A friend of mine wanted to know if I'd sell it. He paid me exactly what I paid for it and it's the now the centerpiece for his rustic bar at his lakeside cabin. He was and is absolute thrilled with it and the price.
Sirius Posted - 08/15/2016 : 4:28:01 PM
I remember, 20 years ago, a musher from near Nolalu, Ontario running in the races here using skis with a solid wood chair attached. That was about it. The top back of the chair was used as handlebar. It was extremely light weight overall and faster than me.
Neil Rasmussen
RSmith Posted - 01/05/2016 : 11:10:29 AM
I've built a dozen of my own sleds over the years, both 'traditional' wood and so called hi tec. I also have used or have owned several dozen others. I can tell you from all my experiments,etc. to probably start with runners already built by a proven maker/designer OR use cross country skis. Use that as your starting point rather than to try to make your own runners or have the Amish make you some. Both those never really worked for me. However, that will be one of your most expensive things to purchase ( wood laminate runners ). Possibly you can find some used runners or sled that has the runners in good shape and maybe all else is no good.

Have fun and you will learn tons by building your own and tearing them apart to re-do them or re-designing them until you get something you feel you like and feel comfortable with.

Best bet is to take a peak at someone elses that you may like or get one that was all busted up or something so you can look at it better and/or tear it apart, measure, re-measure, etc.

Also check your local hockey rink and ask the manager or teams if they can save you all the broken sticks. You may find a lot you can use.

kissAnew Posted - 01/04/2016 : 1:39:19 PM

This is just one of the many designs I've used
I found a ragged-up snowmobile tow-behind. I cut it to 20' wide and 5' long, salvaging every square inch possible. I found a 7' runner that was made for them old heavy duty horse-sleighs. It had been stored in the loft of an old barn that was starting to fall apart. I cut it in half from front to back following the curve then cut again down the middle of each top and bottom piece. This gave me 2 separate sets of matching runners. 1 set was 1&1/2W x 1&1/2H. The other was 1&3/4Wx1&1/2H. 1 set was a bit high in the center so I went back to the table saw and cut the "hump" off. I made 3 cross-pieces for each set. 1 piece at the top of the curve, 1 at the bottom of the curve and 1 right at the back of the plastic sled bottom.
I bought an 8'L piece of 3/16" 2x2 aluminum angle iron, some 1x2" oak and a cpl 12" gate hinges, a few bolts and screws, eye bolts and eye screws, some drill bits, some glue, nylon string, QCR.
Now for some more measuring, cutting, drilling, gluing, bolting, screwing, grinding and sanding, and ....VOILA, a flat bottom toboggan with QCR raising the bed 3/8" from the packed trail and flotation galore where there is no trail.
The old sleigh plastic is "underneath" the runners and the QCR is of course underneath the plastic. I've had a 400ld load on it no problem. The naked sled, (no bridle, no hook or any other lines) weighs in at just over 13lb. I think the heaviest component is the gate hinge with a cpl of grade 8 bolts as icepicks & a 3"L piece of heavy 1X1 angle iron snow-brake.
Re: tracking, I cut the front 2 cross-pieces 1/4 shorter than the rear cross-piece. This creates a bit of a toe-in. Another way to ensure the best tracking is, even though my drill has a leveling bubble, I used a drill press to make the holes/pilot holes into/through the handle, risers, braces, runners, and aluminum with the sister pieces on top of the other to make sure the holes were the same place and size.
I get quite the sense of accomplishment when I build a sled/sleigh.
KUDOS to you.
I hope this helps.

Razor Posted - 09/10/2015 : 09:56:23 AM
I remember about 25 years ago when I built my first sled. I actually bought 2 different designs of sleds. Untied them to see how they were done, and dismantled them. I took measurements of every kind, from runner length, width, the height from runners to handle, mortise and tenon joints, etc. From that point on it was just a lot of modifications on the original sled designs. Making steering looser, but more responsive, runner tracking, etc. Have fun building your own sled. Just take your time, and make sure both sides are mirror images to each other. Tying a sled to track true is probably the hardest part.
ChuckCubbison Posted - 08/14/2015 : 2:51:37 PM
Here's a few places to start if you want to build a sled:,,12,609
ChuckCubbison Posted - 08/14/2015 : 2:30:28 PM
Originally posted by IdahoMusher

Save your money and buy a used sled. It'll probably cost less and work better.

Depends on what he is trying to accomplish. Many of the greatest mushers started out by building their first sled. Some of the top Iditarod guys still build their own sleds. For the purposes of just getting an inexpensive sled, it is probably easier to find a used one. But if you want to learn about woodworking and understand how a sled is actually put together, building one is a great idea. I know I have seen a few different plans over the years but I am having trouble finding them at the moment.
IdahoMusher Posted - 08/14/2015 : 1:57:10 PM
Save your money and buy a used sled. It'll probably cost less and work better.

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