A ramp in the garden

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A ramp in the garden

Postby Old time sk8er » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:35 pm

Hi All,

I’ve received approval from the wife to build a mini ramp in the garden.

This section of the forum is certainly an excellent resource for info. However, I’ve got some questions I’m hoping some of you might be able to assist with.

* Is one layer sufficient for the surface, or is two better/preferable?

* What thickness of ply if it’s one layer, and if it’s two? (I note that in the U.K. outdoors it needs to be Birch ply throughout!)

* I’m thinking of building it 36” high. (In looking for something that’s ok for my kids on their scooters- 5 & 9 y.o.’s, and that’s good fun BUT I also want it to be fine for learning new tricks on. Also, so it’s not too difficult to take stuff I’ve learnt on to bigger ramps) (If that makes any sense!)

Any thoughts on this appreciated.

I’ve no idea in terms of what radius for the transition yet. I think I’ll go and measure a few ramps I skate to give me a gauge/bench mark.

Size wise - I’m looking at 13-14’ wide x 3’ high and 25.5’ overall length including platforms.



Thanks in advance guys
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Re: A ramp in the garden

Postby nedp02 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:35 pm

Standard practice is two sheets of 3/8" ply ( 9mm ) with a top layer of thinner 1/4" board, I used cheapo mdf but it's inside dry in my shed.
Outside i guess the choice is either use ply and treat it or (more expensive but better option) skatelite.
Have a look at some of the builds on here and you'll get the idea - good luck !
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Re: A ramp in the garden

Postby undertime » Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:06 am

No advice I'm afraid, just here to say 'lucky bastard'.

Sounds great. Best of luck with it.

Message twobobrob if you need some genuinely expert advice. He's the man.
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Re: A ramp in the garden

Postby TwoBobRob » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:29 pm

.....And here I am :)

Not been on for a bit, login dramas...

Hi Old Time Skater. Go with two layers of 9mm plywood and if you have the means, use Birch Throughout for both layers. Two layers are always recommended for a smooth ride as much as strength but with scooters on with you you'll need that ramp to be rock solid.

You have plenty of space which is cool. I would advise you eek every last inch of width available though, you'll thank me afterwards.

Regarding radii and dimensions/proportions, opinions vary quite widely on this forum. Your idea to go and measure other ramps is a good shout. If you have a particular favourite - just copy it!! In your case though at 3ft high, the Rule of 8 will work just fine;

Plus or minus 1ft to suit your tastes, an 8ft radius and 8ft of flat bottom will not be wrong. In other words, as quick and tight as 7ft and 7ft, or as lazy and mellow as 9ft and 9ft, or anywhere inbetween and you'll be fine. This is just my opinion, I know others on here will suggest much tighter radii. They're not wrong, but as an industry guy I will always err on the side of caution and advise shapes I know to be friendly and unintimidating.

Looking forward to the photos!

Feel free to message me if there's anything you need.
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Re: A ramp in the garden

Postby Old time sk8er » Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:28 pm

TwoBobRob wrote:.....And here I am :)

Not been on for a bit, login dramas...

Hi Old Time Skater. Go with two layers of 9mm plywood and if you have the means, use Birch Throughout for both layers. Two layers are always recommended for a smooth ride as much as strength but with scooters on with you you'll need that ramp to be rock solid.

You have plenty of space which is cool. I would advise you eek every last inch of width available though, you'll thank me afterwards.

Regarding radii and dimensions/proportions, opinions vary quite widely on this forum. Your idea to go and measure other ramps is a good shout. If you have a particular favourite - just copy it!! In your case though at 3ft high, the Rule of 8 will work just fine;

Plus or minus 1ft to suit your tastes, an 8ft radius and 8ft of flat bottom will not be wrong. In other words, as quick and tight as 7ft and 7ft, or as lazy and mellow as 9ft and 9ft, or anywhere inbetween and you'll be fine. This is just my opinion, I know others on here will suggest much tighter radii. They're not wrong, but as an industry guy I will always err on the side of caution and advise shapes I know to be friendly and unintimidating.

Looking forward to the photos!

Feel free to message me if there's anything you need.


Hi T.B.R,

Thanks for that. Very helpful for info.

I’m very fortunate in that space isn’t really an issue. However, I don’t want to make the ramp too big/wide due to the cost of materials.

I’ll probably have more questions, however, that’s a great start so thanks. What are you currently using for timber preservative and or paint (if both)?

Thks

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Re: A ramp in the garden

Postby TwoBobRob » Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:28 am

Hi mate

Regarding material costs, the most efficient way is of course to work to sheet sizes, or half sheet sizes. As you can choose from either an 8x4 board or a 10x5 you have plenty of options. What I was really eluding to was a few inches here or there rather than feet, if you were debating an odd location etc - my mantra is always go with width.

On that same subject of materials costs, platforms can eat a lot of timber and are often overlooked a little bit both in terms of the cost and the amount of work involved. Some canny planning can save a few quid.

Be sure to use C16 or C24 treated timbers everywhere. They require no maintenance and will give you at least a decade with no fuss. As for plywood, for the trannies buy the best you can afford but please stay away from Chinese structural ply. It looks lovely initially but in my experience it doesn't hold up as well as you'd like. A cheaper CDX Shuttering ply is better value in my opinion, or for the best job use 18mm Birch Throughout. There is also a stark cosmetic difference if that is of a concern to you.

