Every film crew’s got one. It’s a prerequisite if you want to learn to shred the streets and a simple way to avoid the awkward two-man sling-in. Pump bumps, bungees, and vehicle tow-ins are helpful, but there’s nothing like a time-tested drop-in ramp.
The first step is to build the posts-they’ll serve as the front and back of the ramp and resemble two ladders. Cut four five-foot-long 2x4s and five two-foot-long 2x4s. With the longer pieces laid parallel, about two feet apart and resting on the two inch side, evenly place three of them across like rungs on a ladder and screw them down. Do the same with the other posts, but with two rungs about eight inches from the ends.
Bracing the posts with adjustable supports and wing nuts makes this baby easy to fold for hauling and setup. With a drill bit slightly larger than the bolts, drill four holes in the side of the posts, about a foot from the ends. Take four two-foot 2x4s and drill holes 1 3/4 inches from the ends as well. Now, piece it together by sticking the supports to the outside of the posts and lacing them with the bolts, washers, and wing nuts.
For the crow’s nest on top, cut a piece of plywood that’s just over 27 inches and build a frame around it with 2x4s. Tack the plywood to the frame and make sure it fits like a cap over the posts.
The ramp can vary in length, but remember, if it’s too short, the ramp will be too steep and you’ll lose all your speed in the bottom kink. And if it’s too long, the mellow angle won’t let you generate enough speed. With the remaining plywood, cut a strip that’s 24 inches wide and about 78 inches long, then mount two 2x4s to the sides like rails and trim the tips at an angle so they don’t conflict with the posts/rungs. Now take the metal brackets and mount them to the underside of the plywood. You now have a ramp that hooks onto the posts and a portable structure of speed. Drop in, bro.
Recommended Materials And Tools:
8 – Four-inch Bolts
8 – Wing Nuts
16 – Washers
2 – Metal Elbow Brackets
4 – 1 1/2-inch Round Head Bolts
4 – Nuts
1 – 4’x8′ Sheet Of 3/4-inch Plywood
6 – Eight-foot 2x4s
5/8″ Drill Bit
Saw (preferably with a motor)
-Remember to measure twice, cut once, and don’t slice your arm off, kid.
-Get thick bolts and wing nuts, as they’ll be sturdier. You can also use regular nuts-just remember to bring a crescent wrench or pliers.
-You can use thick particleboard instead of plywood, but it might break down faster.
-Add a couple support ribs to the deck or ramp if using thin plywood.
-Coat the plywood with slick paint, scraps of carpet, or something that will hold snow or make you go fast. And also remember, anything that you can do to waterproof the entire setup will ensure longevity.
Illustrations By Shawn O’Keefe