new UHMW sled
I just built 2 UHMW toboggans from old stock I had in the garage. If folks are interested I will have one of my more technologically advanced teenagers help me download some pictures as I also just got my new Canon digital camera and was able to take pictures of the building process.
I have been talking with some guys at work here in FAI. If enough people are interested, I will look into a bulk buy of UHMW that is UV resistant. UHMW is sold by the pound on special orders, which translates to roughly 10 4'X10'X 1/4" sheets at a minimum.
This won't be cheap, but will be cheaper than what you can buy in state on a piece by piece basis. If enough interest is generated I will make some calls so we have a better idea what the costs might be as well as the time to get it here.
Alaska Airboat in Wasilla has some scraps of UHMW that would work great on sno go trailers
Garland Manufacturing in Maine extrudes UHMW for runners, and also makes boards and bars, rods and some tubes. There is a little half-round profile that they sell that I use as a bump guard running all the way around the edge of the boat.
Hey River Rat,
Im interested. Been down to the local sled shop and after some gasping at the prices, Id like to look elsewhere. Keep me updated.
I might be interested in getting a sheet or two to hold on to if the price was right. Since it is made out of oil and needs oil to get it shipped up here and the price of oil only looks like it is going to go up, well you get the picture. It is really amazing tough stuff.
I still have 2 sheets of virgin white left over from the old days when I used to make sleds. No idea how bad the sun got to them. But am thinking too with the price of oil for manufacture and transportation, it won't do anything but get more pricey.
Poly Hi Solidur makes good product and they have several dealers in WA state. I would look here in AK, but I already know that I will get a heck of a deal on transportation from Tacoma. Kind of like no cost at all. So if an AK outlet wants to go in with us, and we use their buying contact, great. But if I am going to place a $3,000 odd order, I am going to be tough on the price.
And you guys are right. We expect sticker shock on vehicles, but on sleds? Hooboy! Now that scared me last time I walked into a shop and saw what they wanted.
Let's all stay in touch to see where it goes from here.
Pictures would be great! One of these days I'm going to get rid of my aluminum tub sled and build a UHMW one.
I'll have my daughter help me out. We might be able to get pictures on the ODD Wed evening.
I started researching price and availability on UHMW. UV resistant color UHMW takes 3 weeks from order date to arrive in SEA. Another 2 weeks here give or take. If I get it out of SEA I will have it come to FAI. I can not guarantee shipping back to ANC, at least not at a discount.
The order will require roughly 6 units/people or up to about 14. Material will come 1/4"x4'x10'. The tongue will be 1/2". I will precut tongues based on best material usage. Right now I am planning on Orange if available. Why? First off is safety, second is that one of the guys can get it from SEA to FAI for next to nothing and the guy loves orange. If interested in material, do you want to be choosy or save money?
Keep checking in if interested in material or PM me.
As far as color is concerned I don't really care. Orange sounds good, I like the high visibility aspect. My vote is go for the most economical.
You might hit up the power boaters too, they might jump at the chance to armor the bottom of their river boats.
RR, I'd be interested in participating. Depending on the price, I might want enough material to build two sleds.
Orange would be awesome two. But if price drives the bus on cost, I could really careless in the long run what the color is.
a little help
Does anybody have connections in the transportation industry, i.e. trucking, that can get UHMW from Fairbanks to Anchorage and/or the bowl? My connection can help get material from SEA to FAI, but let's plan on somebody else working on shipping from FAI to ANC. I will also double check with him to be sure we do not cause issues by ordering to many pieces for his contacts to handle.
I will spend the next couple of days talking to different suppliers and manufacturers to determine what options are available just to ensure we are making good choices and to give everybody choices if possible. I did get some info today, but need to talk to a couple more sources still.
The easiest way to bend UHMW is in a hydraulic brake. I have a couple of options in FAI, and we may save money by having more than one sled bent at a time. Folks in ANC might want to do the same thing. Yes, a little more effort, but another opportunity to cut cost.
I will see if I can get photos attached shortly.
For the price of gas
I could take a safe load down on my trailer if everyone pitched in to buy my gas. I don't have a huge truck and trailer but I could get about 1500 lbs of the stuff down to Anch if there was someone who could "store" it till it was picked up. Im sure there is someone out there that could haul a lot more weight than me that could up the total amount hauled down to Anchortown.
I bought a bunch of UHMW runners from Garland Manufacturing in Maine. They have something like 250+ different UHMW shapes to work with. Shipping is kind of a pain, but UPS Ground is OK if it's less than 108" long.
Their standard is a safety/caution yellow color for the UHMW, but they also have a black UHMW that is resistant to UV, which is kind of nice.
I'd ask them to machine it/cut it there, since it tends to eat most non-carbide tools.
I am waiting for Photo bucket so here are some tips and hints. Where to start. You are only limited by a few things. First, the sheet size. Sorry, just no easy way to go past 48". So, you will use up 4.5" per side/9" total in bends at 1/1/2" each. How big do you want the bottom? Well, what do you do mostly? Deep powder go narrow to stay in the track. Rivers and wide established trails, go wide. Trapping and wood cutting through the trees, better think medium. How tall for the sides? Again, you choose. I like a lower sled because it is easier to load and unload. I use the ropes to keep stuff in. If your math comes out less than 48", it is easier to cut flat than bent. But then, if you have tall sides and don't like them, you can cut them later.
1- Any sharp circular saw will work. Use vis-a-vis markers. They are wet erase. Not that you will make mistakes, but just in case.
2- I like to hang the sled off of the ends of 2 sawhorses, clamp them on, and then measure and mark for the bends, both front and rear.
3- Note that at each side cut I have rounded the corner. I do it by tracing something round (1 1/2"+/-) then cutting with a saber saw before making the side cuts. The corners and edges are sharper than you realize. I use a dremel on all the edges to round them.
4- I cut all the way to the inside bend from each side edge. I will stop drill it first so that I have a stopping point for the saw, and just because I like it to all be even. But not necessary. Might want to use a hand saw to finish.
5- Flip the sled over and do the other side.
6- Lay the sled bottom side down on the horses. Mark the amount of lap you want on each tab.
7- Attach 2 C-clamps on each bottom end Take 2 board, bats, sticks whatever, and lay them across the top side edges about 2' from the ends. Take 2 cinch straps, lay them over the boards and connect each end to a C-clamp. Now when you start to tighten, the angle of the straps pulls both the ends up. WALLAH! No sweating, fighting, or cursing. This my friends is the best tip of all. You have no idea how many times I fought getting the tabs right.
8- I like to use vise-grips to hold the tabs. It takes 6 to 8 pair to get it them all set. When you pull up the ends, think about which way the tabs should lap. For me, everything on the outside of the sled points backwards.
Dave Doudna at Northern sled works has some good hitch ideas. He might even sell you one. Be creative, you can always tow the sled home with a rope if the hitch fails.
done for the night
Had to shut down. the computer went on strike. I will post a couple more photos of the finished sleds from each end. I tried to make things clear as mud. If I managed to do so, feel free to ask questions.