Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sparks Fly!

So 2 months after Emily's birthday, I finally finished her prototype spark (norwegian for kicksled)!

I happend to snag a perfect chair at restore for $5.

Then, I added customized metal skis. 3/8 steel, I believe, bent at a guestimated curvature, with a few hardware platforms added for connecting skis to wood.  Our friend J.T. at Iron Mountain Anvil customized the skis. What a talented guy, check out his work here, Iron Mountain Anvil .

A nice straight box-elder or green ash?  I'm not sure, clipped it a few years back and thought I'd better keep it since it was so straight.  Now its the handle (bark for grip) and footrest for the spark with some nifty hardware inserted for serious strength.

A couple of past-their-prime hockey sticks and some cabinet plywood completed this prototype spark.

We took it up to S. Fork of Piney Crk trail to test it out today.  Probably would have been ideal about 2 weeks ago, as we had a couple of bare-earth spots resulting from the 60-degree temps this week.
That said, we found plenty of trail to spark on, and the consistency was pretty perfect - hard-packed end of season snow.  We rigged up a bungee cord to Hudson's lawn chair (thankfully, there is no word in Norwegian that means "redneck") and the rope was an additional safety precaution.  Next time we'll maybe take a long a helmet?

Took a few notes on design and will likely make a couple of minor adjustments before painting and calling it complete.  First will be to give the passenger a more level area for their butt, right now is angled slightly forward.  Other will be to chop about 1.5' off the end of the skis, don't really need all that metal wobbling off the back.

A few more pics and video.

This is really going to be a great way to get out and about town, once Sheridan has hard-packed streets this next winter.  I'll have to get a harness ordered for Luna too as she would have helped with the uphill today!

Pretty basic to build, spent under $120 for supplies (all wood was on-hand) and there were a few different designs online that were used to assemble spark/kick sled.  If anyone is ever interested I can get you the measurements and details.


The Metcalfs said...

Awesome!!!! LOVE it and can't wait to try it out next year with you guys!

cindy said...

What Grandmas want to know:
What about safety? I did not see any brakes on this thing!!!
Looks like fun!

Linnea Mirsch said...

can't wait to try it!!

colin & emily said...

It would be awesome in Minnesota!

Eat2Live said...

You are so creative!!!!! I know JT had fun helping you. Hopefully, there are more fun projects in the future?!?!

eabetzler said...

Elizabeth - Yes, definitely more projects in the future and lots of winter fun for James and Hudson next year!!!