Author Topic: Questions on building my own Smitty.  (Read 853 times)

Offline Hoserman

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Questions on building my own Smitty.
« on: Jan 24, 2023, 12:55 PM »
I'm gonna be building my own Smitty sled. I just acquired a set of X-Country skis and as most know they are built with an arch in the middle. Should I put a strong back in to take out that arch and make them flat on the bottom or leave it in to make up for irregular ice  and snow. Next, I'm not sure how far apart to put the skis. I would assume it would be easier to turn in snow farther apart and more stable as far as balance. The platform will be 1/2" OSB with short sides so I can customize it as I go along. What would you recommend as far as height from skis to bottom of platform? Sorry for so many questions, I just want to get it right the first time. ;) Thanks in advance.
Tried ice fishing with Dynamite, UGH... where's my shanty?

Offline Iceassin

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Re: Questions on building my own Smitty.
« Reply #1 on: Jan 24, 2023, 01:35 PM »
First, the bow in the skis will flatten out once the weight of the sled/gear is applied. Second, why the OSB platform? Just use 2◊4 stringers. Less material ..less weight. Third, look up Original Smitty Sled for design.
"Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice."
 


Offline jbird68

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Re: Questions on building my own Smitty.
« Reply #2 on: Jan 24, 2023, 01:38 PM »
I just rebuilt my 10 year old Smitty Sled. I used 2 x 6's for risers with an angle cut on the front end and notched to accept teh 2x4 cross boards. Each riser (4) has 3 long deck screws holding them on the the skis from the bottom. My skis are about 25 3/4" inches apart from the inside of my the 2x6's. This width lets me walk down narrow trails. But my ice shelter is about 40 inches wide and hangs over the sides of the smitty. On my rebuild I made new, longer 2x4 cross bars so I can carry two eagle claw rod lockers...one on each side. But now that they are longer walking down trails would be a tighter fit. I attached a long rope to the tips of the skis. Just drilled a hole in each tip, threaded the rope through the hole and tied a knot in the end of the rope to secure it. My rope is about 1/2" in diameter and feels like it made of cotton. It's not poly or stretchy like paracord can be. I also waxed my skis using an old household iron. 
jbird68





Offline pmaloney86

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Re: Questions on building my own Smitty.
« Reply #3 on: Jan 24, 2023, 02:12 PM »
One suggestion is to make it with as sturdy materials as possible (within reason due to weight).  Keep in mind you will be pulling it over uneven ground, rocks, logs, etc.  Getting it out on the ice and having it break makes the walk back brutal.
westernmas on the finder

Offline Hoserman

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Re: Questions on building my own Smitty.
« Reply #4 on: Jan 24, 2023, 02:42 PM »
One suggestion is to make it with as sturdy materials as possible (within reason due to weight).  Keep in mind you will be pulling it over uneven ground, rocks, logs, etc.  Getting it out on the ice and having it break makes the walk back brutal.
You are so right. All the places I fish are off of a boat ramp, and even those can be a nightmare to get out on the ice. :%$#!:
Tried ice fishing with Dynamite, UGH... where's my shanty?

Offline appleye

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Re: Questions on building my own Smitty.
« Reply #5 on: Jan 24, 2023, 03:13 PM »
In the memory of "Team Lighting" Fish ON!
No one ever says,"Man that fish tastes small.

Offline Miles59

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Re: Questions on building my own Smitty.
« Reply #6 on: Jan 24, 2023, 05:32 PM »
I built my Smitty with 5' cross country skis (length to fit in my truck).  Also used 2 x 2 lumber instead of 2 x 4 for the cross members.  I don't see any difference except for the weight loss.  I think the cross country skis are fine.  I know a lot of guys say downhill skis are better, but the cross country are light and flexible.  Works for me.

