Project: Ski Press: Part 1 - Beginning Design

Alright, I have wanted to make a ski press forever, so I could make my own skis and snowboards. Now that I have my new shop, I have the ability to actually get this done. First thing I have to do is design the beast of a press. Well, first think I really have to do is learn to design, and so I start with learning to do some CAD work using a free, open tool: FreeCAD.

Corner of my garage.

First I had to learn some of the basics of using CAD software, and I don't have a budget for CAD software. A little(and I do mean small amount) of searching Google later and I came upon FreeCAD and installed it on my system. I then followed some of the basic tutorials on the website on how to make basic shapes. Within no time I felt I had the skills to do a rendering of the basic shapes that I wanted to work with.

A quick trip out to the shop, and a round with a tape measurer, and I had the dimensions I needed to do a basic rendering of the corner I was planning on working with. The press will be running along the back wall, and be as wide as it needs to be(with a maximum of 101cm due to the window). Based on one of the requested features for skis that I build, I have decided to make the press able to take up to 3m long skis. An additional constraint is that I don't know how to work with steel at all, and therefore need to build this out of wood. It will make it bulky, but it can be done.

With this information, I generated the render above. The software is easy to use for basic shapes, and I hope to learn more details, like the drafting diagrams that it can do, in the future. It is also scriptable in python, which is great, as I want to see about creating a macro that can generate a base ski geometry from general parameters(radius, length, widths, etc) for me to start with.

Now that I have the corner of my garage ready, I need to start building the press in it. That can come in part 2.