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Topic: Backyard Playset - image heavy  (Read 15468 times)
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sugarbeth
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« on: July 11, 2007 09:16:22 AM »

This is what happens when craftsters get old and have a bunch of power tools - just a warning! Smiley

This is a project from last summer. I thought I should finally get around to documenting it. It was really satisfying to build from scratch. A playset this size (and it is pretty big) would be well over $4000 from someplace like Rainbow or Backyard Adventures.

I made the playhouse part of it an homage to our first house which was painted this color. The swings and ladder hardware and accessories were from byoswingset.com. The slide and swing arm braces were from one of the big hardware stores. The lumber is from Dunn lumber - a local lumber store here. I HIGHLY recommend getting your lumber from your local lumber yard rather than Home Depot, Lowe's etc. The lumber yard will be cheaper, delivery will likely be free (or cheap), and you just drive through and they load up your car. It's awesome.

Power tools I used: Drill, circular saw, power sander, jig saw, miter saw.

In addition to lumber you need: about 100 3/8x3" galvanized lag bolts + washers, 5-6 lbs of decking screws (2" I think), various strongtie braces.

I put a shingled roof on, but if I had to do it over, I would just make a simple roof using cedar siding.

The area was first cleared and leveled, then we put down a layer of weedblocker fabric. Built the structure, and then made an enclosure for the woodchips out of 2x8 treated lumber. I think there's something like 6-8 sq yards of wood play chips in there.

My original sketch. The plans changed somewhat as I forgoed the monkey bars and the peepholes in the house panels.



I labeled a bunch of pictures with the dimensions of the lumber that was used. Some of the lengths might be approximate. But basically, the structure is based on the 4 4x4x10' support posts. The deck is 5' off the ground. The 2x6x5' horizontal supports do most of the work holding it all together. In the pics, you can't see the 2x6's that are at the base since they are covered in wood chips, but refer to the sketch for that.

It is all held together with 3/8x3" galvanized lag bolts. I would first make a recess for the bolt head +washer with a 1" forstner bit on the drill, then pre-drill a hole for the lag bolt. There was a lot of cranking bolts on in this project!



















Anyhoo, the point of my story is this: Just because you are a girl, it doesn't mean that you can't build big cool things out of wood. But do have your man do the heavy lifting parts. Wink
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010 08:35:19 PM by jungrrl - Reason: fixed a coding issue » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Beth
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2007 09:30:23 AM »

THAT IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How long did it take you to build this?!
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2007 09:50:11 AM »

having had a temp job at a backyard playset (childlife) store, I can assure you that it would have been at least $4k - crazy

that's the way to do it - way to go!

i'm sure the kids will love it for a long time (then you can sell it!)

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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2007 10:02:20 AM »

What an amazing job!
Those kids are so lucky to have you as their mother.
BeaG
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2007 10:09:55 AM »

THAT IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How long did it take you to build this?!

Thanks! It took me about 3 weeks of June for the main structure, and a little bit longer for the roof. But first there was the prep work - I had to remove a couple of ugly trees, and move some shrubs, level the dirt. And then build the perimeter too. It would've been faster if I didn't have the kids around - but then I wouldn't have been building that thing in the first place - lol. Smiley I would just work on it here and there when they were occupied doing something else. Most of the work was cutting the wood, sanding the ends (oh god, sooo much sanding), predrilling the holes and then staining. All of that could be done before assembly. So that made it easy to do on my own while dealing with the kids too.
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2007 10:54:37 AM »

That is just incredible..
I wish my husband were good with woodwork.. he didn't get that gene from his father, who is handy.

Once, before we were married, my husband made a bathouse...  Okay. We dont' talk about the bathouse too often - he made it with like 3/4" plywood - it was the heaviest bathouse in the history of bathouses...

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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2007 10:55:57 AM »

That is so awesome! Are there any pictures of the full structure?
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2007 11:27:02 AM »

That is so great!

You must have the most popular back yard in the neighborhood.
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2007 11:31:13 AM »

That is just incredible..
I wish my husband were good with woodwork.. he didn't get that gene from his father, who is handy.

This reply made me laugh.
Did you read the initial post? Woman can do these kind of things too, you know?
Lol,
BeaG
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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2007 11:40:36 AM »

Wow... I'm in complete awe.  So if you don't mind me asking, what was the total cost of the project when all was said and done?  It looks so professional! I bow to your mad, mad skills.
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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2007 12:05:56 PM »

Can i come and live at your house please? Grin

I just love that sunshine on the front.
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« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2007 12:35:23 PM »

That is truly awesome. That may be your calling!
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I WIST I had all these super cool things!

See you in the clouds, sweet little Jackson.
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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2007 01:37:45 PM »

That playhouse would have made me the happiest kid in the world as I'm sure yours are now!! You really did a great job Smiley
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tinab363
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2007 01:50:28 PM »

Holy Moly!!  That's awesome.  Wonderful job.
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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2007 02:44:17 PM »

Aren't power tools wonderful??

You did a great job.
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sugarbeth
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« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2007 03:34:01 PM »

slb2724~ here's another picture I found which shows more of the whole thing at once (the underside of the roof has been stained white since this was taken):


bongirl5~ I'd say in all it was probably about $2000. That's including the wood, hardware, stains, accessories, shingles, perimeter, weedblocker and woodchips, a new jigsaw... Wink So not cheap by any means, but it's custom, and big enough that they'll play with it for many years, and I'll be able to sell it since I made it to come apart some day. I made a big excel sheet and price-shopped. The local lumberyard was cheapest, and on top of that gave me like another 5% off since it was a big order - that was nice!

