Building a Plank Jump

For Robyn’s birthday this year I had a brilliant idea: why not build a plank jump with her stable name on it? Most plank jumps are actually pretty simple- they’re basically a plank with the ends cut so it will rest in jump cups.

plank jump example

That’s what I originally planned to do. But as I planned further, I realized that I really needed more space if I wanted to paint the design I had in mind. I needed something bigger!

I drew up some plans and then I enlisted a most needed helper: Robyn’s dad. He was an invaluable part of the project for both his expertise and his wide range of tools.

And so it began!

First we gathered the materials and did some measurements. I wanted to make sure that the plank jump would be combinable with Robyn’s existing poles, so it was important to check the size.

Jumbo plywood sheet, two 2x4s, and hardware

Anyone who buys wood glue by the gallon is clearly a total badass.

Building the frame

Once the frame was built, we added the plywood sheets to either side with wood glue and screws.

The finished frame! To make painting easier, we hung it so I could work on it standing up. Not pictured: fun with the electric sander.

After priming the whole jump, I started tracing my design onto each side.

More tracing

For the next month or so I added new coats of paint in each color whenever I could sneak the time on my weekly visits. It took a lot of coats to get nice bright colors, especially since I had a decently intricate design to go around, and two sides to paint.

Getting there…

Finally, long after the actual birthday had passed, I finished the jump. I sealed it with polyurethane to protect it and presented it to Robyn. The awesome thing is that the jump doubles as a sign- when not in use, it hangs on the arena wall.

The finished jump

And that’s what I did this summer, among other things :)

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