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---Who among us doesn't need a little more tranny in our lives? And who among us doesn't like to skate something a little challenging from time to time? Let us help you meet your needs with this little gem of a quarterpipe; tight, yet smooth and raw! It'll teach you how to skate tough!
(1) sheet 3/4" CDX plywood
(3) sheets 3/8" CDX plywood
(2) sheets 1/4" Masonite
(10) 2"X4"X8' lengths of Douglass Fir or Hemlock
(1) 70 1/2" length of 2 1/2" round black steel pipe
(1) tube of construction adhesive (Liquid Nails or the like) and caulking gun
(1) 5 lb. box of 2" drywall screws
(1) 5lb. box of 16D green vinyl checkered head nails
*Saw horses make cutting easier and safer
- Jig saw
- Power hand saw (magnesium wormdrive "skill" saw)
- Hammer (pref. 24 oz. framing hammer)
- Chalk snap line
- Tape measure (25' with 1" blade works best)
- String
- Drill or electric screwdriver
- Pencil
>>> Cut all the 3/8" plywood and Masonite down to 4'X6' sizes. Set aside the leftover 4'X2' pieces for later.
>>> Lay out the 3/4" ply horizontally on the ground. Mark the lower left corner with an "A", the upper left corner with a "B", the lower right with a "C", and the upper right with a "D". Measure 35 3/8" inches up from point A towards point B, and make a mark (this is the height of the ramp minus the deck thickness). From this mark, use a straight edge to trace a horizontal line 24" long out towards the middle of the ply (this is the length of the deck).
>>> From point B, measure out 6' towards point C. Make a mark, and then drive a nail into the wood at this point. Tie some string to the nail. Pretend the nail is the center of a circle, and use the string as a pendulum to draw a smooth transition: place the tip of a pencil at the end of the line you made for the deck (towards the middle of the ply). Draw the string taught and tie it to the pencil so you can make a sweeping line for the transition, starting at the end of the deck line and following smoothly until the pencil goes off the wood. Think of it as part of a circle centered at the nail. The place the pencil goes off the wood should be between points A and D at about the same distance the nail is between points B and C. You now have a drawn version of the transition and deck.
>>> Cut this shape out of the wood with your jig saw so you have one side of the transition walls. Take this piece, flip it over, and lay it down on the remaining part of the 3/4" wood so the skinny tip of the tranny starts at point B, and the transition arcs into the center of the plywood. Trace the shape onto the remaining wood so it is the same shape as the first tranny. Cut this piece out, and you will have two matching transition pieces.
>>> Now we'll build the frame for the deck. Cut (2) 67 1/2" lengths, (2) 24" lengths, and (7) 21" lengths from the 2"X4" lengths. The 24" lengths will be on either end and the 21" pieces spaced evenly through the middle to provide support for the deck. The final shape should look like a ladder with top and bottom pieces. Use nails to tack the pieces together (two per joint).
>>> Take the transition pieces, and from the corner where the transition meets the deck plane, cut a 1 1/2" square notch out of it (provides space for the coping). Then, flip the tranny pieces so the deck side is on the ground, line up the front edge of the deck frame and the front edge of the notched-in transitions (which leaves space for the coping on the front of the deck), and nail them together. Flip the form over so the deck is on top, and you have the basic height and width of the ramp in front of you.
>>> Cut (7) 70 1/2" lengths from the 2"X4" pieces. Using nails, attach (2) of them so they form a T-shape (one placed horizontally on top of the other one, which is placed vertically-see photo). From the skinny tip of the transition pieces, measure up the transition 4' (following the curve of the tranny), and make a mark on both sides of the tranny pieces. Place the T-shaped 2"X4" form across the form here, with the 4" side of the top piece facing out (to support the layers of ply placed on later). The center of the 4" piece should be right at the mark you made on both transition pieces, exactly 4' up the tranny. Nail the T-shaped form in from both sides of the tranny pieces.
>>> Take (1) 70 1/2" 2"X4" piece and place it between the tranny walls with the 2" side facing up as far down the transition as it can go without poking up above the curve of the tranny. Angle the 2"X4" piece forward so the 2" side is flush with the edge of the transition (again providing a flat surface area to attach the plywood layers to later). Nail it in place. Directly in front of this piece, lay (1) 70 1/2" 2"X4" piece down with the 4" side flat on the ground, butted up against the piece behind it. Angle this piece forward as well, so it is level with the transition walls (not poking up). Nail it in place. You should have a wedge made with the last two pieces of 2"X4" that is 6" long, starting near the bottom of the tranny. Nail these two pieces together also.
