A Troop Rescue Sled - 2010 Design
1st Carlisle's Dog Sled,
year after attending our first Sunset
Area Winter Camp, we decided that it was time to design and build
a new generation of "dog sled" to compete in the Rescue
Mission that was a big part of the Owen Sound camp. While our old
design worked well for what we used it for, we were concerned that
the lighter-weight design would not hold up to the rigors of the
Rescue Mission. It was time for a new design. To that end,
1st Carlisle Scout Leader Al
Ernest took upon the task of coming up with a design for our new
sleds. Two sleds were constructed as Troop projects in January
2010, one for Carlisle and
one for East Burlington.
Design Objectives: Since
we use our sleds to carry gear at winter camps, we wanted them
to be big enough to hold all our equipment.
That meant the floor of the sleds needed to be 2' wide to fit
our action packer bins and about 4' long to hold our folding table and
other long items. The sleds needed to be pretty lightweight, ours
weighs in at about 25 lbs (11 kg).
Also, because we don't have much storage space we needed to be
able to take them apart easily for storage.
sheet (4' x 4') ½ inch marine grade or good both sides plywood.
set old Cross Country skis, 200 – 210 cm long (6' 8” - 7'),
old hockey stick shaft – minimum 42” long
Spruce 2 x 2
- 6' lengths of 1 x 2 (spruce, pine or hardwood)
of spruce 2 x 4, or 4, 1' lengths
- ¼ ” x 2.5” threaded hex head bolts (2 are spares)
- ¼” x 3.5” threaded hex head bolts (1 is a spare)
– 5/16” interior
diameter lock washers (4 are spares)
– 5/16” interior diameter flat washers
(4 are spares)
- 2” or 2.5” x #8
Robertson decking screws (2 are spares)
– 3” or 3.5” x #8 Robertson decking screws
eye screws with 3/8” holes in eye
heavy nylon cord and 40' to 50' of durable 3/8” or 1/2” rope
wide cedar shims
Note: we used no wax skis as they work well in all snow conditions and
require less attention.
Tools Required for Building
Handled Robertson Screw driver or # 2 Robertson driver bit
and 1/16” drill bits, plus counter sink bit
1/2” and 3/4” wood drill bit (spade bits)
saw and or hand saw
& Measuring tape
priming outdoor paint
brushes, gloves, drop cloth and clean up materials
goggles, scissors, duct tape sandpaper and matches
Note: for group building activity it helps to have two or more of each
tool, especially drills.
East Burlington's Sled Under Construction,
Review safety procedures
with scouts, demonstrate safe use of tools, including wearing
safety goggles. Our scouts did not use electric tools except
Cut 2 x 2 spruce into 2
– 42” lengths (rear uprights), 2- 48” lengths (horizontal
rails) and 2 - 30” lengths (rope pull bars).
Cut 2 x 4 spruce into 2
-10” long rectangles (rear risers) and 2 -11” long pieces with
one end square and the other end at an angle of approximately 30
degrees so that it is about 11 “ long on one side and 9” on
the other (see side view).
Using spade bit drill a ¾
“ hole in the front riser , 1” back from the front of the
riser as shown on the detail on the side view drawing.
Mark out the location of the risers
on the skis, the distance from the back of rear riser to front of
the front riser should be 4'. Risers should be centred on skis
side to side, Rear riser should be 2” closer to back of skis
then front riser is to front of skis (for ours the front riser was
17” from the front tip of the skis the rear riser 15” from the
rear end of the skis). Note: the long side of the angled cut on
the front riser will be against the ski.
Mark on skis locations for
6 pilot holes on each ski for screws to attach risers to skis.
Pilot holes for front riser should be spread evenly with
outer holes at least 1” inside the outer edges of the risers.
Offset holes to reduce chance of splitting skis.
For the rear riser the rear pilot hole should be ¾' to the
rear of the back end of the riser as it will be used to screw into
Drill pilot holes using
1/8 inch or slightly smaller bit.
Turn skis over and counter
sink all 6 pilot holes so that screw heads will be slightly
Duct tape risers onto skis
in locations previously marked,
Make sure long side of front riser is against the ski. If
the top of the skis are contoured you may need to use cedar shims
between the skis and the risers to ensure a firm fit.
Turn skis and risers over
and re-drill pilot holes so that they extend into the risers.
the 2” or 2.5” screws to attach the risers to the skis,
do not put a screw in the rearmost hole yet. Be careful not to put
the screws in too far as this may split the skis.
Take the 42” 2 x 2
upright and drill two pilot holes at the bottom end of this 1.5”
and 2.5” from the end. Offset holes.
Fit upright against the
back of the rear riser and the top of the ski. Using a framing
square ensure that the upright is at right angles to the rail.
Then re-drill the two pilot holes so that they extend into the
rear riser. Then use 2 - 3” or 3.5” screws to attach the
upright to the rear risers.
Turn the skis over and
re-drill the rearmost pilot hole so that it extends into the
bottom of the upright. Then use a 2” or 2.5” screw to attach.
