How to build a Mini-Spine Ramp
How to build a mini-Spine Ramp
[ Thanks to Mark Page ] [ Originally posted on harvestboards.com ]
I decided to make a small spine using some scrap lumber to help teach the girls some new tricks. The goal is to use only scrap wood, and to make it very simple so anyone can follow along and make their own. If you don't have any wood or cash to buy some, check out some local construction sites. Ask the builders if they have any scrap they don't need and hopefully they'll give it to you, otherwise they have to pay to get rid of it.
I want an 8 foot transition, a really shallow (easy) transition since this spine is for beginners. If you want a steeper transition (harder), use a 3-5 foot transition. You'll need a piece of string or twine and measure it out to the length you want, for example I cut an eight foot piece for an eight foot trannie.
Next tie a pencil to the end of it, place the twine so it is square with the base of a sheet of plywood and draw your transition. Try to get 1/2 inch ply for the sides. The thicker the plywood on the sides the stronger or more punishment the ramp will be able to take.
Once you have drawn your transitions you can cut one of them out. I use a jigsaw, if you don't have one check out pawn shops or the Goodwill, you can usually find one for a few bucks. To make sure both transitions are the same, cut one out then use it as a template for the next one.
Once the transitions are cut it's time to screw the 2x4's on. Screws as opposed to nails will help hold the ramp together over time and makes it easier to take apart. When screwing in the 2x4's start at the bottom and place the first one on it's side to get the maximum support where the wheels will place the most pressure on the ramp as you ride up it. The rest of the 2x4's you can place in an upright position (see photo).
When your done screwing in the 2x4's it's time to put on the surface ply. Since my girls weigh next to nothing and I'm pretty light myself, I used 2 layers of 1/4 ply, but if bigger people will be skating it, try using 3/8 inch ply. The thicker the ply the harder it is to bend when putting it on unless you have some help.
That's pretty much it. If you are into building your own ramp a good place to start is RampPlans.Org.