Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:57 pm Posts: 5105 Location: California
I'm looking to build a backyard mini-ramp for the kids and I was wondering if anyone had any beta for me. The space we'd like to put it will allow for a 12' wide ramp and I was think of using a 4-5ft tranny. Also wondering if any norcal peeps with ramp building experience can lend a hand?
Been awhile since I built one but I do remember a key to a good transition/radius was to cut the radius into 2 sheets of plywood for either side, nail in verticle studs then 2x4's horizontally to join the sidea at each vert stud. After that its easy to layer plywood sheets for the ramp surface. Thin plywood flexes easy for the ramp surface you just have to replace the top sheets every so often when they wear through.
What a great dad, mine just grumbled because the homeowners assn hated the plethora of surf groms in the neighborhood.
Thrasher Mag put out a ramp building guide way back when. It was awesome.
The key question is how tall are you buidling it?
Mine was 4' tall x 12' wide. It had 8' flat and 7' transitions (radius). You either loved it or hated it because it was fast and got fairly steep at the coping.
My buddy had one of the same dimensions but with an 8' tranny. I thought it was too slow but easy to ride since it didn't get as near vert as mine.
7.5' tranny might be ideal.
You need at least 2 layers of 1/2" plywood as a skating surface but more is better. Mine was uncovered all year long in PA winters and held up for 2 years before I had to start patching holes in the plywood. I remember trying to pre-bend the plywood by elevating the ends, weighting the middle with some logs and watering the sheets with a hose for a few days before it would fit tight against the 2x4 on the transitions. If you can afford to, use 2x6s (or alternate them with 2x4s) to keep the skating surface solid and less like a trampoline.
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 3:06 pm Posts: 157 Location: Kings Beach, Ca
I wanted to do this last summer at my place but was hesitant due to my nomadic nature. The best site (which you've probably already been to) that I found was http://rampplans.org/ Tons of good, free, and varied info on the art that is ramp building.
BCR -- Diagnol Bracing is very important, a variety of dynamic loads will be imposed on to the structure and the only way to compensate for all of them would be though diagnol bracing. I would be sure to brace the diagnoly horizontaly and verticly to prevent wracking. I would also consider masonite for the top sheet in luei of plywood. Good luck.
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 2:35 am Posts: 41 Location: Laguna Beach, CA USA
I was reminiscing yesterday about some of the backyard ramps we built back in the day...they were 95% total crap.
Some people have pointed out the easiest way to build a wack ramp and that is to screw up the trannies.
If it is for the kids, bigger is probably better. If you go with big transitions, consider a 4' wide extension on one side of the ramp. It'll be nice for learning to drop-in and getting confidence with lip tricks.
Anywhichway, you rule for hooking the kids up!
Oh yeah, get a nice length of chain and lock to keep any neighbor kids from poaching the goods.
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2004 10:30 am Posts: 614 Location: Mendham, NJ
Oh the memories!
Ill echo what everyone has already said, but would recommend actually using a transit and sinking several 4x4 posts into the ground as the ramps foundation (concrete recommended). This serves several purposes.
1) the ramp will be SOLID!!!! No movin that sucker!
2) it will be off the ground and wont rot out the base.
3) How cool will you look using a transit!?
Seriously. Friends and i made sveral a ramp and they all were a little "shaky" cause they were jsut sitting on the ground and eventually the bases would rot out.
I'd go 4' high, 8' tranny, and 8' flat. If your kids outgrow that, you get to build a bigger ramp!!!!!
I met these guys at ASR. Very cool crew from the Bay area. I might be able to get you a deal. You might contact them about halfpipe options... they had one at the show. Big bennifits over building your own!