Learn how to make a Mini Ramp (DIY Halfpipe) with these easy-to-follow plans from Wicked Makers! Building a mini ramp for yourself, your friends, or your kids is a super fun DIY project that is actually a lot simpler than you might think.
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Start with a good, solid plan for your mini-ramp. You need to be sure the ramp will fit in your backyard or space you’re planning to keep your halfpipe.
If you have a cement or brick pad in your backyard, consider using this as a sturdy platform to place your mini-ramp on as it will support the construction and make the ramp last longer in the yard.
For any corners of the ramp not placed on a pre-existing cement or brick pad, you’ll need to dig support holes and fill with cement footings to stabilize the ramp construction.
Cement footings should be 12″ x 12″ x8″ for standard size ramps and sit flush with the ground level.
In a perfect world, the whole ramp would sit on a super flat, perfectly balanced concrete pad, but most areas are far from perfect so be prepared to install some concrete footings for the mini-ramp.
In any areas not flush with the footings, feel free to install concrete pavers to help level out the area for proper installation.
Building the Transition for the Mini-Ramp
When building a mini halfpipe, you’re actually assembling 4 quarter-pipe ramps which are built in modular sections for future flexibility.
To create each transition piece of the mini-ramp, you need to line up two sheets of plywood, decipher the pivot point of the ramp, and then line up your curvature using a string and line drawing in the wood.
Attach a screw to the second sheet of plywood to anchor your string to, and cut the string to the length of the radius of your curve.
Attach a pencil to the anchored string and draw a curved line on the sheets of plywood to illustrate your cut points on the wood.
Measure and mark the rest of the transition pieces using your first as the template for all. You can cut 2 transitions from each drawn template by stacking plywood and making a single cut.
Use a jigsaw to make your cuts in the plywood and use your first cut as a template for the rest of the plywood cuts.
Trimming Your 2x4s to Frame Out the Mini Ramp
The ramp in these plans is exactly 12 feet wide. Once the transition pieces are cut, it’s time to trim out the 2×4’s to frame the ramp.
Mark and cut your 2×4’s to the width of each of your quarterpipes or the entire width of your halfpipe, depending on how you’ve planned the ramp.
Once the 2×4’s are cut and prepped, you’ll use 2.5″ exterior screws to assemble to the planks to the transition pieces.
A good milestone and time for testing your build quality is after the first of the quarter pipes is framed and assembled. At this point, you should be able to recognize if there are wobbly points or instabilities in your ramp.
Squaring and Framing Your Ramp
To square your ramp, cut your 2x4s to exact length and attach loosely to your transition templates. Place your 2x4s about 8 inches apart to guide the squaring of the sides of the ramp.
Once your 2x4s are completely in place, use a square to completely level off the transition pieces and secure them with an electric drill tightening.
Building and Assembling the Flat Section of the Ramp
Once your quarter pipes are completed and squared, you’ll need to repeat the steps to build and square the flat section of your halfpipe.
Again, space your 2x4s about 8 inches apart, spanning the width of the ramp. You’ll need to account for the outer most 2×4 in your planning and cutting of the inner planks.
Installing The Coping to the Mini-Ramp
In the top corner of the ramp is a notch intended for laying the metal coping of the ramp. The coping is a metal pipe 2 inches in diameter used for grinding. The 2 inch diameter has proven hard to find in normal hardware stores so you may need to look up a metal supply store to order this piece of the ramp.
You’ll need to drill holes in the metal coping every 18-24 inches to attach the coping to the frame of the ramp. This can prove to be a bit challenging so be sure to freshen up your drill bits prior to getting started.
It’s best to use a high-quality drill bit intended for drilling into metal like a cobalt drill bit or similar. Use a 3/8 drill bit for the top side of the coping and a 3/16 bit for the bottom side where the screw will attach to the frame. This will ensure your coping is nice and resistance free where there may be any sliding or grinding during use.
Installing the Deck of the Halfpipe
Installing the deck of the halfpipe may require some extra help to bend the plywood into shape while screwing the down the decking. Be prepared and ask in advance if a neighbor, friend, or family can help.
How do You Bend the Plywood for a Mini-Ramp?
There’s really no trick other than some good old fashioned elbow grease. Grab a friend and have them lean into the plywood in order to bend it while you screw the sheets into place.
Using 3/8″ plywood, have one person push the sheet into place while you or another person screw the sheets down. The force of the screws placed every 8 inches will be enough to force the plywood into place.
If possible, use two layers of plywood and offset each layer to make sure no screws are aligned and the surface is smooth when complete.
What To Do if it Rains While Building Your Halfpipe
If it rains while you’re in process of building and constructing your halfpipe, use a tarp or something similar to cover the ramp so no water soaks into the wood prior to sealing and finishing the project.
You may need to use multiple tarps depending on the size of your halfpipe. Covering the ramp during a rain before your project is complete will save you huge in the long-run, so go and purchase one in the case it does start raining during the build.
Finishing the Ramp with Diagonal Layers of Masonite
The top layer of wood for the ramp should be laid diagonally to avoid wheel bite during riding the halfpipe. We suggest using either masonite or 1/8 inch bamboo plywood for the top layer of the ramp.
Keep wood expansion in mind while laying the final layer of the ramp. If your area tends to be humid, the top layer may expand. If this is the case, account for the expansion by leaving a small expansion gap in the diagonally placed top sheets.
Now Go Shred
Big thanks again to the fine folks at Wicked Makers for this great tutorial on how to make a mini ramp. This DIY project can seem intimidating. A good plan of execution is all you need to get out and make your own mini ramp in your backyard.
Please consider purchasing the plans for this mini ramp. Our organization is working to help small businesses like Wicked Makers continue to support the community through online learning. To support the team responsible for this instructional video, visit Wicked Makers and purchase the plans to this mini ramp today.
All proceeds go directly to Wicked Makers for being awesome!