Offline GSP_Pike

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Re: Questions on building my own Smitty.
« Reply #7 on: Jan 24, 2023, 05:53 PM »




Havenít tried it yet so not sure how well it works. Also, I am considering adding 2x2 legs or aluminum strips on front and rear to stabilize the load when loading my 2 person flip over.

Offline Nightbird

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Re: Questions on building my own Smitty.
« Reply #8 on: Jan 24, 2023, 07:16 PM »
he bow/arch is there for a reason for skiing and equally makes for an easier glide on a sled. I suggest thoroughly cleaning the bases with ski base cleaner and then coat several times with x-country liquid glide wax until you have a glass-like surface. Considerably easier to pull. I x-country ski and also have a Smitty sled.

Offline Wize Wasp

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Re: Questions on building my own Smitty.
« Reply #9 on: Jan 24, 2023, 10:49 PM »
When i built mine i made the 2x8 runners so the ski was dead flat witch is ok but i would recomend crowning the ski in the middle so that it can easily be tured. the downhill ski that i used was thicker in the middle so it would of been easy to just screw it directly to the 2x8.  i cut the 2x to match the curve of the ski. It was a lot of extra work for no reason. i am happy with it other wise. check out my pictures for a few other ideas.  i can fit my popup and auger nicely and plenty o room for all my other goodies. The aluminum box is very light and works great as a table to cook on.  Good luck. Im looking to sell this setup if your in the south boston area. 


Offline Wize Wasp

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Re: Questions on building my own Smitty.
« Reply #10 on: Jan 24, 2023, 10:51 PM »
When i built mine i made the 2x8 runners so the ski was dead flat witch is ok but i would recomend crowning the ski in the middle so that it can easily be tured. the downhill ski that i used was thicker in the middle so it would of been easy to just screw it directly to the 2x8.  i cut the 2x to match the curve of the ski. It was a lot of extra work for no reason. i am happy with it other wise. check out my pictures for a few other ideas.  i can fit my popup and auger nicely and plenty o room for all my other goodies. The aluminum box is very light and works great as a table to cook on.  Good luck. Im looking to sell this setup if your in the south boston area. 


Offline stripernut

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Re: Questions on building my own Smitty.
« Reply #11 on: Jan 25, 2023, 04:57 AM »
"T" Bar Aluminum is very strong and light and has worked out very well for me... Just one more thing to consider;


Offline hardwater diehard

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Re: Questions on building my own Smitty.
« Reply #12 on: Jan 25, 2023, 08:45 AM »
Lots of information on this page!
https://www.iceshanty.com/ice_fishing/index.php?topic=103927.0

The above thread and post are a good read to get your creative juices flowing.

The Smitty sled can be built with 2x4 ...2x6 ...2x8...2x10 risers  and 2x4 or 2x3 cross braces .. most folks use down hill skis....a 16 ft rope tied to the tips of the skis is required . The Smitty shines in moderate snow . There are tons of ways to reduce weight by the materials you use . Place your risers so the weight will be toward the rear of the sled . Good luck with your build .
Give a man a fish he eats for a day .Teach a man to ice fish he has an obsession for a lifetime

Offline Wapiti406

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Re: Questions on building my own Smitty.
« Reply #13 on: Jan 27, 2023, 12:01 AM »





Just built this beast and couldn't be happier.  These skis have a fair arch in the middle that flattens down with any weight. I went with the tall platforms because I frequently encounter deep snow.  If you are usually on light snow or bare ice, I'd keep your setup low.

Offline vanhln

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Re: Questions on building my own Smitty.
« Reply #14 on: Jan 27, 2023, 10:12 AM »
wow, that is slick Wapiti

Offline Hoserman

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Re: Questions on building my own Smitty.
« Reply #15 on: Jan 27, 2023, 12:01 PM »
Thank you all for the most valuable and welcome advice. Gives me a lot to think about and the best way to go about the build. Very cool indeed.
Tried ice fishing with Dynamite, UGH... where's my shanty?

 



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