Building a playset has been a really fun project this summer so far. It has been really fun to ” roll my own” playset, come up with plans, and design the setup to make a fun child area outdoors. In keeping with the idea of frugality and trying to reuse good materials, my goal was to put together playset with over half recycled materials.
As I started thinking about this and keeping it in my mind, I stumbled across a person 3 blocks away who was getting rid of their entire wooden playset. He had put it on Craigslist for several months and nobody had wanted it. As I was driving by, the yellow slide and climbing wall n the curb caught my eye. I stopped, chatted with the gentleman, and he even helped me load all of the wood in my vehicle.
After I got all of it home, I took a lot of time reviewing the materials, making sure it was all sound, and taking out bolts and screws. For my efforts, I was able to reuse most of the screws. All of the wood was treated although it had gotten dingy looking and several pieces had some lichen on them. To solve this, I borrowed a thickness planer and after carefully finding all of the metal pieces and taking them out, I ran most of the wood through this thickness planer. Viola! Instantly improved wood.
I did buy a few pieces of wood and metal for the structure. I purchased four three-foot long deck pilings that I hammered into the ground at each corner to better stabilize the structure and to keep the posts off the ground. I also purchased some treated 2×10’s for the ground contact area that has the sandbox in it as well as some cedar fence slats that I used for balusters on the platforms.
I also purchased sand. However, instead of getting sand from the local hardware store at 4 to $5 a 50lb bag, I borrowed a truck and went straight to the local quarry and got half a ton of sand for $10.50. They even made me a specialized mix of concrete sand and mason sand so Jr’s creations would stick together better.
There are a couple more things that need to be done before I can call this finished. One is that I’m planning to put a tarp roof on the top. But I’m currently waiting to see what the universe will provide for that. I also need to seal some of the wood as a precautionary measure.
So far Jr has spent countless hours in the sandbox building and digging and just letting the sand run through his fingers. Perfect for Imagination play.