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If you desire to further test your ability by building some thing more difficult than a simple Ohio Sled, you may try your hand in the construction of

A Double Runner, Traverse or Bob-Sleigh, 

as it is variously called in different localities. When skillfully built, one of these compound sleds is enough of an achievement to satisfy the vaulting ambition of even an amateur carpenter.  The bob-sleigh is made by joining with a reach-board two low-runner sleds or "bobs." 

Almost any sort of tough wood will answer for the purpose, but since we are going to spend time and skill upon this work we will select good, strong 1 1/4 inch oak planks for the runners.  We shall need four pieces of the oak plank, each 5 inches broad by 32 inches long (A B D C, Fig. 499).  From the end of one of these pieces (A) measure 5 inches (to E), and mark the point; from the opposite end (at B) measure 8 inches (to G) and mark the point; from E and G measure 2 inches toward the middle of the plank and mark the points H and K. 

Now take a carpenter's pencil, or a blue pencil, and rule with a straight-edge the line H J K (see dotted line on Fig. 499); also rule the lines GK, FJ, EH and HC.  

On the lower edge of the plank, 10 inches from D, on the line DC, mark the point L.  On the line BD, 1 inch below B, mark the point P; also on the same line, 1 1/2 inches above D, mark the point N, and on line BA, 1 1/2 inches from B mark b, and draw the lines LN, MP and Kb.

The pencil lines which you have drawn will now show a rough outline of a sled runner (C H J K b B P L, Fig- 499). Round off the angles by sketching inside of the ruled lines the curved line of the bow of the runner, as shown in Fig. 499. 

Saw slits from G to K, F to J and E to H; then cut out the block A E H C by sawing along the line CH until you meet the slit at H. 

It is now an easy matter to saw along the line from H to K and from b to K, which removes the pieces E H J F, F J K G and G K b, leaving us only the triangle P M D and the small piece made by the line LN crossing MP to be sawed off the lower edge of the runner. 

When all the saw work is done, the angles may be rounded with plane, chisel or jack-knife to conform to the sketched lines of the prow of the runner.  Using the runner just finished as a pattern, make each of the other three exactly like it. 

The eight braces for the two bobs must now be cut from 1 1/4-inch oak. Make them 2 inches wide, 11 1/2 inches long.  At both ends of each brace make mortises to extend 1 1/4 inches, the width of the top of the runner (Figs- 500 and 501). 

Set each pair of runners upright on their bottom edges; lay the braces in place, then carefully trace the form of the mortises on the top edges of the runners, and with saw and chisel cut out the notches, as shown by Fig. 501.  Fasten the braces securely in place with screws, and your two bobs only need top boards and half round iron shoes to finish them (see Figs- 502 and 505). 

However, it takes two bobs and a reach-board to make a bob-sleigh, and so our work is really but half done. 

The Reach-Board

may be any length to suit your fancy; the one shown in the diagrams, Fig- 502 (side view) and Fig- 505 (top view) is 7 feet long, 11 inches wide and 1 inch thick, which makes a well-proportioned bob-sleigh. 

There must be allowance for a certain amount of independent motion in the two bobs under the reach-board; this is provided for by the use of two iron pins, a horizontal one for the rear bob (see dotted lines, Figs. 502 and 505) and a vertical one for the front bob ( Fig- 506).

For the rear bob take two pieces of 1 1/2-inch oak, 9 x 3/4 inches (X, Fig- 503), saw off the comers as indicated by the dotted lines (Fig- 503), then round off the angles as in X, Fig. 502, where the right-hand piece is shown fastened to the under side of the reach- board.  Between these two pin boards fit a 4 x 4-inch oak block, which must be bolted to the top of the bob (Y, Figs- 502 and 505, dotted lines); this block must be long enough to fit snugly between the pin boards and yet allow movement to the sled. Bore a hole through the block Y corresponding to holes bored in the pin boards X-this is for the horizontal iron pin. 

The second pin block is also made of oak and securely bolted to the top of the front bob, as indicated by the dotted lines (Figs. 502, 506 and 505).  In Fig- 506 is shown but half of the pin block, but as one half is a duplicate of the other, it was not thought necessary to draw both ends. 

The same liberty has been taken with the guard rail and reach braces in Fig. 505.  As may be seen these are shown on the lower side of the diagram only.  Fig- 504 shows the form of the reach braces, which are screwed securely to the under side of the reach-board and have an ash or hickory guard rail fastened to their ends, as shown in the lower part of Fig. 505.  

To prevent the stern bob from turning too far from side to side, ropes or chains are fastened from the bow ends of the rear runners to screw eyes on the under side of the reach-board.  

A safe steering gear is the next important problem to solve and one can be made by an arrangement of a wooden bit, a foot rest or spreader and a pair of reins, as shown in Figs. 502 and 505.  An iron pulley wheel should be securely fastened at each end of the spreader to hold the reins and facilitate the movement of the rope.  The pulley wheel is not drawn in the diagram.   Figs- 507 and 508 at head of chapter show the details of a

Flushing Bob-Sleigh

Here you will notice that the pin block is set further back on the bow sled than it is in the one previously described; this is done to allow the driver to keep out of reach of his horse's heels.  In other respects the bob-sleigh differs from the one shown in Figs. 502, 503, 504, 505 and 506, only in the addition of shafts for the horse and omission of steering apparatus.  A stout plank is screwed fast across the front of the runners of the bow sled and a top brace bolted to it; the clips which hold the ends of the shafts are fastened to the top brace (Fig. 507).  This sort of bob-sleigh seems to be peculiar to Flushing.  Moonlight nights when the sleighing is good the streets are alive with bobbing parties.  If noise and laughter count as indication of fun, then is the  

"Horse Bob"

truly a howling success.  Many of them have two horses, hitched tandem, and the sport does not appear to be confined to very young people, for I have been on "bob parties" where the frost was thicker and whiter in the hair of some of the merrymakers than it was on the ground over which they glided. 

See Also:

More Sled Plans

Make Your Own Winter Gear

Winter Activities

Traditional Outdoor Adventure 






Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Ammunition Sled ] Arctic Hand Sled ] Basic Klondike Sled ] Ben Hunt's Cree Trail Toboggan ] Ben Hunt's Eskimo Komatik Sled ] Ben Hunt's Klondike Sled Plans ] Ben Hunt Klondike Sled ] Ben Hunt's Packrack Sled ] Bob Sled ] Bobsled Steering ] [ Bob-Sleigh ] Chair Sleds ] Equipment Sled ] Eskimo Sled ] Eskimo Sleds ] Get-There ] Gummer ] Ice Boat ] Jumper ] Klondike Sledge Plan ] Ohio Sled ] Pioneer Bob Sled ] Skiboggan ] Stone Boat Sled ] Toboggan ] Toboggan Camping ] Van Kleeck Bob ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.