Looking for trailhead register plans

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by daltxguy posted 01-07-2010 07:23 AM 5099 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 4111 days

01-07-2010 07:23 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question joining design trailhead register

Ok, not everyone needs or wants one of these but I’ve had a request from my community to build a trailhead sign-in register for our new Mataki Willowgrove Walkway. I built a bench for this walkway a few months back in time for its opening.It was such a hit that I’ve been asked to build a register as well.

I can probably work something out but I thought I would call out to the 15,000 strong LJ community to see if they’ve any experience with this or have any plans for one or know where I might find one.

It’s a very short trail and the register is more for interest than for search and rescue missions. The logbook is a standard landscape oriented 8 1/2×11 book and nothing else needs to be stored in it like pamphlets, doggie litter bags or any such thing ( probably a pen or a pencil though). It obviously would need to be big enough to hold the book but also provide a surface when it is open to write in.

We do get a lot of rain ( 1.8m or about 6 ft/year) so needs to be weatherproof but no snow ( or rarely). It will be exposed to full sun most of the time. No worries about bears, raccoons, snakes or any such thing as we don’t have any. There is little wind to speak of but the occasional gust.

It can be nailed, glued or screwed or all of the above. I do have some outdoor ply and galvanised nails. The real question is what design should I used and are there any tips on its construction.

This is where it is going to go:

I’ve searched the net and I’ve only found a few examples. It’s not an often photographed piece of outdoor furnishing ( I wonder why!)

Adirondack trailhead register.Not bad, but this seems too tall.

There’s the mailbox on a post idea. Doesn’t seem to satisfy all the criteria – no place to write.

Here’s another flip down design. This is not too bad. Looks like the table catches on the back of the register eliminating the need for the chains as in the Adirondack trail designs. How does it stay closed??

Any help is appreciated

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

10 replies so far

View lew's profile


12424 posts in 3952 days

#1 posted 01-07-2010 06:10 PM

Here are 2 you may have already seen:

Image 1

Image 2

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 4111 days

#2 posted 01-07-2010 09:15 PM

Hi Lew,

Thanks for that. The first one appears similar to the flip down design as far as I can tell ( I couldn’t get the picture fullsize)

I did come across the second one once but couldn’t find it again. Unfortunately I can’t download it. That one looks like an old school desk where the top of the ‘desk’ flips up and the register book stores underneath.
I like that design. It’s very simple. The desktop is also the roof of the register.

I’m really hoping to find a design to get the proper dimensions of everything or else I will have to design on the fly. I know some people know I use Sketchup and wonder why I just don’t design one using that. I might just do that but it’s still a question of scale and I won’t get that until a prototype is built that I can touch and feel!

As I thought, this is not a popular woodworking item – but someone had to design and build these!

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View Llarian's profile


128 posts in 3804 days

#3 posted 01-08-2010 02:54 AM

We tend to have a combination of the signboard style, with a flip down section here in the NW. Usually locally found logs for the base, attached with rough mortise and tenon and screws to a frame of whatever is handy.

Typically 3/4” outdoor ply for the board and the flip-down section, and topped with a cedar shake gable and overhang for weather purposes.

If you can find much/most of the wood in the general area, it lends itself to a beautiful rough look that tends to fit the outdoor recreation style in my opinion.

-- Dylan Vanderhoof - General hobbiest and reluctant penmaker.

View jlsmith5963's profile


297 posts in 3545 days

#4 posted 01-08-2010 03:00 AM

You could always use the photomatch function in sketch up to develop the dimensions of any photo you can find, although given the nature of the project its hard to imagine that you couldn’t just use some common sense to the establish the basic dimensions.

A google search for trailhead or trail head produces a lot of images that you can look at for various ideas.

-- criticism: the art of analyzing and evaluating the quality of an artistic work...

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 4111 days

#5 posted 01-08-2010 06:43 AM

Thanks Llarian. Those are some good tips.

Since it’s called the Willowgrove walkway, I might just incorporate some of that into the design. There’s not much else to speak of there now as it is a recovering native bush area.

The willows are actually a pest because they reproduce so readily and clog the waterways but there’s no chance they will ever be completely taken out because the river would otherwise revert to its ‘braided river’ formation which would then allow it flow in random directions during high water and flood a wide area. Now we couldn’t have nature do whatever it was intended now, could we?

jlsmith5963 – I got the pics above from the same searches.

I think I am settling on the flip down design ( the last one shown). I rather like it’s clean look. I’ve already got a start on a prototype – though it just might end up being the final design. Since it’s going to get painted or stained anyway, it shouldn’t matter that I am using recycled pallet wood – in fact I think it adds some instant character. Pics to follow as I progress…

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View hootr's profile


183 posts in 3544 days

#6 posted 01-09-2010 08:21 AM

gotta like this kind of job
keep us posted

-- Ron, Missouri

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 4111 days

#7 posted 02-01-2010 12:50 PM

Not much progress yet, lots of other projects being done at the same time but here is a conceptual prototype I’ve partially assembled so far. I’m using some scrappy wood but it will be skinned with some outdoor ply.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3774 days

#8 posted 02-07-2010 06:38 PM

I’m confused why someone would need plans for something like these projects, These are the kind of projects you look at and build it so it looks like your photo. you don’t need dimensions,you just go for it.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 4111 days

#9 posted 02-07-2010 08:03 PM

Hi Jim,

I was just looking for approximate dimensions and I’m trying to avoid having to reinvent a successful design. I don’t have any to look at except the pictures I found online.

Having said that, making up the design as I go along is exactly what I am doing. I was just hoping that someone might have come across a ‘reference’ design. Once I’m done, I will share this design to spare anyone else from having to reinvent it yet again.

The world progresses by cooperation and building on the knowledge of others.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 4111 days

#10 posted 10-20-2010 10:40 AM

It’s been a long time but here is my version. Details to follow

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics