Here is a fast, cheap, down and dirty tutorial on how to make your own dragging sled.
1 – paint tray
8 – 15×4 inch construction screws
2 – 2×4 scraps
1 – floor flange
1 – pipe for center post (size is your preference)
1 – eye screw
1 – olympic adapter sleeve (optional)
Drill bit for screws
3/16″ inch drill bit
Drill bit to remove rivets (size will depend on your paint tray)
The base of the sled is a paint tray. I picked this one up for $6 at my local farm supply store. You don’t want a really cheap one, as the metal will be too flimsy.
The first thing you’ll need to do is remove the brackets on the bottom of the tray. Most likely they will be riveted on. To remove them select a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the rivet and drill completely through the rivet. The brackets should pop off easily.
*Note: Removing the rivets will leave jagged edges around the holes you drilled. You can grind them down with a grinder or flatten them with a hammer. I forgot about doing this and left the jagged metal edges intact. Since they are on the inside of the pan it probably won’t matter – until I snag some part of my anatomy on them and flail about screaming with blood gushing everywhere. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Now you will need to cut your 2×4’s down to size. Width will depend on the size of your paint tray. Mine needed to be 11 inches wide.
Since the corners of the paint tray are rounded, you will need to round off the front edges of the 2×4 that will fit in the front of the tray. It doesn’t have to be perfect – just take enough off so the board fits relatively snugly into the front of the tray.
Now place the center 2×4 in place and drill a hole for the screw through the side of the tray and into the 2×4. I used a 3/16 inch drill bit.
Screw the board to the tray, and repeat the last two steps for the front board as well.
Now drill a hole in the center of the front of the tray for the eye screw.
Attach eye screw.
Screw floor flange to the center 2×4.
*Note: I put the center 2×4 a bit too far towards the back. The sled is a bit back heavy when it’s loaded. I would recommend moving the center board a few inches farther forward than what is pictured.
Screw pipe into floor flange.
I chose to use a 3/4 inch pipe because I have both 1 inch and 2 inch plates. I picked up an Olympic adapter sleeve from Amazon.com pretty cheap. I can slide it on and off in a jiffy and it allows me to use either size plates.
Attach a rope or lashing strap, load it up with plates and you are ready to go!
I would NOT recommend using this on gravel or asphalt – those two surfaces will chew up the bottom of the tray something fierce. It works great on sand, smooth dirt, grass or snow. If the bottom wears out, you can buy another $6 paint tray and replace it quite easily.
Paint tray – $6
2×4’s – scrap (FREE!)
eye screw – $1
15×4 inch screws – ? (probably about $2)
Floor flange – $2
Lashing strap – $2
Grand Total – $15