If you try to imagine a snow sled, odds are good that you're picturing either a toboggan or a metal runner sled. Metal runner snow sleds are a beloved part of childhood. You know the kind. They're made of wood, and they sit a little off the snow on metal runners that you can steer, more or less.
The only problem with those sleds was that they never seem to go fast enough. You can solve that by lubing the runners before you head out to icy hills. (Metal runner snow sleds don't work so well in powder snow. You'll want a toboggan for that kind of snow.) You'll also add to the life of the sled by waterproofing the whole thing.
Lubing the runners
You probably should start by removing any rust on the runners. You don't really have to, but it's getting in the way of your speed, and it's only going to get worse with time. You can use steel wool, a wire wheel, or even Naval Jelly to get rid of the rust. The smoother you can get it, the faster your sled's going to be!
When you've got it all off and smoothed down the runners, spray a little WD-40 on your runners to keep the rust off. It's also pretty good at lubing your runners all on its own.
Now it's lube time. There's a lot of different things you can use for this, even without going into the Christmas Vacation secret company lubricant.
If you just want something basic, rub a bit of soap on your runners. There's nothing cheaper! The only problem's that you'll have to replace it a lot.
Wax of any kind gives really good results. You can even run an old candle over your runners. Ski wax is even better. If you really want to go fast, look for the kinds of special waxes that are designed for luges, and make really sure there's nothing in your way when you're heading downhill!
Waterproofing the sled
A really good way to waterproof your sled is to rub wax into every part of your sled. Of course, your sled's got to be completely dry before you start rubbing the wax in.
Unless you're really serious about your sledding, you don't have to do this a lot. Once at the beginning of the season and once at the end of the season should be just fine.