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A frame toboggan-slide is a simple structure for boys to build, but the matter of expense frequently prevents them from undertaking the work, or the idea does not occur to them until after the first snow-storm has arrived, - and any boy who has tried outdoor carpentry in cold weather, with gloves and heavy clothing to hamper the movements of hands and limbs, knows that it cannot be done satisfactorily. Such conditions often cause the abandonment of the idea of building a slide or a postponment until the following autumn.

The plans in this chapter will enable you boys to build a small toboggan-slide with little or no expense, and you can put it up in cold weather because there is little carpentry connected with the work', and part of that may be done indoors. Besides, as there are no heavy pieces of lumber to handle, you can tackle the job without assistance.

Building Material. Figure 548 shows the completed toboggan-slide, and Figs. 549 and 550 show how it is constructed out of a packing-box, a few wooden strips, and snow. Of course, such a slide as this may be built entirely of snow, but, unless it is placed in the corner of the yard where there will be a high fence on each side of the platform to protect the coasters, there should be a railing to prevent any one from slipping off the top of the slide and possibly injuring himself.

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A packing-box is used for

The Platform Base. Get a large packing-box, or, if you cannot find one, take a number of small boxes and

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Fig. 549. - The Completed Platform and Railings bind them together with strips. The length of the box, or the length of the combined boxes, should be at least 3 feet, as there should be this much space between the platform railings.

The Platform Railings are fastened to the ends of the box (Fig. 550). Nail the pair of uprights A and B to each end of the box, then fasten the crosspieces C to their tops. The railing should come at least 30 inches above the finished toboggan-slide platform; and, as the top of the platform may be built up of snow 12 inches or more higher than the top of the box, to make a higher slide, this height must be settled before cutting the railing uprights, in order to get them of the right length.

Figure 549 shows how

The Step-Railings are fastened in place, and Fig. 551 shows how the uprights D are connected and braced. First cut uprights D about 18 inches shorter than uprights A (Fig. 549), then cut the board E (Figs 549 and 551) about 3 feet longer than the packing-box, and nail it to the edges of uprights D at their lower ends, placing the uprights the same distance apart as uprights A. Cut the braces F 3 or 4 feet long, and nail their ends securely to board E and uprights D.

After making this piece of framework, set it about 30 inches away from the packing-box platform base, with uprights D directly in line with uprights A (Fig. 549), and connect the uprights with the cross-pieces G and the handrails H.

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Fig. 550. - How the Platform Railings are Put On

Setting Up the Framework. With the framework of the platform and steps completed, select a good location for your toboggan-slide; then place the framework upon a sled and pull it over to that spot and set it in position. One good thing about this form of framework is its compactness, and

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Fig. 551. - Supports for Step-Railings the ease with which it may be taken from one place to another. You may build a toboggan-slide in your own back yard one time; then another time, if you decide that conditions are better in your chum's back yard, all you will have to do will be set the framework upon your sled and haul it over to his yard.

While you have been making the platform framework, your companions should have busied themselves with

Collecting Snow for the Slide. The snow is gathered most easily by rolling it into balls, starting with small balls some distance away from the position selected for the toboggan-slide, and gradually working them over toward that spot as you roll them. Each boy may start a ball and roll it until it becomes too heavy for him to manage alone;

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Fig. 552. - Planks Used for Upper Portion of Toboggan-Slide then two or more boys should work together, and, when the balls are of the right size, roll them into position. The size of the balls should diminish in the proportion necessary to give the proper slope to the slide.

Fill in the spaces between the balls with snow, and tamp it down with a stick; then level off the tops. If the snow is too dry to pack well, pour water over the slide as you construct it. The more compact you make the slide, the more substantial it will be, and the longer it will last.

The Platform. Pile upon the packing-box the amount of snow necessary to make the platform of the height desired; then build

A Set of Steps as shown in Fig. 548. Make the steps broad, and pitch them slightly toward the back. Do not pour water on them, because it will make them slippery. They will wear down, of course, but they can be repaired quickly. If a board is built into the top of each step, they will be more durable.

The Surface of the Slide should be made slippery by pouring water upon it, but, before this is done, tracks should be formed by running a sled down the slide a few times. Make these tracks wide enough so that sleds of different widths will fit them. It is a good idea, also, to bank up the snow along each side of the slide to form a ledge, so there will be no possibility of a sled running off of the slide in case it leaves its tracks.

If There is a Scarcity of Snow, much may be saved by filling in a portion of the base of the slide with a barrel or with boxes. The snow placed upon the top of the barrel or boxes will form an arch over them that will make the slide as firm as though it were built entirely of snow.

A Plank Slide. A couple of planks may be used for the upper portion of the slide, to save snow (Fig. 552). These may be either 10-inch or 12-inch planks of whatever length you can get. Fasten them together with wooden battens placed about 3 feet apart, as shown in Fig. 553, and nail a

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Fig. 553. - How to Batten Together Planks for Upper Part of Toboggan-Slide strip to each edge, as shown, to form a guard with a 3 or 4-inch projection. If 10-inch planks are used, they may be placed 2 or 3 inches apart, in order to make the slide that much wider (Fig. 553). The width of a sled is greater than that of one plank, so the runners could not possibly run into the opening left between the planks. Nail a board across uprights B of the platform framework (Fig. 552) to support the upper end of the planks. Then build up a snow slide at the end of the planking, as shown in Fig. 552, to make the slide as long as is desired, and embed the end of the planks in the snow.

These ideas have been worked out in a very simple form, but if any of you want to build

A More Elaborate Toboggan-Slide, longer, and with a higher platform, you will readily see that its construction will be similar. A number of packing-boxes may be fastened together to make the platform as large as is desired, while several lengths of planking may be used for the slide, supported at the ends on snow piers - just as a long bridge is supported upon piers of masonry. If several packing-boxes are fastened together for a large platform, they should be bound with wooden strips. If the top boxes are made of thin wood, a flooring of boards should be nailed across them to distribute the weight of the coasters who are to stand upon them, and thus prevent the possibility of breaking through the boxes.