I need to give some credit to my FIL - he helped me a lot with the roof, which was impossible to do alone, and gave me a bunch of wood from his old deck for underneath the shingles, so that saved me some money there too.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2007 03:35:32 PM by sugarbeth » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2007 03:40:30 PM »

That's so awesome.  Cutting the cost in half! I hope the kids know how lucky they are to have such a crafty mama!
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« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2007 07:21:41 PM »

ROCK on with your toolbelt, girl!  Fantastic work!
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« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2007 09:17:26 PM »

ROCK on with your toolbelt, girl!  Fantastic work!

As a matter of fact, I DO have a toolbelt, and it's PINK! lol My husband got it for me at pinktoolbelts.com. I loooove it.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2007 09:18:06 PM by sugarbeth » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2007 08:15:44 AM »

As a matter of fact, I DO have a toolbelt, and it's PINK! lol My husband got it for me at pinktoolbelts.com. I loooove it.

I don't have the belt, but I do have all the tools. Cheesy  Occasionally I even let my husband borrow them! Smiley
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« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2007 07:21:20 AM »

I love what a girl can do with a power saw! 

Kudos sugarbeth!!
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« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2008 07:04:54 PM »

Congrats on being a Best of 2007 Craftster!!!!!
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« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2008 04:46:50 PM »

you are an inspiration...seriously, women NEED to see other women doing this kind of work. I immediately made sure my 7 year old daughter who was looking knew a woman had built this.
I know I'm inspired...I am going to start planning one now for when our house is built.
I am wondering why you decided to not do the monkey bars...would it have been tough to make the swings fit in correctly?
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« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2008 11:12:41 PM »

Monkey bars are nice when they're on their own - but with the swings I think would get in the way of dangling legs, and nobody can swing if you're on the monkey bars. That, and it was easier. Smiley
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« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2008 02:14:47 AM »

Yeah...I guess that was what I meant. Thanks....I can't wait until we move!
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« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2008 05:09:32 AM »

This is absolutely amazing. Great work! Your children must have been over the moon. Well done.  Grin
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« Reply #26 on: March 24, 2008 01:20:05 PM »

This is sweet! Nice job!!!

I don't know if anyone asked this, but if you were to do it again, what would you do differently? (besides the shingled roof! I think you were crazy for shingling!!!! Smiley ) What would you do exactly the same? ANything you would add?
Thanks!!!
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I'd love to send you some hand spun for a poppet!

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« Reply #27 on: March 24, 2008 01:35:33 PM »

This is sweet! Nice job!!!

I don't know if anyone asked this, but if you were to do it again, what would you do differently? (besides the shingled roof! I think you were crazy for shingling!!!! Smiley ) What would you do exactly the same? ANything you would add?
Thanks!!!

Yeah, no way would I use shingles again! :lol: I'd just use cedar siding planks. The other things that I would do different is use thicker lumber (I used 5/4 x6 and they should be 2x6) for the picnic table and the steps on the ladder. They're holding up okay, but definitely could be sturdier. Everything else worked out well. 
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« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2008 02:42:40 PM »

That looks fantastic!  My husband and I desperately want to build something like this for our kids but can't afford the kits to do it. 

How much did that cost you to do? 
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« Reply #29 on: June 15, 2008 08:17:19 PM »

That looks fantastic!  My husband and I desperately want to build something like this for our kids but can't afford the kits to do it. 

How much did that cost you to do? 

Thanks! See post #15. Wink
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« Reply #30 on: July 16, 2008 12:01:29 PM »

Wow!  Great job.  You are an inspiration girl!  You did such an awesome job and I know your kids are going to get thousands of hours of fun out of it.
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« Reply #31 on: July 23, 2008 02:54:35 PM »

Ok, so we just scored a TON of lumber off of Freecycle. This family got someone else's play set years ago, and never put it together. They have since lost the photos of how it goes together, but hubby and I don't care, we have a backyard full of 2X6's, 6X6's brackets, and a bunch of still together pieces like the landing for the top of the slide, the ladder to get there, and the huge post that runs the length of the thing with the swing parts still in place! WooT! I am soooo excited to get started! I have already cleared out the area, now we need to take inventory of all the lumber we have and make up our plans! I will post when we get it going!
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« Reply #32 on: July 23, 2008 03:01:09 PM »

Oooh! How fun! Definitely post some pics when you get it together!
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« Reply #33 on: August 13, 2008 10:44:46 AM »

Whoa, what a great playset! I love it! My kiddies would never come back indoors if we had this in our backyard :-) I wanted a wooden tower somewhat smaller than yours in their room, and gave up on it so far for other projects - but you really made me regret it. Your tower is amazing, and the picnic area is so cool.
Congratulations!
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stringofpearls
« Reply #34 on: May 10, 2009 09:37:19 PM »

I'm glad you did this. I'm always the odd duck for working in a wood shop and now I have a buddy!
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« Reply #35 on: May 11, 2009 07:49:34 AM »

I'm glad you did this. I'm always the odd duck for working in a wood shop and now I have a buddy!

Heh heh! Awesome! You should see all the built-ins I'm making right now! There's wood everywhere! Smiley
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Beth
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« Reply #36 on: May 20, 2009 06:54:16 PM »

That sounds like fun!
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