Santa Sleigh

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Here's a cheap way to make a sleigh that comes apart for easy storage!

  • The basic design idea was pirated from a sleigh kit at a local home improvement center. It just looked simple and compact, and a side looked like it could be made with just a couple sections of PVC pipe.
0-stolen design.jpg
  • To make the curved bottom section/runner, I used a section of stiff wire and just shaped it to the size I thought would work. This would be a single piece of 1/2" x 10' PVC and since the bottom would be straight, all I needed was enough wire to shape the curves.
1-wire form.JPG
  • Because I needed two identical sides, I needed a jig to help bend the PVC pipe. I had an old mattress frame in the garage and I mounted a couple additional boards onto it to fashion a large bending jig for the PVC pipe. I laid the wire sample onto the frame and traced it out. Then I screwed 3" deck screws (sheetrock screws would work too) about 1/2" from the trace line and spaced them evenly around the curves to support the pipe during bending and to help make the bends consistent.
2-bending jig.JPG :3-bending jig.JPG
  • The bending process requires patience, a heat gun (or hair dryer) and plenty of space because the pipe starts out 10' long. I put a stop screw in the jig to butt the pvc against, and heated a 2' section until it was soft and wobbly. This allowed fitting it into the curve quite easily. I soon found I needed a few screws on the outer part of the curve to hold it from bowing out too much, and after adding them, I reheated the PVC and reformed the curve a little better. I wasn't too concerned about making a perfect curve or pipe creasing since this will have rope light attached to it and the bends needed to be "smooth enough" and not necessarily perfect... The process was heat - bend - more heat - more bend... and lots of patience.
  • After bending, I let the pipe sit in the jig for about 15 minutes to make sure it had cooled and would retain its shape. I was pleased with the result.
5-cooling.JPG : 6-finished side.JPG
  • I repeated the process with a second pipe. With some very simple tools you can bend PVC into some fairly complex shapes and do it consistently, too!
7-two sides.JPG