Prowling – it seems like everybody is doing it these days. The catch is those Prowler or Prowler knockoffs are expensive: anywhere from $500 to $200. Being the DIY kinda gal that I am, I built my own.
Prowler – Version 1.o. The problem with this is, it doesn’t work worth a darn on grass, and only so-so on gravel. Plus, it requires lots of effort to make, not to mention a welder and a metal chop saw.
As I was ruminating on a better solution to my prowling problem, I remembered something that was gathering cobwebs in my garage. The more I thought about it, the simpler the solution seemed.
Prowler Version 2.0. Materials needed: 1 children’s wooden sled; 4 – 2×6′s; 2 – 1.5″ x 6″ threaded pipes with flanges; 1 – 1″ x 10″ threaded pipe with flange; screws; power drill; 1 – black and white kitten.
Just kidding. Kitten not required.
Step 1. Lay two of the 2×6′s on the ground, and flip the sled upside down and lay it on top of them. The boards should be positioned between the metal “feet” that attach the runners to the sled.
The length of the boards will depend on two things. 1) the width of your sled, and 2) how far apart you want the posts to be. I’m short, so I prefer the posts a little closer together than a traditional prowler would be. If you want them farther apart then just cut bigger boards. The boards should be wider than the sled, because I’m not actually screwing them to the sled.
Step 2. Slide the remaining two boards between the metal runners and the wooden deck of the sled. The sled will now be sandwiched between the two sets of boards. Screw the bottom boards to the top boards. Once they are secured to each other, tighten the screws. Those puppies should be as tight as you can get them. The boards pinching together is what actually holds them to the sled.
The reason I did it this way is because the boards on the deck of the sled aren’t that thick and are only held on by a few small nails. With the 2×6′s pinching the whole sled together they are (theoretically) stronger by using the whole frame and not just the small deck boards. However, I could be wrong about that.
Also, I looked up this model of sled on ebay and someone was selling one for $65. When the American Pickers come around to look at all my crap and offer to give me $100 for this sled I can just unscrew the boards and it will remain in pristine condition.
I could be wrong about that, too – but better safe than sorry.
Step 3. Flip the sled over and put a lag screw on each side of each board, securing the top board to the bottom board. I just put one on each side, but put as many in as you think you need.
Step 4. Screw the pipes into the flanges, and screw the flanges to the boards. The two in back will be for the handles (obviously) and the one in the middle is for loading weight plates.
Step 5. Put your handles in, load some weight, and push.
And there you have it: a prowler in five easy steps. I tested this on gravel and out in the lumpy, bumpy pasture I call a back yard and it worked beautifully on both surfaces.
Sled – free (thanks Mom and Dad!)
2×6′s – free (scrap)
pipes & flanges – ? (don’t remember, probably about $20-$30)
handles – free (scrap sucker rod)
screws – under $5
(Disclaimer: I don’t have any idea how safe this is. Build and use a DIY prowler at your own risk. I hold no responsibility for anything that happens to you if you build and use your own version.)