For protection I use Barretine Wood Treatment myself, I've found it to be very reliable over the years, isn't too dear and is carried in ToolStation which is very convenient. Needs a fresh coat every year. It's critical during the build to treat every board twice and pay attention to the edges. I've also had good results painting ramps with Ultra smooth Masonry Paint. I realise this doesn't sound like the right product for wood but being a fairly simple, robust, and breathable paint it actually works really well. By far and away the best way to prolong the life of your ramp though is to get it up off the ground with a good air gap underneath, make it super solid from the best materials you can afford.

Finally, please feel free to get materials quotes and then shoot me a message. If I'm able to do better I'd be more than happy to do so.

Have fun!
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Re: A ramp in the garden

Postby Old time sk8er » Wed May 02, 2018 1:45 pm

Hi T.B.R,

Thanks the reply. That’s very helpful. I really appreciate your advice.

I’ll get some quotes. I’ll give you a shout when I’ve planned things probably, as I’m sure I’ll have a few more questions.

One last thing- which is the best software/website to use to help plan a ramp, I’m aware there’s a few available?

Thanks
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Re: A ramp in the garden

Postby TwoBobRob » Fri May 11, 2018 4:08 pm

I can't answer that I'm afraid. Never personally used software.

I can tell you that most online ramp plans that I've seen - are wrong lol.

I'm more than happy to walk you through it though; just keep firing questions at me.
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Re: A ramp in the garden

Postby wayne » Fri May 11, 2018 4:38 pm

Hi,

Rob is THE man for advice. I built my ramp last summer which is the same as what you are looking at : viewtopic.php?f=20&t=35003&p=526070

I'd add a couple of points. My ramp on the end was 7.5 radius after starting with 6.5. It seems good to me. The most important thing for me is you need to pay attention where you get your wood from, do NOT get it from the likes of B&Q, Jewsons, Travis Perkins, etc - no chains - all their wood comes from the far East and you won't believe the difference in quality compared to if you get European sourced wood. Find a GOOD wood yard. I used quality birch on the top layer and a hard-wood cheaper ply for the bottom to save some costs. I did quite have enough 18mm shuttering ply for the platforms so went to the local buildin yard (Jewsons, etc) and the quality was shocking compared to the same type (18mm shuttering) from the wood yard. First rain the Jewson supplied started to blow!!, and the wood yard supplied are still all perfectly good a year later.
All 2x4's were tanalized so no need to treat. In the end I used up using satin yatch varnish to proctect the wood. It works very well but not cheap (2 or 3 tins I think). I also used stainless screws which arn't cheap, I think that was an overkill though.
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Re: A ramp in the garden

Postby Old time sk8er » Fri May 11, 2018 6:29 pm

Hi Wayne,

Many thanks for the reply. Yes, looking at the pics. in your thread, that’s exactly what I’m wanting to build.
That lower section’s a great idea too. Brilliant. I was considering adding a roll in section, however, having seen your ramp pics. I’m going to go for the same setup.

I have a few questions:

Having applied varnish, is your ramp surface slippery, or ok?

What is the overall width of your ramp, and what is the width of the lower section please?

Thanks

Graham
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Re: A ramp in the garden

Postby wayne » Tue May 15, 2018 2:24 pm

Old time sk8er wrote:Hi Wayne,

Many thanks for the reply. Yes, looking at the pics. in your thread, that’s exactly what I’m wanting to build.
That lower section’s a great idea too. Brilliant. I was considering adding a roll in section, however, having seen your ramp pics. I’m going to go for the same setup.

I have a few questions:

Having applied varnish, is your ramp surface slippery, or ok?

What is the overall width of your ramp, and what is the width of the lower section please?

Thanks

Graham


Some notes:
The 3' section is 12' wide (3 x 4x8 sheets), and the micro is 4' wide. The flat section is 7.5' .
My radius is 7.5 (or possibly 7' I can't remember) for the transitions - this means the on the micro section the skateboard does not bottom out when doing this like rock and rolls and I even made the coping intentionally high. it depends on what size wheels you use etc, but ideally a smaller radius would be better for the micro section, but thats not going to match with the rest unless you made that more whippy as well. Personally the micro section is useful as it stands and makes learning more easy on the whole (though a bit tight!).
For the varnish, yes its probably not as grippy as plain wood - though its been so long time since I've tried. However so long as its dry its grippy enough. I ride 95As which are fast enough and grip enough. Start with 92A wheels and work up. My friend who rides it as well has super hard wheels and doesn;t have any issue but he's a better rider than me. I used statin varnish. However if I was going to do again, I consider just buying a quality PVC tarp (as I have done now - https://www.dancovershop.com/uk/product ... -grey.aspx ) and just wood treat it as Rob suggests. With the PVC tarp and the varnish its a bit of an overkill and the ramp will outlast my bodies ability to keep going no doubt.
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Re: A ramp in the garden

Postby Old time sk8er » Tue May 15, 2018 7:32 pm

TwoBobRob wrote:I can't answer that I'm afraid. Never personally used software.

I can tell you that most online ramp plans that I've seen - are wrong lol.

I'm more than happy to walk you through it though; just keep firing questions at me.



Hi T.B.R.,

Ok noted. Thanks again. I’ll PM you once I’ve got a rough design plan and material rates.
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Re: A ramp in the garden

Postby Old time sk8er » Tue May 15, 2018 7:43 pm

Wayne,

Thanks for your notes. Much appreciated. Just got to decide the split for high and low sections now.

Thanks
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