Re: Klondike - Yucca Council
Andrew Hagemann (hagemann@VISI.NET)
Mon, 15 Dec 1997 22:06:48 -0500
<snip> (El Paso, TX) Klondike Derby.
> I also need sled building hints.
While I don't live in Texas, I do know a bit about Klondike Derby sleds.
After participating as an adult advisor (aka the past-mid-course fight
breaker-upper) on several great KD's, here are my recommendations:
1. Make it light, light, light!
2. And rugged, rugged, rugged!
3. Don't use PVC pipe. PVC becomes too brittle to be useful at about
40 degrees F. Your carefully constructed sled will shatter the first
time it's flexed. Trust me. I've seen it happen.
4. Use anodized aluminum pipe for the frame and nylon pack cloth for
the sides if you're rich (or know someone who is). If you can get a
metal fabricator to donate the material and someone to TIG weld it
together for you. You can probably find an upholsterer who will sew up
the nylon panels for you. Set the grommets yourself. Use nylon rope to
lash the nylon panels to the aluminum frame.
5. Use 2x4 and exterior-grade plywood construction otherwise, using a
"dog-bone" design for all cross-pieces to reduce weight but retain
strength, and using 3/8-inch thick CD exterior plywood *for the bottom
only*. Fasten four or five horizontal slats of 3-inch plywood (more
rugged than "real" wood) to four or five declining-in-height, vertical
2x2 "timbers" to build the cargo body. Don't use solid rectangles of
plywood to enclose the sled. Use three strips of plywood to save
6. Make sure that the sled is no wider than an average-sized
twelve-year-old-boy's shoulders. Make it just long enough to
comfortably hold a GI duffel bag laid length-wise in the cargo area (a
surplus duffel bag will easily hold all the gear that a sled team must
7. Use a "new Army" style duffle bag, the kind with the backpack
straps, so the Scouts can tie the straps to the uprights, thus retaining
8. Place the opening of the duffle bag toward the front of the sled
for easy access to the gear that's wormed its way deep inside the bag
during "mad" transits.
9. IMPORTANT: Even if you don't typically have snow on the ground for
your event, and we rarely have snow here in southeastern Virginia, make
your runners at least three inches wide to make it easier to slide the
gear-laden sled through the mud.
10. IMPORTANT: Saw the bottom of the 2x4 runner bases with a slight bow
to them. This small amount of "rocker" will make it easier for the sled
driver to turn the sled around corners and reduces the total surface
area of the runner in contact with the ground, thus reducing friction.
11. IMPORTANT: Fasten old skis (if you're lucky) or an 1/8-inch-thick
piece of 3-inch-wide aluminum (if you're not) to the curved runner bases
with a good waterproof glue *and* countersunk flathead construction
screws every four inches along the runner.
12. IMPORTANT: Make the aluminum "rub rail" flush with the outside
edge of the wooden runner base for safety.
13. IMPORTANT: Don't let the sled's cross braces become "stump
catchers". Fix that by a) making sure that the bottom of the sled
clears the ground by at least six inches, and b) by fastening a thin
sheet of aluminum to the bottom of the cross braces to act as a skid
14. Use the Artilleryman's Hitch to tie at least six shoulder loops in
the 3/4-inch-diameter braided nylon pull-rope. Don't use three-strand
nylon rope since it catches on sharp things and comes unraveled too
I hope this helps.
Andrew Hagemann <firstname.lastname@example.org>
SA, New Scout Patrol, Troop 6 (Colonial Virginia Council)
A "Charging" Buffalo, SR-158 / Jamboree '97 Metal Work MB Booth
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City