Project: Ski Press: Part 3 – Planning the Layout

Some more work tonight on the ski press planning. First, I realized that if I was going to be able to make 3m long skis, I was going to need a press that was a bit longer. Why 3m? Because that was a request I go, and I'm looking for strange. I bumped up the length to 12 feet(lumber comes in imperial sizes), widened the opening to about 17 inches and removed the individual boards from the work surface objects, mostly due to the fact that I'm still planning them, and doing it manually is way too much work.

Current Ski Press Layout

This image shows the top and bottom work surfaces, the support legs(pink) and the crossing support beams(orange).

I've added some more math to my spreadsheets, which are helping me immensely in this work(a tonne of that is just working with metric and imperial, the CAD software is set to mm because I want to, and the lumber is imperial). With my changed work surface width, I was able to recalculate the dimensions and boards required instantly. Added some conditional formatting and it now tells me which option is the best for plywood thickness. I brought down the tops of the standing beams to about 8 inches above the upper cross beam(should be the same thickness as the beam itself, if I stick with a 8x8 beam). I moved some of the legs underneath the work surface for support to ensure downward deflection is minimal, but I think I will add a cross beam on top of those to help with the support.

One major change was to not have the center beams go past the lower work surface. This was done because of the extended length I added. Those extra two feet will make it difficult or impossible to load in the templates and skis from the end of the press. By using this layout, I can load the hardware in from the side. I will be adding clamps that will need to be applied in the mid sections to reduce deflection, but those are not yet figured out. There should be room under this to store some of the hardware(think air compressor) and I will see about building a shelf on the top(it is just over 2 meters high, or 6 foot 8 inches) to store some of the larger raw materials and parts for the templates.

Speaking of the air compressor, I'm thinking of using something like this one by All Power. Saw a version in the local tool shop a few months back, at a good price. The system can run the press for the time needed, and if I want to go portable, I don't have to bring the whole thing with me(but I can). Still thinking on that one.

Overall the design is closer, I think, then ever to the point where I start ordering wood.