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Thread: Freight sled bottom material ??

  1. #1
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    Default Freight sled bottom material ??

    Okay you guys help me out here. I built a 8 ft. by 32 in. flat bottom freight sled and need some suggestions for suitable bottom material to attach to the plywood. Obviously P-tex is preferable but I took one look at the price and my cheapskate-affective-disorder just flared up on me something awful. Is there some other acceptable substitute without spending an arm and a leg.
    Perhaps some of those large plastic totes used in the oil field industry? Can you find those used surplus?
    An old plastic canoe?
    Where do the boaters get the stuff for bottoms?
    I have seen galvanized metal used, but it seems like that would freeze down pretty bad and not slide as well.
    If I fiberglassed it, would that crack out?
    Ideas??? HH

  2. #2
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default How about

    How about using a couple of those kids roll up plastic sleds for the plastic. You may have to start at the rear, overlap the next piece an inch and work foreward wraping it around the front.

    Sportsman Warehouse usually has sleds for pretty cheap.

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    Default

    Might check with an airboat shop. They may have some old UHMW from a boat that still has a little life left in it.

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    Default Cheap at twice the price

    In the Snowmobile Forum I laid out how I have built UHMW tub sleds for 20 odd years. Yes, raw UHMW is expensive compared to some material, but if you bought UV resistant, and kept it out of the sun during the summer, it would last longer and require less maintenance than any other material or type of sled.
    My experience is that sleds only break at the most inconvenient time. Personally, I hate unnecessary maintenance, and the sled you are building falls into that category. So do steel, aluminum, and cheap plastic. So do runner sleds, articulating, and the list goes on.
    Nope, can't say as I have any economic gain to pass on this information, and as I already said, there is a lot of guidance in the other forum. UHMW is easy to work with, and if a guy had questions he could always drop me a line. About all I ever got from my friends was the cost of the material and a cold beer or two. (no american light stuff either)
    White UHMW is considered virgin. It is not UV resistant. The first order I placed they lied to me cause I knew enough to ask the question. The sleds built w/ white lasted 4 to 6 years.
    Not all colored UHMW is UV resistant. Whole sheets will have a tag or label and will state if it is.
    Black is not UV, and is normally a lower end product. It is still much more durable than lower grade plastics.
    Another plus is that UHMW is 95% buoyant. Yes, it floats as high out of the water as plywood. Last item, UHMW is sold by the pound, even though it is in sheet pricing. If you want a better price, co-op with other forum members and if you can't get a deal in AK, buy it in SEA. You will need to buy 10 sheets normally for a price break.
    Good luck with the sled.

  5. #5
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default What AKRiverrat said

    Harry, spend the money on a 32" x 8' long piece of 1/4" UHMW sled plastic. Use stove bolts to put it on, counter-sinking the holes so the bolt heads lie flush with the plastic. It will last years and won't break. You will be glad you spent the extra money now, cuz anything else is at some point gonna break out in the field and leave you without a sled. Last time I bought sled plastic from Bucher glass in Fbks, I think an 8' long piece 16" wide (1/4" thick) was around $125. So you're looking at double that price I guess. Yeah, it's spendy, but worth it.

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    Default and ditto Bushrat

    How many trips have we been on BushRat when something broke and ruined the adventure or made everything just a pain in the fess. Yep, things will happen, but golly, a guy takes a little more initiative first, might save him bunches later.

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    Default for once we agree

    For once bushrat and I agree on something

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    All right, all right #$%^&**%&$ You guys convinced me. I'll just double up my medication, wait til she's out of town, go to the plastic store, and do it right. HH

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    Default Good job, you saw the LIGHT!

    Atta Boy Harry H. You just step right on into that hornet's nest so we can see the fireworks!
    Remember to tell her it is all about safety. She does not want you breaking down when it is really cold outside does she?

  10. #10

    Default post a picture

    post a picture of the sled

  11. #11

    Default Runner material

    I have ripped stips from plastic 55 gallon barrels with my table saw.
    It is about 1/8th to 3/16 thick. Over lapped about three inches to get the length needed. Held up well.