Take the 60” 1 x 2 that
will form the angled side rail and fit it so that it runs from the
front of the horizontal rail to 1 or 2 inches below the top of the
upright. The angled side rail should extend a bit beyond the
bottom of the horizontal rail and the back of the upright. Use a
pencil to mark two spots for screwing the angled rail to the front
riser and the upright. Also
mark the angled rail where it meets back of the the upright and
the bottom of the horizontal rail.
Use these lines to cut the angled rail so that it will fit
flush with the edge of the upright and horizontal rail.
Reset the angled rail in
place and drill two pilot holes at each end as previously marked. Extend the pilot holes into the upright and horizontal rail.
Counter sink the pilot holes. Use the 2” or 2.5” screws
to attach the side rails. Do not over-tighten.
Use the pencil to mark
locations for 10 eye screws on the bottom of the angled rail the
top of the side rail and
the front of the upright. The idea is to provide for a zigzag
pattern as shown in the side view drawing. Use the 1/16” bit to
drill pilot holes in the marked locations and then screw in the
eyes by hand. Put a screw driver through the eye for leverage if
Cut the cord into two 15' lengths. Melt the ends with match to prevent fraying.
Attach one end to the front eye on the angled rail with a figure 8
knot (back through). Then thread through the eyes in a zigzag
pattern pulling taut and tying off the other end with a figure 8.
Drilling The East Burlington Sled, January 2010
|Note: Since steps 2 through 18
cover building the sides of the sled, we had a different group of
scouts work on each side, ensuring all measurements were identical. A
third group could work on preparing the seat, back, rope assembly and
push bar for the divided our youth as detailed in steps 19-29
Cut the hockey stick shaft
to 43” long and sand the ends to round
Take the half sheet of
plywood and cut it into one 2' x 4' rectangle and one 2' x 2'
square (you will have a 2' x 2' piece left over).
Drill 6 - 1/4” holes in
the seat piece located ¾” in from each side and 1”, 19” and 36” from the front
edge of the seat (as per plan view drawing.
Drill four 1/4” holes in
the back piece located 3/4” in from each side and 1.5 “ from
the top and the bottom as per front view drawing.
Sand the edges of the back
and seat pieces and around the holes if necessary.
Paint the side and back
pieces. We recommend painting both sides as this will improve
water resistance and reduce warping.
Add troop name, logo, etc. as desired.
Cut the rope into two
lengths of 20 to 25', melt ends to prevent fraying.
Take the two 30” 2x2
pull bars and drill 1/2” holes for the rope and inch in from
Sand the ends of the pull
bars to round and around the holes.
Pull the rope through the
front pull bar, with and equal length extending out each side.
Knot each end to hold the rope tight against the pull bar.
Knot each side of the rope
about 4' or 5 ' behind the front pull bar. Slide the rear
pull bar onto each side of the rope and then knot again behind the
pull bar to hold it firmly in place. Ensure that the pull bars are parallel to each other.
Assembling The Carlisle Sled, January 2010
The Sleds Make Their Debut, Sunset Area Winter
Once the paint is dry on
the seat and back the sled is ready for final assembly.
Set the seat in place so
that it butts against the front of the uprights and is flush with
the outside of the horizontal rails. Then mark the hole locations
through the seat onto the horizontal rails.
Drill 1/4” holes into
the side rails. You may find it easier to drill just the front
hole first, then fit the seat in place and put a 2.5” bolt in to
hold the seat to the horizontal rails while drilling the remaining
holes through the seat holes.
Attach the seat to the
horizontal rails using a flat washer below the head of the bolt.
Tap firmly in place with hammer. Then place a flat washer, then a
lock washer and then a wing nut on the part of the bolt protruding
below the horizontal rail. Use
a wrench to hold the hex head in place while tightening the wing
nuts by hand.
Follow the same procedure
to attach the back to the two uprights with 2.5” bolts.
Place the push bar against
the back of the uprights about 4” below the top of the uprights
and centred so that equal lengths extend past each upright.
Drill a 2 -¼
inch holes through the push bar and each upright.
Using the 3 or 3.5”
bolts, with the same order of washers as before attach the push
bar to the uprights.
An inch or two below the
push bar install an eye screw on the inside of each upright.
Clip a carbiner on to each eye.
First aid kits, repair kits, water bottles and other items
can be clipped to the carbiners.
Take the ends of the pull
rope and thread it through the holes in the front risers, from the
outside in. Tie a
figure 8 knot on the inside of the riser.
sled is now ready. To disassemble for compact storage, undo the figure
8 knots on pull rope and remove the seat, back and push bar bolts
(takes 5 minutes or less).
Carlisle's Sled In Action, Sunset Area Winter Camp 2012
(Click on Graphic To See Larger Image)
Winter Camping Resources:
Sleigh Plans & Directions, Copyright © 2010 Scouts
Canada, 1st Carlisle Scouting Group
All other contents, Copyright
© 2012 Scouts Canada, 15th
Strathcona Scouting Group
Select graphics courtesy of the Web
Photo Contributors: Scouter Bill Kowalchyk, Scouter
Blake Norton, Scouter Colin Philip, Scouter Al Ernest
Page last revised Monday September 10, 2012.