How to Build a Ramp

Although it looks simple enough, there are underlying principles to follow when you build a ramp. There is also a lot of planning and you need to have the right gear at your disposal.

Required Tools and Materials

  • Saw
  • Building material (i.e. wood boards, steel etc)
  • Posts (you can buy or make them with wood or metal)
  • Nails
  • Tape measure
  • Screws
  • Bolts
  • Cardboard tube
  • Cement mix
  • Hammer
  • Screwdrivers

Design the Layout

Decide first and foremost what you want to make. There are structures for skateboarding, boarding aircraft or crossing to a higher platform. Take this into account. Know exactly what you have in mind. Now draw the basic outline on paper.

Make Measurements

This includes the overall structure length. Also note the degrees of the transition (curves) and the turns. Make a note of the degrees involved. To build a ramp, this information is critical. It doesn’t just tell you how much material to get but will keep it from falling apart. Never use guesswork on the measurements.

Prepare the Site

The place must be clear and the surface level. If you’re going to do a lot of work, make sure it’s not on a busy path. Get rid of any dirt or thrash in the area.

Have the Permits Approved

Get the permits from the local officials first. If you’re making one for skateboards, check the safety rules and regulations. If the structure is for pedestrians, ensure it complies with the standards for disabled people before you build a ramp. Check the laws for your state / country.

Make the Posts

Begin to build a ramp by getting your building material. Create the posts. If you’re using wood, saw to the required size. Use a tape measure if necessary. Plant or insert them in the ground. Make sure they are aligned properly. For more support you can add cardboard tube in the hole around it.

Note: if the ground isn’t level, you’ll need to cement it. Dig a hole (several inches will do). Take out some of the sod and pour in the cement. Hardening takes about 24 hours. Now you can continue to build a ramp.

Make the Deck

Use the wood boards to create the deck. Cut each section to the right length. You can use wood glue or nail it to the base. Make sure the deck is aligned properly before fastening it in place. Sanding is optional. If there will be plenty of curves or a 180 degree turn, use four posts for that area. Nail in the rails.

Tips

Wood treated material is optimized for these structures. If you’re just making one for skateboarding, ordinary wood will do provided you stain it. For pedestrians or passengers, treated lumber is necessary.

Always refer to your layout when working. This helps you stay focused especially when cutting and shaping the curves and transitions. Wear gloves and eye goggles when cutting wood.

The final step to build a ramp is painting. When it has dried, congratulate yourself; your job is done.