  12. #12
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Hey Jon...

    Quote Originally Posted by fisherman222
    For once bushrat and I agree on something
    Jon, I bet we agree on a lot more things too <grin>. I got out for the first mush yesterday, pics posted on the mushing forum just now. No snow to speak of but can get around a bit on the river ice. Looking fwd to trapping season and hope marten prices hold up. Good luck to you this winter,

  13. #13
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    AAarrgh, just when I had seen the light, along comes HoleintheHead to tempt me from the straight and narrow!! Oh the torment--
    Good suggestion. Did you shingle it front to back? How wide were your strips? Did you use stove bolts too?
    For the money, this may suffice for my limited expeditions this year. I will also look into the airboat shop idea- thanks FarmerGrant.
    AK RR, I can see her tuning up "The Look" already :-D.

  14. #14

    Default Plastic barrel runners

    Yea just overlapped them front to rear. I was cutting 4" wide strips.
    Just layed the barrel on its side and set the ripe fence on the table saw to the width you need.
    I also have a fold a sled with runners, cut some barrel material about 18" wide and ran it from the tongue to the back. Covered the area between the two runners. Makes the sled float pretty good in the deep snow.

  15. #15

    Default Plastic barrel runners

    Forgot,
    I used elevator bolts instead of stove bolts.
    Picked them up at Fastners and Fire in Anchorage.
    Easier to recess them into the plastic, the head is thinner.
    If you have not seen them before a google search will show them.
    If your in need of a barrel I have an extra one, I am in Anchorage.
    PM me.

  16. #16
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    Default Just use Ice...

    worked wonders when there wasn't any plastic or metal back in the day...

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    Default UHMW Boat Bottoms

    I bought the self-adhesive UHMW slicks from a company called Garland Manufacturing in Maine. They also have some extruded profiles that I used to wrap around my SportJon boat as a rub rail.

    http://www.garlandmfg.com

  18. #18
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    Default

    I have used the stainless steel metal from a kids playground slide, to cover the bottom of home built sleds, that worked great. That's some pretty heavy stuff. I've also used steel roofing material, that worked pretty good too. The ribbing helps it track straight also. I've used home made sleds a lot, if you ride with prudence you will have no trouble. But if you ride like some people do, fast and furious, ignoring stumps, rocks, and speding you will have problems. I've been towing one of those infamous articulated sleds for twenty four years with only one incident. That was my fault, I hit a hole in the trail going about sixty miles and hour and broke the A frame in front. Sled went end over end about two times. Made repairs when I got it home and have had no problem since. I've also slowed down to a reasonable speed too. I usually haul a whole Moose out with it every year. I tow two sleds, one folding sled and the articulating sled in back. That way I can keep fuel and meat seperate.
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  19. #19
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    Default UHMW updated

    I made a mistake before about available material. virgin/white and black can both be purchased in UV. All UHMW is UV resistant a little bit. If it is not built as UV, i.e. the extra inhibitor added, then it is not considered UV resistant.
    I looked at Garland's site. Not sure they have sheets for sale, but will check there.
    Graybeard is twice the man I am if he has pulled an articulating sled that long without problems. The ones we used to use from Compeau's never held up. And no, we were not speed demons. The material used was just really light weight, and we could not keep the sled together.
    As for the folding sled, all I can say is ouch! I used one a lot until somebody did me a favor and stole it. I tracked them across town and finally lost the track, thank goodness. The only good thing I can say about them is that I do not own one.

  20. #20
    Member SuYentna Dave's Avatar
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    Default Snowmachine Ski salvage

    The New SnoGo's have plastic ski's as standard and a lot of riders change them out out for Different type of skis. You probally can pick up a set and attached them to the sled without a lot of cost or effort. Check around the salvage places or "Craiglist" it for a pair. I Junked a pair a couple of years ago and just asking around I found 3 sets for nothing.

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