JD's Garage Micro
Assemble Side Pieces and 2x4's Into 4 Sections of Transition Framing
Before assembling the 2x4's and side pieces, I chose to trace their planned positioning and pre-drill holes for the screws that would be going through my side pieces into the 2x4's. To do so I created a tracing tool which sped up the process. This tool is quite simply a small cut off the end of some scrap 2x4 I had with 2 holes drilled through it. The holes are just large enough to fit a pencil through and mark where the screw holes are to be drilled. This allowed me to trace the 2x4 positions and drill marks quickly, then take a drill and pre-drill on the marked dots. Obviously this method is not a necessity, but I found it helped me.
As far as planning each 2x4's positioning on the ramp, I measured every 8 inches down the transition so that every 8 inches starting at the bottom edge of the coping notch (where the skating surface would begin below the coping) would fall in the center of a 2x4 where the wood screws would anchor the skate layers to each rib. The only exceptions to the 8 inch rule on the transition framing were the 2x4 directly below the coping and the 2x4 at the bottom of the transition that would be attached to the flat bottom
Also important, at 48 inches from the coping, I added two 2x4's next to each other for support because this is where one piece of plywood ends, and the next begins. At this point, the 8 inch increment actually falls in between the doubled up 2x4's and not on the center of either of them individually.
The main reason for doubling up every 4' (48") is that you definitely DO NOT want your plywood seams to meet in between 2x4's because then you won't have supports underneath them to screw them down evenly.
For attaching the side pieces and 2x4's I used 2 1/4" metal wood screws. Before using them, I soaped each one as I went. 2 1/4" screws are fairly long and the soap makes screwing them in easier by coating them as a lubricant. Without the soap, it's easier to strip the screw heads as they drive in deeper and become more difficult (or next to impossible) to turn all the way in until flush with the surface of the plywood.