>>> Midway between the 2"X4" pieces at the bottom and the T-shaped 2"X4" form you nailed in 4" up the transition, nail in another 70 1/2" 2"X4" piece across the transition walls, with the 2" side facing up. Underneath the front 2"X4" piece of the deck frame, nail in (1) 70 1/2" 2"X4" piece with the 4" piece facing forward, the top front edge lined up with the edge of the transition walls (do not angle this one forward—leave it square). You should now have a shelf for the coping to rest on. Below the piece of 2"X4" you just installed, nail in (1) 70 1/2" 2"X4" piece with the 2" side facing up and angled forward to be even with the edge of the transition walls. You now have the "skeleton" of the ramp built. Time to start the "skin" layers.
>>> Take (1) piece of the 3/8" 4'X6' plywood and lay it down on the skeleton of the ramp (6' side going from side to side of the ramp). Line up the top edge of the 3/8" plywood on the center of the T-shaped 2"X4" form (exactly 4' up the transition). Using the 2" screws, screw this edge of the 3/8" plywood to the T-shaped 2"X4" form underneath, staggering the screws every 8" or so.
>>> Using the chalk snap, snap lines across the 3/8" plywood where the various 2"X4" pieces lie underneath (allowing you to know where to screw the ply down without being able to see the axle pieces). Screw the plywood to all the 2"X4" pieces, starting at the TOP of the ply and moving towards the BOTTOM. This is very important; if you don't go from top to bottom, you'll get crazy, crazy bubbles that will make the ramp unrideable.
>>> Quick break from the layers to put in the coping. Squirt a healthy line of construction adhesive across the back and bottom walls of the 2"X4" cradle you've made and lay the coping in there. Push it as far back as it will go so it is wedged against the back 2"X4".
>>> Back to the layering. Measure the space between the bottom of the coping and the top of 3/8" plywood layer you started putting in, following the curve of the transition. This measurement will vary slightly due to coping and plywood placement. Whatever you end up with, cut a strip of that measurement by 6' wide, so that it wedges in between the top of the ply and the bottom of the coping snugly. Snap a chalk line across this portion of the ply where the 2"X4"s lie beneath, and screw the ply to the 2"X4"s, including the part of the T-shaped 2"X4" the two pieces of ply share. Now for the second layer of ply. Take (1) 3/8" 4'X6' piece of ply, and line it up with the 6' side against the coping, slightly higher up than the ply layer below it (you are starting to trap the coping in place with the wood, each layer holding more of it in).
>>> Snap chalk lines to mark the place of the 2"X4"s across the top layer of plywood, and begin screwing it in place from the TOP down.
>>> Snap chalk lines to mark the place of the 2"X4"s across the top layer of plywood, and begin screwing it in place from the TOP down.
>>> Quick layering break to do the plywood for the deck. Take your scrap pieces of 3/8" plywood, measure the exact deck size, and cut the 3/8" plywood to fit. Nail down those pieces to the top of the deck. Use chalk snap lines to mark where the 2"X4"s are underneath. Put nails in each corner and staggered every 6" down the chalk lines for the 2"X4"s. You now have the final ramp, minus the Masonite layering. Let's handle that and finish this beast!
>>> Cut (1) piece of 4'X8' Masonite down to 4'X6', and lay it down on the tranny with the 6' edge going side to side. Let the bottom edge of the Masonite extend 2" beyond the top layer of plywood, further smoothing the lip onto the transition. Snap chalk lines to mark the 2"X4"s below, and start screwing the Masonite down using 2" screws. Measure the distance between the spot where you'd like the Masonite to hit the coping and the last piece of Masonite that is screwed down, following the curve of the transition walls. Cut a piece of Masonite that measurement by 6' and lay it in place. Snap chalk lines to mark the 2"X4"s below, and continue screwing the Masonite down to the layers below, moving from BOTTOM to TOP. Now you have the finished face of the ramp. Cut (1) piece of Masonite to fit on the deck, which should be the same dimensions as the 3/8" ply directly below. Snap chalk lines to mark the 2"X4"s below, and screw down the Masonite using 2" screws.
>>> If you aren't familiar with power tools, GET HELP! You really don't need to be playing amputater with yourself. Once the wood is measured, marked, and cut, label each piece to avoid confusion during construction. Whenever possible, stagger the screws or nails going across the 2"X4"s and plywood on the face of the ramp, rather than having them all fall in a perfectly vertical/horizontal axis. It is much harder to write about how to build a ramp or read about how to build a ramp than it is to actually make a ramp. Find somebody who has done it before if possible. When the ramp is done, make sure the person who did the most work gets the first hit.