r‘P he design of the clipper shown in 1 this section evolved as a response to the abuse dished out by New Hngland winters—and the young own­ers of these sleds. It is made from care­


fully chosen wood, held together by a simple, rugged method of construc­tion. The Yankee Clipper consists of only five main parts: two runners, two stretchers, and a deck. The stretchers


are joined to the runners with round mortisc-and-tenon joints, which are then pegged with hardwood dowels. Use a tough wood like ash or oak for the runners and stretchers.

To keep the weight of the sled to a minimum, make the deck from a light species, such as white pine. For maxi­mum strength, glue the deck to the stretchers. Although this approach does not allow for expansion or con­traction of the deck, you can com­pensate by selecting wood that is free from checks and reinforcing the con­nection with screws.

The secret to a fast sled lies in the runners. In the 18th and 19th Centuries, the best sleds had shoes of silver steel polished to a mirror finish. Today, mild steel is a reasonable substitute. You can buy %rby-M inch bars at most hardware stores and burnish the finished runners with a belt sander.



The snowflake design on the clipper shown above transforms a simple plaything into an attractive and elegant sled. As shown on page 56, such designs can be stenciled onto the deck with a thick-bodied paint, such as quick-drying japan colors or acrylic paint. This sled was built by John Sollinger of North Ferrisburg, Vermont.




1 Making the runners

Outline the runners on a piece of V<- inch plywood or hardboard and cut it out as a template on your band saw. Use a compass to outline the mortises for the stretcher tenons on the. template. They should be positioned so that when the seat deck is installed (page 56), its surface will be flush with the top of the runners. Drill a ^-inch hole at the mark left by the compass point. (This will serve to center the spade bit that you will use later to drill the mortise.) Outline the handle, then cut it out with a scroll saw or coping saw, then trace the design onto your run­ner stock (right), marking points for the mortises. Cut the runners using a band saw and the handle with a scroll saw or coping saw, then bore the mortises on a drill press fitted with a 1-inch spade bit. Sand all the edges of the runners.


Mortize point


Handle outline


Runner etock






2 Turning the stretchers

Make the stretchers from 1 ^-inch – square stock, cut about % inch longer than you need. Mount the blank between centers on your lathe and use a parting tool to turn a 1-inch-diameter tenon on each end. Use calipers to check the tenon diameter as you go (right). Trim the ends of the tenons, if necessary, but they should be long enough to pass complete­ly through the runners.


Assembling the frame

Spread glue on the tenons on the stretchers and in the runner mortises and fit the pieces together, using a mallet to tap the joints together, if necessary. Rotate the stretchers so that their top surfaces are parallel to the top edges of the runners, then secure the assembly with two bar clamps, protecting the stock with wood pads and aligning the clamps with the strechers. Next, reinforce the joints with dowels. Holding the frame steady on a work surface, drill a hole for a Vl-inch dowel into the top edge of each runner and through each stretcher tenon (left). After boring each hole, dab a little glue into it and tap in a dowel. Once all the dowels are installed, trim them flush with a chisel.


1 Securing the seat

image109image110Make the seat by edge-gluing boards together (page 98), then plane it to a thickness of [2]/б inch. Cut the seat to fit snugly between the runners then, refer­ring to the color photo on page 54, cut the ends of the seat to shape on your band saw, round over the edges, and sand them smooth. With the seat upside down on a work surface, spread glue on the tops of the stretchers and clamp the seat to the frame, using wood pads to protect the stock. For added strength, drill a series of countersunk pilot holes through the stretchers and into the seat. To avoid boring through the seat, mark the drilling depth—the thickness of the stretchers plus no more than one-half the thickness of the seat—on the drill bit with a piece of masking tape. Drive a stainless steel wood screw into each hole (right).



Подпись: Painting the seat

To help align the stencil precisely, draw reference lines centered on both the seat and the stencil. Then align the reference lines and secure the stencil to the seat with masking tape. If you are spraying the paint, hold an aerosol paint can 6 to 10 inches from the surface and direct the spray at the stencil until the exposed wood is coated lightly with paint (above). You can also use a stenciling brush to apply the paint. To avoid any bleeding, remove the stencil while the paint is wet. Finish the sled with several coats of marine varnish.



Bending the shoes

Подпись:Make a third sleigh runner (page 54) to use as a bending form for the steel shoes. As shown in the color photo on page 54, this runner will need a bulge along the top at the front end to form a loop that with anchor the tow rope. Measure along the edge of the runner, cut the steel to length using a hacksaw, and file off any burrs. Mark screw holes on the shoes at every transition point along the runner’s edge, then drill a countersunk hole through the shoe at each point. To bend the shoe around the runner, start at the back end; you may need the help of a machinist’s vise. Hold the shoe in place with a C clamp, then repeat the process at the front end of the runner (right).


damping block



image115Подпись: %image116"Подпись: !' fc I W I ё & і Подпись: ;

The flat-bottomed toboggan is a means of transportation perfectly adapted to its environment. The run­ners are made by steam bending narrow slats around a form. They are then fas­



Preparing the slats

Toboggans generally range in size from З-foot single-seaters up to 6-foot models for two or three riders. Once you have cho­sen a length, make your slats 16 inches longer to form the bend at the nose. Cut the slats 2% inches wide from %-inch – thick stock. Next, smooth the edges of each slat on a table-mounted router. Fit the tool with a ^-inch piloted round-over bit and use three featherboards to help you guide the slats across the table. Clamp one to the table in line with the bit and brace it with a support board, and fix the other two to the fence on either side of the cutter. (In the illustration, the feath- erboard on the outfeed side of the bit has been removed for clarity.) Feed the slats with both hands (right).

Updated: March 7, 2016 — 6:21 pm