Sunday, December 25, 2011

Automotive chocks, skateboard decking, and barrels

These are some of the items that I got for Christmas: automotive chocks, skateboard decking, and barrel  Think about it, what odd gifts!  Oddly enough, it was what I put on my Christmas list and I am happy that I got them.  It was funny opening my gifts however.  My dad was over for the festivities.  Dad knows that I do agility, but it doesn't occur to him that all of these odd gifts might actually be useful.  So, his question of "why did you get automotive chocks" is very normal!

Now to be fair, I want to give credit to AgilityNerd for giving me the ideas for my xmas list.  I have been working on the project of making a chute for about a year now.  Obviously, not working really hard at it!

Supplies and equipment:
Two heavy rubber automotive chocks,
1 heavy blue barrel
4 stainless steal bolts/nuts used to secure the chocks to the barrel
1 Chute (NTI Global)
4 stripes of skateboard decking
Copper pipe insulation
Jig saw
exacto knife

Heavy rubber chock

Skateboard decking (basically huge sticky back sandpaper)

The barrel

We cut the lid off of the barrel being careful to leave the lip on the barrel.  The lip will come in handy to help keep the chute on the barrel.  Then we cut the bottom off of the barrel.

Next we secured the chocks to the barrel towards the front.  We used a drill to pre-drill holes in the chocks and to drill holes in the barrel.   The head of the bolt should be inside the barrel.  We decided to put the chocks toward the front in case we need to put another set on once I let Tangle do the test run.  He is the the largest and heaviest of all of my dogs.  If the chute is going to move, Tangle will do it!

Once the chocks are secured to the barrel we applied silicon caulking to the bolt head to lessen the angle from the bolt head to the barrel.  Mostly trying to diminish the wear that the bolts will have on the skateboard deck paper.  Once the caulking is dry (we gave it 24 hours) you can sand it a little to achieve a smooth surface if you want.

Clean the inside of the barrel with acetone or denatured alcohol

Get the skateboard decking and cut it to size.  We ran the decking the length of the barrel rather than the width.  The barrel does have a narrowing shape and lengthwise made it much easier to get a better fit.

Apply the pipe insulation around the edge of the barrel that the dog will enter to protect them from the blunt edge.

Once that was done, put on the chute and away you go!

In total it took about an 1.5 hours to make the barrel.