Life on and off the waters of the Wood River Valley
Making a Snowboard Bench
When you get right down to it, there are lots of great reasons to turn an old snowboard into a bench:
It is, for example, a practical way to recycle.
It’s fairly easy and inexpensive to do and can be made for indoors or out.
It gives you an excuse to use power tools.
It’s a great way to honor something you loved and shared many great memories with.
It gives you a good reason to buy a new ride for next season.
And heck, even most of those old school two-plankers, better known as skiers, admit that they’re pretty cool.
Plus, a snowboard bench gives you a wonderful place to sit and ponder some of the bigger questions in life like, “Where should we go après skiing?”
While it certainly doesn’t take a carpenter or a master welder to make a solid snowboard bench (they don’t hurt and will usually help out in exchange for beer), just about anyone with some basic construction skills can put one together. Since most (but certainly not all) do-it-yourselfers and snowboard bums don’t weld, here are some basic “How Tos” for building a wood-framed snowboard bench—with links to other designs and snowboard bench kits below. Have fun, be careful and please wait to crack a beer until you’ve finished, or at least put the power tools away.
Time: 4-5 hours
Cost: $15 to $25, depending on local wood and materials costs
-1 snowboard, just about any size will do, bindings and stomp pad removed.
-Power drill and/or a hammer
-2x4s, total feet determined by length of board and design
-12 to 16 1 inch screws for attaching board to frame (screws hold better than nails and even old boards tend to bow so they need to be solidly attached to the frame).
-24 to 36 2 inch screws or nails for frame
-Wood glue, if desired (highly recommended when only using nails)
-Small can of wood stain or something stronger like deck finish for outdoor benches.
Pick a design for the frame. There are many ways to build a frame to support the bench. It helps to have a game plan going into it. A plan that, if you’re anything like most amateur builders, naturally allows for some creativity (ie: winging it).
Since even old snowboards tend to arch up once the bindings are removed and because I didn’t want it to start sagging downward either when my boys were using it as a launching pad, I decided to run a 2x4 pretty much under the entire length of the board, with the three legs for support. I was going for extra sturdy (The younger one really likes to eat and is sure to push the load capacity the same way he does with his diapers!)
File down edges with a skier’s stone or high-count file. Metal splinters are no fun. Most ski shops sell these stones for a few bucks.
Cut wood for the frame. The average seat or bench is anywhere from 17 to 24 inches tall. Having enjoyed a few homebrews while drawing up the design and thoroughly enjoying getting to use power tools, I made mine a bit more complex than it had to be. I ran one 2x4 across the top, almost 4½ feet (about a half-foot shorter than the length of the board), with two legs at 15 inches and third leg, 13 ½ inches, sandwiched in the middle. I also added a runner along the bottom for stability and two 1 ½ foot long feet at the edges of the base.
Screw or nail frame together. Wood glue is recommended when using nails. It also helps to remember to check the level of the surface you’re building upon and the surface where the bench will sit. There’s nothing like building a bench that sits level in the garage but then looks all cockeyed when you put it in the foyer or out on the deck, or in some cases, in the middle of the living room.
After the laying the snowboard on the frame to make sure it sits level and solid, remove the board and paint or stain wood.
After finish dries, apply the snowboard to the frame, applying screws (ideally) or nails liberally. The holes for bindings make good attachment spots but it helps to pre-drill the holes with a metal drill tip. Beware of falling metal chips that you don’t want pets or kids eating or stepping on.
Sit down and enjoy your accomplishment. Snowboard benches also make great spots to enjoy your favorite beverage.
Other Snowboard Bench styles, instructions and kits:
Basic building designs, tips and products from SnowboardBench.com.
Basic building tips and tricks from eHow.
Plastic and wooden kits available from Snow Source.
Metal kits available from Mt. Baker Snowboard Shop.