Building a Slide
Whether you purchase a premade kit, or you design your own, building a slide can be a wonderful addition to any home playground. All that you really need in order to be able to do this is a free weekend, some patience, a little elbow grease and a good friend to help with the heavy lifting. Once you have those things, as well as the short list below, you are going to be well on your way to having a slippery addition to your home.
- 4 - 4"x4"x10' Round wooden posts
- 2 - 4"x4"x1 1/2' Round wooden posts
- 12 - 2"x1"x1" Wooden slats (6 for ladder, 6 for walls)
- 10 - 2"x2"x4' Wooden boards (8 for box frame, 2 for floor support)
- 24 - 7"Galvanized Bolts, washers and nuts.
- 1 - 10' Slide (metal or plastic—your preference)
- 40 - 3" Wood screws
- 8 - Wooden stakes
- Measuring tape.
- Drill and drill bits
- Complete ratchet set
- Adjustable wrench
- Paint brush.
- Concrete tube
- Plan. Prior to beginning the project, some planning needs to be done. If you don't have any blueprints already drawn up, feel free to use these blueprints for your project. Since these plans call for a basic foot print that is roughly 12 2/3' in length by 4' wide with a slide height of 5', you are going to want to select an area that is level with compact soil. Preferably, you are also going to want to use an area that has plenty of shade, but consider as well whether you can see the location from your house.
- Prepare. Once you have the site located, it is time to prepare. Go to the location where you want one of the corners of your slide to be, and place one of the stakes with some twine tied to it. Now you are going to be measuring off four feet, then place another stake, wrapping some of the twine around it. Turn 90o and measure off another four feet and place another stake wrapped in some twine then turn another 90o to in order to place the fourth stake for your deck foundation. Once you have placed these four stakes, go to the side that you envision having the slide come down. Measure from each stake eight inches and tie off some twine, then measure out 8 2/3' and place another stake. After you have placed that stake turn another 90o and place another stake 32" away. These two stakes are going to be the foundation for the slide base. Once you have completed your survey work, it is time to begin digging, at the location of each stake, dig down about two feet, with a diameter of one foot. After these holes have been dug, you need to go ahead and fill each hole halfway with gravel. Finally, you should prepare each piece of wood that is going to be part of the frame by drilling holes so that you can bolt everything together. Simply drill the holes for the slide platform's base 4' from the top of the 10' poles, and also about one inch from the top of the pole. This is where you are going to be fastening the frame and its supports.
- Assembly. Go ahead and assemble the frame of the slide according to the blue prints or diagram. Once you have the basic frame with the slide attached, have some friends help you fit everything into the appropriate holes. Once you have fit everything into it's holes, you can go ahead and pour the concrete into the area around the poles. It is going to take about 45 minutes before the concrete has set, but you should wait a minimum of 4 hours before putting any weight on to the frame. After the concrete has dried, finish assembling the ladder and slide deck.
- Finish. Finally, after everything has been assembled you should run some sandpaper (or an electric sander if you have one) over the exposed wood to help prevent splinters, as well as preparing the wood for the stain and sealer. Stain and seal the wood in a similar manner as when you refinish furniture or cabinets. Once this is completed, allow everything to dry completely, then you can begin sliding to your heart's content.
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