How to Make Skis for an Ice Shanty

How to Make Skis for an Ice Shanty

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Ice fishing in a shanty allows a fisherman to enjoy the benefits of seasonal lake property. To get the best out of your bob house, you need to find a spot where the fish are biting. That means your shanty needs to be as portable as possible. Having the right skis can make a difference, especially in locales where the snow tends to pile up on the ice. A few hours work shaping and fashioning some lumber into durable skis will keep you mobile and far enough off the ice to avoid getting snowed in.

Items you will need

  • Saw horses

  • 2- by 6-inch boards (two equal lengths at least a foot longer than the shanty's length)

  • Marking pencil

  • Circular saw

  • Power drill

  • 2-inch circumference hole saw bit

  • Weatherproof stain

  • Staining brush

  • Aluminum strips

  • Metal cutting snips

  • Hammer

  • Tack nails

  • Framing brackets

  • 3-inch deck screws

Step 1

Lay the 2- by 6-inch boards side by side on the sawhorses. Use a ruler and marking pencil to trace a line from the top corner of each board end to the bottom edge of each board at a 45-degree angle.

Step 2

Cut along each line with a circular saw. A neat triangle of wood should come off each edge of the board to give you two identical skis at least a foot longer than the full length of your ice shanty.

Step 3

Cut a series of holes in the middle of both skis with a drill and hole saw bit. An electric drill is the best tool for the job.

Step 4

Apply with a brush an even coat of weatherproofing stain to each ski. Cover all surfaces and edges with two even coats of stain, allowing the first coat to dry before applying a second one. Don't forget to stain the inside rim of all the holes you cut with the drill.

Step 5

Cut short lengths of smooth aluminum strips to cover the 45-degree angles on each end of both skis. Hammer in one edge with the tack nails. Bend the aluminum over the bottom edge of the ski and hammer in the other side. Overlap the aluminum on the wood about two inches on each side of the ski.

Step 6

Cut more strips to cover the entire bottom edge of each ski. The top edge of the aluminum strip on each side of your skis should sit just below the bottom curve of the holes you drilled earlier. Keep the aluminum wrapped as tightly to the wood as possible.

Step 7

Screw the framing brackets to the top edge of the skis for mounting to the shanty floor. Position the skis against the floor with each one at least six inches in from the outer side walls, centered so there is about six inches of the ski extending out past each end wall. Drill the floor brackets into place and check the skis for stability.


  • Keep the holes that you drill into the skis uniform. They do not have to be in exactly the same place on both skis, but match them as closely as you can. Drill the same number of holes in each ski to keep the weight even.
  • Apply block wax to the aluminum on the bottom edge of each ski to reduce friction.
  • Make sure the skis are aligned evenly.
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