The Flexible Flyer

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Project by jbschutz posted 607 days ago 1454 views 8 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The Flexible Flyer......It’s that time of year when a woodworker’s fancy turns to holiday items. This is my tribute to The Flexible Flyer sled. When I was a young, every kid on the block had one or wanted one. My decorative version makes a great table centerpiece or looks good hanging on the wall or front door.
The sled is made with walnut runners and handle and maple slats on top. In the picture of three, the one on the right has bamboo slats. Two of the sleds have walnut stringing in the outside slats….makes ‘em go faster. The sled measures 16 in. long, 6.5 in. wide, and 2.5 in. high. Most of the ones I make are personalized with just a name or the name and “Flyer”. I use one-time use stencils from The Mad Stencilist in CA.
I cut the inside curved portion of the runners with a hole saw, and then connect the holes on the band saw. The hole saw diameter matches the diameter of the top roller on my bench belt sander, so it makes it easier to sand those inside corners.
The runners are glued and doweled to a pair of stretchers, and then the slats are added, glued to the stretchers. The handle is glued and doweled to the center slat. I finish with spray poly and add a decorative pull rope.

-- jbschutz

15 comments so far

View cajunpen's profile


14363 posts in 2669 days

#1 posted 607 days ago

Well being from a State that rarely sees snow, I cant relate to the sleds – but being a Woodworker, I can relate to the Craftsmanship and quality of your sleds. Well done

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Boxguy's profile


1410 posts in 870 days

#2 posted 607 days ago

John, this is great fun and a nice idea. Thanks for sharing it with us. Thanks for the upside-down shot. It helps readers to see the details of your construction and design. I liked the detailed write-up as well. I had a Flexible Flier as well mine was a bit bent from running into trees…but that is a different story.

-- Big Al in IN

View RogerBean's profile


1094 posts in 1556 days

#3 posted 607 days ago

Those sure are cute little guys. Made with your usual care.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View tomd's profile


1727 posts in 2373 days

#4 posted 607 days ago

Very clever idea, they look great. It must be the little kid in you still wanting to go sledding.

-- Tom D

View a1Jim's profile


112001 posts in 2180 days

#5 posted 607 days ago

Very nice,if the’re only 16” long they could be used as skiis ,Ha HA
I really like very cool.

-- Custom furniture

View Surfside's profile


3049 posts in 776 days

#6 posted 607 days ago

Nicely done!

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Fishinbo's profile


11216 posts in 778 days

#7 posted 607 days ago

Splendid craftsmanship!

View Ken90712's profile


14828 posts in 1792 days

#8 posted 607 days ago

Great job! Thay look awesome….

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View bonobo's profile


231 posts in 659 days

#9 posted 607 days ago

Lovely! Now do Rosebud.

-- “The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” ― Mark Twain

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13345 posts in 941 days

#10 posted 607 days ago

Spent a bunch of time on one of those. Great job.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 1586 days

#11 posted 607 days ago

great job

View blackcherry's profile


3148 posts in 2426 days

#12 posted 607 days ago

Great project will have to make the kids one for Christmas thanks for sharing …BC…ps how did you come up with the stencil script ?

View hunter71's profile


1962 posts in 1789 days

#13 posted 606 days ago

I remember well the Christmas my dad rebuilt a sled for me. Money was tight , but I got a sled.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View PRGDesigns's profile


203 posts in 916 days

#14 posted 606 days ago

The very first Wood Magazine I ever purchased was the December issue with the wooden sled on the cover. After reviewing the plans and extrapolating what tools and materials I would need, I decided I didn’t have enough “stuff” to build it in time for that Christmas. We lived in Missouri (where the possibility of snow is much greater than in the Republic of Texas) at that time and my boys were just the right age to enjoy said sled(s). I acquired the tools, skills and materials necessary to construct said sleds and I still have not completed one of them. The boys are grown and I missed that opportunity to give them something handmade while I made other things more important, like earning a living, coaching them in baseball, traveling 50K miles a year for work, etc. I still look at those pieces and parts and wonder if I made the right choice. Thank for posting this and reminding me once again of one of many of my shortcomings!

-- They call me Mr. Silly

View Roger's profile


14166 posts in 1407 days

#15 posted 604 days ago

These are some gr8 vintage sleds. A flashback of childhood for sure.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

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